Formulae for true love
1 Corinthians 13:13 -
And now abideth faith, hope, charity [love], these three; but the greatest of these is charity [love].
In today's message, in Paul's first letter to Corinthians, in this chapter he compares the gifts of the Holy Spirit with love and Paul says even all the gifts of the Holy Spirit (not only the 3, for the semi colon is after three) that can help us enlarge the Kingdom of God or do great work for the glory of God like healing, tongues, prophecy, knowledge etc. are not worth if we do not have love.
In English translating the Greek word Agape as love is not very appropriate, in fact the most proper word for Agape is charity. Charity is love expressed without expectation of personal return. Charity is also love that has purpose not to please but to prosper that person in the right direction. True charity never let harm the other, but just builds the other stronger and stronger in the Kingdom of God.
Charity does not mean pleasing or being nice, it means being fruitful. It means saying the right words or doing the right thing at the right time. We may say or do the right thing but if whatever we do does not build the other person it is not charity. Charity also does not mean not correcting the other person when the person needs to be corrected. We may not want to hurt that person so we hold back and then think we did it out of love, but in truth that is not love. For love we need the perfect time with the right deed or/and words. Man is all his wisdom living in the present tense will never know the right time that is the reason to love man needs the help of the Holy Spirit for He lives beyond present tense. The Lord is throughout time therefore is the only one Who can guide us.
A point I learned today in today's message is Paul including hope here in the list. Hope is not really a gift but is the step towards faith. It is hope that matures and grows into faith. Hope is in simple terms a desire to believe. It is only when knowledge and understanding grows, this hope becomes faith.
Faith has two elements one is belief and the other Truth. Hope is to do with the first half.
What I learned today is that the desire to believe is also one of gifts which the Lord gives. So to grow in our desire to know, believe, love or any other good purpose, we can ask God and He will give us.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, without You man cannot truly love. Even if man is full of all knowledge and understanding and ability, yet to know the right time is not in man's hands. Lord, You are already in our future today and You alone know the best time for us. Help us Lord to do the right things or say the right words at the right time so that our work or words bear good fruit. Lord You said if we desire for good things in your Name, our Father will surely give us. Father, fill us with desire for the good things of your Kingdom and guide us to use them well according to your will...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Corinthians chapter 13
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
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