TOPIC:"Let Love Rule Your Life"
TEXT:I Corinthians 13:1-13
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (I Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)
Someone once stated that I Corinthians 13 is "the greatest, strongest, deepest thing the Apostle Paul ever wrote." I fully agree with that statement. This indestructible and imperishable passage of Scripture is a matchless portrait of the life of perfect love. Still others think of it as a hymn that should be set to music. It is without doubt the greatest piece on love ever written. And such love as explained in the verses before us is not natural love, but supernatural as it is only possible for us to attain through the power of God's Holy Spirit living within us. It is like that selfless and sacrificial love of Christ for us manifested so magnificently on the cross.
Now the only individual who perfectly fulfilled this chapter of love was Jesus Christ Himself. F. B. Meyer, famous preacher of the past, wrote these words: "Jesus sits for His portrait in these glowing sentences, and every clause is true of Him." Meyer continues: "Substitute His name for "love" throughout the chapter, and see whether it is not an exact likeness." We shall do that a little later on in this message.
Let me say again: These beautiful virtues of love as set forth in this chapter are only capable of being developed within each of us as we permit Jesus Christ to have His way in our lives. Only then will we be able to love others as Christ commands us to do so. By allowing Him to love others through us we will be able to love like Jesus. Let us now together closely inspect this great chapter on love.
Consider, first of all, according to Saint Paul love is ESSENTIAL. You can't live without love and you can't live without being loved. Without love and without being loved you are just existing, but you are not living. That is why Paul declares in verses 1 through 3 that nothing can take its place. There is no substitute for love. It is indispensable to life. It is as vital to us as breathing. Think of those six important things that are mentioned by Paul as equivalents for love, but they are all rejected. . . .