Today’s Scripture: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: 1¬†Corinthians¬†13:4-8a

As we think about Valentine’s Day this time of year, we celebrate love. But what is love? Love is in fact the culmination of the virtues of God. Here in 1¬†Corinthians the Apostle Paul gives us a list of things that love does. As you read through the verses again, think of the picture love shows for each of these virtues.

Love is long-suffering – it is willing to go through pain for the sake of others. Love is kind. Love doesn’t envy – love wants others to have the best. Love is not proud – it puts others over itself. Love acts properly, and doesn’t look to please itself. Love is not easily provoked to anger. It thinks good of others. Love doesn’t condone wickedness but rejoices in truth. Love bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things and will not fail.

If we compare this list to Galatians 5:22-23, we see love is in essence the culmination of the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy (love rejoices in truth), peace (love is not easily provoked), longsuffering (love suffereth long and endureth all things), gentleness (love is kind), goodness (love thinketh no evil), faith (love believeth all things), meekness (love is not puffed up), temperance (love doth not behave itself unseemly): against such there is no law.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” If you go through that list again you can see that every aspect of love describes Christ. If we are supposed to be Christ-like, let’s make the choice to love God and each other as we should.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder