Verse of the Day


"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. 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. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

~1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13


Today's Devotional Thought

February 14, 2011 by Rachel Piferi



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Love

Today is Valentine’s Day, the day that we celebrate love for our spouses, love for our children, and love for our friends. But, what is love?

The best place to turn to answer this question is the book of I Corinthians. Throughout the first book of Corinthians, Paul wrote about love. And, the word for love that he uses throughout the book is agape, which is a self-sacrificing love. In fact, the King James Version of the Bible uses the word charity throughout this chapter of I Corinthians, but most other versions prefer the word love.

In these verses of I Corinthians, Paul is explaining what love is. He says that love is patient and not easily angered. If wronged, love means not keeping a record to refer to. Love is not envious of others and it does not boast to others. Love is also not self-seeking, but rather thinks of others instead of oneself. And, when you love someone, you always protect them, you are always trustworthy, you always hope, and you always persevere through life’s challenges with this person.

We all need to strive to love like Paul describes. It certainly is not easy to turn off selfish motives or pride or anger. But, I have found that the relationships that include this type of selfless love are the most fulfilling and satisfying relationships that I have ever had.

Are you loving this way? Or, are you feeling overwhelmed as you look at Paul’s list of the characteristics of love? Do you feel like you are not loving like this or that maybe you aren’t even capable of loving like this?

Friends, you are capable. You may not be naturally inclined to this type of love, but you are capable of striving to be it. This type of love comes from God. God is love. In fact, at the end of I John 4:8, it says just that, “God is love.” And, the Greek word for love used in this passage is agape. God is this self-sacrificing, patient, hopeful, pure love that is directed towards others.

While this type of love goes against our natural inclination as humans, the beauty of it is that we can ask God to help us become more like Him in this way of loving others. Spend time with the Lord, learn from His word, and ask Him to give you this agape love towards others. And, as you strive to love others with this unselfish love, do not fret if you slip up every now and then. Just realign yourself with the Lord and ask for His help in guiding you closer to living a life focused on truly loving others with a self sacrificing love that only comes from God.


Memorize this verse today:

"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. 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. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
~1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13



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