1 Though I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Without Love …
I have to admit. Verse 3 is a bit startling.
I would think that a person who gives away all their possessions and endures many physical hardships would be in heaven’s hall of fame for “most sacrificial.” This person would be on the caliber of Mother Teresa. However, the Bible says that if the person made these sacrifices without love, they would gain nothing. Nothing. Love is everything.
As I thought about this, it started to make more sense. I reflected on Mother Teresa’s life, who truly did live in the way this Bible verse describes. Every time I saw her on a newscast, she always exuded love. Honestly, I don’t know how you could live your entire life as she did unless love was your motivation.
I think if a person tried to live a sacrificial life without love, pride would get in the way. They probably wouldn’t endure, and the results would be doubtful. Perhaps they might become impatient or short-tempered. Might it be that they would do more harm than good?
The Mark of Love
I think once again what this shows us is that we need to have a God-based motivation and empowering for the “good works that God has created in advance for us to do,” (Ephesians 2:10). Otherwise they miss the mark of love and so do we. The Kingdom of God is created by faith in love. Nothing else works.
But keep in mind, I don’t think God wants us becoming obsessive, analyzing our every action to see if it Iines up. I believe that if we live a life of love, spending time with God each day and using His word as our guide for life, then we will be in tune with the Spirit, and He will guide us on the path of love.
Be loved, Beloved!
For more on how to do all things with love see Gregory Dickow’s collection of resources about love.
Day 4 Journal Activities
- Can you identify any short- and long-term acts of service that God is calling you in love to do?
- Are you struggling to do all things in love? Use your Bible concordance or do a Google search for Bible verses about love. Write them in your journal, meditate on them and ask God to write them on your heart.
- Feel free to share any thoughts/insights in the comments. We’d love to hear what’s on your mind.
This verse has touched my heart today:
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11
All around us is the example and temptation to throw hate at those we disagree with. The “Covid years” have unfortunately brought out the worst in us.
God wants us to be the ones who bring out the best in ourselves and others. Help me, Lord, to respond with love. Help me to shine Your light of love and truth into the darkness of our culture. Amen.