Devotional

10/26/20                                  

 

Let us reflect upon the following verse from the letter of I Corinthians:

 

And now faith, hope and love, these three abide; but the greatest of these is love.” 

I Cor. 13:13.

 

 

Life was a key theme in Jesus’ teaching.  Jesus taught about what life meant in terms of living in the Kingdom of God and being his follower.  Jesus taught both about the meaning of life today and eternal life.   I think it’s important to reflect upon life in general and one’s own life in particular.  Here are some quotations I’ve compiled about the meaning of life.  What interpretations do you agree or disagree with? 

Life is primarily to be enjoyed.  Savor the moment; experience the journey.  Enjoy it while you can.

Life is for expressing compassion to others; it’s to love, to serve.  Only an altruistic life is worthwhile.

The meaning of life is unknowable, a mystery.  The ultimate answer is beyond human comprehension.

Life has no meaning.  It’s like a ship tossed about by every wave and wind with no rudder, no compass, no pilot, and no port in sight, simply floating for a time, then lost in the waves.

Life is meant to worship and glorify God and to prepare for the afterlife.  We should give God glory by reflecting his beauty and his love in our lives.

Life is a struggle, a tragedy, wherein we sit both as actors and spectators for a brief time.

Life is a joke. 

 

We find in I Corinthians 13 three principles related to the underpinning of the life God has given us.  I’m zeroing in on the concluding words.  Faith, hope and love provides a framework for understanding our lives.  It gives us a theological perspective on the meaning of life. 

First, faith is our intellectual and spiritual foundation.  Christian faith is historical; it is not based on some fantasy, or wishful thinking or flight of imagination.  It is grounded in God’s actions in history: in the creation of the world, in the Exodus, in calling and forming the chosen people Israel, in the incarnation and revelation in Jesus Christ and in the establishing of the church at Pentecost. 

But our Christian faith is also personal.  It is comprised of repentance, knowledge, belief, trust, confidence, assurance and obedience.  Faith is a personal relationship with God in Christ.  I like the reformer John Calvin’s classic definition of faith:  “A firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence towards us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

Second, hope is about expectation.  It means trusting your own future and the future of the world to the sovereign purposes of God.  It is having confidence that God is in charge of the world.  Hope is a potent force.  Hope is essential for life.  We humans are incurably eschatological; we need a vision of where life is heading and how our lives fit into the picture.  We are deeply influenced by our sense of the future.  Scripture says:   “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  “Through Jesus Christ we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing in the glory of God.”   The heart of our Christian hope is that we will share in the glory of God. 


Finally, love is the motivating power to live the lives God created us to live.  Love is faith and hope in action.  By grace we are liberated from the power of sin and empowered to love because God first loved us.  Scripture says: “God proves his love for while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Love is both an experience of God’s grace in our lives and God’s mandate.  Jesus commands: “Love God with your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”    Love motivates us to use our time, talents and money for Christ and His Kingdom.  Love is the fire which ignites faith and the light which illumines hope.  Faith believes and trusts, hope expects and love acts.

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ cares deeply about your life today and forever.  Never doubt that God cares about every aspect of your life – material, physical, relational, intellectual, emotional and spiritual.  Jesus earnestly desires that we live each day not merely existing, but with a sense of purpose and joy and power.  God’s grace and mercy makes this possible.  Jesus made the promise that he came to bring us true life: “I have come that you might have life and life abundant.”  

 

The grace and love of God be with you all,

 

Rev. Alan W. Deuel