With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, many people are thinking about “love”. What is love anyway? Does love mean that you are attracted to someone? Is real love found when you feel all crazy inside and your knees feel weak? We, in the English speaking world use this word LOVE in lots of ways. I can tell you with authority that I love my wife. I love my two sons and my daughter in law. I love my grandchildren. I have two by the way. But I can also say at times, I “love” powerful cars, or I love bluegrass music, or I love milkshakes. I love running, biking, and fly fishing for trout.

When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13 about love he was writing under the direction of God. The Holy Spirit was directing and supervising every word. The language used was Greek. He choose to use a certain, rarely written word for LOVE. You see, if you were attracted to someone, and you felt the romance in the air, you would use a word for love that was pronounced “eros”. If you had a buddy, a friend, and you benefited from his or her friendship and that person benefited from your friendship you would have “phileo” for that person. A brotherly, friendship type of love. But, if you were speaking of the total self sacrificing giving of yourself to meet another person’s needs with no thought of how it would benefit you, you would use the word “agape”. And that is the word used in this Scripture. It is used in John 3:16 also when it say, “God so loved the world.” When it says, God loved the world it does not mean He was attracted to us, or saw in us something that would benefit Him. It means that despite all of our rebellion, and sinfulness, He gave of Himself for us.

This is the word used for LOVE in 1 Corinthians 13.

You will see in the text in verses 1-3 that it is Essential. You can be eloquent, factual, miraculous, and even giving. But if you are lacking in love, it is of not value. Second in Verses 4-8 love is something that must be expressed. It has to be seen. It is not just an emotion or a feeling but it is seen in sincerity, kindness, humility, consideration of others, selflessness, patience, faith, perseverance. By the way, who do you know who has ever consistently expressed this kind of LOVE? Back to that in a moment. But, the 3rd aspect of love in this chapter is seen in 13.9-13. Real Love is Enduring. It never fails. The closing verse states emphatically, “now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”

Now as to who I have found that expresses this kind of love. I should not say I have found this love. I should say this love has found me. As a child I believed in Jesus as my Savior. He changed my life and continues to change my life. Every day He changes my life for the better and because of His death on the cross for my sins, and his resurrection from the grave {really happened guys}, I will spend eternity with Him. But, He loves you too. He desires to save, change, transform and redeem you just as He did me. He died for your sins, He arose again for you and you need Him.

Come to NPBC this Sunday to find out more! Or better yet, just read of His love for you in the Bible.