God’s abounding blessings to you during this holiday season.
Profound and riveting is the clear and emphatic emphasis Jesus placed on love. When the skeptical lawyer asked Jesus what was the great commandment in the Law, his response was to love God with your all and all and to love your neighbor as yourself. He concluded his answer with this shocking statement: “on these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (that is what we now call the entire Old Testament). What Moses and all the prophets wrote was aimed at encouraging mankind to love God and each other.
Another lawyer asked the question that should concern every human being, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus again answered the same – Love God with your heart, soul, strength, and mind and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus was not answering with hyperbole, rather with straightforward truth. We are to love!
1 Corinthians 12 sets forth spiritual matters such as gift ministries, manifestations of holy spirit, and the importance of unity in the body of Christ – all of which are of vital importance to the church. The chapter ends with the following exhortation: “But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.” The more excellent way is explained in chapter 13 where the topic is love. Indeed, love is always the more excellent way!
The three pillars of Christianity are faith, hope, and love. Each is extremely important, but two of the three have a termination point as chapter 13 reveals that is faith and hope. When Jesus returns, our hope is fulfilled, and we will be made perfect and therefore no longer need faith. What will continue on throughout eternality is love. This is why verse 13 says: “But now faith, hope, and love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” If love is this important to our Lord and our God, how important should it be to us?
The holiday season provides many opportunities for us to draw attention to our God and to our Lord, and the greatest example of their glory is seen in the way his disciples love. Live the more excellent way!