What’s Love Got to Do With It.

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1 Corinthians 13:1-7- “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.”  (NIV)

Ah yes, the famous Love Chapter. We as Christians are very familiar with this chapter. Many of us have taken the time and effort to memorizing the entire chapter. But does our familiarity cause us to actually glaze over the significance that the apostle Paul is trying to point out? We recognize the importance of love and we can all probably summarize the main message of this whole chapter. Without love, nothing we do actually matters to God. All our service is useless if love is not the motivating force. If love is so important, why do we as believers demonstrate so little amount of love? You may think, “that’s not me. I demonstrate love.” Well, let’s be honest and admit the truth about love. Love is the most difficult of all the fruits of the Spirit, even though it is the most important. Why is that?

Love is not in our nature. Lust is in our nature, because our nature is sinful. The world mistakes lust for love. Just look at the lyrics of the most popular songs. At the very core of our sin, the condition is selfishness. Lust fulfills our selfish desires and love does just the opposite. Love seeks to fulfill the desires of the one we love. If you aren’t sure if it is love or lust just answer this question: why do I love this person? If the only reason is because they make me happy or they fulfill my desire or anything that is centered on meeting my needs, then it is not true biblical love.

God commands us to love Him, love our neighbor and even to love our enemies. Is that really possible? God tells us, “if you love Me, you will obey Me.” But do we always obey God? What happens when our neighbor does something unkind toward us? How do we respond? How about the guy driving behind us, riding our bumper and blaring his horn at us, giving us the special hand gesture because he doesn’t appreciate our good driving methods? Do we respond with warm and loving emotions? Is not our response a very strong desire to run them off the road and give them a little something they’ve got coming to them?

The reason love is so difficult is because love is not of us; it is of God. Only God is love. We do not possess love outside of God giving it to us. God gives us His love so that we can love Him and love others. If we truly want to have love, we must be connected to the source. The amount of love we have is directly tied to the strength of our relationship with God.

So today, no matter what you are planning to do, whether it be sacrificing your time, talents and your very best for God, first go to your heavenly Father and spend time with Him and receive the love that will make your service valuable.

September 25, 2017