June 29, 2012
How important is Love?
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Let’s break this verse down, and find out what this means about love.
· Faith – Investing your deepest trusts in God.
Jeremiah 17:5-7 (NIV) — This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.” But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
· Hope – Sustaining faith in God’s blessings and in Jesus’ return to earth.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV) — Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
· Love – Admiring God’s perfect passion for you, and sharing the spirit of Jesus with others through actions and instead of words.
1 John 3:23-24 (NIV) — And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
· Remain – To endure or persist; to be left after the removal, loss, passage, or destruction of others.
Therefore: faith, hope, and love stand as the most important values based on their endurance and worldly stature under God’s doctrine. The NLT translation reveals that “remain” represent the eternal endurance of these values here:
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT) – Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
But what does that mean for the second part of 1 Corinthians 13:13? Let’s continue to break it down.
· Greatest – Most chief or principle; superior in quality; most powerful or influential; eminent and distinguished.
So in 1 Corinthians 13:13, the bible is saying that love is the most superior and powerful thing that can be perceived by humans. It sticks with faith and hope as an eternal value, but is emphasized as the MOST IMPORTANT. Here is another verse that shows how important love is to God:
Mark 12:28-34 (NLT) — Mark, one of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.