Love – The Greatest of All

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 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. 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

Every year we have a birthday. We celebrate this special day every year until we leave this earth. We were all born into this world as a baby. Utterly dependent on our mothers for milk and care. Eventually, we move to baby cereal, fruits, and veggies until we can finally eat adult food on our own.

At first, we are carried, then we crawl, soon after, we walk, and eventually, we run. We make sounds; then we learn to laugh, and not too long after, we begin talking on our own. Our brains develop, and we learn how to think, and problem solve. Our bodies continually change, and we shift from infanthood to adolescence to adulthood.

We are continually growing and changing physically, and we should be continually growing and maturing spiritually in our life with Jesus.

It is a great exercise to take time now and again and think about how we have grown over the last year or two. Look at where God has been doing His work and where we have matured. If that is not happening, we must ask God to show us why.

When we get stuck in our growing and maturing process, it is much easier to begin to backslide and begin to roam in areas of temptation.

Everyone’s walk is different. Some people mature faster in some areas than others. Like in Middle School, where every girl seems to be at a different development stage, so aren’t we spiritually. We all have different pasts and childhoods. We have different environments, opportunities, and family situations. We have different church and school experiences. Some people are born again later in life than others.

We NEED to be very careful not to fall into a legalistic and judgmental place when we see others and where they are in their walk. Instead of talking down to someone, walk alongside them, pray for them, and speak the truth in love where is needed.

We have to remember we were in their place at one time, and we can easily get to a place where we are wandering or deceived about something if we are not careful. Humility is essential in this journey of learning to love as God loves us.

We don’t see everything now; we don’t know everything God is doing in others, the situations around us, or in us through it all.

for we walk by faith, not by sight 2 Corinthians 5:7

Vines Complete Expository Dictionary defines faith as a “firm persuasion,” a conviction based on hearing.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Faith requires trust. Trust in who God says He is and His promises to us. We have to trust Him with who He is, who He says we are, and what He can do in our lives and those we love.

Walking by faith needs to become a lifestyle for us. Just like when we were learning to walk, we got wobbly and fell. We fell less as we got stronger and more confident in knowing we could do what we were doing. It is the same as we are learning to walk with the Lord. As we grow stronger in our faith and we are more confident in who we are in Christ, we fall less, and we can help others better in their walk as well.

We love God, and we love each other better. This brings more unity to the body of Christ.

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

My Life Application Study Bible notes on this scripture stuck with me, and I want to share them with you. “In morally corrupt Corinth, love had become a mixed-up term with little meaning. Today people are still confused about love. Love is the greatest of all human qualities and is an attribute of God Himself. Love involves unselfish service to others; to show it gives evidence that you care. Faith is the foundation and content of God’s message; hope is the attitude and focus, and love is the action. When faith and hope are in line, you are free to love completely because you understand how God loves.”

I especially enjoyed that highlighted statement. “Faith is the foundation and content of God’s message.”

Where is our faith?

Do we have a firm and grounded foundation?

“Hope is the attitude and focus.

Where is our hope?

Is it an anchor for our soul?

“Love is the action.”

Love is not passive. God’s love is not passive. He actively showed His love by sending Jesus to the cross to die, rise from the grave, and prepare a place in Heaven for us. He loves us actively every day of our lives. Let’s ask God to give us eyes to see the ways He loves us during our days. Let’s ask God to give us ears to hear the sweet words of love He is whispering to us as we live this life He has given us.

As we experience His love every day, let’s ask Him how to love those around us actively. Not just in words. People need to know God’s love, and they need to know it is genuine. We can speak words all day long, but it won’t be real if there is never any action to follow it up. Others won’t know God’s love is real unless we live it out in action every day of our lives.

Let’s ask God to help us live out His love in action in our homes and families, our neighborhoods and communities, and our churches. May others know His love is the real thing because they have seen it in us and experienced it through us!