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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Think It Not Strange

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Think it not strange, if he who stedfast leaveth

All that he loveth for the love of Me,

Be as the prey of him who rendeth, neveth,

Breaketh and bruiseth, woundeth sore and gneveth,

And carefully a spray of sharp thorn weaveth

To crown the man who chooseth Calvary.

Count it all joy, the blaming and the scorning,

Ye who confess love's pure transcendent power;

Stay not for speech, heed not the wise world's warning,

Thine is an incommunicable dower.

What will it be when sudden, in the morning,

From brown thorn buddeth purple Passion flower?


Amy Carmichael


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