1 Corinthians 13

This devotional is written by Rob Hyde.

1 Corinthians 13

Listen to the reading on Sound Cloud
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Listen to the reflection on Sound Cloud
Paul should get a job on EastEnders, what a cliffhanger from Corinthians 12! 'And yet I will show you the most excellent way...' then he just ends the chapter, so cheeky. Luckily the bible is binge-able, so we get to find out now how the church can mesh all the body parts and gifts together. No waiting for us, just sit back and let the auto play take you.

Dissecting this passage is like dissecting a flower, you do it too much and you lose its beauty. It's all about love. That can seem like a cop out, an easy answer, but love is king. Jesus said it's the most important commandment after all.

Paul isn't saying that we should ignore the gifts, or not seek them or want to grow in them, but that it's about the motivation behind the gifts. Love is what brings the gifts forth, gives them focus, a reason to use them. Love for our church community, love for our friends seeing Jesus as we do, love for our world. It's humbling but encouraging, just giving it a go with the spirit in us and love for others is all we need to do. More valuable then mountain moving for mean reasons.

This love comes from God. The greatest of loves. The love that outlasts everything, longer than the biggest things we can build, longer than stories and knowledge. Even when we only see part of the picture of our lives we can trust God's love is there in completeness. The love for us that Jesus willingly gave his life to save ours. The love that gives us eternal promise. The love that fully knows us. How great is this love!

It's worth noting the love Paul talks about is not just internal, it's action. 'Love is patient' - patience is in response to something, needs to be exercised and mostly isn't easy. 'Love is kind' - kindness is shown through actions done for those around us, otherwise it's just nice thoughts. I want to challenge us today to show love to someone new, or someone you know needs it. The coworker who doesn't quite fit in, the big issue seller outside the tube who is ignored by everyone, you'll know who. Pray about it and then go for it, don't overthink it, dive in and trust the spirit.

'Jesus show us who you want to show love to through us today. Open our eyes and break our hearts for what breaks yours. Help us to not overthink and trust the love you first showed us.'

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