And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.~1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV
Looking back at Calvary, we see a man in agony, dying on a cross. He was a carpenter by trade, a teacher, and a Rabbi, but He was so much more.
Fully God and fully man, the Son of God walked among the people, teaching and healing. He never committed a crime or sinned–He did nothing wrong to receive this punishment, yet He willingly laid down His life for you and me.
Why did He do this? He did so because He loves us with unconditional, sacrificial love.
Father God’s love is demonstrated through His Son in the Gospel of John. We read these words in chapter three, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). God made a way for us to be reconciled to Him by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place. Jesus paid the debt we could not pay.
Love is the greatest attribute because God is love. Love is a huge word and has a variety of meanings. In John 3:16 the Greek word for “love” is agape, meaning to love, cherish, or esteem. In Scripture, we see that we are to walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), put on love (Colossians 3:14) be rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17), and let our love surpass knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). Paul wrote, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other” (1 Thessalonians 3:12 NKJV).
God’s love is eternal (Jeremiah 31:3), steadfast (Psalm 51:1), great (Ephesians 2:4), and sacrificial (Romans 5:8). Love is mentioned in the Bible (NKJV) 504 times, and in the book of John, thirty-nine times.
We read in 1 Corinthians 13 that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, not self-seeking, and not easily angered. Love rejoices with the truth, protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves, and will never fail. This is the love God has for us, and we should desire to have this same love for others.
Romans 5:8, shows us that God loved us before we knew Him “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NKJV). He loved us and desired a relationship with us before we even realized our need for a Savior.
Our sin nailed Jesus to the cross and His love kept Him there, but that is not the end of the story. Jesus Christ was crucified, He died and was buried, but on the third day, He rose again. He appeared to His disciples and to others. He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God, making intercession for us.
1 John 3:16 NKJV tells us how we can personally know God’s love, “This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down His life for us” and He did it willingly. No one has ever loved or ever will love us this much.
Friend, do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If you do, then you know Love. If you haven’t yet asked Him into your heart, you can talk to Him now. Speak these words with me, “Lord Jesus, please forgive me of my sin. I invite you to be my Savior. I believe You died on the cross for me. I believe You rose from the grave, and that You are now in heaven preparing a place for me. Amen.” If you prayed this prayer, you are born again. May you know God’s loving embrace.
Have you asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior? Invite Him into your heart today.
Father God, thank You that You are Love and You showed me how much You love me by sending Your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in my place, fulfilling the payment of sin which is death. Thank You that this act of love from our loving Savior who raised to life from death, provides the way for me to come to You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: The Greatest of Three: Glenda Shouse: All Rights Reserved