7/27 1 Corinthians 13:8

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

Agape love, the love of God, will never pass away. If that love is in us, we will not stop loving someone and we won't give up on them. Spouses need God's love for one another. We need it for family members. We need this godly love for those to whom we are witnessing. Most of all, we need to have this love toward God. It is a love that values another for their intrinsic value without expecting anything in return.

By contrast, the gifts of God's Spirit will cease when we are in heaven. There will be no need for prophecy. Everyone will know the Word. There will be no need for tongues, either to commune with God in prayer or to witness. We will be speaking with Jesus face to face. Knowledge in this case is the supernatural insight into a person's situation, such as that knowledge Jesus had of the woman at the well (John 4:17-18). In that day our lives will be an open book.

Paul is trying to help the Corinthian church to see that the gifts are temporary, but love is eternal. It will never pass away. That is why our emphasis should be on love more than on the gifts of the Spirit, as valuable as they are. We need the gifts now in our childlike state, but we will grow up. Love will ever be essential in the kingdom of God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).

Consider: How are you doing at loving others? It is a sign of your spiritual growth. It is essential for your church's witness. It is the expression of Christ in you.