The Greatest is Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-7
August 30, 2015
So, let's take our bibles, and open it with the 1st Corinthians Chapter 13 we wanna look into this chapter again. Title of our message this morning is the "Greatest is Love." One of the famous chapters in all of the Bible is Chapter 13. Clearly the most famous when it comes to love and as I mention last week, almost every Christian wedding has this read during the ceremony. Every one that I've ever been to and no that's very appropriate. It's very much applicable to marriage but as I mentioned last week, when Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth, it actually wasn't marriage that he had on his heart. Now it's applied to marriage but the point that he's making is that love isn't something you just apply to a particular relationship. Love is actually something that is in your character and I suggest, that should be the greater part of your character. In fact, it is what defines maturity, spiritual maturity. So the whole letter to Corinth is to bring about spiritual maturity, and the reason for that is because they came out of Corinth which is like the center of the pravity and its glorious that the church was born there but there's a long way to go from being born out of a culture of that kind of immorality and in the spiritual maturity.
So chapter by chapter, it brings us to them. Well, what is maturity then? And I think this is important mentioning this before because it's so important to us to grasp and take hold of them. And maybe the best way to define maturity is to start by defining immaturity and I think immaturity can be defined as favoring one's self at the expense of someone else. And all you have to do is look at a child. A child is born completely immature and that immaturity is right before us in living color. You just watch them even interact with others. "I want that toy. Why you can't have that toy, that's my toy. Oh, I don't care, that's my toy. Well you can't have that toy. I want that toy and I will bunk you in the head if I don't get that toy. I want that toy. I want what I want and I want it now." That's the definition of immaturity.
So then, maturity is the opposite of that. It's favoring others. To expense of yourself. That's love. This is really to grasp and take hold of as mentioning at the Wednesday service. There was a gal in our church that gave us an example of that in a beautiful way. So she's in this bible study. Now she's since, gone to be with the Lord, her name is Honey Jo, she was in this bible study and someone was praying. They were saying "Please pray for me. My car just broke down and I don't have money for the repairs right now and I just need you guys to pray for me." So Honey Jo just felt compelled to answer the prayer herself and so she said "You know what? Take my car." "Oh no no no no, I can't take your car." "Please please do, I insist. Take my car." So 2 weeks later, person brings back the keys. "Thank you so much. I mean that was a huge huge blessing. I had done the work. That was awesome. It's just so wonderful that you had an extra car." She said "Now that was not an extra car. That was my car." "You gave me your only car?" "Yeah. I just took the bus. It works on the bus line. It's all good." That's amazing. That's love.
That's favoring someone else at her expense. Isn't that God? I mean, isn't that God's kind of love? You look at Romans 5:8 which says "God demonstrates His own love toward us in this." Christ died for us when we were yet sinners. What a picture of love. He took our burden. He took our sin. He paid the entirety of death at His own expense. He favored us. He loved us. Beautiful picture. Now the problem of the church in Corinth, they didn't have that perspective at all. Some were acting the superior. They were better than others. Well why? Oh, they had more spiritual manifestation and they felt that they were better because they had more spiritual evidence. Right away, you say "Well that doesn't compute." Well it does compute when you begin to realize that even spiritual gift does not equal spiritual maturity and so what Paul is saying to them is "Hey. Wait a minute? The greater evidence of the Holy Spirit, the greater evidence of spiritual manifestation is actually character of love. You want to demonstrate you have the Holy Spirit, then demonstrate it by your love."
By the way, This is spiritual maturity. I want to say that because this is not some self-help principle at work here. This is a God-at-help principle at work here. The whole Bible, this Bible is not a self-help book. This is a God-help book and therefore we understand this is a work of God. We have to understand. We look at this and you might say "Oh what a great definition of love. I got so far to go so I think what I'll do is I'm just going to try harder. I'm just going to apply myself more." Well that's self-help there. Now what we really need to say is "God, I look at this list and I see that I have so far to go. I need you Lord. I need the Holy Spirit. I need revival. I need You to pour Your love into me. I need You to pour Your life into me." Because that is spiritual maturity. Now the idea of maturity suggest is something we can grow into. A child is born completely immature but you pour love into that child. You pour direction into that child. You pour and you help into that child and they begin to grow. Step by step, year by year, they grow into maturity. So he showed us. We weren't born mature, we were born immature, frankly. But God pours His love, God pours His grace, God pours His word. He pours, He orders our steps. He begins to give us instruction, we begin to be transformed. Bit by bit, step by step, year by year, we can grow into maturity. So He gives us His great definition so we know what were living towards, what were desiring after. Alright, let's read it. Chapter 13 Verse 1, "If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, in other words I have the spiritual gift, you know, in tongues, but I don't have love." I know easygoing and I claim it by symbol. That's all that is. If I have the gift of prophecy, God has given me a prophetic voice, I know all mysteries and all knowledge. If I have all faith, then I can move mountains. But don't have love, I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, if I deliver my body to be burned but don't have love, it profits me nothing. Love is, and it begins to define it for us, love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not brag and is not arrogant.
I. Love Does Not Act Unbecomingly
Now that's a very important thing to say to the church in Corinth and to all of us. Love does not act unbecomingly. It does not seek it's own. It's not provoked. Love does not take into account a wrong suffered. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. It rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will be done away. We know in part, we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think as a child, reason as a child. But when I became a man, I did away with childish things. Now we see in a mirror dimly. Now their mirrors were just polished meddle, so that's what it mean. But then we will see him face to face. I know only in part but then I shall fully know, just as I have been fully known. Beautiful. But now abide faith, hope, love, this three. But the greatest of these is love.
Now let's go through this lesson, really tickle and apply and I wanna start with Verse 5, love does not act unbecomingly. I see this as a great summary of several of this qualities of love. Love is not rude. Notice if you would that love is defined bought by what it does and love is defined by what it does not do. Notice also if you would that there is no reference here at all to emotions. Love is not defined at all by emotions. That is a different kind of love. Now remember that we in our English, we just have one word love and it covers a whole lot of ideas. In the Greek, there is more exacting words that we understand the difference, because there is a difference. For example, you might say to a young couple "Why do you love her?" "Oh, she's lovely, she's wonderful, she's pretty and charming." Which reminds me of a song, "Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful." Now I can act because if you have a new relationship, you are blessed as wonderful. But let's call that a warm and fuzzy love. You're in love, you might say. But notice that the description is all about her or it's all about him. There is nothing there about your character. This kind of love is very different, to say.
A. Love is patient
This is the kind of love that describing your character and it's what you give, it's what you give. It's a whole different thing. Notice for example, he says love is patient. See the idea is this. God has given me patience and I want to give that to you. God has given me patience. I want to give that to you because God has given me love. Very beautiful. Love waits, love is patient, love waits. It's like a farmer who understands, you prepare the soil, you plants the seed, you wait patiently. Without irritation, you'll harvest, you'll rip. See, you're blessed in relationships, but you give, you bless, you pour into. Blessed are the gracious, they'll receive grace. Blessed are the merciful, they'll receive mercy. Blessed are those who give love, they'll receive it. Notice in Galatians 6:9 "Let us not lose heart in doing good for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." Don't become impatient, in other words.
Now this is something that God does. Love is patient because God is patient. And His pouring that into me, and I want to give it to you. 2nd Peter 3:9, we see God's patience. It says "The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness but his patient towards you not wishing for any to perish but for all that come to repentance." What a beautiful picture he's patient even towards those who ever didn't come to the faith of Christ yet. They're like sinners and His patient with them. See, patience in us then is that steady, unwavering commitment. It's not easily moved by the storms of life. It's not easily moved by the turbulence of a relationship. Notice in Matthew 18, great story here. In Matthew 18 Verses 21 to 22, Peter comes to Jesus and says "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Now Paul is there because I look at this and suggest that Peter here, I think, I think Peter's showing off a little bit. I think he's kind of coming from the perspective of "Lorna, I think I'm getting the hang of this spiritual thing here." Because the way the culture at the time was, they had kind of a "three strikes and you're out" sort of approach. "You know, you're offending me buddy. That's 1, you know, and then, okay that's 2, that, okay, that is it, that's 3rd time you did that. You know what, you are out of here." Three strikes you're out. Peter comes in, magnanimous idea, "Lord, how many times shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" That's like two and a half times more than the culture of time. Seven times? The Lord says "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but seventy times seven." That's like 490. Now the idea here is not that you keep track, "Okay pal, that's 479. You know what? In just of, how are them anymore, just a few are, and you are out of here!" No, the idea is you won't be able to keep track. I forgive, I forgive, and I forgive and I forgive, and then I forgive and then I forgive, I forgive again and then I forgive, and then I forgive, and then after a while, I don't have to choose to forgive, I am forgiving.
It's who God is making me, He pours into me. See, patience has to do a steadfastness of love, that commitment in spite of the imperfections and the immaturity of the people around us. I'm going to say something shocking, shocking revelation, we are surrounded by people that are imperfect, I know, when I realized that, I had the same reaction. I can't believe this. In fact, we live in a world of imperfection of imperfect people, this whole city is filled with imperfect people. May I suggest to you that this Church is filled with imperfect people? I know, shocking, but isn't that the truth? So therefore, we all understand it, we're surrounded by imperfect people, so why are we shocked? Why are we surprised? What do we do? We're surrounded with imperfection, what do we do? Give grace? Give kindness? Give patience? Give forgiveness? That's what love is.
If I suggest you that if we become irritated at the imperfections and the immaturity of those who's around us that in fact, we are the ones who are immature. Colossians 3 Verses 12 to 13, so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, would you notice how it says to put on this heart, we were born in this. You didn't come out the womb with this, so you put this on, this is Christ, He pours His spirit, He pours His love, you put this on, you put on the heart of compassion and kindness. You aren't born kind but you can become kind. Humility, put this on, gentleness, patience, you weren't born patient but you can put this on. Bearing with one another, forgiving each other and whoever has a complain against anyone, this is the Lord has forgiven you, so also should you. Love is patient and it goes along well on Verse 5 where it says, "Love is not provoked and is not taken to account a wrong suffered." By the way, on the side note, whenever we read Verse 5, it's very common to add the word easily. Love is not easily provoked. Kind of adds a little qualifier there because it's a little easier to take, it's a little easier to swallow. But I'm here to tell you, that word easily is not in the Greek, it is not in the original, it is not in the bible. Love is not provoked. So whoa, that has a tall order there. God hasn't given me an allowance for provokability.
B. Love is kind
It is a tall order but it says kind of love, he's showing us what he's kind of love is. In that we might arise and grow and desire it. 2 Timothy 2:24, the Lord's bound servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to all, able to teach and patient when wronged, that's a great verse which leads us to the next quality, it says love is patient and love is kind. Love does kind things. That's an action word. It does kind things, but also note that when you do kind things, there's a joy and a delight in it. I mean there's something of a blessing that comes, you do kind things and it just blesses you heart. It's the opposite of what I was referring to you last week, it's the opposite of the irritable old because it's a gentle kind person, right out of God's heart. Isn't that God's kind of love? Notice in Romans chapter 2 verses 4 to 5, do you think lightly of the riches of his kindness and tolerance and patience? Not knowing that it's the kindness of God that leads you to repentance. It's His kindness which won our hearts, God I know me, I know me and you would forgive the likes of me. It's amazing.
That's kindness, the grace you've given me, you won me Lord. It's His kind of love. Notice it's interesting in the old testament, the word kindness is commonly combined with the word love to make loving kindness. It's a beautiful word and it really should describe a person's character, and in fact, there is a beautiful picture of this in Genesis 24, would you turn all your bibles there, let's read the story. The background to the story is Abraham wants to find a wife for his son Isaac but he does not want a wife from the Cananite women for his son, he wants from his own people. So he takes his servant, and sends him back home to Mesopotamia. Let's pick up the story in verse 10. So the servant took 10 camels, how many? 10. From the camels of his master set out of a variety of good things of his masters in his hand and he arose and he went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. Now he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water in evening time, the time when women go out to draw water and he said "Oh Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grab me success today and show loving kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I'm standing by the spring and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now may it be that the girl to whom I say, please let down your jar so that I may drink" and then she answers "Well then, drink and I will also water your camels. May she be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac and by this I shall now that you have shown love and kindness to my master." And the rest of the story unfolds. Here comes Rebecca, and he says to her "May I have a drink?" She lets down her jar "Yes please" and then out of the kindness and grace and generosity of her spirit, she says "Let me water you camels." In case you didn't know, camels drink a lot of water and there are 10 of them. So she goes back and she goes back and she goes back and she waters all of them and then he sees "God, here is a woman, a character of God in her, you have given me success." It's a beautiful story. One of the things that young people should really take to heart when it comes to finding someone to marry, this of course is a very important topic for a young person. But when it comes to finding someone to marry, may I suggest, that Godly character should stand higher than all other qualities, especially kindness. You know how people are commonly in our culture, in our time, actually pretty much all cultures and all times I suppose. The young people, when they look for someone to marry, often look, first and foremost, to sexual attributes if I could use some all. That's the driving force behind your selection, sexual attributes. But may I suggest to you, that is a mistake. Godly quality is higher than all other things, especially kindness.
C. Love is not jealous
Notice in 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 8 to 10, to sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind hearted, humble in spirit, not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead. Yeah, find someone like that, because you're going to be blessed. You will be blessed. Take God's word to heart. He's got good in mind for you. Next thing he says, back to chapter 13, is that love is not jealous. Now I think we should first say that there are good and bad types of jealousy, there is a good kind of jealousy. For example, if someone had in there mind to woo my wife, they would discover that Papa Bear can be quite strong and will defend the relationship and in fact, that is a good thing and God is very much like it. He's that way towards us. He wants our love and He wants our love singularly towards Him. And in fact, in Exodus Chapter 20 Verses 4 to 5, speaking of God, you shall not make for yourself an idol, you shall not worship them or serve them for I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God. It's a good word. But here in 1st Corinthians 13, it's not that word. The word here in these verses is that wrongful, the hurtful type of jealousy. It's not born out of love. It's not born out of strength. It comes from pride or selfishness or fear and insecurity. These are the things that God wants to transform in us so that we have love to give, God's kind of love that you give. See, this type of jealousy is hurtful. It desires to have what someone else has and then they personal, they make it personal when they don't have it. They want the bigger bit. They want the greater portion. They want the best. "It should be for me. Why should you have success? I should have had that success." It's kind of like kids squabbling over who gets the bigger piece of pie. "Why should you get the bigger piece of pie? I should get the bigger piece of pie." My wife was saying that her sister squabbles so much, her mother said "Okay. One of you, cut it and the other person pick." So they get a ruler out to measure it exactly. They are just taking this too far. Jealousy is hurtful. Look at the scripture and examples, Cain was jealous of Abel and killed him. Joseph's brothers were jealous, sold him in the slavery. The Pharisees were jealous at Jesus and conspired to have him killed. Later they were jealous of the disciples. You can have an entire message of jealousy but the main point is that love is not jealous, it's true in marriage, it's true in every relationship.
II. Love Believes All Things
So it goes back to 1 Corinthians 13 and he told us very important that love believes all things. Love believes all things. It's very beautiful aspect of love, it's part of your character what God is doing in you. For example, when you hear something bad about somebody, you hear a rumor about somebody, do you automatically believe it? And you immediately just start to judge and condemn in your heart, but see there's a quality of maturity that says I will not believe it. No, I will not believe that, because I believe in that person's character, I believe in that person's heart. I will not believe that. That will have to be proven to me. I will not believe it. It's an aspect of love and God's like that, God is for us. God is for us.
A. Love bears all things
Absolutely committed to being for us and if God is for us, who could be against us? And then he goes on to describe this things. He says love bears all things. That's what it does. Love bears. It means to carry another person's burdens. I want to help you. God has done something in me. It's like the serving heart. I want to give you that. I want to carry burdens for you. Let me help you with that. Reminds me of a number of years ago. I was helping my brother move and we were trying to wrestle this really heavy desk out the door and at one point, he says "I'm so sorry. That's so heavy." I couldn't resist. I had to say "It ain't heavy. You're my brother." And we both laughed.
Isn't that true though? Like I love you, you're my brother, I delight to help you. No problem, loved to do it. It's very powerful to understand when that is a quality because of what it does in the other person. It's a quality in you. There's a powerful impact on those around you.
I remember when I was in Bible college, we started a church and it was just very young and I was still working in the restaurant business and I had an opportunity to move into this other restaurant. It was very high class, and day 1, I'm a server like day 1 as in first day. I think they were kind of showing off as to how worldly they were because the things I heard, sexual escapades, drug deal going on back there, there was the beer thing that people were all getting invited to. Day 1. There was more of it but at the end of the evening, they were all kind of standing around in a circle doing their tip thing and somebody says "Hey Rich. You've been kind of quiet today, I mean you've heard all about us. Tell us about you. What do you do for your day job?" I said "Well, actually, I'm a pastor of a church." You can just feel the wave of shock just running through them. Someone said "Oh what you have heard from us." And then it started. The stiff arm. The spurning. The silent treatment. And I'm never going home just complaining. God, how did I get myself in this mess? This is ugly. This is very ugly. And I just felt, have you felt that nudging? That correcting of the Lord? And I felt the Lord correcting me. "How are you any different than any other believer? How are you any different than the people in your church?" We have to work out there in the workaday world with people like that all the time. I said "Okay, you're right Lord. How do I react to this? What do I do?" Again, that nudging that correcting of the Lord. "Love them. Serve them. Be patient with them. That's what I would do." "Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord." I actually got kind of excited. "That's a great plan Lord." Day Two. "Let me help you with that. I'll carry that. I'll take that garbage out. Oh you spilled that, don't worry. I'll clean it up. It's all good. Let me help you with that. I'll help you. Love to do it." Little bit by little bit, the door started opening. Respect started to form. I have the opportunity to witness there's so many people. And in fact, at one point, I was doing something kind of special and invited them to speak at this thing and they said "Hey. Come hear me. I'm going to do the speaking thing and you guys can come hear me." "Us? The church? You're kidding." I said "No. I want you to come. Come on. Come on. Please come." And I said "I'll even introduce you." They said "Really? You'll introduce us? How will you say that?" "I'll just say 'Hey everybody. I want you to meet my sinner friends sitting in the back room.'" Many of them actually did come. I didn't introduce them that way but they came. It's a powerful thing to understand.
This is actually the heart of God. It's the character that He gives us that we might give away. Notice in Galatians 6 Verses 2 to 3, bare one another's burdens and thereby fulfill the love of Christ. It's the way of Christ. It's the heart of Christ. Notice in Matthew 11 Verses 28 to 30, Jesus is saying "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." Burdened down with your messed up life? I get that. I want to give you rest. Burdened down with sin? Oh I get that. Can I give you rest? "Take my yoke", Jesus says. "Take my yoke upon you. Learn from me. I'm gentle, and humble, and hard, and you will find rest for yourselves, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Follow after him, follow after him. This is the way of love. This is the character of love.
Notice by the way, when you look at that verses, that love is not only desiring to carry the burden of others. Notice also that is not being a burden yourself. In other words, Are you difficult to live with? In other way of saying, it might be, are you high maintenance? Don't you think that love is easy to be around? God pours love, God pours grace. And when God pours grace, and then you give grace, that's easy to be around. When God pours kindness to you, and then you give kindness, that's easy to be around. When God pours patience, and you give patience, that's easy to be around. Shouldn't the quality, the character of love make it so that we pleasant? There's a pleasantness and kindness that goes with it.
B. Love hopes all things
And then it goes this way, love hopes all things. I love this quality. It's part of believing in those that we love and it goes along with not taking into account the wrong suffered. In other words, don't hold on the wrong things that a person has done to you. We have hope in our heart. See, God is doing a work of hope in you, so this is why we understand, this is what God is doing in you and that you give away. God is doing a work of hope in you, so you give hope. You believe in that person with expectation, we have hope. One of the greatest gifts you can ever give someone is to not hold their failures against them, but to love them by having hope in your heart for them. They need it and you're loving them. You have hope in your heart for them.
Very very powerful because of what it does. The effect of it is very powerful. We learn this lesson. We had adopted our two boys from Russia, if you know our story. One was ten, one was fourteen. The youngest one came from home for emotional disrupt children. And it came with the baggage of emotional troubles, manifested itself in tremendous anger and a very hot spirit and he was with us maybe a week or so and he was in bed then I said "Did you brush your teeth?" and he said "No." "Well, brushing your teeth is part of the package. You're living in our family" and actually he had rickets which means Vitamin D deficiency, his bones were malformed, his teeth were just little spindles, he had to brush his teeth. So I said, "Hey, you need to get out of bed and brush your teeth." "No." "Okay, you know, let's start over. Let's start from the basics, who's the boss here?" "Not you, you're not my dad." "Well, that's where you're wrong." Cover covers, woop go the arms, down he goes, I bring him down to the bedroom, my bedroom, sit him on the floor. "You're going to sit right there until this matter is resolved. You're going to sit right there." "This isn't fair, you're bigger than I am" he says. "I think you're beginning to understand the nature of our relationship." So then he starts screaming, it's a power move, well you think screaming is a power move? So he screams, and screams, and screams. And I'm sitting there, in the room, pretending to read and pretending to be bored. But finally, realizing that's not working, he amps it up. "Flick" goes the closet, scrape his face. That's it, so I take hold of him, bring his arms behind him, put my legs around him, we lay down and I start saying. "Okay scream, I want to hear some screaming, you need some screaming, let's get some screaming going on." And screams more. "Come on! Let's get some screams going on, don't give me those silly girly screams - No offense women - I want some serious man screams here!" As he was screaming, he screaming. At one point I think I had cursed to him, he's telling me to do it and I'm screaming, this is not working, he calms. My opportunity, my lips are right next to his ear, "Listen to me, I know you lost many things. Your Dad, you lost you Dad, he was murdered. You lost your Mom, she died of cancer. You we're taken from your brother, we brought him back just recently. I know you've lost everything but I am your father and I'm not going anywhere. I will always be your father and I love you and nothing will stop my love for you and I'm going to help you become the man of God that he wants you to be. I'm going to help you with that. This thing that you just did here doesn't change a thing I will keep loving you no matter what." He said. "Dad, I want to go to bed." "I'm sure you do, but first - I let him up - look at me, who's the boss here?" "You are, Dad." "Thank you, now you didn't listen to me back there, so we're going to do some listening now." So we did some dishes, we did a little laundry, he brushed his teeth and went to bed. Put him in bed, pulled the covers up and he says, "Dad, - he starts crying - I'm so, so sorry." I said "It's okay, it's alright, and you know what? You may do this again, and I'll still love you. You may do this again, and again, and again and again, I will still love you, I will always be your Dad and I will always love you." Hope, hope is a very precious thing to give, something that is happening in you, and then you give it away.
It's very powerful. One of the best examples of that in the scriptures is Jesus himself. Who he is? Hope incarnate and he gives that. It's like he is. Luke 19, we don't have time to read it but here's the story. He is a Tax Collector, in other words he is a despised sinner. Not just a Tax Collector, he is like a Chief Tax Collector. He is despicable, but he hears that Jesus is coming, and he wants to see him, he wants to set his eyes on him, but he is young, he is short of stature, so he goes up the road a bit and climbs up this tree. Jesus comes down the road and sees him, "Zacchaeus, -calls him by name- hurry come down, I'm going to have dinner in your house today" and he brings the man the hope. He brings the man the salvation. He completely changes his life. He who is despicable sinner has an encounter with hope incarnate and hope wins. Hope is poured out because hope is in him.
C. Love never fails
See, love is very powerful, because of it's effect. It's transforming and this is why he says in 1 Corinthians 13, listen, love never fails. Love does not fail. It is eternal in nature and therefore, it is in greatest importance. There is something you can take with you to heaven. There is something you can take with you. You can take love, you can take relationships, you can take the affect poured out of your love. Now other things we done away with, he begins to describe in latter verses and he means by that spiritual gifts, so what's higher? Spiritual gifts will be done away with, love is forever, which is higher. It's a beautiful picture, he begins to describe, "For now we see it is a mirror dimly but then we will see him face to face, we know now only in part, but then we will know fully just as we are fully known." Beautiful, how much will you love in heaven? I suggest to you, you will be overflowing, your capacity to love will be completely unrestrained. I'm convinced that we are constrained here in this earth but we will love. We will be overflowing with, why not begin to move into? Why not arise now? Into this character, this quality, he says "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, I used to think like a child, I used to reason like a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things." Isn't that a cult of maturity? Isn't he calling us? To put away those things. You're holding on to anger? Let it go. Bitterness, put it away, put it away. Holding on to wrong has done to you? Put them away. Arise. Arise to something greater, the greatest of these is love.