I have always loved reading 1 Corinthians 13.It has such a clear definition of the love that God shows toward us and the love that we are to show towards one another. It is also a reminder to me that all the “works” we do in the name of the Lord are meaningless without it.
1 IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such [a]as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2And if I have prophetic powers ([b]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).
3Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or [c] in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.
Do you see that? You can be operating in the gifts and ministries in the Holy Spirit but if you don’t carry the love of God from your spirit into these actions , it is meaningless !
My God faith WILL NOT work without it. I believe that this is why the Church is in the condition it is today!
We have all these ministries and buildings that are VOID of God’s love.
What is Love? Ha! It is definitely not what we think it is. Look at this…
4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
Let’s just start with the first sentence… 4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
This means that even when you are being mistreated, love should compel you to endure long and be patient. Even when your body has been racked with pain for years and you see no end in sight to it, love should compel you to endure long. When your husband isn’t being the spiritual leader or provider in your home, love should compel you to endure long! Then it messes around and tell us that it’s patient AND kind! Lord help me Jesus!
All of these are totally contrary to what our flesh wants and this is why we cannot walk in this love without leaning on the Holy Spirit to help us do it!
A lot of people think that hate is the opposite of Love but I believe that it is selfishness.
John 3: 16 says that For God so loved the world… that He GAVE…
This is the perfect display of God’s love towards us, yet we find it hard to give anything unless it is of benefit to SELF!
How many times has a brother or sister… heck even a stranger come to you, asked for help and knowing that you could have helped them but because it was too great a sacrifice to either your wallet, your schedule or your family… you turned them away? Hey, you probably even said that popular phrase that we Christians are so well-known for…” I will pray for you!”.
James 2:14-17 says
14What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]?
15If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day,
16And one of you says to him, Good-bye! Keep [yourself] warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do?
17So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
Funny isn’t it? He says that your faith is dead if you do this, because as the word of God states…. Faith worketh by love!
Love will tell you…” I may not even have only the money in my pocket to pay my rent but this person has no food to eat!” Faith will say… “I believe that God will provide for me no matter what”, then it feeds the hungry brother! Even then it must be done with a right spirit, a spirit of love and a cheerful heart.
Prayer: Father in the name of Jesus I repent of not walking in your love towards others. I ask you to help me to remember that I must lean on you to help me to love the way you love. I declare right now that there is nothing in my life that is so precious to me that I am unwilling to let it go for use towards building your Kingdom and your people . All that I have is yours to do whatever you wish. Forgive me for turning anyone away when it was in my ability to give and show your love to them Father. I thank you right now for a new opportunity to be your loving distribution center! Amen