I’ll bet that most politicians would have loved to write the beginning words of our text for this week—but they didn’t. I’ll bet that most news writers would have loved to have penned these words, but they didn’t either. These words come straight from the real source—God Himself—as He inspired His apostle Paul to write to the Christian congregation in Corinth (and by extension, to every one of us too).
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12: 31b, “And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
That more excellent way is nothing less and no one other than Jesus Christ—God’s only begotten Son and our Savior from sin. Other people, places, and things can lead only to destruction and misery beyond description. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all God’s demands, the only salvation offered to people who would otherwise be destined to everlasting perdition in hell.
The words of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 are a beautiful way to remember what God gave us when Jesus was born into this sin-corrupted world, when He lived a sinless life, when He offered Himself as the only sinless offers for lost mankind and then rose victorious from His grave and ascended triumphantly into heaven to prepare homes there for all who love and trust in Him for forgiveness, life, and salvation.
So, dear friends, I invite you to read 1 Corinthians 13 with Jesus in mind.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
We pray: Lord God Almighty, help us always to remember, to love, and to share the great Good News of Jesus wherever we go and in all we do. In His name we pray. Amen.