More On Love
Still on my mind is what God, through Paul, is saying to us in this chapter of the Bible (1 Corinthians 13), regarding the subject of love (God's love, of course). Just looking at verse one, I see that we are being instructed, through the words of Paul, to have a devoted love towards both God and man, a love that is generated by God, which penetrates our hearts by the power of God's Holy Spirit. If I am not flowing in such a love, even if I (as it says in this verse) were to speak with tongues of men and even of angels (messengers), yet have not this love which Paul speaks of, then my life is like a very unpleasant noise. Yes, even if I could, in a most gifted way, speak great words ... words that might flow forth in expertise, and yet not have God's divine love flowing within, and through my heart, then my words, according to God's viewpoint, are nothing but noise, and a rather miserable noise at that. Just considering what a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal might sound like, is truly not a pleasant thought. How easy it is to get "caught up" in speaking what we consider to be perfect sounding words (so often to impress those around us) and yet, is this not rooted in pride? Such words, if they are not spoken from a humble heart, full of the love of God, are but a very unpleasant noise, according to God's written word. Certainly, our hearts must be yielded to Him, if the words we speak are to be pure. Reading on, there is so much more. Following verse one, Paul continues to instruct God's people. He speaks of doing great works, and of giving all of our goods for the welfare of mankind. He also says, if I could understand all mysteries, and have the needed faith to move mountains, and yet have a heart that's devoid of His great love, I am nothing. How often do we spend our time pursuing God's gifts, as well as God given ministries, and yes, even pursue doing the very works of God, but not the love of God? Now please, don't get me wrong. I'm in no way saying we shouldn't desire God's giftings in our lives, or that we should be used of Him to serve in His Kingdom, but what I am saying is ... any, and all of these spiritual attributes should in no way proceed a heart that is hungry for His great love. What I read here, in the first three verses of this chapter, is we can have all of these activities taking place in our lives, all of these "worthy" manifestations and causes, and yet not be living a life that's pleasing to the Father, because all that we are producing in, and through our lives, does not come from a heart of love. Let's allow love to be our ultimate goal, pursuing the very One (God), Who imparts such a glorious love to us! Amen.