Walking With the Greatest
1 Corinthians 13:7-13 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ⁸Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ⁹For we know in part and we prophesy in part, ^10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. ^11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ^12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ^13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
LOVE ALWAYS BELIEVE THE BEST OF EVERYONE
1 Cor 13:7 NLT Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Cor. 13:7 AMP Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
- LOVE NEVER GIVES UP BECAUSE IT BELIEVES THE BEST ABOUT EVERYONE.
- BEARS ALL THINGS-endures WITHOUT DIVULGING TO THE WORLD it’s distress. It literally means to hold fast like a water tight vessel. We can literally float along on the bad things people do to us if we continue to love them.
- How can that be so?
- Love rejoices in the truth
- 1 Cor 13:6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
- 1 Cor 13:6 AMP It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
- Have you ever been happy when something bad happened to someone who had treated you bad? Almost like…YEAH! You deserved that!
- There are Christians who are excited about the fact that Hell is a real possibility for arrogant people who believe differently than we do. We should NEVER celebrate or rejoice that anyone is going to hell. We should only be celebrating when people get saved!
- When people out there have bad things come their way, we should be grieving for them. We should be trying to help them. We should celebrate when good things are happening for people around us, no matter what they have done because blessings come from God who is the author of truth and right…and when Good things happen, that means HE is prevailing.
- “But they’ve done so much bad….don’t they deserve that?
- WHO ARE YOU TO DECIDE OR JUDGE THAT?
Matthew 7:1-3 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
- We should be praying for them to turn, to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus, to be changed for HIS GLORY…to be forgiven so that there is more room for good in their lives?
- It’s not loving them the way HUMANS LOVE…It is loving the way God loves….Don’t confuse this with HOW YOU FEEL because you will feel a range of things over time.
- Question: When was the last time you judged a person by the actions of their life,instead of loving them the way God loved you through the actions of your life?
2. God’s love is always ready to better someone else no matter what they’ve done to it.
- It will believe the best of everyone-unsuspiciously believes all that is not palpably (obviously) false. All that is can with a good conscience believe to the credit of another. It hopes what is good of another, even when others have ceased to hope.
Love “believeth all things” – It means “to have faith.” Love believes the best about a person, even when the person is at his worst.
Love “hopeth all things” – This is the attitude of hope that the one who has done wrong will get his life back on the right path, as opposed to thinking “he deserves what she gets”.
Love “endureth all things” – When we love, we remain strong in the power of God’s agape to withstand any and every wrong.
- WE NEED TO GIVE PEOPLE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT INSTEAD OF ALWAYS THINKING THEY MEANT THINGS THE BAD WAY.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
- You know anyone who is trying to get something on everyone
Dangerous Love Destroying Characteristics to look out for in yourself and other’s
- Looking for something to be something horrible, to gain ammunition by believing the worst so that when they bad come, you can retaliate.
- Seek council with other gossipers who will add to what you think and add fuel to that fire.
3. GOD IS EVERY READY TO BELIEVE THE BEST ABOUT YOU EVEN WHEN YOU DO STUFF THAT SHOWS YOU ARE BAD. GOD STILL BELIEVES YOU CAN BE BETTER.
- YOUR FLESH WILL NEVER WANT TO DO THIS! But if you are always believing the worst about people you come in contact with, people you work with, go to church with, have in your family, you are NOT being spiritual in fact you are believing out of your flesh.
- When we criticize, gossip, and spread our flesh driven thoughts about other people TO other people and we don’t believe the best in them, we are contributing to someone else’s downfall and thus SOWING SEEDS FOR IT TO HAPPEN TO YOU!
4. LOVE NEVER FAILS
- 1 Cor 13:8 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
- 1 Cor 13:8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ([d]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]
- It is impossible to act this way towards people and have this attitude towards people and NOT have a tremendous GODLY harvest of anointing, gifting, blessing, and fruit in your life.
- YOU ARE NOT A BLIND OR WEAK YOUR WALKING IN BLESSINGS
- Never fails means it is to NEVER be out of use, and always hold in place-Fail means to not function anymore.
- Even when we know the worst…we can still believe the best WILL happen
5. FOR US & OUR LOVE…GOD HONORS AND REWARDS THAT!
1 Corinthians 13:10-12 NIV 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. ^11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ^12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
- YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF THE HARVEST THAT COMES INTO YOUR LIFE and one SURE FIRE WAY to have the life, spiritually, that you want is to sow the guaranteed seeds of LOVE because they will ALWAYS bring more of God into your life.
The Benefits to walking in Love
1 Cor 12:31 NLT 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
1 Cor 12:31 31 But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all—love]. AMPLIFIED
The bible encourages us to make LOVE our goal. Something not only should we be striving for, but becoming! If this is something God wants for us, there must be a reason for that. Anytime God does something, it is never for the benefit of one person. Now, we’ve been talking about how we treat other people and selflessly promote someone else, but the love walk isn’t just for the benefit of others. It has great benefit to US!
Love is God’s way to prosper us Spirit, Soul, & Body. It is the way to prosper in every area of life.
6. Walking in love is Profitable
- Walking in love is the most GODLY thing you can do
- 1 Timothy 4:8 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
This is a God idea that is a snap shot of God’s will.
- Bodily exercise profits a little…why? Because it only promises to pay off in THIS life. But Godliness or walking in Love is profitable in all things? But when? When we get to heaven? NO…it’s profitable NOW in this life too.
- Profitable – beneficial; useful, yielding returns that create circumstances that increase the chance of success or effectiveness.
- Walking in love ACTUALLY BRINGS ABOUT A RETURN ON OUR INVESTMENT THAT INCREASE THE CHANCE OF SUCCESS OR EFFECTIVENESS ON THE EARTH NOW!
- But it also will increase your reward in heaven! WALKING IN LOVE PAYS OFF!.
7. It allows the power of God to flow freely in and through you
- Mark 11:25-26 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
- 1 Peter 3:8-11 AMP Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble). 9 Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection] 10 For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).11 Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]
- If you are walking in love and displaying the characteristics, your prayers will get answered and allows God’s power to flow freely through you and in you!
1 Corinthians 13:6-8 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; ⁷Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. ⁸Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
- Have you ever stopped to think that your tongue has a lot to do with the quality of your life?
- We believe in confessing the right things for our lives
- But it also has a lot to do with your days on the earth being good days or bad days.
- The key to that is “KEEPING YOUR TONGUE FROM EVIL”
- You can’t be walking in Love and trashing someone. You can’t harbor unforgiveness and be walking in love. If you will forgive and believe the best your days will be GOOD DAYS and God can and will answer your prayers!
- 1 Peter 3:12For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”
- Love is not an emotion but a nature from which it freely flows.
Understanding that love flows from who we are is critical to our ability to walk in faith.
Galatians 5:6 says that “faith worketh by love.” The word worketh means “to activate or energize.” Love is the power source that brings faith alive!
The more we love out of who we have become – sons and daughters of God – the more our faith will access what our Father has promised to us.
When we are walking in love, our emotions will not rise up and cause us to act against the nature of God on the inside of us.
My prayer is that you have been blessed and challenged by this somewhat detailed look at First Corinthians chapter thirteen, verses four through seven and that you see how we manifest or don’t manifest the love that’s living inside of us.
Again, I encourage you spend some time with these verses. Ponder them. Examine yourself. If you identify areas where change is needed, by all means do it with haste! Ladies and gentlemen, your faith depends on your willingness to do whatever you need to do to walk in love.