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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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Forget your people and your father’s house

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[h=1]Psalm 45[/h]

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;

I address my verses to the king;

my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.


2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men;

grace is poured upon your lips;

therefore God has blessed you forever.

3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,

in your splendor and majesty!


4 In your majesty ride out victoriously

for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;

let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!

5 Your arrows are sharp

in the heart of the king’s enemies;

the peoples fall under you.


6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.

The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;

7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;

9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;

at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.


10 Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:

forget your people and your father’s house,

11 and the king will desire your beauty.

Since he is your lord, bow to him.

12 The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,

the richest of the people.


13 All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.


14 In many-colored robes she is led to the king,

with her virgin companions following behind her.

15 With joy and gladness they are led along

as they enter the palace of the king.


16 In place of your fathers shall be your sons;

you will make them princes in all the earth.

17 I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;

therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.


This psalm seems to have been written to celebrate the wedding of a king. Perhaps it was written in honor of Solomon and one of his 700 wives. Verses 1 to 9 describe the king. The rest of the psalm is about his bride. But is has another meaning. Verses 6 and 7 are quoted in Hebrews 1:7-9.


Of the angels he says,


“He makes his angels winds,

and his ministers a flame of fire.”


But of the Son he says,


“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,

the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”


It is not only a celebration of Solomon’s wedding but also a prophecy of Jesus Christ. That means that the bride is the church.


The bride is given one command, “Forget your people and your father’s house.” If the bride was one of the foreign women Solomon married, this would have been necessary if she were to be happy in her new relationship.


This command also applies to each one of us who is a believer in Christ. Here is a description of our former way of life, which we are now told to forget.


And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV)


If we want to live a life that is pleasing to Christ we must reject our old way of life. The bride to whom the command was originally given probably wouldn’t have had much trouble obeying it because she no longer lived in her old home and didn’t face constant reminders of her old life. It is harder for believers today. We have entered into a new relationship with Christ but we are still living in the world and constantly face pressures to return to it. The Bible warns us not to be conformed to the world around us.


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)


If Solomon’s bride had disregarded the command and spent a lot of time thinking about her old life she wouldn’t have ceased to be married to Solomon but she wouldn’t have been as happy in her new life. A true believer who fails to completely reject his old way of life won’t lose his salvation but he won’t be able to serve Christ as effectively as he could and won’t enjoy his new life as much. (There are many who have at one time professed to be followers of Christ who have later rejected the truth. These people were never really believers in the first place.


They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19 ESV) )


If you are a believer and feel pressure to return to your old life or feel that your are missing out on some happiness, just keep in mind that whatever profit or happiness you could gain will be nothing compared to the loss you will experience at the final judgment.


According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15 ESV)

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