Week 15 Saturday

The Greatest Gift

Today’s scripture selection: First Corinthians 13-14

Key verses: First Corinthians 13:13b

 

     “And the greatest of these is love.”

 

          Faith – without it we would be doomed to believe only in what we can see, touch, or taste.

          Hope – without it we would be destined to a life of despair.

          Love – without it – well, without it, life would be cold and dark indeed.

     So it’s no surprise that the apostle Paul wrote so eloquently and passionately about these three spiritual gifts.

     He wanted his readers and fellow Christians to know that no matter what the present circumstances of their lives – with faith, hope, and love – they could be conquerors.

     He also wanted them to know that these were not just pretty words – not just ideals.  He was talking about real action with real results.

     “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

     Now – to those who have been burned in relationships – those who have been disappointed in love – that may just sound like a lot of nice, flowery, sentimental, hogwash.

     But I believe Paul knew from experience that love could be, must be, all of those things.

     Love is an action.  It’s something we do even when we don’t “feel” like it.  It calls us to be better than we think we are capable of being – even in the worst of situations.

     That’s why it’s the greatest gift we can give – or receive – in life.

 

Prayer:  Lord, strengthen my spirit that I may keep the faith; live in expectant hope; and love deeply.  AMEN.

 

    

 

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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