“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV2)
They had faith. At least we hope so, for they were a company of Benedictine monks in a monastery on Pointe St-Mathieu, France, established in the 6th century.
They brought hope. At least they did for the many sailors navigating close to where these monks were located. You see, although automated lighthouses did not exist in those days, the maritime dangers certainly did. Especially around la Pointe St-Mathieu, which was littered with shallow reefs and was known to be a real terror for any sailors nearby.
At nightfall the monks living in that windswept abbey would light a fire at the top of the church tower. That light helped sailors navigate safely. Without that fire, the sailors would have been hopeless!
The monks also had love. They must have! For why else would they have taken such precautions to help sailors they had never met!
The monks are now gone, the abbey lies in ruins, and a real lighthouse, built in 1835, currently warns sailors of hidden dangers. Even the mighty church that once stood on the sight has been destroyed. But the legend of the love of these monks remains.
If it wasn’t for love, there would be no hope and no real faith. Love after all, is what motivated the Most High to send His own Son to be ridiculed and mocked, and then to die on a cross. But nothing can truly eliminate pure love, and the grave couldn’t hold Him. Jesus rose from that grave, and His resurrection assures us that we are truly loved by the Most High Himself. He paid the price for our sins, giving us, all at once, faith, hope and love.
Although it was us who wandered away from God, God didn’t want us lost for eternity. He bridged the gap that separated us from Him, the gap that had been created by our own selfish interests. Reconciled, we now can enjoy the full extent of what faith, hope and love means.
When that same love is bestowed on us, it fills us with adrenaline, driving us to love genuinely, just like God loves each one of us. We can’t help but reach out towards those in need, towards the hopeless, towards those needing mercy. We can’t help but embrace them with love from above and let them know that everything will be all right. The Most High loves them! He truly does!
Love drives us to step out of our comfort zone. Love motivates us to be like Jesus and reach the unreachable. After all, our Dad is the One who demonstrated what real love meant, and once touched by it, we can’t remain indifferent. If we do, then we haven’t truly grasped what His love truly means! God’s love drives us to the most intriguing adventures of faith, hope and love. It energizes us to bring that light into the darkest places, even to the very gates of hell!
Let’s all shine, just like we were destined to do. God’s love is what makes us shine, causing us to bring forth the necessary love that the world hungers for. A love based on faith. A love founded on hope. A love from High above.
P. S. This concludes our series on Love. However whenever we have an opportunity, we will share within this series, ministries that shine the love of the Messiah. So this is not the end, it is just the beginning of our exploration of what real love means.
(To access the entire “The Question About Love” devotional series, please click here.)