Daily Devotional Wednesday 15th May 2024

by William Moody

1 Corinthians 13

The Way of Love

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,1 but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;2 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


[1] 13:3 Some manuscripts deliver up my body [to death] that I may boast
[2] 13:5 Greek irritable and does not count up wrongdoing


To a church where many were placing spiritual gifts as the most important of all things, Paul emphasises the priority of love with quite dramatic language (v1-3). In what you do, is there true love in your heart?

Paul give a great description of love (v4-7). An important thing to notice here is that love is not a feeling, love is constantly making the decisions to do what is best for other people. Power for this love comes from God (see 1 John 4 v7). This description of love is a description of Jesus.

Paul speaks of time when prophecies and tongues will end, when perfection comes and love endures (v8-13). There is a gentle rebuke here that those who prioritise spiritual gifts over love are actually being childish (v11). In the Christian life we should be growing and maturing, and one important way we know we are is that a sacrificial love for others is growing and developing.

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