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The greatest of these is love

The lesson plan for today is love. Love is the starting point from which all of the Lord’s lessons flow. Our very salvation and atonement for our sins was an Act of the Father’s love for us. The word love is by definition in the NIV bible dictionary, wanting good to come to another person; being concerned and willing to work for another person’s benefit. Jesus Christ did that and so much more on the Cross of Calvary.

What does the Word of God say about love? It says that if you do not have love, you are nothing but a noisy cymbal, that you are nothing, and that you will gain nothing. Therefore, love is as precious to us as the air that we breathe, for without it our lives are useless. The Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “And now I will show you the most excellent way. 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”. The message is rather simple, without love we are merely existing, with no true calling, no true purpose, and with nothing to say. Love is a necessity in our lives, just as God is a necessity in our lives. The reason is written in 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love”. If you have not love, then you have not God, and if you have not God, your soul will be lost. How is God love? 1 John 4:16 tells us, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. There is no greater act of love than to sacrifice your one and only child, who has committed no wrong, to bear the punishment for those who have done wrong, as well as those not yet born who will surely do wrong. That is the ultimate act of Love.

What else can we learn about love from the Bible? By studying 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, we learn that, “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”. These descriptors of love are biblical, pure, holy, and are usable for everyday living and loving. My marriage is built upon this Scripture. When we argue, because though we are newly married, we have been together for 15 years, we fall back on this Scripture to come to a resolution. You will experience hardships, strife, and arguments in your marriage, in your friendships, and even in your workplace. If you love with the love of 1 Corinthians 13, you love with God’s love, and your victory is assured. Our victory was purchased in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. God’s precious act of Love purchased you the opportunity to live with Him in Paradise...forever. That is unconditional, unending, incomparable Love.

I have one more Scripture to cover. It deals with fulfillment of the law. We find this Scripture in Romans 13:8-10. It says, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery’, ‘Do not murder’, ‘Do not steal’, ‘Do not covet’, and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law”. Jesus came to fulfill the law, and He did so by sacrificing Himself for us, the single greatest act of love this world has ever known. He commands us to follow His example. Therefore, love one another with the love of Christ. Give love, receive love, and love the Lord your God with all of your heart.

Until next time may God bless and keep you, and may His face shine upon you. To our Lord be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever. Amen.

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

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