LOVE: Why “the greatest of these”?

Around our rectangular dinner table recently, I wondered aloud about Paul’s declaration, in I Corinthians 13, that “these three remain” – faith, hope, and love – and that “the greatest of these is love.”

My proposal (which was batted about by the group, and eventually received some degree of affirmation) was as follows. Tell me what you think…

Hope is the looking-ahead to what is not yet present. As believers, we hope – we “wait eagerly” for our resurrection, our adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22)

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. It is being confident that the things we hope for, in Christ, will be.

Faith and Hope are wonderful – elements of our reality in Christ. But they’re generally passive – they consist of our dependence upon Christ to do what he has promised. That’s good.

But love…

Love is where we step into the person of Christ. Love is where we become Christ to another of God’s image-bearers.

Love is a movement of our being – an alignment of our selves with the One through whom we live and move and have our being.

Love is not passive, not a “falling.” Love is a “plunging.”

Love is when I bring my faith and my hope together, find where they are pointing, and run that direction with all my might.

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5 Responses to LOVE: Why “the greatest of these”?

  1. john & Carri says:

    Pithy, Weighty, & Uplifting – Thanks –
    The discussion around our dinner table pales in comparison to yours- I’m fortunate to get an unintelligible grunt out of one or more of the boys in the midst of their devouring whatever fare is offered up for sustenance before they bolt for their room to “mike up” for further xbox live action

  2. Benoit says:

    What continues to blow my mind is that it is God who initiates love. We love him because he made/makes the first move.

  3. Jessica C. says:

    I recently preached a sermon about Jesus’ commandment to love God and love others. I think Paul says that the greatest thing is love because Jesus says the same thing. Without love, how can we possibly hope to share who God is and how he has impacted our lives (giving us hope and love). Without love, how will anyone else ever know who God truly is?

    (BTW, this is an old coworker of Kate’s from Texas. Glad to see y’all are doing so well, and I LOVE your blog!)

  4. Joel says:

    Well said.

    I think it also has a lot to do with the eternality of those things. Faith and hope are fulfilled when we see Him face to face. Love will not merely exist, but be truly realized when we are in His presence and enjoy His love unfiltered and unblemished forever.

    Thanks for the morning devo. 🙂

  5. Friend Mouse says:

    We have good biblical definitions of what “faith” and “hope” are, but, really,… what is “love?” It’s not easily defined. It is better demonstrated. Maybe it’s not just one thing. Could it be said that “Love is a many-splendored thing?”

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