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The Greatest is Love

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NKJV)

The Greatest is Love

Faith: Without it, there would be no Christianity, or any other religion in the world for that matter. We talk of coming to faith in Christ, and living a life of faith, and we often laud those in Scripture and in modern times who are known for their faith.

The Value of Faith

The value of faith cannot be disputed. In fact, Hebrews 11:6 states, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God, must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (NKJV) Without faith, we couldn't come to Christ, and without faith, we couldn't walk in obedience to him. Faith often motivates us to move forward even when the odds are against us. In a sense faith is closely related to hope.

The Value of Hope

Hope keeps us going when the situation we face seems impossible. Hope is the expectation that we will obtain something specific we desire. Think of how life would be without hope. Hope is there for the single mom who doesn't know how she is going to feed her children and keep a roof over their heads. She might give up, if it were not for the hope that some type of breakthrough is right around the corner. Hope is a gift from God that can bring joy in the midst of very difficult circumstance. Hope encourages us that victory is imminent. I wouldn't want to live a life without faith, and I wouldn't want to live a life without hope. However, in spite of how wonderful, important, and life-changing both faith and hope are, they pale in comparison to love. The Bible states that love is greater than both faith and hope.

The Greatest of These is Love

What makes love so amazing? For starters, it is what motivated the Father to send His only Son to die for us. Without love, there would have been no redemption for mankind. Not only would we be without love, but without the redemption that was precipitated by love, there would also be no faith, and no hope. You see, nothing else matters, without love. It is foundational for every other good thing in our lives.


Trust in The Lord

It’s simple. It’s short. Yet it’s incredibly powerful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–with good reason. It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention. Spend three minutes reading this article, and see if you agree. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Let’s break down this life-changing truth to make sure we understand it.  

Trust in the Lord.

It starts with trust. Any real relationship has to start with some level of trust. It’s the only way a friendship will endure. It’s the only way a marriage will work out. It’s the simple reason why an employer hires workers, or why the workers stay employed. It’s all about trust. Trust in the Lord, however, takes on an entirely new dimension. This is our trust in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God. He is worthy of our trust. The trust is important, not just because of who God is, but because of the way in which we must trust him: with all your heart. It involves every fiber of your being. That’s the kind of trust we can have in God–a complete, unshakable, deep, abiding trust. If you are a Christian, you trusted God for salvation. You can trust Him with the rest of your life, too–every detail.   Read part 2, Don't Lean On Your Understanding


Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

Read part 1 first, Trust In The Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  

Don’t Lean on Your Understanding

The verse involves a positive–something you must do. But it also involves a negative–something you must not do. Don’t lean on your own understanding. Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant. We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice, simply based on our own understanding. It must be founded in our trust in God. Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap. We begin to pride ourselves in something–our savvy, our looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It has become trust in self. The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.  

Instead, Acknowledge God. In Everything.

The antidote to this self-reliance is found in the first command of the verse. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Which is developed in the next verse: “In all your ways acknowledge him.” The word “acknowledge” isn’t merely a polite tip of the hat to the Man Upstairs, or a few words of grace over your meal, or even perfunctory attendance at church to let Him know we’re still cool with what He’s doing. It’s way more. It’s allowing Him access, control, command, and involvement in all your ways. What’s the result of this? Will God ruin your life? Will he be a Sovereign Killjoy? Will He rob you of fun? The verse ends on a promise. What is it?  

He will make your paths straight.

The promise is put in the form of a metaphor. What does it mean to have straight paths? Several things. First, paths lead toward an end–a destination, a goal. Thus, trusting God wholeheartedly in every area of life gives your life a sense of purpose and priority. Second, it indicates that there will be a clear understanding of where you are going and what you are doing. It makes daily decision-making an easier and less painful task. You realize you are trusting Him. He, in turn, is making your paths straight. Thus, the way ahead is more apparent. Third, “straight paths” suggests moral purity. It suggests a life that has less of sinful compromise and more of wholesome attitudes, actions, and behavior. That’s the kind of life that God promises. It’s the kind of life that you can have. It begins with trust. It involves acknowledging God in every way.