Introduction: « The believers live on love » because God in whom they believe and whom they serve is a « God of Love » (1 Jn 4:16). So just as the Apostle Paul declared, « it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me » Gal 2:20b, so he also said, « the love of Christ urges us on » 2 Cor 5:14a, Christ to whom he lived and who was his reason for living. When talking about them, the believers almost always refer to qualifications such as « victorious » (Rom.8:35), « able to do everything » (Phil 4:13), « knowing all things » (1 Cor 2:10), … These ideas are not wrong, not at all. But the present pericope reminds us that « as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end” 1 Cor 13:8b-d, but « love is the greatest » (1 Cor 13:13b). This is how Paul said to the Corinthians who were diverted by the gifts of grace they had received (1 Cor 12:7-10), « If I speak in the tongues of humans and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions and if I hand over my body so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing » 1 Cor 13:1-3. Love is the Spirit of God living in the believers; it is not a matter of external show but their true life and nature as children of God. The life of love is the most powerful testimony of God’s work in them — and the reason why God delights in them. Conversely, the Lord is grieved when our love to Him is not true as He says, « This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me » Mt 15:8. Therefore, the Apostle John urges us, « Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth » 1 Jn 3:18. The « truth » is our life and actions reflecting love; for Jesus said, « By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another » Jn 13:35
Monday, 17th: The believers live on the love for God.
« What does the Lord your God require of you? Only […] to love him » Deut 10:12.
Reading1: Mt 22:34-38. Reading 2: Deut 10:12-21. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Deut 10:12.Introduction: God is the root and the spring from which love comes. In this regard, it is written, « because love is from God, everyone who loves is born of God and knows God » 1 Jn 4:7b. God grants His favor to those who love Him as He says, « Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name » Ps 91:14. What is God referred to as? « God is love » 1 Jn 4:16b
Tuesday, 18th: God’s loving love is the same.
« You shall love the Lord your God […]. You shall love your neighbor » Mt 22:37,39.
Reading 1: Rom 13:9-14. Reading 2: Mt 22:34-46. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Mt 22:36-39.
Introduction: God’s commands are not separated; they converge, as it is written, « Those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also » 1 Jn 4:21b. The Apostle John said, « We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters » 1 Jn 3:16.
Wednesday, 19th: Living on love makes one happy.
« Love one another deeply, from the heart » 1 Pet 1:22b.
Reading 1: Jn 13:34-35. Reading 2: 1 Pet 1:22-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Pet.1:22.
Introduction: Love is the spirit of grace that works in the believers’ hearts and unites their hearts in the Lord. The Psalmist declares, « How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity » Ps 133:1. It is a pledge of great blessing, consistently with Jesus’ words, « Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven » Mt 18:19.
Thursday, 20th: To love is the work of the Holy Spirit.
« The fruit of the Spirit is love » Gal 5:22a.
Reading 1: Jn 10:11-15. Reading 2: Gal 5:16-25. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Gal 5:22a,25.
Introduction: True love is God’s love. It is the portion of the believers, grasped by faith, by the help of the Holy Spirit. For it is written, « God’s love has been poured into our hearts [into those who believe] through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us » Rom 5:5b. Love is « God’s life and power that He gives to the believers », because « to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God » Jn 1:12 —children who live on love.
Friday, 21st: Love is keen to serve.
« For the love of Christ urges us on » 2 Cor 5:14a.
Reading 1: Jos 24:14-18. Reading 2: 2 Cor 5:11-15. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Cor 5:14-15.
Introduction: Lord as He is, Jesus became « as one who serves » (Lk 22:27c) because He loves men. The service He performed was the fruit of the love that worked fully in Him according to His statement, « No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends » Jn 15:13. For their sake, « [He] emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, assuming human likeness. And being found in appearance as a human, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross » Phil 2:7-8.
Saturday, 22nd: Stand firm in love.
« He will also strengthen you to the end » 1 Cor 1:8a.
Reading 1: Jn 15:9-16. Reading 2: 1 Cor 1:4-8. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 1 Cor 1:8.
Introduction: Happy are those who persevere in love; this is the first fruit of eternal life and the image of the kingdom of heaven. Paul said to the Ephesians, « For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, […] and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love » Eph 3:14,17. Such is the will of God that gives life, « but those who do the will of God [by loving] abide forever » 1 Jn 2:17b.
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