Love Never Ends
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13: 8 - 13 ESV)
Chapter 13 is the well known Scripture reading often read at wedding ceremonies. It is very meaningful in the new relationship between husband and wife. However, for the Christian love, true love, is the basis for eternal existence together now and in the eons of time to come. Love is the glue that hold all things together. It is greater than all the other Christian qualities -- even greater than faith and hope. In the eternal sphere of eternity there will be no need of prophecy, tongues and knowledge, but not so for love.
A loveless church is not only cold but offers no hope or unity. I have attended numerous churches over the years. In many of them there is little love. They are cold and uninviting. You enter to worship but are never greeted; no one is interested enough to talk to you, and you are never included in their conversation groups. After the service you leave without making any friends or having meaningful contact with anyone. These people are too involved with their own lives to show any concern for others including the stranger entering the front door.
Some churches are different. They make a point of welcoming strangers. You are made to feel welcome. You are not left in the periphery. People in these churches are not intrusive but want to share themselves with you. You leave after the service knowing you will be welcomed back next time you come.
Jesus spoke of love as caring and giving oneself for the benefit of others, and putting their needs above our wants. In eternity, in the new heaven and earth, this is how we will all live. There will be no pride, jealousy, hatred or selfishness. We will all show concern for our fellow citizens with a longing to help, please and fulfill their expectations. Our love will build up and consolidate our eternal communities.
As I work to please and fulfill others' needs they will do the same for me. No one will live to please his or her self. True love will bring peace and joy, and the fulfillment of all our expectations. This is what true love is meant to be.
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