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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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theophilus

Finding time to pray

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Paul had a very busy schedule, going from town to town preaching the gospel and establishing new churches. Yet he always took the time to pray for his converts and the churches he helped to establish.

 

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:15-21 ESV)

 

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11 ESV)

 

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1:9-11 ESV)

 

In his prayers he didn’t just say their names and ask God to bless them, the way many of us do when we pray for others, but he went into detail about what he wanted God to do for them. Many people are impressed by the fact that Paul could spend so much time praying while still doing the work of preaching the gospel. Those who feel this way overlook one fact; these quotes are taken from letters that Paul wrote while he was in prison. I am certain that Paul spent a lot of time in prayer while he was carrying out his missionary work. When he was imprisoned and unable to work at preaching the gospel he devoted the time he had formerly spent preaching to praying for his converts.

 

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Very true, he had a good example.

 

Luke 5:15-16

[15]But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.

[16]And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

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Staff

There's also Matthew 26:36-56. The Garden of Gethsemane is an example of Scripture that comes to mind whenever I feel overwhelmed or distracted. With my little problems compared to what Jesus bore I keep hearing from the pages of Scripture, Christ, say, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

 

The little stress that I feel that drives me to prayer, and what I consider a lot of stress could noway compare. And even so, He made time for prayer!

 

And then of course, on that hill of Calvary, when Christ Crucified prayed, "forgive them for they know not what they do"! Even unto death, against the belief that they were honoring God and/or Country, Christ still prayed for them that had done the unspeakable!

 

God bless,

William

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