Sunday, April 09, 2017
Daily reading assignment: 1 Corinthians 13-14
Aging rock\pop star Tina Turner, known for her screaming, gritty voice, in one of her songs belts out, “What’s love got to do with it?” The biblical answer?
“Love has everything to do with it!”
The world has many ideas and definitions for “Love”. Greek philosopher Plato suggested, “Love is a serious mental disease.” Robert Frost, the famous American poet wrote, “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” Author E. Joseph Cossman described Love as “a friendship set to music.” One Thomas Dewar suggested, “Love is an ocean of emotions entirely surrounded by expenses.” Another, Pauline Thomason wrote, “Love is blind — marriage is the eye-opener.”
We find three forms of love in the Greek language: 1) “Eros”, the word for sexual desire (moral or immoral) from which our English word “eoritc” is derived; 2) “Phileo”, defines the affection between friends; a relationship that is mutually beneficial; a “give and take” love; 3) “Agape’” love is expressed as a sacrificial love and based, not on what one can get, but can give to a relationship.
“Agape’ Love” is translated “charity” in 1 Corinthians 13 and is the greatest and highest expression of love. God’s love for sinners is “Agape’ love”.
Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love [agape] toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
John 3:16 – For God so loved [agapao] the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 15:13 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
A husband’s love for his wife is “agapao love” (self-sacrificing, unconditional love): “Husbands, love [agapao] your wives, even as Christ also loved [agapao] the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).
Love is also the first fruit, the root out of which all the other “fruit of the Spirit” grow.
Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Love is the foundation of the Law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).
Matthew 22:37-40 – “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang [hinge; depend; sum of all the other laws and commandments] all the law and the prophets.”
Finally, love is the greatest, most enduring and indispensable quality that can be expressed by a Christian.
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Friend, as you worship the LORD with His church this Sunday, your love for the brethren is to be a sacrificial, patient, kind, honest…rejoicing in the truth, and enduring… “never faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)!
With a shepherd’s heart,
Pastor Travis D. Smith
* I was unable to post Saturday’s devotional reading. Mark 7-8 was the scheduled reading for those who missed it.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith