Love Never Fails

“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips

08/17/2011

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” - 1 Corinthians 13:13

The apostle Paul has written a letter to a church full of divisions (1 Corinthians 11:18). Every person was interested in his own well being. No one was exhibiting love for their fellow believer. They were even treating the gifts of the early church as an opportunity to be in the “lime light”, so to speak. In the middle of instructing them about the proper use of these gifts, we find this great “love chapter”.

In this chapter, Paul makes it plain that all things must be done out of love. We can have gifts, faith, knowledge and many other things. However, if none of these are motivated by love, we are not doing God’s work and we will not be rewarded for it. The church at Corinth had gotten herself in a sad state because she was motivated by anything and everything except love. Love (for God, for Christ, for fellow man) must be our starting point. The greatest gift is love.

When Jesus was questioned as to what the greatest commandment was, He replied by saying, “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). The entire Law hangs on the concept of love? Absolutely! If we all loved one another as our own selves, would we even need laws? No. We would always consider our neighbor in all things.

Jesus even said that we are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). This is unnatural to us. The natural man immediately dismisses such instruction because he is unable to do this. However, the Holy Spirit that abides in a child of God enables us to do this very thing. In this life, we still battle with the flesh and that makes this instruction difficult. But, we must ever strive to starve the carnal man and feed the spiritual man!

How much easier is it for us to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with one whom we love? Obviously, we are naturally more interested in the eternal abode of the souls of our loved ones than we are others. However, it is a tragedy for any to leave this life apart from knowing Christ as Savior. The unbeliever is condemned “because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). The condemnation spoken of here is eternal torment in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15). Surely, if we consider that our fellow man will spend eternity in such a place, and if we love him, we will share the Gospel with him! Paul said, “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11). Oh, that we would all have the love for our fellow man that Paul did!

Child of God, Jesus set the ultimate example of love for us when He laid down His life for us, His friends (John 15:13). May we ever strive to show forth just such a love!

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your app to the Gospel” is available for download in the iTunes app store and the Android market. Download it today.

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