The easy answer to the above question is – EVERYTHING! Above all things love is essential. We’re going to take a look in a moment, but first some housekeeping issues.
Apparently the last couple of weeks I haven’t “published” these entries correctly. Not only is the content gone from the blog, the saved drafts only have the titles. So…this week I’m going to summarize the last few talks on love.
Our new love is contained in our new life in Christ. Paul writes to the Church in Colossae to remind them that they have been raised to a new life in Christ and that now eternal things are more important than temporal things. He went n to tell them that they needed to put to death the things of their old lives; things like lust, greed, anger, slander, sexual immorality and more. In other words, put to death the non-love in your life.
Paul encouraged these same folks by also reminding them that in this new life they are completely forgiven, declared holy and may live at peace. When you realize the truth of that last statement it’s easier to live with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, gentleness, patience and of course – love.
So how important is love? It’s at the top of the list. Perhaps the most famous “love” chapter in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. This passage is often read at weddings but it really is written for everyday – everyone living. Paul starts with the assertion that no matter what you do (and he gives an impressive list of examples), if you do it without love it amounts to nothing. To further see the importance of love look at these two verses.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 makes this declaration, “Now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” You can’t please God without faith and yet love tops faith. For me it’s clear that with God love is the driving force.
Let’s wrap this together with the strong statement Paul makes when he tells us what love is and what love is not. Practicing this list is a full-time job.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. Love never fails.