1 Cor. 13:1-7 (ESV)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
As I read this I begin to wonder if I have love. This is a very beautiful passage of scripture often confused with the gospel. But it isn’t it is law. One reading this should be brought to the absolute brink of despair, if not thrown into the pit completely. Love is patient and kind, I am not. I can think of many times I have been neither. It does not envy or boast, but I do. Love isn’t arrogant. Contrary to not so popular belief, I am. It does not insist on is own way. I do. It is not irritable or resentful. I am. It does not rejoice at wrong doing, I dare say I have. It rejoices with truth. At times I think I have done that. But by no means not always. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. That does not describe me.
We can dupe ourselves into thinking we have love. I’m amazed that one could give away everything, and deliver his body to be burned, but not have love. Yet I could see myself doing these things not out of love, but out of self preservation. Christ’s words to the rich young man come to mind here. If I thought it would gain me eternity, I might do it. But I wouldn’t do it out of love.
There is only one man I know of who this has ever described, Jesus Christ. He is patient and kind. He does not envy or boast. He is not arrogant or rude. He does not rejoice at wrong doing, but in Truth. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. It was He who gave away all he had, and delivered up his body, to endure me. He truly loved. He truly loves, loves you and loves me. So I do have love, I have Him. Without Him I would not have love. 1 John 4:19 (ESV)
We love because he first loved us.