BLOG: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Admit it. Love has failed you. But Pastor! Verse 8 says that love never fails! We will get to that in a couple of days. But for now, you and I need to admit something. Love has hurt us.
Paul tells us in verses 1 - 3 that if we don't have love in our hearts, it doesn't matter what we do. Harsh, I know, but he is telling the truth.
To be clear, we are speaking about agape love. It's one of many times of love that is talked about in the Bible. Agape is a self-sacrificing love that doesn't expect anything in return. It is a no strings attached, doesn't expect anything in return, giving to give kind of love.
In verses, 1 - 3, Paul says that you can do all of these great things, some of which are impossible and others ultimately expensive. But if you don't have love in your heart, you messed up.
First of all, you're doing it for the wrong reasons. To build yourself up.
Then, you're probably doing something great at the wrong time. Love will lead you to act when it benefits others. You'll respond when it helps yourself.
Lastly, you're drawing attention to the wrong person. Yourself. When love moves on your heart, the recipient receives the care, and God gets the credit.
I think that Paul is talking about a religious kind of love that people use to make themselves feel good. They don't like people, but they do good things because it makes them feel better. They scored points with God when they do that - right? No. Not if it isn't done in love.
PRAY: Dear Jesus, I want to love others so they will see you, not me. AMEN