A 1 CORINTHI­ANS 13 LIFE

Activated - - NEWS - By Chris Mizrany

I was read­ing 1 Corinthi­ans 13 to­day, and med­i­tat­ing on the prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of the verses. I wrote down my thoughts and hope they’ll be an in­spi­ra­tion to you.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of an­gels, but have not love, I have be­come sound­ing brass or a clang­ing cym­bal.

I’ve re­cently been try­ing, again, to learn an­other lan­guage. My goal 1. 2 Corinthi­ans 1:4 CEV 2. Ro­mans 5:8 3. 1 Peter 4:8 NLT 4. See John 15:5. is to prac­tice a lit­tle sev­eral days a week, and I’m pro­gress­ing. But there’s still a long, long way to go be­fore I feel fully com­fort­able and be­come flu­ent. Now, I’d love to tell my­self that if I could speak with all the tongues of men and of an­gels, I’d be do­ing pretty well. I might even pat my­self on the back a time or two. Re­al­iz­ing this made the verse have so much more mean­ing to me—show­ing how truly im­por­tant love is above all ac­com­plish­ments.

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, but have not love, I am noth­ing.

I’m so thrilled to be able to hear per­sonal words from Je­sus when I need guid­ance. I also re­ally en­joy that feel­ing when God does a mir­a­cle and my faith grows, so that the next time, I’m more con­fi­dent that He’s go­ing to han­dle it. I can see, though, that in­trin­si­cally tied in with these gifts is God’s great love that makes it all work.

And though I be­stow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it prof­its me noth­ing.

I’m part of Help­ing Hand—a busy mis­sion­ary and hu­man­i­tar­ian pro­ject in Cape Town, South Africa. We dis­trib­ute a lot of goods to the poor, and some­times dur­ing those early morn­ings or late nights, I do get a lit­tle burned out. This verse re­minded me that it’s only love that is our mo­ti­va­tion—the un­end­ing love of Christ that “com­forts us when we are in trou­ble, so that we can share that same com­fort with oth­ers in trou­ble.” That’s what keeps

1 us go­ing.

Love suf­fers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not pa­rade it­self, is not puffed up; does not be­have rudely, does not seek its own, is not pro­voked, thinks no evil; does not re­joice in in­iq­uity, but re­joices in the truth; bears all things, be­lieves all things, hopes all things, en­dures all things.

Well, that pretty much speaks for it­self. I’m no model ex­am­ple of suf­fer­ing long and be­ing kind, or be­hav­ing right al­ways, or be­ing un­selfish, or not get­ting pro­voked, or al­ways fo­cus­ing on the truth, or en­dur­ing all things. Some­times I’m ... well, quite the op­po­site.

Here’s some­thing pow­er­ful to re­mem­ber, though: Love even works to cleanse what isn’t lov­ing. “While we were still sin­ners, Christ died for us.” “Love cov­ers a mul­ti­tude of

2 sins.” So while I do want to con

3 tinue striv­ing to have that love that these Bible verses men­tion, I know that even when I don’t, Je­sus does. He is love. He is the truest ex­am­ple of love the world has ever seen. And if I stay close to Him, His love will rub off on me more and more.

4

Love never fails. But whether there are prophe­cies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowl­edge, it will van­ish away. For we know in part and we proph­esy in part. But when that which is per­fect is come, then that which is in part will be done away.

How true that love is the eas­i­est thing to un­der­stand. Even a baby un­der­stands love. Love is re­ally our foun­da­tion and our pri­or­ity, be­cause all those other things base off of and grow from love—both for God and for oth­ers.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I un­der­stood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I be­came a man, I put away child­ish things. For now we see in a mir­ror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

When I ar­rive in heaven, I know I’ll be awed at the re­sults of the lit­tle lov­ing deeds I’ve done here. I’m sure I’ll wish I’d done more, but the won­der of see­ing how the re­sults have spread far be­yond my re­gion, work, and life, is a thrill I’m look­ing for­ward to!

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the great­est of these is love.

How many songs, books, po­ems, and let­ters have been writ­ten about love? More than we can imag­ine! And yet, there’s a sin­gle act that for­ever de­fines love—the vol­un­tary, hum­ble, for­giv­ing, and eternal love of God in Je­sus when He died a ter­ri­ble, dif­fi­cult, un­fair, and mor­tal death, so that we would never have to face a love­less end. We’ve been made heirs to heaven by faith, and that’s where our hope lies—in His un­fail­ing love.

Chris Mizrany is a web de­signer, photographer, and mis­sion­ary with Help­ing Hand in Cape Town, South Africa.

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