7/26 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

The previous chapter was an exhortation on the gifts of the Spirit. The diversity of gifts is important for a well-equipped church. Paul ends the chapter by telling us that he will show us a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:31b). That way is the way of love. Gifts are helpful. Love is essential. Without love, which is the first fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), we can accomplish nothing of real value (1 Corinthians 13:2-3).

It was love that brought Jesus to live among us. It was love that testified to the truth throughout His life. It was love that took Him to the cross to pay our sin debt. It is love that calls those who trust in Him His bride. And it is love that patiently speaks to our hearts, helping us to grow spiritually day by day.

How do we know if we are expressing the love of Christ in our lives? See our verse for today. His love is patient and kind with others. It isn't envious of another's gift or talent, nor does it boast of its own abilities. It is never rude. The love of Christ does not demand to get its way. The next description is a real challenge to me. Love is not irritable. How are you doing in traffic or with your loved ones? I have a long way to go. Love doesn't hold grudges. It isn't resentful but graciously forgiving and understanding. Jesus demonstrates this kind of love in the way He is with us. We need His life in us to show this godly love to others.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that without You I cannot express the love that is so fruitful for Your kingdom. I long to show others the love that You show me. Help me see Your love more clearly every day so that I might show Your love to the eternal souls I meet.