This devotional has been contributed by Rev. Mike Summerlin of Manning Chapel United Methodist Church.
God’s Forever Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
First Corinthians 13 is probably the most widely quoted passage in the world on the subject of love. Verse 13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
What is often missed is how Paul preface’s this “love chapter” with the last verse of Chapter 12. “But earnestly desire the best gifts and let me show you a more excellent way.”
We recognize that Jesus demonstrated sacrificial love for us by dying for our sins, making possible our forgiveness and restoring us to fellowship with the Father. Yet we often fail to realize that Christ’s love goes even beyond the cross.
Everything we do, do not do, face and do not face is touched by his continuing love. Everything about us hinges on love because God, who is love, created us in his image. (1 Jn 4:8,16). Because God loves us, he gives us blessings and lets us share them.
When we pray and are told to wait, it is because He loves us and knows we need time to grow. When the overwhelming choices before us make it hard to know which way is up, our Lord and Savior shows us our need to depend on his guiding love.
Jesus demonstrated this kind of amazing love to Mary and Martha upon Lazarus’s death. John 11:16 says, “So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.” Jesus knew that Mary and Martha needed to grieve in order to gro. He allowed the sister’ pain because he loved them.
Until we come to understand and believe at our deepest innermost level that God is love, we will struggle with trusting him, yielding to him, obeying him and serving him wholeheartedly.
One of the keys to our spiritual growth as Christians is believing in God’s love-even when we cannot see it.
While we are to live in faith and hope, our most important dwelling place is God’s love.
Without making his love our ultimate dwelling, we cannot fully live-in faith and hope.
We should refuse to take a step or a breath without remaining keenly sensitive to “the greatest of these”-our Father’s love.