ever thought about the fact that the only thing in the world that really
matters is love? It’s the only thing that lasts, the only thing that makes us
whole, that fills us, that soothes us, that completes us.
describes love in 1 Corinthians 13. He wrote:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not
love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of
prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith
that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I
possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I
gain nothing” (verses 1-3).
things, behaving decently and kindly; these things are good, but they are not the
same thing as love. They can be done without love. Con artists fake good
behavior all the time, but only so they can take advantage of people. They use
outward behavior as a ruse to hurt people, not as an expression of love.
“Love is patient, love
is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude,
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” (verses 4-7).
interesting that Paul never says of love: “It keeps the law.”
If we take
time to meditate on these beautiful characteristics of love that Paul is
listing, we can begin to see that love is vastly higher and deeper than merely
keeping the law. Love is in the heart, and it is always real. Law keeping is
often only in the will.
“Love never fails. But where
there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be
stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and
we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When
I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a
child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a
poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in
part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three
remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (verses
is temporary—from prophecies to knowledge to childhood to spiritual
manifestations. Everything will fade away, except, that is, faith, hope and
love. And as Paul said, the greatest of these is love. Thieves can steal your
goods; liars can ruin your reputation; disease can rack your body; but nothing
can destroy real love. It is God’s greatest gift, and the one that we will take
with us into the next life.
Tkach, speaking of LIFE.