The Love of God Part 2
“1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 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, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”
The direct translation of the word “Charity” means love. Without the love of God, we are nothing. The fruit of selfless love comes from a heart that has the love of God within. Jesus set the example of showing us how to love by the way He loved us.
In the first part of our lesson, we discussed that God’s love, or as the King James Bible declares it –charity suffers long, is kind, does not envy, does not vaunteth itself, and is not puffed up. We talked about how charity does not behave unseemly. We will continue to look at chapter 13 of 1Cornithians to learn more about the meaning of charity.
“5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;”
“Seeketh not her own” shows us that love, Godly love, is unselfish in nature, or love is always looking out for the better of someone else. If you spend your time thinking about yourself, you’ll spend your time talking about yourself too. True Bible love causes us to think of others before ourselves, hence, love seeketh not her own. God wants us to think of others.
Now let’s move on to the meaning of “love is not easily provoked.” This part of the scripture shows that love is not working in someone who displays an out-of-control temper. With the love of God within, if another wrongs us, God helps us not to rise up and get back at them. Suppose you are easily provoked, or it does not take much for your anger to be triggered. In that case, it means you are primarily thinking about yourself. This does not mean that we will not feel upset at times. However, Ephesians 4:26 does instruct us to be ye angry and sin not.
“26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
With the love of God within us, we should not let a time of becoming upset control us. If anger overtakes us, we will start doing ungodly things, like arguing, fighting, cursing, or saying things we shouldn’t and regret later. Remember, charity is not easily provoked.
Now we are at the last part of 1Corinthians 13:5, “thinketh no evil.” Love is a positive force. This means we should not assume if someone does something good, it must be for a bad reason. If we look for the bad in someone or something, we will probably find it. But the love God planted deep within us will cause us first to assume good about each other and not evil. What makes you most happy, the good news about someone or bad? If you are always thinking bad about someone, look within your heart because God wants to fill you with His love.
“6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;”
Now we can move into 1Corinthans 13:6. The first part of this verse states, “Rejoiceth not in iniquity.” God calls us to abstain from rejoicing in something wrong, things against God, or any falsehoods. Looking at the last part of verse 6, we see that God wants us to rejoice in things that are of the truth — “but rejoiceth in the truth.” This means God wants us to be excited about those things that are true.
“7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
Charity beareth all things means that charity covers and contains things. For example, we should not talk about other people’s errors or faults. It doesn’t mean that we cover up sin for each other, but we keep confidence in others as much as possible. If someone tells you something bad about someone else, this does not give you permission to carry the story to 10 other people. Are you the one who is continually the bearer of bad news? God wants us to keep some things private and pray for situations.
The next part of verse seven, “believeth all things,” means you are ever ready to believe the best about each person. This means that if you hear a rumor about someone, especially a negative rumor, you will not automatically assume it is true. And you certainly will not spread it around because that would be gossiping. Love believes the best about each other.
Love or charity hopeth all things. When you can no longer believe good about someone, faith and hope take over. Hope means we continually believe in good things. We are hoping even if someone does not know God that they will come to God.
Finally, love endureth all things. In this study of 1Corinthians 13, the challenge is to see how important the principles of God’s love are to us. The famous scripture, John 3:16, shows us the magnitude of God’s love and what Jesus was willing to endure because of His great love toward us.
“16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God sent His Son Jesus, and Jesus loved us so much He died for us, allowing us also to have this great love placed within our hearts. This is why the apostle Paul told the Corinthians that it didn’t matter that they had extraordinary abilities, gifts, or talents. It also didn’t matter what type of outstanding accomplishments their abilities helped them to achieve. But what is most important than all this is to have God’s love reigning within.
“8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
“13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
Charity will not behave badly and will not be easily provoked. If the love of God is flowing within, it will suffer long; it will be kind, and it will not envy, vaunteth itself, or get puffed up. Charity will not think evil and rejoice in wrongdoing or iniquity but will rejoice in truth. Charity bears all things and endures all things.
I challenge you to follow the love of God, pursue it, and make Godly love the guiding force in your life. When you enter a trial or difficult situation, make sure the principles of love are guiding you. Chase after this Bible love until you catch it! I promise you, once you have this love within, God can truly bless your life.