If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – Scripture of the Day (February 13, 2014)
You know, loving Jesus is all about obeying his commandments (John 14:15, 21, 23-24). Those of us who truly love God will do our best to obey all that he has commanded of us in his Word. We will preach his gospel without changing it in any way. We will worship him the way he told us to. We will go to church, and be a part of the right church. We will be evangelistic, benevolent, church-going, Bible-reading, praying people. And that’s a good thing.
However, it is very possible for us to, without realizing it, start to do all of these things that God has told us to do…without love. We might start sharing the gospel with people for no other reason than filling the pews and increasing the contribution, with the saving of their souls never even being a major factor in our minds. We might start worshiping God ritualistically in the way he told us during the worship hour, and treat our brethren badly after the final “amen” (James 3:9-12). We might be very faithful in our church attendance, be involved in a lot of charitable organizations and functions, read our Bibles every day and pray every night…and do it all without real, agape love for all of our fellow man. And if that is the case, how long will it take before we lose our love for God? Not long (Matt. 15:7-9).
What is real, true love? Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It’s patience. Kindness. It’s not envy. It’s not pride. It’s not rude. It’s not selfish. It’s not irritable. It’s not resentful. It’s not happy when wrong is done. It’s happy when truth occurs. It is willing to bear all things. It gives others the benefit of the doubt first. It always hopes for the best. It is willing to endure for a very, very long time.
Sounds like God’s love, doesn’t it? That’s how God wants us to be…like him (2 Pet. 1:4).