Sunday, February 27, 2011

If I have not love, I am nothing

1 Corinthians 13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

God gives His people wonderful gifts. He first gives us salvation, the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the body of Christ (the church) to help us in this life. He gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us to fulfill the commands He has given us to make disciples and to love, encourage and uplift the body of Christ. The gifts of knowledge, prophecy (speaking God's word), and understanding, and many others, are great gifts and very necessary. However the greatest gift is also the one that Jesus taught as the greatest commandment, which He gave us here in Mark 12:29-31: “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” God's plan from before the beginnning of creation was to create a people who would have this law of love in their hearts and so live to glorify Him and love Him and one another. There is nothing more important than this.
God has been gradually teaching me this lesson over the last year or so, and probably longer. I've gotten side-tracked sometimes by the cares and distractions of this life, but He keeps bringing me back to it. For me, it takes the form of learning that any knowledge and understanding I may have (or think I have) is nothing compared to the love that He showed me and that He commands me to show to others. He also, by grace through the Holy Spirit, gives me the ability to love others, and I need to keep walking in that love in my daily life as I interact with my family, other believers, and all that I meet.
The second form it takes is a continuation of the first, that I must give of the gifts and talents He has given me to uplift the Body of Christ, not giving in to fear and timidity. One of my precious friends once said to someone "Don't be a blessing stealer!' She meant 'you need to share what God has given so we all can be blessed.' That stuck with me. So ya'll pray for me as I try to walk in love. And forgive me for when I haven't but instead have used knowledge as a way to puff myself up. God bless all who come here!

No comments: