The Greatest of These is...
by John Wright
With a new year comes another opportunity to evaluate our life, and ask ourselves "how am I doing?" As a disciple of Jesus, I already know that my goal is to become more and more like Jesus, but you know that is a very high goal. I look at this clay jar that God has given me to put my abilities in, and begin to think like the one talent man and tremble in fear. Fear, so many times and in this case is born of ignorance. The one talent man feared his master because first he believed lies about him and second he did not know him. God is not out to get us, but the devil keeps putting out the lie that he is not to be trusted. We trust God because we know him. He has shown us his character through the life and redemptive sacrifice of his son Jesus. Phillip said to Jesus: "Show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to Phillip: "You still don't know me, Phillip, even after I have been among you such a long time?" (About three years) Anyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus does so because through Jesus we know who God is. When we see God through the life of his Son, well, we fall in love with God because he first loved us and paid the ultimate price in the pursuit of our love.
So, I see my walk as a disciple and I ask myself why is it God never stops loving me? Jeremiah 31:3 says "I have loved you with an everlasting love," and it teaches me that Gods love is more than unconditional, it is supernatural. God's love is not made out of the stuff I am made of. God's love is of the Sprit and therefore without end.
I said all that to say that this stuff we are made of is frail, and we stumble all the time. Paul wrote in Romans that our present suffering is not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. And for that hope we eagerly await, but hope that is seen is no hope at all. For who hopes for what he already has? Then hope cannot exist outside of faith.
So, a new year and new opportunities to step out in faith in areas perhaps we were too weak to go previously. With God all things are possible even when he chooses to work through the stuff he has made us out of. We are the creatures God made with his own hands, so there must be great value in that. We were made to spread the borders of his Kingdom. It's what the Lord Almighty wants us to be about. God's Word teaches me that I can be Happy in any circumstance, and this year I want to smile more, sing more, and outwardly show my joy in Christ so that it (not me) will be a light to those outside of Christ. I want to partner with my brothers to find ways to grow our Church that meets on Southeastern Ave. I want to learn how to love like God loves, not unconditionally, but supernaturally. The supernatural love that comes from God can overcome any physical obstacle that Satan puts in our path.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
My prayer for this new year is that I and the Lord’s Church will come together through prayer to seek how to love God and one another supernaturally and everlastingly.