What Is Love?

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Love appears many times in the Bible and real love comes from God, who is love!
 
But before we can practice love, we must understand what love is and what it is not.
The word love has become so glamorized and distorted by Hollywood and the media that many do not know the true meaning of love. Many use the word to express their likes for certain things: for examples I love a good hamburger or I love a beautiful sunset. But love is a many faceted invisible quality, which some may not experience during life.
 
 Greeks used four words to define their concept of love: the words were storge, philia, eros, and agape. Though these words appear to be universal, God is Love and is the Author of love. Not always is storge listed as one of the Greek words for love, but was used to define an affectionate bond between parents and children. Philia was used to indicate a bond of friendship and is not based on sex. Eros was used in reference to romantic love, and agape is God’s divine love given to His children. Many years later Jesus taught a gospel of love and demonstrated the greatest love ever known when He died on the cross to pay our sin debt.    
 
Our devotions this week about love are based on the 13th chapter of Corinthians written to Christians in the church of Corinth. Paul begins by saying if he speaks in the tongues of men and angels, but lacks love, he is nothing but a clanging cymbal. He continues and says if he has the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and knowledge and has faith that can move mountains, but does not have love, he
is nothing. Then he further says if he gives all his possessions to feed the poor and surrenders his body to the flames but does not have love, he is nothing. 
 
Father, after reading these startling statements, one is better able to understand the importance of love, and I pray You will give me an abundance of this kind of love that only the Holy Spirit can give. Then help me to share that love with others. I ask this in 
Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

Doris Lisemby