And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13

I never noticed it before but there are two thirteens in the location of this powerful text from the pen of Paul.  Now we all know that 13 is an unlucky number.  They even leave off the 13th floor in most hotels.

But for us this verse is a life giver.  It speaks of the three most important words in the Christian religion.  Faith is our way of reaching the saving blood of Jesus.  He shed his blood on the cross and gave us the opportunity to kneel at the cross and find the way back to our Father.  He speaks of his going to prepare a place for us in John 14.  He knew that the way would be prepared by his own death.  By dying for us he became the “way, the truth and the life.”

By becoming the “life” he became the hope for all mankind.  Any who will trust him can have that hope of being in his family in this life and when we “die in the Lord” we will “rest from our labors” (Revelation 2:10) No power on earth or beyond the earth can take away our hope. (Romans 8:35)

But the greatest of these is love. Why is love so great?  Aren’t there other principles that are just as great?  Not according to Paul.  Love is great because “God is love”. (I John 4:8, 16)  Love can melt the heart of the most bruised personality.  Love can carry on when all else runs out of steam. Love can carry the burden when all else fades.

Maybe that is why Paul listed one of the characteristics of love as “love never fails.”  It will stay after everything is dead and forgotten. It will keep on helping when hell claims its own. It is a little bit of heaven that God has placed on the earth.