1 After David was settled in his palace, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent. ”
10 …..“‘I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you: 11 When your days are over and you go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. 14 I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever. ’”
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
We see here why David was so successful. His success did not go to his head. He was not able to be content in a house of cedar while the Ark of God was in a tent. I need to be more like David and look around at my surroundings before I plunge in to enjoy my success. The first fruits of my success should go to perform God’s work, not my selfish indulgence. God is not concerned about a house for himself. So he tells David he doesn’t want him building a temple. Then he tells David the ultimate plan – how God will build a house for David using one of David’s own descendents. It is a wonderful vision of the coming of Christ.
Much has been written about chapter 13 of First Corinthians. It is used at some point, by almost everyone, during a wedding ceremony. It will be quoted during any discussion of love. You’ll find tons of Valentine cards containing bits and pieces of it. Yet, I can’t help but think that Paul is probably not really referencing romantic love. This seems like a colorful, picturesque display of what Jesus stated when asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mat 22:36-40
So how do we know when we are loving like Jesus commanded us? I have been told that one of the easy ways is to replace the word love with your name in verses 4 thru 7. It will show you where you might be weak and need some help. So here goes….. Ed is patient, Ed is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. Ed does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I won’t analyze the results here, it would be too painful!
Father, open our eyes to the neighbors around us. Open our eyes so that we may see their needs. Open our hearts so that we may love them enough to take action and do the work that You have commanded us to do. Strengthen our Faith, Encourage our Hope, Grow our Love for You and our neighbors.