1 Corinthians 13:13New Living Translation (NLT)
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Many will assume that faith or being faithful is the most important thing. Yet we are told here that love is the greatest thing.
Why is the greatest thing? And what is wrong with faith and hope?
Without faith there is no true love, without faith there is no hope.
Jesus brings us all, with his perfect life and his crucifixion and resurrection, He gives us faith, hope and love.
Yet faith can exist without love, faith means trust. It is possible to trust in many things without love getting involved. For example you may trust in science, but there is no love in science.
How can hope have any meaning without a feasible expectation of validation to the hope, you may hope to win the National Lottery, yet there is a 14 million to 1 chance to actually win the thing.
But with love, the faith and hope has validation.
Christ argued against legalism of the Pharisees, not for the rules that they twisted the 10 commandments to the point where everyone would fail, but because the acted outside of love for God and their fellow man. They sat in judgement on everyone whilst not judging their own stony hearts.
Today I am sure there are Christians who instead of being focussed on love, for God and their fellow man, twist the commands Jesus gave us into legalism and forgetting the most important thing is to love God and to love our fellow man.
Some will claim that a belief in Jesus is enough, that you can take a tiny effort of taking Jesus’s salvation without making Him the Lord of your life. Some get so bogged down in judging sins that they can’t see the love in them from Him, and the love He gives us for each other.
In loving our neighbour, we do not put walls and fences up to hide ourselves away and block away people that we love, if we allow Jesus to work through us.
If belief in Jesus was enough, even Satan would be saved. It’s really not about belief, I have believed in Jesus since I was 18, yet for nearly 16 years my life was entirely my own, the love that Christ put in me was ripped out, by my own actions, by me not living in Christ. It is about faith (trust) and love.
Seeing as it’s just been Valentine’s Day it is important that I point out that the squishy feelings you have with those in your life is not the depth of love Christ has for you, right now. Not as a perfect being, but the person you are right now. To this you may wonder, what makes a Christian change, if we are loved right now as we are? To answer this I will respond that if we live in this love from, and for God, and for our fellow man, we can’t help but be changed by this love.
I ask you to accept this love He has for you, accept it not just intellectually but deep within your soul. I would ask that you open yourself to the fact that He gives you a gift of love for both God, and your fellow man.
When you do this you will find your life radically changes. Even if your situations stay the same, how you see them, what you feel about them, radically changes. You will be given the strength that loves brings to deal with life, which is a short and painful experience compared to the joy to come to us in eternity with Jesus.