2017 READING CHALLENGE
This year is coming to a close, which means it’s time to […]
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1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails. . . .--1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, The Holy Bible, New King James Version
The love described in 1 Corinthians 13 is the most important ingredient in life. For this love can transform life, bringing hope in time of trouble, comfort in time of sadness, and compassion in time of need. This is God-love--the active love that God showed the world through His Son Jesus Christ.
During the 33 years that Jesus lived on earth, God revealed the full force of His love. As Jesus walked among men, He showed us that God's love is no short-lived sensation or shallow sentimentality. He proved that this love is the most powerful force on earth, overcoming prejudice, hatred, hypocrisy, and selfishness.
But the supreme expression of God's love was Christ's death on the cross for our sins. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, God demonstrated His unlimited love for us, even to the extent of sacrificing His Son so that you and I might have new life, eternal life.
Today the risen Christ brings a new life of love, joy, and peace to those who receive Him. The love produced by God's Spirit is the only way to meaningful existence, human understanding, genuine community, and complete healing. It is the door to God, our neighbor, and ourselves.
When you receive the risen Christ as Lord and Savior, you can never go beyond the reach of His loving Hand. His love can lead you daily through illness, depression, uncertainty, pain, hardship, fear, and perplexity. You can stand up to anything because He is always with you. His love never fails.
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