Stephen Davey

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul delivers to the church in Corinth one of the most remarkable, yet challenging pieces of prose on the subject of true love. In the process, he shatters the myths that abound today.

He effectively says, "It doesn't matter who you are, who you think you are, or who others think you are; if you sacrificially act toward others with agape love, your life will be meaningful."

That may seem hard to swallow at first, but when we test his statement in every aspect of life, we realize that he is right on the money.

Think about it: what is a marriage without love? Or a family? Or a friendship? Or a church? Or a career? Without love, life is like a fireplace without a fire or a pool without water. It's cold . . . it's empty.

The Bible makes it clear that "God is love." He doesn't just love or act in love or say He loves. He is love! And that means our ability to agape-love is a gift that comes directly from His character. When we love others, we are acting most like God, for that is who He is.

The tragedy in our world is not that people don't love—many do. Even unbelieving wives taste the coffee before handing it to their husbands; they even give them the best piece of chicken. They just don't know why.

Apart from God, the world not only loses the reason to love but has no incentive to continue to love someone when the recipient is unloving in return.

Love, at its core, grows cold and is empty if we do not surrender to the God of love Who is the source of agape love.

Let's take to heart this description from Paul and remind ourselves today that were it not for Christ's agape love toward us, we would not be able to offer it faithfully to others.

Demonstrating the character of Christ is agape love . . . it might include—but goes way beyond—giving away the best piece of chicken!

Taken from "Without Love" by Wisdom for the Heart Ministries (used by permission).