Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Greatest Thing

Everyone has asked himself or herself the great question of antiquity and of the modern word as well: "What is the greatest thing in the world?" You have life before you--you can only live it once. What is the noblest object of desire, the supreme gift to covet? In 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 the Apostle Paul says that the greatest thing in the world is love.

First, he stresses the importance of love, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Cor. 13:1-3). In essence, without love you are a zero.

Secondly, the Apostle describes what love is. Fifteen different words and phrases are used to emphasize what love is or is not. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Cor. 13:4-7). Only God's love is this perfect.

Thirdly, Paul contrasts love with other things that seem important. In doing so he points out that love is the greatest thing because it is permanent. "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away" (1 Cor. 13:8). And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13). Love is the greatest because it lasts.

Love is perhaps the most misused word in the English language. That is because we use the word to mean so many different things. The ancient Greeks had several different words for love. If our love conforms to the pattern that the Scriptures set forth, then we truly have the greatest thing in the world.

Love is to be shared with others. Christians are to be known for their love. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35). Believers are to love one another and reach out in love to the world.

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