The Way of Love
I Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Key Verse: And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
What is there about love that causes Paul that speak of it as "the greatest"? What makes it
even greater than faith and hope?
We may not be able to put our answer into words, but we all know that Paul is right. There really is nothing more important than love. We all need it. We all thrive on it when it is available. We all may offer love to others and thereby add meaning and joy to our own lives.
A singer may have a lovely voice and sing well the right notes. But if the singer does not seem to love the God about whom he or she sings, we are not impressed with the singing. We could do without it. We appreciate more the singing of the untrained voice of one whose love for the Lord is plain to see.
A pastor may preach well, but his people will not care much about what he knows until they know that he loves them. So it is love that really matters. Without it nothing else seems to work right. With it even the smallest deeds become effective and fruitful.
As we take a fresh look at love today, here are a few penetrating questions we may ask ourselves:
1) How high is love on our list of priorities for our church?
2) When you look over your list of investments, how much time are you investing in genuinely loving others?
3) If love is not irritable, rude, or resentful, how are you doing in dealing daily with the flaws of the people around you?
4) Considering your own weaknesses, is there anything you desire more from others than simply to love you?
5) Can you think of anything, really, that you need from your family and friends more than understanding love?
Surely God has put us together, in families and in churches, because we need to love and to be loved more than anything else in the world. Bishop William Cannon closed one of his delightful poems with these words:
"I cannot give the reason why,
And yet my heart is all aglow;
For God was in that baby boy,
And love is all we need to know."
In a world fascinated with learning more and more knowledge, God's people do well to remember that there is nothing greater to know than God, and God is love.