As we conclude our introduction to this series, I thought it would be good to look at a basic outline for the remainder of our study. This outline comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul found in the book of 1 Corinthians 13:.
In this passage, Paul covers two very important points concerning love:
1. Its importance – vs 3, 8, 13
2. Its characteristics – vs 4-7
Let’s take a few minutes to look at this passage in detail…
The Importance Of Love From The Writings Of Paul…Vs 3 – “And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Vs 8 – “Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away” Vs 13 – “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity”
We looked at these verses in our previous devotional.
The Characteristics Of Love From The Writings Of Paul…Vs 4 to 7 - “Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
Please notice in our text that Paul is describing how a Scriptural love is exhibited in our lives. We should never misunderstand Paul’s point. He is not saying that THESE ACTIONS CREATE LOVE in our lives. It is just the opposite. Paul is clearly saying that it is BECAUSE LOVE EXISTS in our hearts, it then PRODUCES THESE TRAITS in our lives.
A very quick summary of these traits (we will look at them in great detail as we study the displays of love in the life of Christ). :
1. suffereth long – patience
2. is kind; - useful to others
3. envieth not; - do not desire possessions of others
4. vaunteth not itself, - does not brag about self
5. is not puffed up,- to believe we are better than others
6. Doth not behave itself unseemly, - does not shame others in public
7. seeketh not her own, - does not live selfishly
8. is not easily provoked, - does not get agitated, irritated easily
9. thinketh no evil; - does not plan nor desire evil
10. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, - does not find joy in sin of others
11. rejoiceth in the truth; - finds joy in the truths of God’s Word
12. Beareth all things, - willing to put up with things in silence
13. believeth all things, - exercises faith and trust in others
14. hopeth all things, - thinks best of others, sees best in others
15. endureth all things. – willing to bear any burden for extended time period
Our Lesson To Be Learned:We can see clearly from this listing that Scriptural love manifests itself in sacrifice of self for the good of others. Stop and think about it. Every one of these characteristics involves suffering some type of loss so that others may benefit. This is the exact point that is brought out by the Apostle John as he looked back at the love Christ showed to us and the need to show that same love to others….
“Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)
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