The past couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about faith and hope. Today I begin to include love, which Paul reminds us is the greatest of the three virtues.
In Conformed to His Image, Ken Boa gives us a table revealing how love relates to both faith and hope and why it is the greatest virtue. Boa first of all points out how faith, hope and love relate to time.
Faith is founded upon events and promises from the past.
Hope is looking forward to the future.
Love is active in the present.
We each have faith in Jesus Christ because we have believed and accepted His claim to be God. He made that claim when he came to live among us 2000 years ago as a citizen of Israel.
Israel as well has a history of being chosen by God with a story stretching all the way back to the patriarchs.
Our faith in Jesus Christ is founded upon the promises of God arising out of past events as they relate to Israel and the coming of Jesus Christ.
Our faith is not blind…it rests on historical events.
Hope on the other hand looks to the future. While also based on promises, hope is looking to promises that have not yet been fulfilled…promises that lie in the future.
Faith looks backward while hope looks forward.
Love meanwhile exists in the present. Love is an emotion we cultivate and experience now…and this love expresses itself in action that occurs in the present.
Love grows out of our faith. We are able to love because God first loved us.
We are able to love because God has forgiven us.
We are able to love because God has brought us back into right relationship with Him as His sons and daughters.
While love grows out of faith, it is fueled by hope.
Through love we communicate our hope to those around us. It is love looking forward in hope that drives us to witness to those who do not yet know Christ.
It is our love that brings hope to those who are lost and suffering.
Love is the natural outworking of faith and hope.
Prayer: Lord, allow my faith and hope in You grow into acts of love today.