In the great love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, the first three verses school us in the importance of love:
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Those are some powerful words, my friends! Power means nothing if we do not use it lovingly. Money does us no good if we don’t use it to bless others expecting nothing in return. Time is wasted if we fill it with things that do not help us show love for others. Knowledge cannot truly help others if we are not using our knowledge in connection with love. Even prophecy and faith and personal sacrifice are worthless without love in our hearts accompanying those powerful things!
1 John 4:7 tells us that love comes from God and that our love shows we are God’s children:
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.”
And in that same book, we learn that our love looks like something: “So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.” -1 John 3:10.
I look around our community and see love a lot: patience with a child, kind words, forgiveness, smiles, compliments, gifts given, hugs.
But I also see the absence of love: angry words, grudges, violence, road rage, envy, jealousy. I recently saw a Facebook quote that said, “I am so tired of people running around with a mouth full of scripture and a heart full of hate.” Sadly, I am sure you feel that as I do. Jesus dealt with the Sadducees and the Pharisees in his day who spoke the law but did not care to show love, grace, and dignity to people as Jesus did, and we continue to deal with the same thing on the earth today.
It makes me long for Heaven! I don’t want to live in a world where children are mistreated, people in power abuse their positions, money-hungry souls do desperate things, drugs are used to try to fill the place only God can, peace usually comes at a great price, and most people have a hidden agenda! I want to see people living as the masterpiece God designed them to be. I want to see people working together for the good of others. I want beauty and peace and goodness for no reason other than we have true love for others in our hearts. I want ALL of that.
Jesus informs us that “here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
Hang in there, friends! One of our teaching pastors, Sam Pharris, reminded us in a recent sermon that “we are not home yet.” What a great reminder! Heaven is the ultimate goal. The book of Revelations tells us that when Jesus comes again, love really will win. We will praise God forever, He will wipe every tear from our eye, and He will punish the devil, among several other things that the believer’s heart longs for.
Until Jesus comes again, I will do my best to lovingly live as described in Micah 6:8:
“The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
We do not understand the hatred in this world, but we lived some of that before we accepted your love into our hearts through the blood of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. We trust you. We believe in you. We believe you are working for our good even when we can’t see it amongst the hatred that abounds around us. Help us to be light and love to others as we walk humbly with you.
In the name of Jesus, we pray,