So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ~1 Corinthians 13:13
I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. As a wife, mom, business owner, and one who is in the process of buying a house, I am busy, busier than usual in all of these areas. And it’s easy to get swept away by the tasks and piles of laundry and fail to allow love for God and neighbor to take its rightful spot in the forefront of my mind. It seems as though soft, compassion-filled love quickly exits the premises when life gets busy.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13 that we can give away everything we have – our time, energy, and resources – but without love, we gain nothing. We can burn ourselves at the stake, laying it all down, but without love, we sacrifice in vain. We can put on every appearance of godliness on the outside, but if we’re filled with hatred, bitterness, or resentment on the inside, we are nothing.
When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He left His disciples, and subsequently us, with the command to go and tell all the world about the great news of Jesus Christ! This command is meant to consume the whole of our lives. And when the Holy Spirit came to dwell within us at the point of justification, faith, hope, and love came to abide within our souls as well, characteristics that did not exist in their fullest form before, if at all.
When life is hard, when your preschooler engages in self expression by painting herself green with permanent marker, when you’re stuck caring for a disabled husband and elderly parents around the clock, and when a moment alone with a hot cup of tea seems years away, remember this:
In light of the Great Commission, each moment is a divine appointment to put on display the attributes of our amazing God, and thus proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Dear reader, you have an advocate with the Father and you have a companion in the one who has been there. Jesus has walked where you have walked. Maybe Jesus never dealt with permanent marker, but He did chase demon possessed pigs away – that’s weird way for Satan to self-express don’t you think? Jesus certainly understands caring for the sick and the helpless. It was His entire work while on earth! And He knows what it’s like to just want to be alone. He withdrew often to pray and rarely did it end of His own account. Someone inevitably ran up yelling for Him to come quickly, quickly.
Among it all, Jesus put on love, He pursued it, He ran for the Cross with endurance and perseverance. And just like us, He did it one day at a time.
So today, take a moment and ask forgiveness for your anger, bitterness, and resentment. Then stand up, take the hand of Jesus, and pursue love because unlike our words and actions, love never ends.