Love According to 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (TPT) says, “If I were to speak with eloquence in earth’s many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels, yet I didn’t express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.
3 And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value.
God never condemns us in pursuing gifts of speaking in tongues, prophecy words of knowledge, or faith, but gifts received and functioning through necessity or obligation rather than love will pollute the gift’s effectiveness and will be limited due to lack of character.”
* Gifts work in the form of a praise team and band. A symbol being hit on the drums can be annoying and distracting unless it is in symphony and harmony with the team in the right song. Speaking in tongues, for example, can be a distraction when not in the right setting of love rather than the wrong setting of “showing off” or “pressuring” others.
* Here is how love is demonstrated through these gifts:
1) Tongues – minister God’s Word in love through a language that a particular listener understand. Also, it is for the purpose of building up faith so it can lead to breakthrough for someone else as a result of sensing and being compassionate towards a specific need!
2) Prophecy – understand the mysteries of God so we can reveal and prove the love of God to someone who desperately needs it!
3) Knowledge – to discern certain hidden areas in people’s live so you can minister to and pray for them!
4) Faith – not to just move mountains for ourselves, but for someone else, considering their needs as greater than ours!
* Love is something that is learned! Therefore, we are nothing until we learn how to love, which is set by the example of God and His people!
* Understanding our identity in Christ brings realness to our value in the kingdom of God, but that can never be accomplished outside of the arena of love, regardless of how many messages we have heard and scriptures we have read!
* Generosity and martyrdom can be done outside of love and out of religious obligation when it is not to demonstrate and express the love of God, but to be admonished by people with their boastings or even recordings!
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (TPT) says, “4 Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. 5 Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. 6 Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. 7 Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.”
* Hatred, or better yet “self-hatred”, is the opposite of agape love. Therefore, self-hatred is impatient, not gentle or kind, jealous of other people’s blessings, boasts on themselves to inflate their own importance, brings in shame and disrespect, selfishly seeks to honor themselves. easily irritated, quick to be offended, celebrates dishonesty, finds delight in what is wrong, a dangerous place of disaster, stop believing the best for others, always sees themselves as a failure, and simply quits! 
* No one will every act, believe or engage this way if they see themselves through the lens of God’s love, grace and mercy!
We can only love our neighbor as ourselves when we truly love ourselves!

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (TPT) says, “8 Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. 9 Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, 10 but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.
12 For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. 13 Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.”
* Tongues and prophecy are necessary now, but one day will not be so when we have eternity to tap into and know the unending mysteries of God!
* People manipulate this scripture to say tongues has been done away with, but what about prophecy and knowledge? Are all Christian believers ignorant without knowledge? Is not the testimony of Jesus the spirit of prophecy?
* No one has to be gifted to be perfected in love! This is revealed through closeness to Jesus!
* We can have childlike wonder without having childlike mannerisms!
* We cannot fret over lack of understanding because eternity will fix that, but we only have this lifetime to mend broken areas of love. We must learn to love and grow in it now!
* The greatest is love, which means that should be our mission to love God, family and neighbor with the love we have experienced of and from Him!