God has given us all the tools we need to build the kingdom of God. All we need to do is follow the teachings of Jesus. The most important aspect of that teaching is found in John 13:34 where Jesus says this:
“I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
Love is the most powerful element in the universe. When we all take hold of the awesome power of love, we will have found the kingdom of God. We find this important statement in 1 John 4:7-8:
Beloved, let’s love one another; for love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Again in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, we are reminded of the importance of love.
If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory, but do not have love, it does me no good.
Clearly, there is nothing more important, valuable, or transformative than love. 1 Corinthians 13 goes on to better define love with the details needed to help us get pointed in the right direction.
Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant.
It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Finally, 1 Corinthians 13 shares with us the endless nature of love and its connection to our eternal existence in the kingdom God. We will never fully embrace the perfect power of love in our lives until the return of Jesus, but it is our duty to make a sincere effort to love like Jesus every day.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
For we know in part and prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known.
All the teachings of Jesus are contained in this understanding of love. We will all benefit from meditating on these verses and making a sincere effort to apply them to our lives. If our goal is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, nothing is more important than love.
But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
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