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  • Writer's pictureBishop Keith Butler

The Greatest of These

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

1 Corinthians 13 talks about agape. The King James Version translates that word as charity, but it means God’s kind of love. It’s a love that is higher and more powerful than all our cultural and societal norms.

The world’s love is transactional; it says, “If you will show your love for me, then I will show you love.” Worldly love won’t give if it doesn’t get what it wants. That is selfish love; it constantly judges and withholds from the other person.

God’s love is unconditional and sacrificial. God’s love says, “I love you and that is all, so I will do everything in my power to help you as far as you will let me.” That’s the love God wants us to show to one another, especially in our married relationships. It’s a genuine love that not only endures the tests and trials of life but thrives despite adversity.

God’s design of love goes well beyond merely an exchanging of needs. It is sacrificial devotion to the person you are in covenant with. It’s a love that rejoices in serving.

This is the type of love that is greater than faith and hope, because it is faith and hope in action. It is seen and felt in every relationship.

Single people who want to be married should begin their search by examining their walk with God and their love walk with others. Then you should observe their emotions, intellect, and will. Do your souls harmonize? After determining they are born again and their souls are healthy, you should also consider if you are physically attracted to them. Physical appearance will change over time, but if you are connected spiritually and, in your souls, the connection will last much longer than anything physical.

Practical Application

How can you sow agape love in the relationships God has given you, such as your spouse, your family, or your close friends? Think of ways today that you can show the sacrificial God-kind of love!

1 Corinthians 16:14; Philippians 1:9

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