Love Never Fails (1 Corinthians 13-14)

Heart of a Shepherd

Jan 29, 2023



O amor nunca falha (1 Coríntios 13-14)


사랑은 결코 시들지 않습니다(고린도전서 13-14장)


ความรักไม่เคยล้มเหลว (1 โครินธ์ 13-14)


प्रेम कभी विफल नहीं होता (1 कुरिन्थियों 13-14)


愛は絶えることがありません (1 コリント 13-14)


Любов ніколи не перестає (1 Коринтян 13-14)


محبت کبھی ناکام نہیں ہوتی (1 کرنتھیوں 13-14)


האהבה לעולם לא נכשלת (הראשונה לקורינתים 13-14)


Liefde faalt nooit (1 Korintiërs 13-14)


Ang Pag-ibig ay Hindi Nabibigo (1 Corinto 13-14)

Chinese (Traditional)

愛永不失敗(哥林多前書 13-14)


المحبة لا تفشل (كورنثوس الأولى 13-14)


Upendo Haushindwi Kamwe (1 Wakorintho 13-14)


Dragostea nu eșuează niciodată (1 Corinteni 13-14)


Kærlighed svigter aldrig (1 Korintherbrev 13-14)

Haitian Creole

Lanmou pa janm echwe (1 Korentyen 13-14)


Любовь никогда не перестает (1 Коринфянам 13-14)

Chinese (Simplified)

爱永不失败(哥林多前书 13-14)


Ljubav nikad ne prestaje (1. Korinćanima 13-14)

French (Canada)

L'amour ne manque jamais (1 Corinthiens 13-14)


Kärlek misslyckas aldrig (1 Korintierbrevet 13-14)


L'amore non viene mai meno (1 Corinzi 13-14)


L'amour ne manque jamais (1 Corinthiens 13-14)


عشق هرگز شکست نمی خورد (اول قرنتیان 13-14)


Kasih Tidak Pernah Putus (1 Korintus 13-14)


Η αγάπη δεν αποτυγχάνει ποτέ (1 Κορινθίους 13-14)


El amor nunca falla (1 Corintios 13-14)


Liebe versagt nie (1. Korinther 13-14)


Tình yêu thương không bao giờ lỗi hẹn (1 Cô-rinh-tô 13-14)

Love Never Fails (1 Corinthians 13)

Scripture reading - 1 Corinthians 13; 1 Corinthians 1

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We launch today’s study of 1 Corinthians by examining 1 Corinthians 13 and 14. 1 Corinthians 13 is known to many as the “Love” chapter. 1 Corinthians 14 is especially instructive on the subject of Spiritual Gifts, with a majority of its focus on the Gift of Languages (tongues), and the Gift of Prophecy. This devotional will be taken from 1 Corinthians 13.

What is love?

The world has many ideas and definitions for love.  The Greek philosopher Plato, suggested, “Love is a serious mental disease.”  Robert Frost, the celebrated American poet wrote, “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”  Eli Joseph Cossman, inventor, entrepreneur, and author defined love as “a friendship set to music.”  American television producer and writer, Pauline Thomason, wrote, “Love is blind -- marriage is the eye-opener.”


We find three forms of love in the Greek language: “Eros,” the word for sexual desire from which our English word “erotic” is derived. “Phileo,” defines the affection between friends, that might be described as a “give and take” love. Phileo is based upon a relationship that is mutually beneficial. The third word for love is “Agape.” Agape love, often referred to as “divine love,” is a sacrificial love, and is not based upon what one can get, but upon that which one can give to a relationship.


When we read of God’s love in the Scriptures, it is Agape, divine, self-sacrificing love. For instance, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Christ’s sacrificial death being the expression of God’s love for sinners; Romans 5:). We read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Agape love moves “a man [to] lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and a husband to sacrificially love his wife, “even as Christ also loved [agapao] the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).

1 Corinthians 13


With the preceding explanation as our background, consider the word “Charity” in 1 Corinthians 1, which is our English translation for Agape, the Greek word for love.

The Essence of Agape Love: A life lived without love is empty. (13:1-3)

 Words spoken without love are nothing more than empty noise (13:1). A man may speak with extraordinary eloquence and grace; he may capture the attention of a vast audience with his oratory skills; however, without love his words are like the clanging noise of cymbals. Knowledge and faith, in the absence of love is nothing (13:2). One might earn a great following by knowledge, discernment, and extraordinary faith, but if his motivation is anything other than love, it is worthless. Anyone can give goods in an act of self-sacrificing love; yet, to do so without love profits nothing (13:3).

We have considered the divine nature of Agape love, but what are the qualities or characteristics of Agape love? (13:4-8)

The Character of Agape Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 present us a portrait of love that is foreign to the world, for charity is a divine, active love. (The words in brackets are the amplification of this author.)

4 Charity suffereth long [patient], and is kind [willing to help]; charity envieth not [not jealous]; charity vaunteth not itself [not boastful], is not puffed up [proud; haughty],

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly [rude; disgraceful], seeketh not her own [self-seeking], is not easily provoked [or angered], thinketh no evil [does not keep accounts of another’s wrongdoing];

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity [unhappy with injustices], but rejoiceth in the truth [rejoices in God’s Truth, or when truth prevails];

7 Beareth all things [suffers patiently], believeth all things [trusts; believes the best], hopeth all things [never stops hoping], endureth all things [never gives up].

8 Charity never faileth [never stops loving].


Closing thoughts – The goal of every believer should be to develop life relationships based on the lasting qualities of Agape love. Such love is practical, and attainable, but it requires sacrifice, the kind of sacrifice that reaches into the will of man to make a deliberate choice to love, even if it comes at his own expense. Simply put, love is an act of one’s own will—it has no equal and no substitute.

Agape love is not something we earn, but it is something we give. Biblically speaking, love is the first fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-2), and is the foundation of the Law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-4). Lastly, love is the greatest, most enduring (13:8), and indispensable quality a believer can express (13:13).


With the love and heart of a shepherd…


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Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith


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