And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love—1 Cor. 13: 13.
As love is the most excellent thing, so is it the most enduring … for will not faith practically come to an end when we shall see and know thoroughly? And will not hope practically be at an end when we shall reach the fruition of all our hopes and be possessors of the fullness of our Heavenly Father's promises? Love, however, will never fail, even as it had no beginning. God is love, and since He was without beginning, so love was without beginning; because it is His character, His disposition; and as He endures forever, so love will endure forever.
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Faith, hope and love are among the greatest graces. Faith enables us in confidence to apply the promises of God in life's battles; hope enables us to be courageous in doing and daring for the Lord in these battles; and love enables us to have the power to rejoice and delight in the hardships of these battles, making them easy, and turning them into glorious victories. Faith and hope are handmaidens of love, the glorious and beautiful mistress of the house beautiful, a character like God's and Christ's. It is because love is the most Godlike and Christlike of all the graces that it is the greatest of these three graces.
Parallel passages: 2Sam. 22: 31; Psa. 9: 9, 10; 32: 10; 34: 8, 22; Prov. 3: 5; Jer. 17: 7, 8; Matt. 21: 21, 22; Mark 9: 23; John 11: 25-27; Rom. 3: 19—5: 2; 9: 31-33; 10: 4-10; Gal. 3; Eph. 6: 16; Heb. 4: 1-10; 11; Jas. 2; Psa. 16: 9, 10; 31: 24; 33: 18; 43: 5; 71: 5, 14; 119: 74, 81, 116, 166; Acts 23: 6; 24: 14, 15; 26: 6, 7; Rom. 5: 2-5; 8: 24; 12: 12; 15: 4, 13; Eph. 1: 18; Col. 1: 5, 23, 27; 1Thes. 1: 3; 5: 8; Titus 2: 13; Heb. 6: 11, 18, 19; 1Pet. 1: 3, 13, 21; 1John 3: 3; John 3: 16; 17: 23, 26; Rom. 5: 8; John 10: 11, 15; 13: 1, 34; 21: 17; 1Cor. 13.
Questions: Have I exercised faith, hope and love this week? How? Why? Under what circumstances? With what results?
THE PILGRIM'S WANTS
I WANT that adorning divine,
Thou, only, my God, canst bestow;
I want in those beautiful garments to shine,
Which distinguish thy household below.
I want, oh, I want to attain
Some likeness, my Savior, to Thee:
That longed-for resemblance once more to regain,
Thy comeliness put upon me.
I want to be marked for Thine own;
Thy seal on my forehead to wear;
To receive that "new name" on the mystic white stone,
Which only Thyself canst declare.
I want so in Thee to abide,
As to bring forth some fruit to Thy praise;
The branch that Thou prunest, though feeble and
May languish, but never decays.
I want Thine own hand to unbind
Each tie to terrestrial things,
Too tenderly cherished, too closely entwined,
Where my heart too tenaciously clings.
I want, by mine aspect serene,
Mine actions and words, to declare
That my treasure is placed in a country unseen,
That my heart and affections are there.
I want, as a traveler, to haste
Straight onward, nor pause on my way,
No forethought or anxious contrivance to waste
On my tent, only pitched for a day.
I want (and this sums up my prayer)
To glorify Thee till I die;
Then calmly to yield up my soul to Thy care,
And breathe out in prayer my last sigh.
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