#DailyDevotion Love With The Love Of God
1Co 12:31-13:3…And I will show you a still more excellent way. (13:1) 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.
Paul has been in this letter talking about divisions. There were all sorts of divisions in the congregation. It seemed if you could be divided over something then well they were divided over it. In this last section the division stressed was divisions over gifts and which ones were better and the like. Paul had taken that to show Jesus is the Lord, the Spirit is the one in charge of gifts and we were to make they were using those gifts to serve and build up one another. Paul encourages them to seek the greater gifts and those were the ones which they served the most people.
Paul is now pointing us and them to a more excellent way. He picks up on the previous theme of gifts. The Corinthians were pitting one gift against another. If one had the gift of tongues that was best. If one had prophecy, that was the best. If one had the gift of knowledge, wisdom and insight, well that was the best. You get the idea.
Yet through all this, after each gift mentioned Paul says, “If I don’t have love, I am nothing. I gain nothing. I am a noisy gong.” Well that sets things in perspective doesn’t it? So if you have some amazing talents or gifts and you even used them to be of service to your fellowman and fellow church member, if love is lacking in the use of them, well it doesn’t matter a whole hill of beans.
But what sort of love is Paul talking about? I love pizza. I don’t think that is what he is talking about. I love football. Still not the same thing. I love my wife. Well that might be getting closer but even unbelieving pagans and atheists love their spouses as well. So what is this love that Paul is talking about?
It is the love God has for man. It is a love that sacrifices his own son for the salvation of those who hate him, for those who are his enemies, for those who do not trust in him. It is the love show us in Christ Jesus on the cross, who would suffer the agony and suffering so that we who do not fear, love and trust in him might be saved.
So what does this love look like in our lives as Christians? It forgives those who sin against us. It shows mercy to those who do not deserve it. It is seeking the good and betterment of those who hate you and want to harm you. This love seeks to honor others more than oneself. It treats others as if they are more deserving than oneself. It seeks to good of others for their sake and not for oneself.
This is the love God has shown us in Christ Jesus. It is the love he expects us to show to others. Will you add love to your using your gifts today?
Almighty, All-loving God and Father, you have shown us your great love for us in the sacrifice of your son Jesus Christ. Grant unto us your grace and faith that we too may show this love for other people we encounter today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.