1 Corinthians 13: Essential Motivation

“Love” means different things to different people. How would you define love?

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1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with human excellence and angelic might yet don’t really care for the wellbeing of those I serve, my message is like a noisy gong or clanging cymbal, getting attention but not really helping.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

We can love a lot of things. Why might people be the most important?

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1 Corinthians 13:2 If I predict the future, understand mysteries, and answer all questions—with such trust in God that mountains are moved—I am nothing without love for people.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Why do we gain nothing when our reason for giving is something other than love?

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Matthew 7:22 On Judgment Day, many will say, “Lord, didn’t we prophesy, cast out evil spirits, and do many wonderful deeds in your name?”
7:23 Then I will tell them, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you disobedient lawbreakers.”
1 Corinthians 13:3 Without love, I gain nothing by leaving everything I have to help the poor before I am cremated.
King James
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Why do you think love can never be envious, boastful, or proud?

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1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind, never envious, boastful, or proud.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

If it’s “normal” to take offense when we are wronged, what would motivate us to feel differently?

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1 Corinthians 13:5 Love isn’t rude, arrogant, or overly sensitive, taking no offense when wronged,
13:6 finding no pleasure in wrongdoing, rejoicing in doing right.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

Why might love keep us away from wrong and seeking to do what is right?

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Romans 13:10 Love never wishes harm upon someone, which explains why love is the fulfillment of the law.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Love isn’t rude, arrogant, or overly sensitive, taking no offense when wronged,
13:6 finding no pleasure in wrongdoing, rejoicing in doing right.
King James
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

What love qualities cause people to be patient and persistent?

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1 Corinthians 13:7 Love never gives up but always has hope, enduring forever.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

If love will last forever, what does that say about its importance?

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1 Corinthians 13:8 One day, we won’t need words of knowledge, predictions of the future, and speaking in unknown languages, but we will always have love.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

What factors do you think cause our knowledge to be limited?

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1 Corinthians 13:9 Right now, our knowledge is limited and we are given little insight about the future.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

When we no longer have limitations, will we then know everything? Why or why not?

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1 Corinthians 13:10 But when we are made perfect, the imperfections will be gone.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Are the older and more experienced always more knowledgeable and wise? Why or why not?

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Psalm 8:2 From the mouths of infants and children, you have raised up a strong voice to refute your enemies, silencing the adverse words of all who oppose you.
Mark 10:15 Without exception, I tell you, those who do not accept the Kingdom of God like a young child cannot enter.
1 Corinthians 13:11 As a child, I thought, talked, and walked as a child, but as a man I no longer have need of my childish ways.
King James
Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

How can we know what it will be like to see when we have never been able to see that way before?

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John 9:39 Jesus said, “I came to this world to bring people to a point of decision, to give sight to the blind and blindness to those who think they see.”
9:40 Some Pharisees overheard him. “Are you saying we are blind?”
9:41 “If you were blind,” Jesus said, “you would be blameless. But because you say you can see, you remain blind.”
1 Corinthians 13:12 When we look in a mirror, we see an imperfect reflection of who we are, but when we see the Lord face-to-face, we will see ourselves as he sees us. Right now, our knowledge and vision is limited, but the day will come when we will see as God does.
King James
John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

How do you think your appearance in a mirror compares to what God sees?

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1 Corinthians 13:12 When we look in a mirror, we see an imperfect reflection of who we are, but when we see the Lord face-to-face, we will see ourselves as he sees us. Right now, our knowledge and vision is limited, but the day will come when we will see as God does.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

What would make love more important that hope and faith?

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1 Corinthians 13:13 Three things will remain forever—hope, faith, and love—and the most important is love.
King James
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.