Summary: The word for love in 1 Corinthians 13 is the strongest and most powerful word to describe the love from God. In this message, we will learn three things that will strength every relationships.
Today is February 14, 2016, this is also called Valentine's day or the day of the hearts.
According to Wikipedia, here in the United States, about 190 million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange.
Additionally, in recent decades Valentine's Day has become increasingly commercialized and a popular gift-giving event.
It is said that many themes on romance, love and relationships are advertised during these days encouraging consumer spending on loved ones.
It is also estimated that here in the United States alone, the average valentine's spending has increased every year, from $108 a person in 2010 to $131 in 2013.
This includes the cards, the flowers, the chocolates and the dinner.
It can go higher than that actually.
For our kababayan in the Philippines, Valentine's Day is also called "Araw ng mga Puso" ("Day of Hearts"), and is celebrated in much the same way as in the west.
It is usually marked by a steep increase in the price of flowers, particularly red roses.
Look at this picture of a woman selling flowers on Valentine"s day.
But do you know that in the Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, during the years 2002 and 2008, religious police banned the sale of all Valentine's Day items?
They tell shop workers to remove any red items because the day is considered a Christian holiday and they have nothing to do with this "deviation from religious law and custom."
This ban has created a black market for roses and wrapping paper.
In 2012, the religious police arrested more than 140 Muslims for celebrating the holiday and confiscated all red roses from flower shops.
Muslims are not allowed to celebrate the holiday, and non-Muslims can celebrate only behind closed doors.
But for us Christians who have received the love of God, every day should be a Valentine's Day and not just on February 14.
Everyday should be a day of the hearts.
Because the heart talks about love and real love is more than red roses.
And real love comes from God alone.
Love therefore should be the expression of our Christian character.
In fact, love in the Bible is not described with adjectives.
Love is something you describe with verbs.
Love is an action verb, not just an emotional attachment or a feeling.
It is a deed, an activity, something that we need to do.
When we are expressing our love to others, we are expressing the character of God in action.
That is why today, we will talk about love from 1 Corinthians 13, a very familiar and famous chapter in the Bible.
We have no time to cover the entire chapter at this time.
Because every verse has a lot of spiritual insights for us all.
But let me just give you an overview of the entire 1 Cor. 13.
Here are the main points to consider about love:
The PROMINENCE OF LOVE - vs. 1-3 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
The PROPERTIES OF LOVE - vs. 4-7 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The PERMANENCE OF LOVE - vs. 8-12 8 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.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 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. 12 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.
The PRE-EMINENCE OF LOVE - vs. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.