I CORINTHIANS 13:12-13: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: An old rock classic’s chorus begins with the statement – “What’s love got to do with it?”. This is the question we should be asking in the midst of all the turmoil we find ourselves in at the present time. First, we were called to face the great pandemic of 2020. Now, we are facing the lawless rule of anarchists in our streets.
Where is the love?
The second refrain from the old rock classic is – “What’s love but just a second-hand emotion?” Has love become a second-hand emotion to us? Have we forgotten the words of Paul in the closing of I Corinthians chapter 13?
- “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Paul moves love front and center. He makes it the most important focus of our lives. In the opening verses of this chapter, he shows how empty everything else we do is – if we do not have love.
- “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” I Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV
How does this apply to our current situation? It speaks volumes. While we focus on all the inequities of our society, as we debate all the laws that should be established, as we point fingers and accuse others of these ills, we are prone to forget the only thing that can really cure these ills.
The answer is love!
But, what is love? Is it simply an emotion, or is it something entirely different? We miss love because we look for it in the wrong place. We look for love in our attitudes and actions. We look for love in other’s attitudes and actions. And, we always end up disappointed. This is why the last refrain of the classic rock song says – “Who needs a heart (love) when a heart can be broken?”
Love is not an emotion, although it is experienced in our emotions. Love is not an action, although it is expressed through our actions. Love is not a belief, although it is expressed through our beliefs. What is love?
LOVE IS A PERSON!
- “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I John 4:7-11 NKJV
Here is where we miss it. We cannot love without God – for God is love. His love was manifested and expressed in Jesus Christ coming to die for our sins. His love was confirmed when Jesus rose again from the dead. His love is our call, our hope, and our destination. We love only because He loved us. All other love falls short. Only God’s love in us, God in us, can love through us with the sacrificial love that is needed in the world we live in!
Paul confirms love, God’s love, God’s very nature, as our destination. He does this through two very important verses.
- “But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” I Corinthians 13:10 NKJV
- “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” I Corinthians 13:12 NKJV
The perfect to come is Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ returns we will all be completed in love. Everything in this life will fade away. All the things we hold onto as priorities now will simply fade away. Even our understanding and opinion of our lives will be transformed when we finally know just as we are known. And, what will we know?
We will know God! We will know love!
So what do we do in the meantime? We surrender to the transforming power of Christ’s love now. We allow the high upward calling of God in Christ Jesus to transform how we think and act. We get on the pathway of God’s love and allow it to guide us in how we think and act, how we view and value people, and how we respond to the current crisis in our world.
- “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”. I Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV
LOVE, GOD’S LOVE, IS THE ANSWER!
Lord, I confess that my priorities have been focused on the wrong things. This morning I am convicted that I have put more importance on solutions than on love. I have sought for answers more than I have sought for You. Lord, help me to love. Help me to seek You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help me to keep the main thing the main thing.
And, the main thing is LOVE!
In Jesus Name!