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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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Marathon Reading

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When the sun came up on the first day of the seventh month in 444 BC, Ezra started reading the law of Moses (what we know as the fist five books of the Bible). Standing on a platform in front of the people in Jerusalem, he read it straight through for the next six hours.


Men, women, and children had gathered at the entrance to the city known as the Water Gate to observe the Festival of Trumpets=one of the feasts prescribed for them by God. As the listened, four reactions stand out.


They stood up in reverence for he Book of the Law (Nehemiah 8:5). They praised God by lifting their hands and saying "Amen." They bowed down in humble worship (verse 6). Then they listened carefully as the Scriptures were both read and explained to them (verse 8). What an amazing day as the book that "the Lord had commanded for Israel" (verse 1) was read aloud inside Jerusalem" newly rebuilt walls!


Ezra's marathon reading session can remind us that God's words to us are still meant to be a source of praise, worship, and learning. When we open the Bible and learn more about Christ , let's praise God, worship Him, and seek to discover what He is saying to us now.

-Dave Branon

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It is never a bad idea to remind ourselves that God's words are true and meant to motivate us. It makes me wonder if there is anyone out there who is doing similar things to a six hour reading. I bet there is somewhere, but I guess I could be wrong. If not though it would be an interesting event to attend, and while it may be a little rough to sit for six hours, I bet that it would be refreshing and would have a similar effect to the above. I could just be being a little idealistic, though.

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