“Hope and faith will both come to an end when we die. But love will remain. Love is eternal. Love comes from God and returns to God. When we die, we will lose everything that life gave us except love. The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us. It is the divine, indestructible core of our being. This love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation.” –Henri Nouwen
It seems that love has everything to do with it. It seems to be the answer – or at least the one that matters and lasts. Love is present tense and active. It’s where God is calling us to live and move and breathe and find him. After reading Nouwen’s quote, I realize that love is my legacy. The only thing that will last eternally. And because of my relationship with Him, I have access to it every day.
“Something I have decided is important, is that people should understand how much they mean to me. I guess I want you to know that I love you! And in today’s world a lot of time the importance of those words and their significance together is diminished or just taken for granted.” --Will Kelley
My son wrote this letter to me two months before he died. How did he know then what I’m just figuring out now in a new way? He knew God and he somehow figured out in his young life that the essence of living is knowing and giving love. Somehow I’ve over-complicated it. I’ve looked into my past with fear – not love. I’ve looked into my future with anxiety – not love. I’ve forgotten to live in the present where love thrives and tell others that they are loved. I’m being reminded today that love is what remains - today and for eternity. I’m ready to let love have everything to do with what propels me, motivates me, changes me and brings me to my knees. How about you?
Questions for Reflection:
- How will you live your life today with God, others and yourself in such a way that love remains?
- If there’s only one thing in God’s economy that matters, what will you invest in?
- What do you need to let go of? What do you need to trade in for love?
- Who do you need to tell that they are loved?
- Spend some time with the scripture below reminding and retraining yourself on what true love is and how to express it and live it.
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” -- 1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)
Father let me love extravagantly today and everyday knowing that only love remains. Amen.