1 Cor. 13 - Love... what?

Today's Chapter: 1 Corinthians 13

Specific Text: 1 Corinthians 13

It's basic grammar - a verb needs both a subject and an object (lessn' of course it's one of them fancy intransitive verbs...). Jim (subject) drives (verb) the car (object). Sam plays the piano. Sally walks the dog. Paul writes this awesome, famous chapter on how to love, but he never supplies the object for the verb! He tells us how to love, but he never writes exactly what we are to love.

Is this written to teach us how to love our families or spouse? Verses 4-8 seem to really apply if family or spouse is the object of our love: Love your wife in a way that is patient, kind, that does not envy or boast... But the verses both before and after don't really have anything to do with our spouse or family, so the object must be something different.

This is why it's so important for us to read large chunks of the Bible - not just a couple of verses - at a time. We can look at the previous chapters we've been reading these last few days and quickly conclude that the object of the love described here is the church. This chapter is often read in isolation at weddings and such, and it certainly does give us some insight on how to love our spouses, but the primary message here is instruction on how to utilize the spiritual gifts that God has given us to use in the Church!

Yesterday we learned that we should be tenacious in eagerly desiring greater gifts in the church. But sometimes, the people God has placed around you in the Church don't need greater gifts from you, they just need you. This chapter serves as a warning not to be too eager in desiring greater gifts if that desire causes you to run over other people.

Prayer For The Day: Father God, thank you for the numerous ways I can see how others in the church have loved me over the years. Please place on my heart a few people in my church who I can love the way Paul instructs me in 1 Cor. 13. In Your Son's name I pray, amen.

Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church

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