The Greatest Thing In The World

 

By Dr. Harold J. Sala

Love each other as I have loved you.  John 15:12

In 1884, Henry Drummond wrote a short book that has been widely circulated through the English-speaking world and translated into dozens of foreign languages.  The title of his book: The Greatest Thing in the World.  “Love,” said Drummond, basing his words on the 13th chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, “is the most powerful force in the world.”  But you say, “That was well over a century ago, and love may have been the most powerful thing in the world then, but this is the twenty-first century!”

Today we think of power in concrete terms:  Bombs are so powerful that we measure their destructive energy in megatons (a megaton is the equivalent force of a million tons of TNT).  Ours is the age of space exploration‑‑Saturn, Venus, Mars and Atlas rockets; chemical magic, powerful computers, Intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with hydrogen warheads–missiles so accurate that they can land within a few meters of a target from 5,000 miles away.

Ours is an age of power‑‑but the power of love?  Many wonder what power love has in our world any more.  Newspapers are filled with stories of violence, sadism, rape, murder, perversion, ad nauseam.  Where does the power of love affect society today?  Many people, some who are sincere, well‑meaning Christians, read chapters such as I Corinthians 13, and wonder what has happened to the power of love.  The power of guilt, tyranny, hate, lust, and murder‑‑these we know.  But what has happened to the simple power of love that binds the broken‑hearted, soothes the scars of life, and instills virtue, hope, and integrity into the lives of men and women?

Has the power of love become totally emasculated in our world?  Is love a poetic platitude left over from the last century?  Or does love yet play a stabilizing, life‑enriching part in our world?

To believers scattered throughout Asia Minor, the Apostle Paul penned some thoughts regarding the place of love in our lives.  Actually, his words take the form of a prayer, as he asks God to let their lives be rooted and grounded in love so that they, with all Christians, may be able to comprehend the height, breadth, length, and width of God’s love and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge (Ephesians 3:18‑19a).

Paul states a simple fact: a person’s life can be firmly grounded in love.  The Apostle uses two analogies‑‑one from botany, the other from architecture.  “Rooted in love” speaks of a life that is planted in the soil of love.  “Grounded in love” speaks of the foundation of a person’s life, the superstructure of which rests on love.

In so many words, Paul is saying that your every action and thought should stem from a basic foundation of love which is the bedrock of your life.  That love should play a major part in our lives has been the major theme of psychologists and psychiatrists.  Ashley Montagu, Pitirim Sorokin, Bertrand Russell and a host of others have gone on record saying that love is the only force that keeps the world from destroying itself.

In no uncertain terms, Jesus commanded His followers to demonstrate love in their lives.  He said, “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).  For a moment, let me read your thoughts.  You are saying, “Well and good, I agree with you.  But how do I go about loving people that I really hate?”

In short, it takes God’s love to love those who hate you and use you for their selfish ends, but you can find God’s love as you find Him.  If you are serious, invite Jesus Christ into your life and ask Him to instill His love in your heart.  If you will do this your life will be different.

Resource reading: Psalm 107:33-43.

 

Dr. Harold J. Sala, well known speaker, author and Bible teacher, has served as founder and President of Guidelines International, Inc., since 1963. He is the featured speaker on the daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” which is broadcast on over 1000 radio stations around the world and translated in over 15 languages. Author of over 40 books published in various languages and hundreds of publications. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

Used with permission from Guidelines Philippines, Inc. To learn more about Guidelines and the ministry, please write to Box 4000, 1280 Makati City, Philippines or e-mail address box4000@guidelines.org. You may also visit the Guidelines website at www.guidelines.org.

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