June 2, 2024


1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, the Apostle Paul provides a beautiful and powerful description of what true, godly love looks like in action. He starts by saying that love is patient and kind. It is not easily angered or provoked, but bears with others' faults and weaknesses. Love does not envy what others have or boast about its own accomplishments. It is not arrogant, puffed up with its own importance. Love is not rude or ill-mannered, but treats others with respect and courtesy. Paul goes on to say that love does not insist on its own way. It is not selfish or self-seeking, but willingly yields to others. Love is not irritable, easily annoyed or bothered. It is not resentful, holding onto past hurts and grievances. Instead, love forgives and lets go of wrongs suffered. Significantly, love does not rejoice at wrongdoing or take pleasure when others stumble and sin. Rather, love rejoices with the truth. It celebrates righteousness and goodness. This kind of love bears all things, meaning it protects and covers over the faults of others. Love believes all things - it is not suspicious or cynical, but trusting and full of faith. Love hopes all things, always looking to the future with optimism and confidence in God. Finally, love endures all things without giving up. It perseveres through trials, challenges and obstacles. In summary, the love Paul describes is supernatural, the highest of virtues only possible through the power of God's Spirit. It is selfless, sacrificial, forgiving, and unfailing. This is the kind of love we are called to express toward God and others. While we will never love perfectly in this life, as we abide in Christ and yield to His Spirit, we can grow to love more like Him each day. For God Himself is love, and the source of the love we need.


The description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13 stands in stark contrast to what the world often portrays as love. In movies, songs, and popular culture, love is frequently depicted as an exciting feeling or passionate emotion. It is something that comes and goes based on circumstances. The love espoused by the world is often selfish, jealous, and prideful. But the love that God calls us to is so much more than a fleeting feeling or temporary emotion. Agape love, the Greek word used in this passage, is an unconditional, sacrificial, committed love that perseveres. It is a humble, others-focused love that flows from the very heart of God. As followers of Jesus, we are to aspire to and grow in this kind of love. But if we are honest, living out this love is immensely challenging in a fallen, self-centered world. Our natural human tendency is toward impatience, unkindness, jealousy, pride, rudeness, irritability, and resentment. We want to insist on our own way and lash out when we are wronged. Yet, the amazing news of the gospel is that we are not left to love in our own strength! The night before His crucifixion, Jesus promised His disciples in John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." As we abide in Christ, depending on Him and drawing our life from Him, He supernaturally bears the fruit of His love in and through us. Even more incredible, Romans 5:5 tells us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." When we put our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us, filling us with God's love. The more we surrender to the Spirit's work in our lives, the more we will overflow with the beautiful, selfless, enduring love described in 1 Corinthians 13. This love is not just for some select group of "super-Christians," but is to mark the lives of all believers. In John 13:35 Jesus said, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." The watching world should be able to look at us as Christians and see a supernatural love at work. They should see a patient, kind, humble, others-focused, tenacious love. This type of love testifies to the reality of the gospel and draws others to Jesus. So today, in the power of the Spirit, let us pursue love. Let us abide in Christ, the vine, depending on Him for the strength to love. Let us yield to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to pour out God's love in greater measure into our hearts and through our lives. And let us commit to grow in expressing the beautiful, selfless, unfailing love described in this passage, that we might point a watching world to the glorious love of our Savior.


Heavenly Father, Thank You for the beautiful picture of love You have painted for us in Your Word. Thank You that You are the source and embodiment of perfect love. Your love for us is patient, kind, humble, selfless and unfailing. Forgive us for the many times we have failed to love like You. We confess our selfishness, our pride, our irritability, and resentment. We acknowledge that we cannot love in our own strength. We pray that You would fill us afresh with Your love today. Pour out Your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Help us to abide in Christ, drawing our very life from Him. May His love flow through us to others. Give us the grace to be patient and kind, to let go of envy and pride. Empower us to forgive when we are wronged and to endure through challenges. Make us people who rejoice in the truth and always protect, trust, hope and persevere. Let our lives be marked by Your supernatural love, that the world may see You in us and be drawn to the glorious good news of the gospel. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Radiant love, patient and kind, Shining forth, a heavenly bind. Selfless grace, a humble heart, Enduring all, never to part.

Radiant love, patient and kind,
Shining forth, a heavenly bind.
Selfless grace, a humble heart,
Enduring all, never to part.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.