Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Marriage and God’s Perfect Love

1 Corinthians 13:8a

Love never fails.

112015 Ray McDonaldIn the last few years I have preached on marriage a number of times.  Marriage is used in the Bible several times to express the relationship we are to have with Christ.  Today I want to touch on a Scripture that is a portion of what is often read at weddings.  This phrase is a portion of 1 Corinthians 13:8.  They are such powerful words.  Love never fails.  In what is commonly called the Love Chapter – often read at weddings as I wrote earlier – we get a glimpse of God’s love.  Let’s read a broader section of this chapter.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8a Love never fails.

Our love – in marriage – and in our everyday life – should model God’s perfect love. Paul wrote this in the midst of a teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12).  He was writing about the awesome power of God’s gifting for the church.  Before his teaching about the gifts he writes: 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

He then proceeds to teach about many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8f).  He concludes this teaching (and remember – chapter and verse are our additions to these letters) by instructing us that there is something that is even more desirable – love.

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:3 – 12:31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way. 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Readers – if we have never felt this kind of love – from God or another human being – we are missing something amazing.  Unconditional love – love that is patient – kind – does not envy or boast – is not proud or rude – not self-seeking – not easily angered – and keeps no record of wrongs.  This kind of love does not delight in evil – but always rejoices with the truth.  It protects – trusts – hopes and perseveres.  This kind of love never fails.

God has this kind of love for us – and if we are so blessed. We can find someone or even a group of people who might love us like this too.  I know I have at least one who loves me like this – my wife.  I pray you will find or have found someone too.  This kind of love never fails – it never runs out – it will not tire of the relationship.  After nearly 35 plus years of ups and downs in our marriage – Carolyn’s love still stands – and for that I am thankful.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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February 24, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Sermons, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , ,

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