Grace and Mercy …

To follow Jesus, to have a life of abundance, to have peace, and to love.  The most essential verse in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13:13…

Abide in faith, hope, love and the greatest of these is love.

The Bible says that God is love.  It doesn’t say that God is faith or that God is hope.  Love is permanent while faith and hope are not. In heaven there will be hope actualized but not hope as we know it now. In heaven we will walk by sight and see God — our faith is fulfilled.

Love will be mature in heaven.  There will be no tears, no separation, or death — caused by a lack of love. Millions of words have been written trying to describe but there is no better definition than.

God is love! — 1 John 4:16

Three words replace millions.  God is everything; God is relational; God is eternal and God provides — all aspects of love.  God is also perfect. He always gives, is always just; always faithful; always righteous; always present.

We can’t love.  We can talk and discuss love but we will always fail.  We break commitments. We are self-seeking.  We are distracted. Love is beyond our ability.

Love can only be sustained by supernatural power.  You can’t make it work by singing about it, writing about it, or complaining about it.  You learn to love through repentance and following Jesus.

When we don’t change the course of our lives to follow Jesus, we look in the wrong places for love.  But God’s love remains faithful even when we are unfaithful.  We can always find love, no matter how unloving we have been.  Just turn to Jesus.

Faith and hope … while non-existent in heaven are the guardrails for love on earth.  Without faith and hope, love derails into lust and selfishness.  We ultimately love because we have hope for eternity. We want to be unselfish because of our faith in a very real God.

Lose hope and you destruct into self — selfishness. Lose faith and you are overwhelmed with desires you can’t control — lust.

How do we grow in faith? How do we grow in hope? How do we find love?  We can’t!  Love finds us with the conviction of God’s Spirit. We accept Jesus by faith and through hope purify our thoughts and actions.

Love finds us.

Through faith and hope we guard love.  Jesus sustains it.  Love is easy to find and keep because it is dependent upon the grace and mercy of God.

Fortunately for us and love, God’s grace is unlimited.