I was talking to someone the other day, and they mention someone was very religious but very cruel. And I thought, that was not uncommon. Religious people tend to be rigid, caring more about rules than people. The Pharisees cared more about upholding the law than setting people free. They were outraged when someone was healed on the Sabbath. How cruel is that?
Paul, a former Pharisee, warned us as Christian of becoming like the Pharisees. After he described all the fun things we get to do as Christians – heal the sick, prophesy, perform miracles, serve, he reminds us of the most excellent way – LOVE! Without it, we are spiritually bankrupted. It doesn’t matter how big our churches are, it doesn’t matter how many people are healed, it doesn’t matter how many of the Ten Commandments we keep, without love, we are out of tune, we are irrelevant, we are bankrupt.
My life’s resolution is to love more. But it begins by receiving God’s love for me. We can love because He Loved first. We can forgive because we were forgiven first. We can see the good in others, because He sees the good in us. It is His love that empowers us to love!
I don’t ever want my Christianity to become a religion void of love. I don’t even want to do the fun stuff without love. I want to be motivated by, inspired by, known by my love for others. This is my prayer, “Lord give me a greater revelation of your love for me, so that I may be known by my love.”
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-7
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