1 Corinthians 13. We all know this chapter. It has been taught to us for centuries about how important LOVE is. Recently I understood this chapter very differently. I do not mean to sound completely selfish, but I am jealous for Gods’ LOVE…I want all of it, all the time, all for me! In all honesty, please, take me selfishly! I hope to convince you to be just a selfish!
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I posses to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (vs. 1-3)
What have I if I do not have the love of God? Many will argue that we have had the love of God all along, why else would He have sent his only Son but that he LOVED the world, and the many would be right! Great is the Love of God! What I seek is that love in all it’s fullness, not just in my salvation, but in everything I am, and everything I do, every way, everyday; His full attention. I am JEALOUS for the love of God.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (vs. 4-7)
Everything falls under LOVE! When you love someone you tend to have more patience with that person, you act kinder toward them, you seek to uplift them and rejoice in their triumphs, you are quicker to control your anger around them, you forgive them more easily, you are protective of them, you trust them above others, your always hopeful for them, you persevere hardship with them. You want the best for them always and give of yourself in every way possible. That kind of love is valuable because every good thing you have to offer comes from that love. Every good thing God has to offer falls under His love and I am jealous for it!
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (vs. 8-12)
All things shall pass away….what is left is love. God’s love and our love. We only understand in part, because we are part physical and part spiritual. One day we will be fully spirit and we will be face to face with LOVE, all encompassing LOVE, our Creator/Redeemer/Savior and His uncompromising LOVE. And what will be our reward?? Most often we hear the scripture from Matthew 6:20, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” When we hear the phrase “treasure in heaven” we so often think about receiving the crowns spoken of in 1 Peter 5:4 or Revelations 2:10; we think of mansions as mentioned in John 14:2 (KJV). But, if you will, let me redirect your attention…what our physical nature knows to be treasure and what our spirit counts as treasure may indeed be very different things. If the Lord values gold only enough to walk on it, why should we value gold any more than that? What has more value than precious metals or rare jewels? Simply, a four letter word, LOVE. The Creator of all those precious items has something way more valuable to share with you, HIS LOVE, and I am jealous for it!!
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trail because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12 NIV) This crown of life is available only to those who LOVE him. LOVE. We are brought back to that “all encompassing” word, LOVE. What crown of life does the scripture speak of? It doesn’t say it’s a crown of gold and jewels…but of life and what is life without love? Lonely. We all seek love more than anything else! Every human being has desired it, gravitated to it, has been enticed by it, has been ruled over by it, has fallen into it’s grips, has given and accepted it at least once, has endured suffering because of it! Love is the most powerful effect known to physical man. It has changed history, it has taken life and saved life, it has manipulated kingdoms, it has broken and mended hearts. Love leads everything else.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (vs 13)
Faith and Hope are great allies in the kingdom of God for the scripture reminds us that faith is the substance of thing hoped for in Hebrews 11:1 (KJV). By the faith of a mustard seed you can tell a tree to be uprooted and cast itself into the sea and it would have to obey you according to Luke 17:6. These are both powerful in the kingdom of God. Even still, 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us that the greatest of these is LOVE.
Jesus said the greatest commandment was to LOVE our God and the second like it was to LOVE our neighbors (add scripture reference). For all of this knowledge why would I not want all of God’s love, for it is perfect and every good thing falls under it: my salvation, favor, blessings…
I am jealous for God’s love…I want him to love me greater than all of the rest of his creation. The treasure I want to store up in heaven is his Love for me!!! His outpouring, His blessings, comes from His love!! I need his love more than mansions and crowns, more than gold or jewels! The title I wish to hold is “Most Beloved by God in all Creation” Just as He said that David was a man after his own heart…I want to be most loved by God. I want all of his affection, all of his attention, all of the time!! And, whats more, is he wants that from me!
I am jealous for the Love of God!! I want the depth and breath of it all! And so should you, selfishly and unapologetically. I have my salvation because of His great love and now I am allowed to enter His presence…and I want what He holds above all else…LOVE…I want His love!
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33