These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1Corinthians 13:13
God is love. The supreme self-revelation of God is to be seen in the love of Christ. So it is not surprising that Saint Paul declares love to be the greatest of all things. It is the one thing that abides forever. Necessary as faith is in this life, love is greater because faith will end in seeing. Precious as hope is, love is greater because hope will end in fulfillment. Love is greater than all other gifts and blessings. It is greater than eloquence, than prophecy, than all learning.
See how powerful love is and how wonderful are its effects! Love teaches us to be patient and kind and generous. It keeps us from being envious and arrogant and proud. It makes for courtesy and unselfishness. It puts the best construction on everything. It dwells on the good rather than on the evil.
Christian love is the greatest civilizing and refining agency. No matter how great one's knowledge or power or fame, unless love is the moving force, no life is really good or great. The abundant life of which Jesus speaks is a life that is "rooted and established in love" and that knows "the love of Christ ... that surpasses knowledge" (Ephesians 3:17). Whoever lives in this love is a truly spiritual person.
PRAYER: Dear Father, grant us an ever larger appreciation of the wonders of Your love in Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)