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The Greatest Gift
1 Corinthians 13:13

The Greatest Gift
Wedding couple with bouquet
1 Corinthians 13:13 – “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three: but the greatest of these is love.”

This was part of the scripture that was read by my Dad, who officiated my wedding 36 years ago. I smiled when I saw the scripture chosen for me and happy memories filled my heart, especially since my Dad is no longer with us but in heaven enjoying his reward!

When I read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 to prepare for this devotional, I remembered that it was written for a church that was corroded on a variety of fronts. Why would people read a passage at their wedding that is a blistering message about misbehavior? But I think that this passage is somewhat fitting since you sure better be in love when you get married and the verse does emphasize the importance of love in this life!

Even though this verse was written a long time ago, the sins of the people sound familiar in today’s world. There was fighting, discord, pride and all sort of chaos going on in the church. Paul presented their wrong doing and then explained what their priorities need to be. Love, faith, hope! How do we have one without the other? We need faith that God will prevail no matter what is happening, hope to know that this world is not our own and that heaven lies ahead as a reward, and love to fulfill our purpose on earth.

This verse should be a mirror for us to reflect upon. Is love the foundation for our faith? Do we really understand this Christ-like love and have hope that the story of eternal life is real? Does God’s love pour out of us to those around us? What we do, what we say, and how we treat others (especially those we disagree with) should flow from love.

Love is patient and kind. It actively waits and moves for the good of others. Love doesn’t envy or boast, is not arrogant or rude, love isn’t self-centered and bring attention to one’s self. Those who love like this have given up on seeking their own status and satisfaction. Instead, they genuinely commit themselves to seeking good for others. Love lets go of past hurts instead of storing them and does not keep a record or wrongs. Love refuses to take any joy or pleasure from wrong doing. Instead, it declares that which is true, and is worth celebrating above all. Love does not declare, “This far and no further.” Love bears, or puts up with, all things for the good of others. Love doesn’t quit when the trials of life pile up. Love keeps going.

To sum it up, love never fails. It is the ultimate victory. We may fail to love like this in our lifetime, but God’s kind of love will always be perfect and abundant and we must keep trying to love unconditionally. When Christ comes, love will be forever. On that day, we will know even as God knows us now. Until then, love will remain the greatest of all the virtues.

Dear God, help us to continue the efforts to be more like you. Help us to love others as you love us to the best of our ability on this earth. Amen

-Donna Stauber

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Donna Stauber

Donna Stauber

Donna Stauber

Donna Stauber

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