1 Corinthians 13:1,13 – If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us) I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And so faith, hope, love abide; [faith — conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope — joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation, love — true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for us and in us] these three; but the greatest of these is love. (AMP)
Some years ago, I visited a particular nursing home regularly. It was an extremely affluent establishment. With even one casual glance, a newcomer would find this to be quite evident. I would visit the many guests, and one lady, although bedridden, was always beautifully dressed, even in casual lounging clothes. She would be sitting up with her eyes always staring straight in front of her, never blinking. Her husband would always be holding her hand and talking to her. One day, he questioned me with a sob in his voice, "Do you think she is listening to me? She never answers." I believe that the precious Holy Spirit gave me the words to say in answer to this faithful hurting husband: "Do we always need to speak where love is concerned? It is just there, silent, but deep." He seemed satisfied with this thought.
I continued to visit the nursing home and noticed that he was always there at her bedside. Perhaps his wife would have dearly loved to answer him, but because of physical restrictions, the words were trapped in her mind.
Love is such an intangible quality. It is the primary one of the three qualities mentioned by Paul in today's verses. Because love is eternal, I suspect that it will not only survive this world but will be chief among the credentials that we shall take with us into the next world. This quality can be involved in one of the most important Christian relationships — that of forgiveness. How many situations could be resolved if love came into the equation!
Prayer: Gracious Father, we thank You for Your love to each one of us. You know us so well, and yet You continue to love us and lavish such evidence of Your love upon us. Help us not only to respond to Your love, but also in some small way to love others in the same depth. Amen.
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