The Greatest of These Is Love

For February 13, 2022
In 1 John 4:7-8 (AKJV) we read,

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

God showed His love toward us, and He empowers us to share it as we forgive, reconcile, and extend ourselves. This is the “most excellent way” we read in 1 Corinthians 13 (Love Chapter).

This unselfish love is patient and kind. It is always at work, seeking opportunities to show kindness on our behalf when we are ready to receive. This love is not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Possessiveness or irritability is never present, because the giver does not care about what the recipient can do “to deserve it.” Then it’s no longer love; it’s a loan.

Love does not demand its own way; it is not irritable and keeps no record of wrongs. It doesn’t keep score, as do so many who’ve offended others and need seek forgiveness themselves. Love is not glad about injustice, but is glad when truth prevails. Love never gives up, it never loses faith, it is ever hopeful, and it endures. Of these three, faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love.

Love is practical, as we extend benevolence and forgiveness toward others,

To forgive someone is to admit our limitations. God’s given us only one piece of life’s jigsaw puzzle. Only God has the cover of the box. To forgive someone is to display reverence. Forgiveness is not saying the one who hurt you was right. Forgiveness is stating that God is fair and he will do what is right. After all, don’t we have enough things to do without trying to do God’s work too?1

It’s easy to love when someone reciprocates it. Relationships fail when we cannot show love that covers a multitude of faults. Death is the ultimate price that one can pay to show love. Christ did that for us, and His divine love extends mercy and forgiveness to us all. We emulate God’s perfect love by forgiving others’ wrongdoings, showing mercy, and extending goodwill. When we express this Christ-like love, we can live right in the eyes of God and humanity.

In God’s eyes, we are His obedient children who express His character. To humanity, we reflect God’s love and show we belong to His Son, Jesus Christ. With love, our Christian faith becomes an attractive alternative to any life outside of Christ.

Our Lord lived it from the beginning, and He will complete this perfect work in us. Faith makes us receptacles of God’s grace and mercy, and His Spirit fills us with virtue. We get knowledge, exercise temperance, patience, godliness, and brotherly kindness. However, love shows the unselfish heart of God as this old familiar hymn attests,

Love Lifted Me2
James Rowe (1865-1933)

I was sinking deep in sin, Far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, Sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea, Heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me– Now safe am I.

All my heart to Him I give, Ever to Him I’ll cling, In His blessed presence live, Ever His praises sing. Love so mighty and so true, Merits my soul’s best songs; Faithful, loving service, too, To Him belongs.

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves; He will lift you by His love, Out of the angry waves. He’s the Master of the sea, Billows His will obey; He your Savior wants to be– Be saved today.

Love lifted me, Love lifted me, When nothing else could help, Love lifted me; Love lifted me, Love lifted me, When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.

Won’t you experience God’s amazing love by faith in Christ today, and share that wonderful, life-changing love with others to make this world a better place to live?

What a Wonderful Savior!

  1. Max Lucado, When God Whispers Your Name (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1994), 94.
  2. James Rowe, “Love Lifted Me,” The New Church Hymnal, Ralph Carmichael, et al., ed., (Newbury Park: Lexicon Music, 1976) 434.