The Greatest of These

Chic Broersma

READ : 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (v. 13)

A man name Edwin Stanton treated Abraham Lincoln with contempt. He nicknamed Lincoln
“the original gorilla.” Yet Lincoln made Stanton his secretary of war. Lincoln treated
Stanton with unfailing courtesy. Then came the awful night of Lincoln’s assassination in
Ford’s Theater. They carried the grievously wounded president into a small room in a house
across the street. Guess who did not leave his side? Stanton, looking down on the silent
face of Lincoln, reportedly said, “There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever
seen.” When he died, Stanton exclaimed, “Now he belongs to the ages!” Lincoln’s love,
wisdom, and patience had changed Stanton from an enemy to an admirer.

Lincoln was patient, slow to anger, never arrogant. He quietly bore the pain of the war
and the death of two sons. At the same time, Lincoln was not always a thoughtful husband,
and by some reports he was an overly indulgent father. In short, though a sinner like all
of us, Lincoln modeled faith, hope, and love. He made visible a love that “bears all
things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (v. 7).

Yet Jesus Christ towers above Lincoln as our supreme model of love and only Savior.
Only Christ’s love redeems us from our sins. Only the Holy Spirit can empower us to
imitate the love of Jesus. Live Jesus’ love today.

PRAYER

Lord of love, help me love as you do.