Tag Archives: 1 Corinthians 13

And what remains is love

“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

No doubt, we are all familiar with the great “love chapter” that Paul wrote to encourage us so we would always focus on what matters. It’s not speaking in some exotic tongue, nor prophecy that amazes, nor in great knowledge. Not even in faith that moves mountains, if it is not expressed in love. Not in giving generously to the poor or submitting our bodies to all sorts of hardship. We could have all these things and still, if we have not love, have nothing at all. Without love we are rich only in the poverty of our souls.

But love…that makes the difference!

Love, true love, is ever patient and keeps on waiting. It leads me to examine my heart today and what is my intention for expressing true,  patient love. Pure love is not accidental. It is purposefully kind, not harsh. It actively resists envy or boasting or becoming proud.  This love we seek to have and to share intentionally looks and plans and acts to lift others up, not to put others down,or ridicule or mock them.  Love honors others with great value not belittling or ignoring them. Such great love looks toward the best interests of others, not our own. It keeps us calm, not given to sudden bursts of anger. It forgives and forgets, not remembering where “the hatchet was buried.” This is the love I want to mark my life,rejoicing in truth and abhoring evil.  It is with such love that I protect those close to my heart, by trusting, hoping, and always persevering.

Great love doesn’t fail because it never ever gives up. Oh yes, though we try to deny it, everything else fails and come to an end: prophecy, fancy speech, astounding knowledge – it all comes to an end. These are pieces of our lives but not the whole, and not even close to the most important and lasting part of who we are.  When we stop thinking as children we see more clearly the real life we were meant to live – a life marked by great love.

I wonder if when we come finally to heaven if we won’t need faith because we will be at last truly united with the object of our faith, Jesus. And perhaps our hope will likewise have been fulfilled because what we have so long hoped for has been provided, being one with our Lord. Even so, the one thing that always will remain, that “greatest of these” that will last forever from earth to heaven and all time beyond, is love.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-12

Love is how we are made complete. Who is it that needs your love today?

Love God. Love others in his name.


The greatest thing you can do today


Do you have your to-do list made for the day? Is your calendar filled with appointments? If you’re like me, there’s probably more on the list than can possibly get done! You may be wondering how to make sure you get the most important things accomplished!


A life is made up of years and years are made up of days. Each day is made up of the moments where we live and breathe and try to discover and express our purpose in life – the one thing that is most important in everything we do. What is that one “most important” thing for you?


Maybe you have a voice that others listen to, leadership skills inspires others to follow. Maybe you seek to discover the great mysteries of life and to amass a great volume of knowledge. Maybe you’ve felt compelled to be generous in your gifts and service to benefit others.  We all seek purpose and meaning and want our lives to make a difference. But as good as all these things are, they are not the best. They may be beneficial, but if they lack love, they gain nothing. “Nothing?” you ask. “What about faith? Doesn’t faith matter?” Indeed it does. Faith is the hope that helps us endure. It is the light that shines into the depths of our darkest moments. Faith is the confidence that overcomes fears and speaks truth to doubts. Faith is the conqueror of negative thinking and worry. In fact:


The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself…through love.


What is it about love that makes the difference? Consider Paul’s words:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a


Love is the motivation that stirs us to action. It is the fuel that feeds our engine of activity. Emotions confuse us and fail us. Activity tires us. But love calls us to push on and persevere even when logic and emotions persuade us to give up. Love finds joy in the truth of life. It protects us from selfishness and self pity. It brings hope to our despair. True love, the love that God shows us, never gives up. 


Jesus summarized all the commandments by saying, love God and love others. Love is the greatest thing God did for you and me. Love is what characterizes God. Shouldn’t it be what summarizes our life too? Beyond wealth and even beyond health. Beyond hobbies and politics. Beyond accomplishment and special gifts. Love surpasses all these.


Everything else has an end and passes away but faith, hope, and love remain. I hope you’ll fill your day with these most important things, especially love. 


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13


See what love can do



Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love. – Mother Teresa


An expert of the law asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked the man, “What is written in the law?” The man answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ (Deut. 6:5) and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18).” Jesus responded that the man had answered correctly. “Do this and you shall live,” he said. 


There is no question in my mind about it. An antidote to most of life’s ails is found in loving others. It takes our mind off our own woes, those real and perceived, those small and enormous. Ironic, but humility – considering the needs of others – is far from a weakness; it is really a strengthening quality.


I was visiting with a friend recently who showed me some pictures from his mission trips to the Honduras. In the display was a saying that caught my attention:


One child – one family – one community: see what love can do. 


What can love do?  It can teach us patience and kindness and humility. Think how these qualities encourage and value others! Love honors others and ‘forgets’ wrongs. It rejoices in truth. Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres – always!  Love can say what words can’t. Love never fails. Love brings about understanding. In fact, it is the greatest and most lasting of any thoughts, actions or attributes. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

What happens when you pray for and pour love into one child, one family, one community, perhaps far from your own and maybe nearby?  What happens, not just to them, but to you?  Doing what we were created to do – loving others – might not remove all our burdens, but it has the power to lift us above them and to endure them with more grace.  See what love can do today.