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By DOUG EDWARDS
“The greatest of these is love” — 1 Corinthians 13:13.
Paul finished one of the greatest chapters in the New Testament with this power statement: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Chapter 13 starts out by showing that all we do is to be motivated by love, and, without that love, all our actions or beliefs become empty or void.
Paul went on to describe the essence of love by saying: “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
Love always shows up in our relationships and brings grace to those we encounter.
What good is faith if it is not lived out in love? What value is hope if that hope is not seen in our loving actions toward others? Love is the visible evidence that what I believe and what I hope for are real in my life. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:14 that “the entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, but love is not about buying flowers or candy or even taking someone out to a delicious dinner. Love is about action, lived out each day as we give our very best of ourselves to others.
Don’t let your words or actions become empty or void, love! As you love, you have the opportunity to bless and encourage someone else.
Doug Edwards is pastor of First Baptist Church.