I have a tendency to make lists. In fact, I love making lists. That’s a part of my personality, I suppose: the part that likes order and control and making sense of the chaotic! It’s quite easy to know what should be at the top of our lists in life, because God has made it abundantly clear: “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 TNIV)

Paul obviously took that to heart, for in 1 Corinthians 13 TNIV, he reiterates the supreme, total, overriding importance of love.

Now I’ve spent the past thirty years trying to understand the love of God and trying to unpack that simple English word and invest in it all the meaning that the numerous Hebrew and Greek words translated by ‘love’ contain. It’s a long struggle to strip the word of its mushy 21st century connotations and all the other wrong meanings that have become attached to it over the years, but at the heart of Christian discipleship, we can’t escape from the fact that loving God and loving people is what it’s all about. A long list of other achievements might look good on a C.V. or read well in the obituary column of a newspaper, but when we stand before God in eternity, I suspect what He really wants to see is a life of love. We’ll soon be starting a Bible study on the epistles of John, and the importance of love is one of the key things we find in 1 John. Love really does matter the most.

“Inhabit the trembling, yet be brave.
Embrace your weakness, yet be strong.
Say what you have to say
But always admit when you’re wrong.
Accept what you are, yet keep striving
To become that which you’ve been declared.
Be strong, yet bend with the wind.
Mourn, yet never despair.

Faith moves mountains,
Hope hold on,
Love has paid what is owed.
Belief is beautiful,
Trust is good,
But love is what matters the most.

Dwell in the moment, yet keep moving,
Knowing you’re just passing through.
Give all that you are, yet receive
All that is worthy and true.
Be at peace but never run from the battle,
For the battle is where peace is found.
And remember if you don’t have love,
You have nothing, no matter how profound.” (‘What Matters Most’, Wes King)

‘What Matters Most’, Wes King