If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 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 with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. –1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Can you imagine a person’s faith that was so strong that God enabled him to pick up and relocate the Rocky Mountains? What would you think of that kind of faith? I’m guessing that most of us would be impressed. But what would make that tremendous faith nothing? If that person lacked love.
Apply that to yourself. Don’t think of that “mountain-mover” – think of yourself. You and I are such sinners that we often fail to do the right, God-pleasing thing. Then, even when we do the right thing, it does not spring completely out of the right motivation or out of pure love for God and others. Correct actions without love and faith in Christ are worth nothing.
God gives us a list of what love does and what love does not do. Then, God tells us that “Love never fails.” It doesn’t take long to see that our love often fails. But the love of Jesus is unfailing and perfect. Without fail, Jesus was patient – he tirelessly taught and healed. Jesus was perfectly kind as he cared for all – from greatest to least, the young and the old, and everyone in between. Jesus rejoiced in the truth every time he preached, taught and followed his Father’s will. Jesus’ love did not fail when he took nails and death on the cross in our place.
When our love fails, we look to Jesus. Because Jesus’ love never failed, we are forgiven and loved by God. God loves us. We love God. God tells us to love others, too.
How will you express your faith in God and your love for him? Take a look at God’s “Love List” in our reading from 1 Corinthians. Pick a few to work on today. Perhaps your love will shine by being patient when you’re stressed out, or not keeping a record of wrongs when you tell someone you forgive them. Put your love into action.
And, when your love fails, turn to the forgiving and unfailing love of our God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your love that never fails. You loved me and sent your Son, Jesus. Jesus loved me and won my forgiveness and salvation. As you continue to unfailingly love me every day, empower me to love without fail. Amen.