Love never fails…
—1 Corinthians 13:8
Finally, Paul reaches a climax in 1 Corinthians 13 while talking about the permanence of love. You can hear the crescendo building in this chapter until he finally comes to verse 8 and says, “Love never fails.”
That’s a beautiful thought, isn’t it? Love never fails. Too bad it’s not true. At least it doesn’t sound like it’s true. We can all think of instances in which love has failed. A wandering spouse leaves a marriage and never returns in spite of the faithful love of the remaining mate. A rebellious child or grandchild leaves the faith, leaves the family, and never returns in spite of the enduring love of that family. Sinners continue to resist the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are never saved in spite of the love of God. We can think of all kind of instances in which love fails.
But this passage is not talking about the success of love; it’s talking about the eternality of love. That’s what Paul is talking about. Love is eternal.
Remember the context of 1 Corinthians 13 is spiritual gifts. Paul is saying: One day all the other spiritual gifts will end. There will be no need for prophecy or knowledge or the gift of tongues. Even when you get to the gift of faith, there will be a day when faith is no longer needed. As important as faith is, there will be a day when faith is useless. There will be a day when hope is useless. You know when that day will be? When we’re in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. It won’t take any more faith once we get into heaven. We’ll see everything as it is. There will be no need for hope; our hope will ultimately be fulfilled. Faith will disappear, hope will disappear, but there is one quality that will remain—and that is love.
Do you know why love is eternal? Because God is eternal, and the Bible says, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Never in the Bible does it say God is faith or God is hope. Instead, the Bible says God is love and that quality will continue forever. Of course, the greatest demonstration of love is this: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Love Connection,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.