Illustration of the Month: Offering

By Hillary Asbury

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

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

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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One thought on “Illustration of the Month: Offering

  1. It is much easier to love those who love us in return. It is difficult to express agape love as a Christian under persecution by others who hold them in personal disdain, and detest and reject the Lord of Glory. We all have met people who dislike us for few perceptible reasons other than we either remind them of someone else, or we rub them the wrong way in our views and manners. How do you love those who belittle you, offend you, attack you, and treat you wrongly? Again, it is much easier to love those who return our love, or to like those who are genuinely true friends. Show me any Christian who has not struggled with this issue, and you will find a saint indeed, like Joseph, who loved and forgave his brothers…who behaved as scoundrels and sold him into slavery as a youth. Despite our feelings and human inclinations, Jesus calls us to love our enemies. I know some do not like the expression: “love the sinner, hate the sin,” but I have found much truth in this way of viewing agape love.

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