Love never fails; 1 Corinthians 13:8a (NASB)
It was looking to be a great Sunday morning for Randy Smith. He had been working real hard all week putting together his message, the final one in his series on what love is, and he was ready to give it all he had. Knowing his wife was going to be out of town for the weekend, along with Louie, he decided to get up early and head to the church.
“Wow.” Randy thought as he pulled into the parking lot. “I can't remember the last time I was the church parking lot this bare on a Sunday.” After parking his car in his usual spot he headed for the main door but when he got there he found the door locked. “That's odd.” He thought to himself, “I would have thought that someone would have been here and opened that door already. Oh, well. Maybe I'm just a little too early.”
After digging through an assortment of keys, Randy found the one for the door, unlocked it and opened it wide. Next, he took a quick stroll through the sanctuary to make sure it was clean, and went to get the bulletins to hand out and then he took up a spot in the foyer and waited for the everyone to start arriving.
As he stood waiting, Randy thought of some of the greetings he would use. He liked to have one for the old guys like himself, a complimentary one for the ladies, some high fives for the teenagers and even some Donald Duck impressions for the little ones. He practiced these for what seemed like hours and until he started getting concerned that something was wrong. “I've know people to be late for church, and I've know people to miss church altogether” Randy began thinking to himself, “But not everyone, at the same time.”
Finally, it was time for church to start and Randy headed for the front of the sanctuary. As he stepped up behind the pulpit has wondered if he should go ahead and start on time or wait just a few more minutes just in case someone would show up. He decided to wait but he stayed behind the pulpit looking at all the empty pews.
“Where could they be?” Randy thought as he looked at where the McDonalds usually sat. “Maybe they had a problem on the farm. And where are those Petersons? Is Harold casing problems again? And the Greys are missing. I wonder if Robert forgot again. And where are the Millers and the Hendersons and....” over and over Randy kept going through the names of everyone in the congregation.
Finally, Randy decided he had waited long enough and started the service. “Even though people may fail to show up,” he said, “Love will never fail. Let us read from 1 Corinthians 13.” Randy went on to complete the entire service on his own with no-one else in the building. When he was done he locked up and headed home.
Feeling a little let down, because no-one showed up, Randy stopped to by himself a big donut at the donut shop. As he walked in Sergeant Halfway met him and told him he was looking forwarded to hearing his sermon tomorrow. “Tomorrow?” Randy questioned, “Why not today?” “Because I don't usually go to church on Saturday.” Halfway responded.
Genesis 1:31 says And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (ESV) As we look around us we can see that the world is not the same as when God made it. It's not very good and all around us things are failing including us. What happened?
Let us move forward to Genesis 6:5-7 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." (ESV) To sum things up – man happened. And because God is Holy and Just, man's sin had to be dealt with.
Genesis 6:13-22 And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them." Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. (ESV)
God dealt with man and the world would never be the same. Things would wear out and run down things would fail but not all. God made some promises in all of this. And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." Genesis 8:21-22 (ESV) And then the rainbow was born. This promise has not failed. Love never fails either.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 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. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NASB)
Love never fails because God is love – 1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (ESV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Do you let your love fail God, others or self? Is it really love?
- How many and in what ways has God's love not failed you?