“Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8a).


  • Agape love never fails.  The Greek word for fails is ekpipto.  It means to be without effect, to be in vain.  David McCasland gives an excellent example of this kind of love in the life of Eric Liddell (Our Daily Bread,  August 8, 2008):


As the Olympic Games open in Beijing, my thoughts go back to Eric Liddell, a former champion immortalized for surprising gold metal victory in the 400 meters during the 1924 Games in Paris.


A year after his triumph, Liddell went to China, where he spent the last 20 years of his life as a missionary teacher and rural pastor. There he ran the greatest race of his life against opponents we all know—difficult circumstances, war, uncertainty, and disease.


Crowded into a Japanese internment camp with 1,500 other people, Eric lived out the words he had paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 13:6-8–“Love is never glad when others go wrong. Love finds no pleasure in injustice, but rejoices in the truth. Love is always slow to expose, it knows how to be silent. Love is always eager to believe the best about a person. Love is full of hope, full of patient endurance; love never fails.”


Eric served the others in camp, whether carrying water for the elderly or refereeing games for the teens. When he died of a brain tumor in February 1945, one internee described him as a man “who lived better than he preached.”


In life’s most difficult race, Eric Liddell crossed the finish line victorious through love.


Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:.4-8, NKJV). 

“Through a love that never fails—I am His and He is mine.”

Love enables us to live victoriously, walk fearlessly, and run confidently.  Oswald Chambers has written: “The knowledge that God has loved me beyond all limits will compel me to go into the world to love others in the same way. “   In the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God’s love broke through history, and breaks through each time Christians love one another.

From the wondrous cross of Calvary

Flows the stream that still avails.

Cleansing hearts and bringing victory

Through that love that never fails.—Elliott