If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but donâ€™t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but donâ€™t have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but donâ€™t have love, it profits me nothing. Â Â Â 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (WEB)
This is one of those passages (and the rest of the 13th chapter) that is good for me to read in an unfamiliar translation. In the NIV, I have read these verses so many times that I do not take the words in and allow them to saturate me and soak me with their truth and wisdom…with their love.
It is the love part that I so often glide through in search of some meat when it is love that is the power and core of God Himself! It is love that brought Jesus up from His knees in Gethsemane and
set his path unswervingly to Golgotha. It is love that kicks satan and his buddies every time they bring selfishness, bitterness, unforgiveness, and pride and we choose compassion, joy, gentleness, and humility instead.
When was the last time you read 1 Corinthians 13 or Song of Songs? How about John 17 where Jesus intercedes for us? It is love that is in every letter and period. From Genesis to Revelation we are shown the many facets of God’s love. Even in the discipline and consequences there is love, the perfect love of a Father for His child. And as His disciple, I am to follow this love; be an ambassador of His love. I am not to store that love for some rainy day. I am not to just soak it up and lock it inside myself. It is to flow through me, untainted by me. I am just a conduit of God’s love to others who do not truly know Him or are too scared to meet Him. It is His unconditional and extravagant love that will ‘woo’ them to come closer to ‘taste and see that God is good’! (Psalm 34:8)
Take time today to soak in God’s love. Read the following verses and then go spill them on someone!
Love is patient and is kind; love doesnâ€™t envy. Love doesnâ€™t brag, is not proud, doesnâ€™t behave itself inappropriately, doesnâ€™t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesnâ€™t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. But now faith, hope, and love remainâ€”these three. The greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (WEB, my emphasis)