The greatest of these is love

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

These three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.  This is an incredible and power scripture and statement.  There is nothing that compares to the love of God.  It is God’s love that led Him to create humanity and it is God’s love that led him to put in place the plan of salvation because He knew that Adam and Eve would choose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

It was His love that led Him to come to this earth and it was His love that held Him to the cross.  As we grow in Him we come to know His love and it transforms our lives.  So many in the world today desire to know what true love is.  They seek after the emptiness of this world and the entire time they are placing themselves in greater bondage as they partake of the wickedness and deception of the enemy.

But in Christ we find true love.  In Christ we find who we truly are.  In Christ we find the destiny and plan that God has for our lives and it changes everything.  We learn to rest in His love for us.  We learn to let go of this world and its desires.  Every desire of the world is simply a road to destruction.  But as we set aside the things of sin and wickedness for the glory of God we come to find true love that is only found in Jesus Christ.

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1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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;

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NKJV

What the world presents as love is not love at all.  What the world often speaks and presents as love is simply lust.  But when we examine God’s word we see that the greatest thing we have in this world is the love of God.  As we grow in our relationship with God, His love fills our hearts and lives.  We begin to see the world around us through the love of God.  It is the love that God has for us that led Jesus to the cross.  It is God’s love that held Jesus to the cross.  In everything that Jesus did He did it because of the love He has for us.  May we be filled each day with God’s love and impact the world around us with the love of God.  We know that the love of God suffers long, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked.  God’s love is amazing and as we come to know Him we simply come to know and understand the depths of His love for us.  May we draw near and simply seek His face with our whole heart.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 AMP

If the love of God is absent from our lives then we have having.  The apostle Paul speaks of four things in these verses; speaking in other tongues, the gift of prophecy, faith to move mountains, and giving all our possessions to feed the poor.  If we are without love none of it means anything.  At the end of chapter thirteen the apostle Paul states that these three remain; faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.  If we are truly a disciple of Jesus Christ then we must be filled with the love of God.  If we are truly following Christ then everything we do must be done in love.  It is impossible to walk closely with Christ and not be filled with the love of God.  Those who fail to have the love of God working in their lives are those who fail to follow Christ correctly.

There are some who allow pride in their spiritual growth to blind them and truly believe that the gifts they have been given are because of themselves.  All that we have is simply because of who God is.  We are simply saved by grace and we are equipped by God’s grace.  God distributes the gifts of the Spirit according to His sovereign will.  We have been chosen by the Lord and it is He who empowers and equips us.  If we are truly walking in love then we are also walking in humility.  Humility will guard our hearts and will enable us to become Christ like in all things.  Our eyes will not be focused upon ourselves, but will be focused upon the Lord alone.

 

The things God has prepared for those who love him

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—

1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

The things that the Lord has prepared for us on this earth and in His kingdom are far greater than we can ever imagine.  Jesus simply calls people to trust and follow Him.  He told us for anyone to follow Him they must deny themselves and pick up their cross.  For some throughout the centuries this has meant laying down their physical lives for the gospel.

But no matter the cost it will never compare with all that the Lord will pour out unto our lives in eternity.  We cannot fathom in our limited human understanding the glorious riches that await us in God’s kingdom.  From examining the death of Jesus on the cross it is evident that what He has prepared for us is far greater than anything we can imagine.

Each day upon this earth we will have challenges and trials along the way.  But God has a divine design for everything we will face during this life.  He is continually shaping and molding us into the image of who He is.  When we are born on this earth we are born into sin, but it is through Christ that we are set free.  The Lord is continually restoring our lives and it simply takes place as we trust and follow Him.

But have not love, I am nothing

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.  1 Corinthians 13:2

No matter what spiritual gift we have been gifted and anointed by the Holy Spirit, if we have not love we are nothing.  Everything we do must be driven by the love of God.  When we walk in the love of Christ we will walk with integrity and humility.  There are many today who claim titles for God’s kingdom when in fact they are nothing.

Many in the charisma masquerade as messengers of the Lord, when in fact they are tools of the enemy to infiltrate the camp of God and cause division, chaos, and discord.  But in this hour we must draw near with confidence to the Lord and become serious students of God’s word.  The more time we spend in the Lord’s presence the more we become sensitive to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The more time we spend in God’s presence the more we are transformed and the more we grow in God’s love and are filled with God’s love.

The more we are transformed into the character and nature of Christ the more we see things through the eyes of Jesus.  When Jesus walked this earth He saw every person as a lost sheep without a shepherd.  Even the very Pharisees who cried for Him to be crucified He was filled with love for them.  As He hung from the cross beaten and bruised beyond recognition He cried out Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

We live in a world filled with broken people.  Even the terrorist today who desire to destroy all people upon the earth are simply lost sheep without a shepherd.  Let us do all things in love and walk in love.  For when we walk in God’s love, grace, and mercy, we shall see the glory of God manifest in our day.  It will drive us to deeper places of prayer and it will drive us to sow the gospel where ever we go.  Without love we are truly nothing.

Or do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit

19 Or do you not know that your body is a [a]temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from [b]God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB

Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  He lives within us when we come to Jesus Christ and place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  We are called to be living sacrifices unto the Lord.  Where ever we go and what ever we do we take the Lord with us.  Our lives should be used to glorify the name of Jesus in all things.

Realizing and coming to understand that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit will change the way we live our lives and will impact the things we allow ourselves to get involved in.  We live in a day and culture in which sexual immorality is glorified.  In every form of entertainment and media sexual immorality is placed on a pedestal and many fail to understand the bondage they are placing themselves on a daily basis.

As born again believers and followers of Jesus Christ our lives should reflect the character of Christ.  Sex is a beautiful and wonderful thing and should only take place in the context of marriage between a man and woman.  When God designed marriage He designed it between a man and woman and we see thing in the first two people He created in Adam and Eve.

Today this has been distorted by the culture and world we live in.  Any one who would proclaim God’s design for marriage and sex is labeled as a bigot and hate monger by those in the world to simply silence them.  But we need to understand that when we give our lives to Jesus that our bodies no longer belong to us.  Everything we are belongs to the Lord and is to be used for His glory.  If we currently find ourselves involved in things that we should not be we need to ask the Lord for forgiveness and turn from those things immediately.  To play games with sin is a very dangerous and destructive activity.  Everything we do carries with it consequences.  We will reap what we sow.  If we sow to God’s kingdom we shall reap the benefits of God’s kingdom.  But if we sow to the sinful nature we will reap destruction.  Our King is coming soon.  May we daily prepare our hearts for His return and turn from the wickedness of our day.

1 Corinthians 13:6-7: It does not rejoice at injustice

It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].  1 Corinthians 13;6-7

The love of God is an incredible thing and there is nothing in this world that compares to it.  Jesus came to this earth and personified what the love of God physically looks like.  Jesus never sinned and never did anything wrong.  He was rejected and He was hated for simply speaking to the truth.  He chose the cross, He chose the crown of thorns, He chose the pain and humiliation of Calvary simply because of His love for us.

It was His love that held Him to the cross.  It was His love that led Him to come to this earth and lay down His life for humanity.  All of us who are born again today and follow Jesus Christ simply do so because of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

Those who are lost in and broken in the world today are looking and seeking true love.  Many are seeking love in the darkness of the world and are simply being taken advantage of by Satan’s lies and deceptions.  God today is seeking a generation that is filled with His love and is simply a house of prayer.  He is seeking a people who simply desire to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  May we be the sons and daughters that God desires us to be.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

“O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:55-57‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Our victory is found in Christ alone. Jesus has overcome the grave and He has fulfilled the demands of the law. He was the perfect sacrifice because His life was without sin. 

We who are in Christ today are free. Are freedom is not meant to be used to indulge in sin. Our freedom is meant to be used to glorify and honor the Lord. 

In this hour He is calling us to a deeper place. He is calling us to abide in Him and grow in Him. The Lord is preparing His bride and those who heed His voice will be prepared when the last trumpet sounds. 

The enemy will try to overwhelm us with doubt and fear. But when we understand who we are in Christ we will not flinch because we know where our help comes from and we know He who holds all things in His hands. Let us hold fast to the faith we have and keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus. 

1 Corinthians 15:20-22

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 NIV

It is through Jesus Christ that true life is found.  Jesus said that He came to give life and give it abundantly.  It is through Christ that true freedom is found.  It is through Christ that true love is found.  It is through Christ that true peace is found.  Many in this world seek after the emptiness of the world to fill the void that only Jesus can fill.

We have been created in the image of God and God has created us in a way that we long for Him.  But the mistake many make is that they are unwilling to humble themselves and allow themselves to be blinded by pride.  It is pride that destroys them and they think by seeking the emptiness of this world that they will find what they truly desire.  But in the end it is the things they seek that actually destroy them.

Jesus is the only way to the Father.  Jesus is the only answer for the sin that exist within humanity.  It is through the blood of Jesus alone that our sins are forgiven.  Because Jesus lived a life without sin, His life was the perfect sacrifice.  So many claim that there are many ways to God and many ways to Heaven.  But in the end the truth is there is only one way to the Father and only one way to Heaven and it is through Jesus alone.  Let us not argue and debate those who are lost, let us intercede and pray that the veil be removed and their hearts be open to the truth of who Jesus is.  It is through prayer alone that the plans and purposes of God are accomplished.

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything

12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.13 Food is for the [g]stomach and the [h]stomach is for food, but God will do away with both [i]of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the [j]immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a [k]temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from [l]God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.                     1 Corinthians 6:12-20

One of the major issues facing the believers in Corinth and especially in the apostle Paul’s day was sexual immorality.  Temple prostitution was a major part of pagan worship rituals.  Temple prostitutes would have sex with those who came into the temple as an act of worship.  Many of those who were coming out of this background were struggling with this issue and the apostle Paul wanted to make it clear that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

The body and the spirit are not separate.  In the apostle Paul’s day the spirit was seen as something good, but the physical body was seen as something bad.  But when we come to Christ all of us are given to Jesus.  This not only includes our soul and spirit, this includes our physical bodies.

We are called to be living sacrifices unto the Lord and use our bodies to honor the Lord.  Those who are blinded by the world’s system believe that their bodies should be used in any way they desire.  They don’t believe they are accountable to God nor do they believe in Him.

But we who are in Christ belong unto Him.  All of our lives belong to the Lord and in everything we do we are called to bring glory and honor unto the Lord.  The problem with sexual sin is that it is done inside the body and will easily destroy someone if it is not confronted and dealt with.

There are many in the world today who simply believe their identity is found in what they are sexually attracted to.  The problem is we have an entire generation of people who are bound and confused by the lies of the enemy.  Without the truth of God and a relationship with Jesus Christ we become open game to Satan and are easily deceived.

As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to intercede and pray for those who are lost.  It is through the prayers of God’s people that the hearts and lives of the lost are softened to the gospel.  There is a mighty harvest before us and we need to understand that those who indulge in the wickedness of this world are blinded by the lies of Satan.

One of the most damaging things in the world today and one of the greatest weapons of the enemy is pornography.  Pornography is easily accessible and a person can take part in it in the privacy of their home.  But the real danger of pornography is that it is like a cancer that weaves its way into our lives.  Images are deposited into our spirits that play like a record over and over again.  Those who are not protected by the grace of God and do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ are easily destroyed by pornography and the way the enemy will use it to gain a foothold and eventual destroy a life from the inside out.

Many view pornography as something enjoyable and harmless, but they fail to understand the price and destruction it carries.  The reason so many today are sexually confused is because of sexual abuse and the access of pornography.  Pornography has created within people a lust for sex and every time they partake that lust grows and burns within them.

This often time will lead to sexual acts that are destructive and if they become sexual abuse they cause lasting damage upon their victims.  We are called to flee sexual sin and there is a reason for this.  It will grab hold of our lives and will destroy us from the inside out.

We need to take our journey with the Lord seriously.  We cannot allow the culture of the day to soften our stance on sexual sin.  We are to flee from it and must guard our hearts.  The Lord is returning soon and returning for a bride who is without spot, wrinkle, or blemish.  May we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  May we fix our eyes upon Jesus and draw near with our whole heart.