1 Corinthians 13:13
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Our next generation is onto something. On a flight to Philadelphia my seatmate was a 14-year-old, right in the middle of that generation. I soon discovered his parents were recently divorced so asked if he’d seen it coming. He choked up, looked out the window and shook his head. I tried to offer hope in Jesus and he took me to mean “church.”
“I’m not speaking of church, Kevin. I’m talking about a personal relationship. I understand your generation is after intimacy. Is that right?”
“You mean sex?”
“Well, not just sex, but a caring relationship of intimate sharing, an openness, a vulnerability…”
Kevin spoke quietly, almost to himself, “And trust.”
A generation that has had all its trusts betrayed is in quest of someone it can count on. They’re not quite as hopeless as the generation before them, so small hopes glimmer around the edges of their consciousness. But the deepest longing of, perhaps, any generation, is an intimate, enduring love relationship.
I tried to explain to Kevin, my partner on the plane, about intimacy with Jesus and I used the expression, “tight with Jesus.” Instantly he shot back, “Are you tight with Jesus?” Guess that’s the question I’d like to ask you. Are you tight with Jesus? Not every Christian is you know. Trust? Yes. Hope? Yes. But the “greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
As we have seen, the ultimate goal of life is not power-packed ministry, exciting as that is. Nor is the Spirit’s goal merely to make us godly in character. The holy life is a means toward the ultimate goal, for only as we are like him, God-compatible, can we respond in the kind of loving intimacy he designed us for. Compatibility is the key to a happy marriage. Isn’t it so? Sad the marriage where husband and wife have no shared interests, no common values, no passionate commitment to the same goals in life. A miserable co-existence as strangers under one roof. Or divorce. “Incompatibility,” the legal documents say.
And so with God and you. He wants you to be like him, God-compatible, so you can be intimate companions. And he empowers for ministry so you can partner with him in bringing about his purposes in the world, bringing others into the family. But above all, the celebration on that Great Day will focus on the climax of a lifetime of intimate companionship, uninhibited union with your forever Lover.