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. – 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 ESV
This is interesting; it is in the LOVE chapter of the Bible. The first 8 verses were about the POWER and PRESENCE of AGAPE, Godly love. The first 8 verses cover how it is impossible for MAN to do this kind of love. We can do Phileo (brotherly love), we can do Storge (Familial love), some can do Eros (sensual love) but only God, working through us- through the Holy Spirit and the indwelt Christ- can do AGAPE! (Unconditional love) It is YAHWEH AMORE! The 13thchapter of 1 Corinthians has been titled: The Way of Love. As we read, we realize, Jesus is the WAY…of love! When life squeezed Jesus, the only thing that came out of HIM, was LOVE! Jesus looked down from the cross upon a scene that must have been distressing to Him. The Roman soldiers were gambling for His clothing, the criminals on the crosses to either side of Him were reviling Him, the religious leaders were mocking Him, and the crowd was blaspheming Him. Surrounded by this most unworthy lot, Jesus prayed for them. “Father forgive them.…” (Like 23:34)
Leader, the only constant in life is change. God is telling us everything changes. The day we are born we are one day closer to death. Our relationship with God is getting closer (better) or farther (worse)- its not staying the same. But God wants us to know that what does stay the same is the need, and the availability of FAITH, HOPE and LOVE! Faith is the foundation of our walk with God. The Bible tells us; But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) It is the first of the 5 SOLAS of the reformation: Faith alone, in Christ alone, by Grace alone, through Scripture alone, to the GLORY OF GOD- ALONE! This is one time it is GOOD TO BE ALONE! We are justified; stand before God in HIS righteousness through FAITH! This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile. (Romans 3:22) Faith is B.S. (Belief System)
Conduit, Hal Lindsey reminded us; “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.” Hope keeps us moving forward. Hope fuels us to face impossible challenges. Hope is the expectation that we will obtain what we desire. Hope is a special gift given by God through his grace to combat the day-to-day monotony and the most difficult circumstances. Hope hangs on to the promise of a Savior who is coming to set him free. Hope encourages us to keep running the race until we reach the finish line. As believers we must KEEP HOPE ALIVE! Why is love the greatest, because without love there can be no redemption! For God so loved the world, HE DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Love is a verb! The Bible teaches there can be no redemption WITHOUT LOVE- that is why it is the most important. God IS LOVE! (1 John 4:8) God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us- a supreme act of Love- SACRIFICE! “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13) Love is the virtue upon which all Christian faith and hope know to stand. For the believer, love is the foundation for every good thing in our lives. We must have FAITH to please God, HOPE keeps us going; However, without love, nothing else matters.