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The Greatest of These Is Love April 21, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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I Corinthians 13
Faith, Hope and Love. What is that? And, why is the greatest love?
Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as, “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” in the NIV and the, “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” in the KJV. Chapter eleven then goes on to describe for us who had faith and what it looked like and what they did. These are the heroes of the faith. But, what does that mean?
As I understand it, faith is knowing “it” is out there but not being able to see it, describe it, or even know what “it” is in many cases. It is something. We are so sure that no amount of rationale will divert us. No logical argument will persuade us to leave it alone. Faith is knowing it is out there and waiting for it. Faith sometimes acts like a muscle that must be exercised. It will not grow unless put under stress and strain. In these times we like to say that our faith is being tested. Yes. It is being exercised, pushed from where it is to where it needs to be. God puts us in situations that make us depend on Him. Sometimes we question, but we never lose heart. That is faith. Faith says it is for my good and that God still loves me even though I don’t think so it right now.
Faith is similar to hope, but different. We faith that which we hope for. Hope is a noun, not a verb. We don’t hope as an action so much as we have hope. Our faith proves it. Romans five describes it well. “we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us…” While suffering whatever the thing is, our faith says God intends it for our good and our hope is that we will know that good someday. Faith and hope work together.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

We have never seen God, but we believe. We have never seen a resurrection yet we anticipate it. How is that possible? It is our hope and our faith.
Why, then is “the greatest of these love”? Because, someday our faith will become sight. Someday all that we hope for will become reality and only one will remain, love. Love for whom? People? Maybe. For God? Certainly. When we approach the gates of glory I don’t think the question will be whether we had faith or not, or hope or not because by then we would be seeing it and faith and hope would be complete. There is no more wondering. Now, only one question remains, “what did you do with my Son? Did you love Him?” There can be nothing else. People in the world have some faith and hope. But only believers have love for the Son and Father and Spirit whom they have never seen.
We know they are there and we long for the day our faith becomes sight. Until then, love the Son.
What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace, when He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the Promise Land, what a day, glorious day that will be.

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