Our Bible verse for today: “If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understanding all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give my body in order to boast but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “If you don’t have love, you have nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 is known as “the love chapter” of the Bible. In it the Apostle Paul attempts to help us see what agape love looks like in actual practice. We know what agape love looks like coming from God, John 3:16 explains it beautifully. But demonstrating such love in our own lives is harder, so Paul gives us concrete examples of what it looks like. He goes on in verse 4-8:
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends …”
In another verse we’ve studied this month, 1 John 4:18, John tells us that there is no fear in love because perfect love drives out fear. Agape love does that. Consider the examples cited by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, along with the truth from John that such love drives out fear. In the case of 1 Corinthians 13 it drives fear out of our relationships. You might think of a child who is secure and comfortable in the love he or she receives from her parents. Or the love between a husband and wife who truly are fully committed to one another. In such a relationship there is no fear, there is no doubt. It is agape love on full display in the lives of people and its impact is obvious.
Of all the themes God addresses in the Bible, none is more prominent than love. Love is the overriding theme from start to finish and every other theme falls under it. When God repeats something in the Bible, especially when He repeats it a lot, it’s because the subject is vitally important and He wants to be sure we learn it well. Repetition is the key to learning. And it is the key to change.
Therefore, since love is the dominant theme in the Bible, and since God wants us to learn it well, we’ll need more than just one month of devotional messages to adequately address it. There’s much more to be said on this subject and therefore we will continue thinking about it into the month of October.