by Tony Nester

The Pursuit of Love
Tony R. Nester
1 Corinthians 14:1

Today is Valentine's Day and a good day for us to look at what the Bible says about love.

There are a lot of cutsy things connected with Valentine's Day -- little candies, funny cards, and cupids shooting love arrows. But there's nothing cutsy about love. Love is anything but cute. It is incredibly, sometimes frighteningly, powerful.

One of you said this to me about love: "I really think we would do almost anything for love. We can't forget what people will do to obtain 'love'. What a driving force this powerful emotion is. Yet, I am not sure I can tell you what love is. I can't begin to describe what a wrenching feeling it is when love is taken away from you. Research shows that people will die if they have no love, and I am sure that is true. So I guess the thing that amazes me is the power that love has in a person's life."

Because love is so powerful a force the Bible never treats love in a cutsy or sentimental way. The Bible treats love with great seriousness.

Today I want to lift up just one short Scriptural phrase about love. It's found at the beginning of the 14th Chapter of 1 Corinthians. Paul begins the chapter with these two words: "Pursue love."

Let's take a moment to put these two words in their context. Paul is writing to a church that has been experiencing a lot of conflict and spiritual confusion. It's the church at Corinth. Paul recognizes that this church has a lot of potential. They have a lot of knowledge, spiritual gifts, and a great opportunity for Christian outreach. But they are not reaching their potential. The problem is that although they know a lot, they don't really understand love. And although they have many spiritual gifts, these gifts aren't being properly used to build up the church and strengthen its outreach.

Paul sets two goals in front of this church. The first is to pursue love and the second is to make better use of spiritual gifts. I'm focusing ...

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