A MESSAGE BY PASTOR KENT MUNSEY
"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 possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul is talking to the church at Corinth. This is a large, cosmopolitan city. God is moving in the city in major ways, but much like churches of today, there were disagreements and some division among the people. There are no perfect people, and as the church is made up of people, there are no perfect churches.
The Corinthians are people just like us, and they have problems just like ours. At the core of our problems, the remedy is to first have love. In the book of Corinthians, the term Agape is used 10 times to describe the highest, purest form of love. Agape is a strong nonsexual sense of affection, and it is an unconditional, universal love that transcends regardless of circumstances. To have Agape for one another is the most important thing.
Paul is explaining to the Corinthians that love is the most important fundamental aspect of Christianity.
When Paul says, "if I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge...but do not have love, I am nothing."
Love is more important than knowledge.
When Paul says, "if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing."
Love is more important than faith.
Paul goes further to say, "if I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do no have love, I gain nothing."
Love is more important than generosity.
In essence, Paul is saying that love outweighs the value of any other spiritual gift. Much like the Corinthians, we live in a world where we put on blinders and don't give ourselves permission to love. We don't tap into that Agape love, and we fail to live from a position of empathy. Our world needs this type of love more now than ever before. The key question is: Have you made the choice to love? It's not about the feeling of love, because love is so much more than a feeling. Love is a decision. Love is an action! Through empathetic love, when you see a need, you meet it or when you feel a hurt, you heal it. Love is God's greatest and most important gift of all.
God I thank you for your precious gift of Agape love. I pray that I may sow seeds of love into the lives of every person that I meet. I pray that I keep a loving, empathetic heart towards every person that I encounter. In Jesus' name...AMEN!