Friday, October 24, 2008

Love - Part 15: Never Fails

Love . . .

--is Patient

--is Kind

--is Not Jealous

--Does not brag

--is Not arrogant

--Does not act unbecomingly

--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 . . .

And finally we come to the culmination of what true and godly love is . . . it does not fail.

Love has many definitions in today’s world . . . but what is seen is often not a true love, but is instead selfishness and lust. It is seeking to satisfy ones’ own pleasures without considering the needs of others. 

We love, as long as our needs and desires are being met. If someone does not meet our expectations, whether it be a friend, a parent, a spouse or a sibling, we stop loving, or at least, the love grows dim. 

Is this the same type of love being spoken of here in 1 Corinthians 13? Is it the same type of love that our Lord repeatedly exhorts in Scripture for us to have? No. This is an earthly “love” and not a heavenly love. It is a love founded upon selfishness and not upon sincerity and truth.

As in all things, our Lord is the example we are to follow in knowing how to love and in what manner to love (1 Peter 2:21-24; Matthew 11:29). The love that our heavenly Father has bestowed upon us is amazing . . . does He stop loving us when we sin? When we forget to spend time with Him? When we speak angry words to our family members? When we doubt His promises? No, the love of God keeps on loving. 

There are literally hundreds of verses in Scripture that speak of the love that the Lord has for the world, for Israel, for His church, for His children. One of my favorite hymns titled “The Love of God” speaks beautifully of this love:

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

What beautiful, indescribable, infinite love! And we are so very undeserving of it. The love of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, is perfect, it is true, and it is lasting . . . it will never fail. In 1 John, the apostle states that “God is love” (1 John 4:8), and, “we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us;” (1 John 3:16). The apostle continues with “and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). 

Throughout the rest of the book many exhortations are given to love, such as these: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth . . . Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God . . . Beloved if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 3:18; 4:7, 11; for a fuller perspective and understanding on love, I encourage you to take some time to read the book of 1 John. What a convicting book it is!).

As we seek to follow the example set before us by our Lord and to be obedient to these commands, the godly, enduring, perfect love that is who our God is and what is described in 1 Corinthians 13 is what we are to strive for. 

Not an earthly love that is founded upon emotions and feelings . . . a love that waxes and wanes depending on how another acts and/or other outward circumstances. A true and godly love will persist . . . the flame of love ignited by the Holy Spirit will continue to burn. At times, the love may not burn as brightly when our fleshly nature raises its ugly head, but a love founded upon the Lord will never fail, for it is His love, flowing through us.

But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

But love, a love pouring forth from a heart given to the Lord, is one that “never fails”.

We love, because He first loved us . . . And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1 John 4:19 and 21)

-Posted by Sarah


  1. True love never fails-we must never forget. O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! What beautiful words these are-

  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Anna! It was a blessing to us. :)

  3. Amen!

    The world and more importantly christians these days are so caught up in "how they feel" and depend on their emotions instead of the truth. Speaking form experience, our emotions are very deceiving and as girls we tend to feed off of them. They can often take the truth and twist it around....

    Thanks for that encouragement!

  4. Excellent thoughts, Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing! We would agree completely that girls’ emotions are deceiving and quite strong . . . making it even more important for us to have a solid foundation upon the word of God and strive to think logically and scripturally as opposed to emotionally. Not always easy!

    Thank you again! :)