But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13(NASB)
Of all the gifts and graces that are poured out in great abundance into the lives of believers, there are three that out-shine and out-last all others. When prophecy is complete, languages cease, signs are silenced... and miracles of health, healing, provision, and protection are no longer needed. We are told that these three, spiritual fruit of God’s amazing grace will continue and will remain and abide into the eternal state - faith, hope, and love.
In this earthly life, faith must remain a high priority. Faith is vital, for we live by faith and not by sight, and the blessed hope we have in Christ, and His soon return, does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, Who has been given to all who trust in Christ for salvation. While faith and hope will certainly continue throughout the eternal ages, for our faith and hope will always be in our heavenly Father, it is love that will increase and multiply when we see Jesus face to face - for we see Him as He is and we shall be like Him.
The eternal God is perfect love and the perfect love of God has been eternally poured into our hearts, through faith in Christ, for we have been made His children, through faith. But in this present world, we are taking our first steps on the pathway of love - a journey of love that will only increase through time and into eternity, as we bathe in His presence and gaze into His lovely face.
Both faith and hope are a beautiful manifestation of the love of God in the life of a believer, because we live by faith and not by sight; and we live in hope of our promised, eternal state...for we live in incorruptible bodies. But love is the greatest of all, for it will not only remain but it will enlarge and expand,. It will increase, and then it will grow even more - not only in this present age but in the eternal ages to come.
When heaven is reached, the faith and hope we exercised in this life will be brought to a beautiful completion. Their respective purposes will be rewarded with sight - yet we will always maintain faith in our God and hope in our heavenly Father, Who will continue to sustain us into the eternity of eternities - for He upholds everything by the might of His majestic hand.
But love is a gift of God, and love is the primary a fruit of the Spirit that will continue to grow and expand, beyond our wildest imaginings. The eternal love of God that has been poured into our hearts will continue to increase and multiply - for the love of God is eternal. The love of God is broader than the measure of our mind. The loving heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
In the earthly realm, both faith and hope will last, for without faith it is impossible to please God and without hope, we could not endure, as seeing Him, Who is invisible. But love is the loveliest grace of all, for during our sojourn on earth we are being conformed into the lovely image and likeness of the lovely Lord Jesus Christ, Who is incarnate love. And it is by reflecting His love that we are to resemble the Lord – for God is Love and the love of God is broader than the span of our greatest imaginations, and the fondness of our Father towards us goes beyond our wildest dreams.
But this life is the first step into an eternity of love with God; the love of God and our love for God, and these three graces of faith, hope and love must of necessity all continue beyond this mortal sphere, for the attributes of God are incomparable in their beauty, His perfections are unlimited in their number, His excellence is everlasting in its duration and splendour is absolute in its span.
We, who have been saved by grace are to enter into the glories of the celestial sphere and our understanding and knowledge of God must continue throughout the ages to come. Our faith in Him will stand fast forever, and our hope in Him will be forever realised. But it is the love of God that He has for us that will move us ever closer to the love that we have for Him – as we abide in Him and He in us, through time and into eternity.
Thank You Father for Your gift of salvation by grace alone – simply because we believe in Your Son. Thank You for the hope that is set before us and thank You for the love of the Lord Jesus, which was demonstrated to us on a wooden cross, 2000 years ago. May His love flood our hearts and pour through us into the lives of others, that they may know Your love, have faith in Your finished work and receive that blessed hope in their hearts, that only comes from You, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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