Read 1 Corinthians 13
Focus on verse 8-10
Despite what some television commercials would attempt to convince us of, very few things truly last forever. This is not to suggest that there are not many things that have been around a very long time, however, forever is a very long time! Even if you believe the earth is billions of years old, all that time is but a blip on the time line of eternity.
They way most of us live our lives one would think that perhaps money lasts forever since we spend most of our life attempting to accumulate as much of it as we can, yet when its all over – we discover we can’t take it with us. There is one thing that the Apostle Paul tells us about in today’s reading that does last forever. That one thing is love.
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.(v. 8-10)
At the end of the chapter Paul reiterates the importance of love in comparison to everything else we know and experience. Perhaps the reason love is so important is because God is love. If God is love, it would also follow that love is the only thing that lasts forever, because God is the only being that has no beginning and no end. This would also explain why Paul states that “the greatest of these is love” in verse 13.
It is also no coincidence that Paul writes about the importance of doing all we do in the context of love in the middle of a discourse on the implementation of spiritual gifts within the church. In chapters twelve and fourteen the main focus is how important it is for us to recognize and exercise the spiritual gifts we have been given. In today’s; chapter, which seems almost to be out of context in its placement, he stressed the importance of exercising those gifts in the context of love, otherwise they become meaningless.
Of all the things we do to impact the world in which God has placed us, the one thing that will leave the greatest legacy is the way we have been a channel of God’s love to others. When our life is over and we get ready to take the exit ramp, the only thing we can take with us to heaven is going to be the people we have impacted with the love of God. In the context of eternity – this truth makes all these other things we spend so much energy attempting to accumulate seem relatively unimportant.