The Transformative Power of Love
History - World Released - Feb 14, 2015
"The Greatest Thing in the World," by Henry Drummond, is a book that knows no denomination. Its message is universal. What the world needs now is love (to quote a popular song), love that is nonjudgemental, tolerant, patient, kind, forgiving. The Bible has much to say about love. "Hate is always picking a quarrel, but love turneth a blind eye to every fault" (NEB, Proverbs 10:12). "God is love," writes the apostle John. "Everyone that loveth is born of God." Many, if not most, of the Bible stories involve love as the motivator, the restorer, the deliverer, the healer.
Henry Drummond's wonderful message is based on the 13th chapter of I Corinthians,also known as the Ode to Love. "Where love is, God is," writes Mr. Drummond. "He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God. God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love." Further on he writes, "You will find, if you think for a moment, that the people who influence you are people who believe in you. In an atmosphere of suspicion men shrivel up; but in that atmosphere (of love) they expand, and find encouragement and educative fellowship."
Who was Henry Drummond? He was a 19th-century Scottish evangelist, writer and lecturer. Published in 1893, "The Greatest Thing in the World" is the most popular of his seven books, and a world-wide best-seller that has never gone out of print.
The true test of religion, says Drummond, is not religiousness, or belief, but love. "By what we have not done, by sins of omission, we are judged (by God). It could not be otherwise. For the withholding of love is the negation of the Spirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew Him, that for us He lived in vain." In reading this book once again, I was reminded of the transformative power of unconditional love, which is really divine love, the love of God. Love by its very nature is inclusive, not exclusive, understanding, not judgmental, uplifting, not condemning, forgiving, and ultimately purifying. Love brings out the best in us all, and enables us to heed "the still small voice" of our better angels. "He drew a circle that shut me of out--heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win: we drew a circle that took him in" (Edwin Markham). Finally, from I John 3:14: "We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren."