The Greatest is Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
—1 Corinthians 13:13

There are a lot of topics that capture the attention of today’s Christians. Doctrines regarding impartations, prosperity, and healing are all vital, but they are secondary to many fundamental truths of this new life. As followers of Christ, we should be sure that our foundation is strong before we build a lofty doctrinal structure.

When one guy asked Jesus what the most important commandment was, Jesus replied that loving God and loving people not only exceed all the other commandments, but that the law itself and all of the prophets are held up by these two truths. That’s quite a statement! When you truly love out of your innermost being, you don’t have to strive to obey God’s ways. Walking in love produces a fulfillment of God’s commands.

You could build a church of 20,000 people. You could lead 30,000 Muslims in the prayer of salvation in one night! You could become the best known Christian author of your day. However, if you never figure out that love must be the foundation, your great accomplishments will mean very little. When we were born again, the love of God was placed in our hearts by the Spirit that regenerated our inner man. If we never learn to yield our lives to it, we’ve missed His primary lesson.

Where is this love tested? Most likely, it will be proved in the relationships that are closest to us, such as with our mother, father, co-workers, and closest friends. If we are continually in strife with these people, then we probably need to go back to the foundation and do some work. It’s easy to love those who are at a distance. The testing comes with the people we rub shoulders with on a regular basis.

God is love! If we are His children, then we should naturally love as well. The good news is that love is not a discipline, it’s a fruit. If the seed of God has been planted in the fertile soil of our spirits, we can rest assured that a love plant has taken root. If we will tend to it, and not ignore it, it will produce the fruit of love in our lives.

When it’s all said and done, the only thing that will count is what we did in love. Make a new commitment today to yield to the powerful force of love. Let it produce love in and through you. The most impacting testimony of Jesus Christ that a Christian can have is a life that is characterized by love. You can have great faith and you can inspire people with your tremendous hope, but the greatest thing you can be known for is your love.

Scriptural Context

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Concept Reinforcement
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
—John 13:34-35

Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
—Romans 13:10

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
—Galatians 5:6