Love: The Greatest Gift!


Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
(1 Corinthians 13:8 NASB)
For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
(1 Corinthians 13:9 NASB)
but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
(1 Corinthians 13:10 NASB)
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.
(1 Corinthians 13:11 NASB)
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.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB)
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13 NASB)



Paul is affirming the most important thing which should exist in the life of a believer and that is love. He mentions some of the gifts he had talked about in the previous chapter and he reminds us that these will all pass away, but love will remain. Why will love remain? Because love is the very nature of God! Therefore this spiritual walk is not about obtaining different gifts, but about becoming partakers of the divine nature, which means that our nature becomes his nature, which is love. This is certainly what Paul understood and why he was encouraging the church in Corinth to stop arguing about the gifts of the Spirit, but instead to focus on what's really important, which is putting on Christ and his nature. Why? Because putting on Christ is God's intention for all of humanity and that is where the perfection and/or completion comes. When Paul talks about the partial, he is talking about the life here in the flesh and the giftings that we have. They are not the ultimate perfect plan of God. Paul is talking about a person growing up spiritually from childhood to adulthood and it is in adulthood that we begin to truly understand this love of God.



Too often we are focusing on the "things" of our spiritual life instead of the "person" of Jesus Christ. The Bridegroom, Jesus Christ loves us dearly and is drawing us toward him into a continually deeper relationship in which the distractions of the world simply fade away. Our desire for him becomes so great that our vision of him becomes clearer and clearer as the things of the world that used to so entice us simply fall into the distance. Love draws us toward him and eventually we become completely and totally consumed by his love until there is nothing else of significance. The things that we used to argue about are gone. The thing that unifies us is all that remains. The arrow of his love has pierced us and his love fills the wound creating a desire in us for nothing but him. Faith and hope are wonderful, but they are nothing compared to his holy love with which he has gifted us. I drink in this love as if I had found a stream in a barren desert and am completely and totally satisfied. Who would want anything else?



Lord, please continue to draw me on toward your all-consuming and all-satisfying love. Amen.


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