“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13
In a message years ago, missionary Elisabeth Elliott said she was sure her deceased mother still prayed for her. Does that statement startle you? Maybe create a little uneasiness? Here is how she explained it: “Since I know that Mother talked to Jesus about me all the time while she was here on earth, why should I think she’d stop doing this now that she is with Him face-to-face?” Paul writes in today’s Scripture, “Love never fails.” And if it never fails, why should we think that Elisabeth’s mother stopped loving her when her spirit went to heaven? Yes, the current state of departed saints is cloaked in mystery. We know they’re with Jesus and that they’re happier, healthier, and wiser than ever before. Beyond that, who can say? It’s not too much of a stretch to think their love for us and for the church brims over with wise prayers to our Savior.
Lord, it moves my heart to think that at this very moment You’re in the presence of my dad and mom—and so many other friends and loved ones who have left this earth. I can’t see them, but You can. I don’t know if they’re aware of my life and my challenges today, but I know You are, so I rest in that.