Wednesday, February 13

Providentially in The Love Chapter this Morning

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Is 'love' really all that big of a deal? That even in my speaking, if it is done while lacking love then my words are just a racket and of no value whatsoever? Is 'love' so crucial that even if I know all things and possess all faith, yet without love then "I am NOTHING"? And if I gave ALL my possessions to the poor...even my own life to be burned, then there is zero profit if done apart from 'love'?
This chapter is really something for us to ponder. We are familiar with it, we have heard it read at weddings, but I fear many of us have failed miserably at living in light of the realities that are posed here.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

God is Love. This passage describes Him perfectly. The Levitical Law as well as Peter's first letter command that we be Holy as God is Holy. Included in His Holiness is His Love, so the implication for me in this description of 'love' is the expectation for me to love like this...Patiently, with kindness, without jealousy, not boasting, unselfishly, forgiving, righteously, with joy in truth, with all hope, faith, and perseverance.
To quote Ellie in recent days when I encourage her to be obedient, "But, it is hard Daddy". Yes Ellie, it is very hard, but we have more Help than it is hard, right? "Yes", she says. Who is our help? "Jesus, He will help us" Ellie responds, resigned to hope in His help yet again.

The familiar hymn begins with this wonderfully helpful line:
"Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come..."

Love never fails...For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Again, God is Love. Therefore, God never fails. No matter what! We are seeing 'dimly' now...Oh, but then...then....then we will see face to face, see Him face to face. We will see Him and be made like Him. We will know Him fully, we will fully know...Him, Who is Love and all Love to and for us.
Now faith, hope and love are present, but the greatest is Love? How so? What is it about love that will outlast hope and faith?

Hope becomes Reality when we see Him!
Faith becomes Sight when we are present with Him!
But Love endures forever, both now while we do not see Him, yet we love Him, and for all of eternity as we worship Him in unveiled glory!