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But the Greatest of These...

Sometimes there are people in the world who believe in Jesus, have a lot of Faith, but not a lot of love. They show God that they are faithful to him, and they stick to truths of the Bible. But they don’t love. I’m not saying they’re like the Grinch or Scrooge. But they use the truths of the Bible with more hate and hypocrisy than with love. When you hear it you may think, “that’s awful, that’s a terrible thing” but sometimes it doesn’t seem so bad. It is bad, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Everyone has times where they do it, in our mind it may not seem as bad, or we may not realize we are doing it, but we do it. Or maybe we are the one on the other end of it. Yes, God wants us to have faith and he wants us to live by his word, but he wants us to do all that through Love. In 1 Corinthians 13:13 it says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Love is a love all else. God is Love. He’s the ultimate source of true, eternal, everlasting Love. And God says Love is more important than Faith. Of course both are important, God always wants us to have Faith, but faith without love means nothing. There’s a story where Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was caught in the act of adultery. They say “Hey Jesus, in the Law of Moses it say, actually it commands, us to stone such women. What do you say?” They are testing Jesus. They keep questioning him and finally Jesus says “Anyone who is without sin will be first to throw a stone at her” Every one of the Pharisees left. They knew they themselves weren’t without sin. Even more than that, they knew they weren’t without that specific sin that they caught the woman in. The Pharisees were all about the word of God. That’s not a bad thing, but they only cared about the laws. They saw the law that said to throw stones at the woman. They had faith in God, and followed his laws. But above all else... love. Not above all else his laws or even having faith. It’s above all else love. God wants us to show love to people even when they do wrong. Instead of condemning her, Jesus says to leave her life of sin. Jesus came to heal and restore. He didn’t come to enforce the law. He come to bring love to the lost and the hopeless. He brings love to the people that others think don’t deserve it. We were that person once. We were lost, broken, not knowing what to do. But then Jesus found us. He showed us love. And in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 it says, “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.” We couldn’t earn it. We don’t deserve it. But still, Jesus love us. And he wants us to love others. He wants us to show his love to other people. He says “see what I did for you, now share tour story and tell people of my love”. God is love, and that verse shows us what real love is like. Another verse in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” This verse tells us to have faith. Be firm in our faith. Be courageous, be strong. And the next verse is “Do everything in love” Yes, he wants us to do all these things, and live by the word. But he wants us to do it with love. If not in love, then what’s the point. Sometimes we struggle with this, again maybe at what we see as a smaller degree of it, but it’s a human thing. We are human, so we see what the world sees as ok. But that’s not exactly what God would see as ok. By ok I don’t necessarily mean right or wrong, I mean accepted. What the world accepts, God doesn’t want us to just accept. Because we are in this world not of it, so we shouldn’t accept what the world accepts. Sometimes people cut us off when driving. Sometimes people can be rude. Sometimes life just gets crazy and people tend to get to you. Sometimes in the crazy situation in life it’s hard to show love to everyone. Maybe to your close friends and family it’s easy. But to everyone. It sounds nice to say “Love everyone” and when your in a good mood it’s easy. But God’s saying even at the worst of times, love everyone. Not even at the worst of times love some people. Love all people. Show love to all people. It’s hard. Sometimes we like to pretend it’s easy because it sounds so nice. But it’s hard. Even when someone hates you, even when they are a jerk, we love. Although the world is full of hate, we are full of love. Not just any love. Not just “positive vibes”. God’s love. And God is love.