I Corinthians 13 is the background for the message. Verses 4-8a Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.
Without love, it’s all useless. Without love we’ll never reach people for Jesus. Verse 8 tells us some things cease. The last prophecy came to John the Divine on the island of Patmos when he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ. We have the perfected, completed Word of God; tongues, prophecies, and knowledge ceased. There was no Bible in those days as we have now. We have the living Word of God.
There are three kinds of love: eros, phileo, and agape. Eros is the love between the sexes–passion. No marriage can survive on this type of love alone. Phileo is love between friends. Agape is a higher love that dominates one’s being; it’s a self-sacrificing love, the kind God has for us. Think of John 3:16 when you think of agape love.
This chapter is not about God’s love for us or our love for him; it’s about our love for each other. Beginning in verse 4 he tells us love is patient with others. Love doesn’t use verbal or physical abuse on a mate or children. Love is kind, even to those who irritate you when you’d like to sock them in the mouth. Matthew 5:44 reminds us that to love when you’re loved or to be kind when others are kind to you isn’t love. When you love your enemy, that’s real love. Love doesn’t envy others; it prays for them. It doesn’t brag about itself. It doesn’t toot its own horn. Love doesn’t say or think “it’s just about me.” Everyday we should pray and ask God to help us help someone else. That’s loving like the Lord does. Remember we may be the one who needs help the next time. Love thinks the best of everyone. It helps us overlook the flaws in others. We all have them. Love also makes us sad when a brother sins. We don’t rejoice about it. In circumstances love bears all things, believes all things and hopes all things.
Verse 8 simply says that love just doesn’t fail. It doesn’t quit. It’s an everlasting love. Jeremiah tells us that’s how God loves us–with an everlasting love. Man may use you. Others may stop loving. Others may hate you. God will still love you.