We are to pursue love as we seek spiritual gifts because love gives life to gifts and love outlives gifts. That’s Paul’s main idea in 1 Corinthians 13, and this study will help you not only to see that in the text but to seek it in your life.
The thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians is about having a love strategy. Paul relativizes what we tend to value most (usually our personal distinctives and niches), places love in central view, and summons us to use every power and resource we have for the good of those whom God has placed in our lives. This is the excellent way of love, and it is worthy of our pursuit.
Evan May is a student at Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor at Lakeview Christian Center in New Orleans. He is the author of Love Gives Life: A Study of 1 Corinthians 13. He is married to his best friend and fellow bibliophile Rebekah, and has one daughter, Piper.
Here’s what others are saying about this work:
If you’re like me, you have either heard or taught love
from 1 Corinthians 13. You may even think that you have heard most, if not all
of the insights of 1 Corinthians 13. I did. That is, until I read Evan May’s
take on the text. Evan brings us into Paul’s thoughts in a clear and engaging
way, which is somewhat hard to do. Not only that, he brings clarity to the
definition of love which has been hijacked and is now defined as “undogmatic”
and “untheological.” However, love is very dogmatic and very theological. In a
world where social media has made us, “fall for the delusion that what makes us
significant is mainly what causes us to stand out from everyone else, rather
than what helps us to serve everyone else,” what we all need now is a little
bit of love, properly understood that is. Read this book!
Rap artist Voice, author of Education or
Imitation: Bible Interpretation for Dummies Like You and Me
In this short, helpful book, Evan shows us why love is so
crucially important, and why we must pursue love above everything else. If we
don’t have love, we don’t have anything. It doesn’t matter how gifted or
“spiritual” we are. Evan repeatedly points us to the path of love and shows why
love is one of the most important dynamics of the Christian life.
Pastor, songwriter, and author of The Greener Grass
Conspiracy: Finding Contentment On Your Side of the Fence and Create:
Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff
Evan May’s Love Gives Life: A Study of 1 Corinthians
13 is a good example of what Paul says in 1 Cor. 14:26, “Let all things be
done for building up.” It is brief, unpretentious, but says what must be said
to bring the message of the “love chapter” to the heart of the reader. May has
been personally moved by Paul’s words, and he wants to convey to us the same
blessing he has found. He has a wonderful gift for simple, conversational
writing, with the most natural and appropriate illustrations. He never assaults
the reader, but nurtures him gently, so that we find ourselves growing in
grace, almost by surprise. No academic trappings here, but May’s understanding
of the passage is substantial. I hope that many take the opportunity to learn
from this book.
Dr. John Frame
Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at
Reformed Theological Seminary and author of the Theology of Lordship series
The apostle Paul told his dear friend Timothy, with
regard to Christian discipleship, “The aim of our charge is love that issues
from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” That is, love is
the necessary consequence of the Gospel he preached. Today, that charge is
unfortunately blanched by all manner of social and cultural influences, reduced
to the idea that “love” is somehow synonymous with quiet and unconditional
acceptance. My dear friend Evan May looks back to Paul as the apostle reminded
his students in Corinth about the true meaning of love, and why it actually
changes the world. The study notes Evan has produced ought to sting a little as
we remember that somehow the love of God is both patient and unrelenting toward
wrongdoing, both kind and truthful, both eternal and immediate. I recommend
this study without qualification, and hope to see more from Evan in the future.
Speaker, writer, and blogger at