Here is the devotional:
The Apostle Paul gets right to the heart of the matter in 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter commonly referred to as the chapter on love. It’s likely that even those who aren’t followers of Jesus are familiar with this passage. After describing the word love in detail and even sharing about spiritual gifts like prophecy and tongues, he finishes off the chapter by saying that “three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love.”
Before we go any further into this Plan, let’s define those words.
Faith: confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that isn’t based on proof
Hope: to want something to happen or be true
Love: to have love or affection for another person or object
After reading those, they probably resonate with you. But as followers of Jesus, we can go deeper into these words, beyond what is defined in a dictionary written by people. We can seek to really understand their meanings found in God’s Word, so that we can display them in our lives.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV, we learn an incredible truth about faith, hope, and love. Paul said this about the believers in Thessalonica: their work was “produced by faith,” their labor was “prompted by love,” and their endurance “inspired by hope.” It was their faith that motivated them to action, their love that drove them to serve others, and their hope that helped them to endure. You see, faith, hope, and love are the catalysts to work, labor, and endurance. The things that we can’t see often produce the things that we can see.
There will be times in our lives where our faith, hope, and love have declined, and because we don’t feel them, it often keeps us from taking action. If we want to make sure that we walk in faith, act in love, and endure in hope, we’ll need to dive into each word. Let’s aim to understand what faith, hope, and love each mean, and how we can—and should—exercise these traits in the world we live in.
It’s one thing to know what faith, hope, and love are, and an entirely different thing to express them. We have to take what we know and actually begin to live it out. As we learn and apply these truths, we’ll become a better version of ourselves and the person God is calling us to be. And we’ll see our little slice of the world change as well.
Here are the scriptures referenced:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 KJV
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1 Thessalonians 1:3 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
Without love you truly have nothing to have faith in or hope for.
A child not shown love at home does not know how to receive or show love as an adult. Now that’s not true of all children who were not shown love from their parents. but for the most part I would venture to say that is accurate.
Love is an action much more than it is a gushy feeling. And many show their love for others by their actions, though sadly the recipient may not see it right off the bat.
That can be said in the spiritual as well. Jesus showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners he died for us. Many today do not get that. They don’t understand that type of love.
Nor do they have the faith that it actually happened much less the hope of the eternal aspect of that.
As I said in closing of last week’s Bible Study…God did not call us to win arguments but to live for him and to become Christ like.
We will never be sinless this side of heaven mind you but we can learn of Christ’s love for the world and in turn share it with others through our actions.