We know that faith, hope, and love are all very important, but the Bible tells us that the greatest of these is love. Steph Nickel continues her series on 1 Corinthians 13- the love chapter.
The Greatest Of These Is Love
Today let’s focus on verses 8-13, which say,
““Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
My To Do list these days is incredibly long. In a week and a half, I will be taking over from our church administrator when she goes on maternity leave. For the next year, I will be working for 30 hours each week in the office. It has me scratching my head as to how I can get far enough ahead on other responsibilities to be able to pace myself and not burn out.
Why did I take on such a time-consuming endeavour with so many other things on my schedule? One defining reason would be our bank account. A regular income is a good thing. And working to meet our obligations is also a good thing.
What Lasts For Eternity?
It won’t really be long before our bills, our dreams of travel, and our desire to bless others with our resources will vanish. None of these things will endure for eternity.
Neither will prophecies, tongues, or knowledge … as it says in today’s passage.
What consumes my energy and attention today will be gone in a flash. No matter how much I work, no matter how much I accomplish, only three things will matter beyond this life.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
I love these verses … and developing this kind of faith must be a priority.
Romans 5:1-5 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
What an incredible passage! What an incredible hope!
One more thing will endure for all eternity. And that thing is love, the most important of all.
We’ve already discussed how God defines love. Remember how He showed it? In Romans 5:8, it says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We did nothing to earn His love, but because of this act, we can spend eternity with Him.
Looking At Our Lives Through Faith, Hope, And Love
If I look at my To Do list through the Faith, Hope, and Love filter, it changes everything. How can I increase my faith? How can I share it? How can I develop hope even when my situation looks hopeless? How can I point others to the Source of hope, God Himself? And how can I love—truly love—those with whom I come in contact? How can I learn to love the Lord more? How can I point people to the God who identifies Himself in 1 John 4:8 as love?
These are the things that should take my time and energy. It is from this perspective that I should view “the why” not simply “the what” of my day.
I encourage you to take a look at your schedule. How much time and energy are you expending on things that will one day simply pass away? What can you do to refocus on developing and sharing faith, hope, and love?
Even if this seems an impossible task, don’t be overcome with discouragement. Ask God to give you wisdom, direction, and motivation. He is the source of the three things that will remain. And He can accomplish in and through you what you never could on your own.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.
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