The Greatest of These Is God's Love [1 Corinthians 13]
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Do I know fully how God loves me? No, I am like a little child, I want to be shown and reminded all the time. I still "think like a child, reason like a child." I now "see in a mirror dimly," but soon will see God in the fullness of His love, "face to face." I look forward to the day that I will know God fully " just as I also have been fully known."
It helps to know, as I read the descriptors of God's incredible love, that God loves me in this way while He knows me completely. There isn't any secret about me that He doesn't know. There isn't one little thing about me that escapes His notice and still He loves me with a love that never fails. For further definitions of those descriptions read, How Does God Love You? and God's Great Love for You, other blogs on this chapter.
The truth is, I have never know anyone on this earth who has loved me with the kind of love that is described in 1 Cor. 13. I have glimpses of someone being patient - long suffering with me even when I am difficult, not giving into hasty anger or punishment even when I am being stubborn and obstinate. But then they may not be kind which means to be useful. Is it useful for me to continue in my stubbornness? Or they may keep a record of the things I did while they were being patient.
But not God. His love has all of these qualities at the same time and they never waver. As I am growing in believing this love, more of this kind of love spills out from my life into others. I am still thinking about the first three verses of this chapter and pondering that agape love is something I have because God gives it, not something I do.
I am still a child in my understand of Your love, Lord. But You are perfect in love. I praise You that Christ demonstrated this perfect love when He died for me and He continues to demonstrate it fully, day after day. I praise You that someday I will see You face to face and then I will know fully this incredible love.