For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21 

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Romans 10:17 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you," declares the LORD...

Jeremiah 29:11-14 

...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:26-28 

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Proverbs 22:1 

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 

Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. [2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.]

1 John 3:1 [2]  

"...we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Acts 20:35 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Matthew 5:3-6 

..."'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Matthew 22:37-39 

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:7-10 

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:11-12 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

Love in Action (1 Cor 13:4-7)

| Sep 29, 2018

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Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. —1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love. It is a more excellent way of operating than even the exercise of the most spectacular and valuable abilities the Holy Spirit grants to God’s people (1 Corinthians 12:28-31)! Love makes an accomplishment worthwhile, a person somebody, a venture truly profitable (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Therefore, it is vital to have a good grasp of what love is. For this, consider the perfect, exemplary love of God, who is love. His love informs us that genuine love will move us to proactively, graciously, and sacrificially act for the good of another.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes what such love looks like in practical terms. It does so by relating what love will do and won’t do—all for the good of those who are loved.

An important detail to note in these verses is that every depiction of love found here was originally written as an active verb, not as a state of being. So it is helpful for us to consider the implications by rephrasing the statements of our text.

  • Love practices forbearance—taking a long time before getting heated about something, just like God does (Psalm 103:8)
  • Love demonstrates kindness—just like God does (Titus 3:4-5)
  • Love refuses to envy—neither coveting what others have nor begrudging that they have what I don’t
  • Love refuses to praise oneself
  • Love refuses to puff oneself up—whether against God in ignoring His will or against others in thinking we are better than them
  • Love refuses to act dishonorably—being courteous and considerate toward everyone
  • Love refuses to seek its own advancement—ready to give up what I am entitled to have for the sake of others
  • Love refuses to be provoked—resisting the urge to be easily annoyed or exasperated
  • Love refuses to hold a grudge—does not keep account of wrongs that have been suffered
  • Love refuses to take pleasure in unrighteousness—will not laugh at off-color jokes, be intrigued by gossip, or be glad when human revenge is exercised
  • Love rejoices with the truth—delighting in the truth of God’s Word and joyfully practicing honesty, truthfulness, and faithful obedience to the Lord
  • Love always bears up in difficulties—just like Jesus did for the sake of those He loved
  • Love always trusts—trusts the Lord completely, and is open and accepting of others rather than automatically suspicious and cynical
  • Love always hopes—clinging to the certainty that God’s promises will be fulfilled, no matter how dark the situation may be
  • Love always endures—rather than running away from hard experiences in life (Romans 8:35-39)

Feeling like a failure at loving? Believe me, I understand! What that should lead us to is the cross of Jesus, where forgiveness can be found. But after going there, let us come back to 1 Corinthians 13 and remember that this was written not to condemn, but to guide us in the exercise of what the Holy Spirit enables us to do.



  1. To what promise(s) can you cling today as you trust, hope, and endure in love?
  2. After reflecting on the kindness of God toward yourself, what are two ways to show kindness in love to two people you will see today?
  3. What opportunity to practice loving forbearance is yours today?

Jim Odens is Lead Pastor at Oakridge Community Church in Stillwater, Minnesota, where he has served since 2005. He is the husband of Jill, the father of three adult daughters and grandfather/step-grandfather of nine grandchildren. His passion for faithful exposition of the Word of God is accompanied by a strong interest in missions and evangelism.

Truth78 (formerly Children Desiring God) publishes curriculum, devotional books (most recently our Glorious God, Glorious Gospel resources), Scripture memory tools, and other resources designed to equip your home and church for leading children and youth to treasure God.


Seeing Jesus in “The Love Chapter”

| Sep 23, 2013

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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; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.—1 Corinthians 13:4-7 I […]