“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
This is a portion of Paul’s discourse on love. Sandwiched between two chapters dealing with the description and employment of spiritual gift is the chapter which reminds us that the usage of our gifts in service must be guided by love. Without love, it does not matter how eloquent we speak; it is only noise. Without love, mountain-moving faith is hollow. Without love, all knowledge and revelation is self-serving. The old expression is certainly true that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. When we love others as Christ has loved us, we want the best for them. When we love others as Christ has loved us, we want to celebrate with them and cry alongside them. Love is central to everything we are as Christians. Love leads us to hands-on service. Love leads us to worship the Lord in spirit and truth. Love leads us to share the gospel with the lost. Sometimes people may seem unlovable. That is okay, love them anyway. I am certain that at times in the past we acted unlovable before God. Yet, He loved us anyway. Love is patient, kind, seeks the best interests of the other person first, and never demands anything in return. Allow love to guide everything you do.
When you stop and think of the many ways that God has loved/loves you, what do you appreciate the most?
Think about your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. How are you loving them? Think of a few ways you could demonstrate your love for them.