These three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Love, celestial’s brightest Star
Rules the world of light.
Sheds its light beams from afar.
Illumines even darkest night.
The soul asleep in deepest gloom
Is changed from night to day,
When LOVE walks in the room
And pushes the dark away.

Love: the noun used to describe the Creator of the heavens and the earth. It is the culmination of all His grace and mercy. It is the verb in the top two greatest commandments given to mankind (Mk. 12:29-31). It breathes life into the lives of the lost and encourages those who walk in the Light. Love is how our faith is expressed and how our hope is revealed. It is the compilation of the entire law of Moses, the ultimate end of all prophesy, and the summation of the entire word of God. When asked to write one word to describe all things holy, true and eternal, “Love” is the answer.

God showed His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). Since He has loved us this way, we are to love others in the same manner, armed with the same attitude (1Jn. 2:6). This is how God sees people, regardless of their sins, regardless of how they rebel and continue to walk in darkness. And He is extremely plain and concise in this: for us to 1) love Him with every fiber of our being and 2) love others like He does. It is impossible to live the former and not live the latter. Loving others is a direct result of loving God.

So how does this come about? What is the evidence that our lives are based in and flowing with absolute love? We are all known by the fruit we bear (Mt. 7:20). The Holy Spirit’s fruit is the manifestation of unconditional love. Each one (patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, etc.) is a beautiful and timely expression of love. These are not “things” we conjure up in times of need; they are Christ in us, overflowing from our lives as we daily seek God in His word. This is not natural for us, but supernatural. We cannot love on our own; it is He who loves through us. ”We love because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19).

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