As we move towards the end of the year, let’s remember what we are called to do at all times: just love.
1 Corinthians 13 is all about love. Many agree that this chapter is the greatest, strongest and deepest Paul ever wrote.
Paul’s love for the church at Corinth was expressed as God’s love and he corrected the misuse of the spiritual gifts. He insisted that the practice of selfless love is at the centre of Christianity. For some this is a reason to downplay the use of the spiritual gifts, but that would misrepresent Paul’s concern for the church.
The love he talks about proceeds from God who is love. It flows from the value of the One who loves rather than from any merit in the beloved and stresses the permanence of love. That is why he could say,
“If I am without love, if I have no love, I am nothing.”
His point is that love is more important than any spiritual gifts because without love they are valueless.
What is sad is that God’s love is made available to us by the Holy Spirit, but it is one of the least valued gifts that He has given.
God wants us to have a taste of the things to come so when we experience a miracle or healing it is the kingdom of heaven breaking into the here and now. Sometimes we want to explain these things and know all that is happening in logical terms, but Paul reminds us that “we only know in part and prophesy in part”.
In these days God wants to strengthen us, comfort us and restore us when we have experienced disappointment or hurt. How wonderful to know that His love is “patient, kind, does not envy, is not puffed up, is not rude and keeps no record of wrong”.
What joy and peace is ours to know Him and His love. It is that love that bridges the gap between “now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known”.