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The Gift of Love

Never has there been such an extraordinary act of love as the death of Jesus on the Cross. Hymn writer Isaac Watts penned an emotional response to this gift: “Alas! And did my Savior bleed and did my Sov’reign die? / Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I? / Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? / Amazing pity! Grace unknown! And love beyond degree!”

Jesus’ death was truly an act of love beyond our comprehension. Not only should we marvel at this gift, so freely given, but we must consider how God’s love, freely given to us, provides an example for us to follow.

In our text today, Paul focuses on three gifts of the Spirit: faith, hope, and love—and “the greatest of these is love” (v. 13). Paul’s teaching here aligns with everything Jesus did and taught. When asked which was the greatest commandment, Jesus answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30–31). Love is the central building block of the gospel and the Christian life.

Love is more than an emotion. God-given love considers others more important than oneself (v. 4). It is forgiving, generous, and rejoices in truth (vv. 5, 6). We see clear distinctions between what love is and what it is not. Love is essential, and without love, all other gifts are worthless.

Our love becomes complete as we grow in Christian maturity (v. 10). As we grow closer to God we realize the depth of His love for us and grow in our ability to truly love others.

Apply the Word

Is your heart full as you consider God’s love for you, displayed by the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the Cross? If God loved us in this extraordinary way, how can we fail to love one another? Pray that God’s love will grow in your heart and be displayed in everything you say and do. May His love be so clearly reflected in your life that others take notice.

BY Jamie Janosz

Jamie Janosz serves as a content development manager for Moody Bible Institute. She writes monthly devotionals for Today in the Word and has published non-fiction essays with Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. Recently Jamie wrote a book titled When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up (Moody Publishers). Jamie studied theology and writing at Moody Bible Institute, Columbia College, and Illinois State University. She lives on the Atlantic coast of Florida with her husband, Milt, and daughter, Sabrina.

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