The Greatest of These is Love...Pt. 2


     In our last blog, we were learning about what love is, what it is not, and to make sure that whatever we do comes from the heart of Christ, and not from a selfish motivation. In I Cor. 13: 5-7, what is known as the "Love Chapter", we read about love:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

     Easier said than done, yes? But God would never require for us to do something that was impossible or unfair. We can make a checklist of the things we know about love from our reading:

  • suffers long 
  • is kind
  • does not envy
  • does not parade itself
  • is not puffed up
  • does not behave rudely
  • does not seek its own
  •  is not provoked
  • thinks no evil
  • does not rejoice in iniquity
  •  rejoices in the truth
  • bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
  • never fails
      We can all identify with some of the things on this list! Every day we need to ask God to help us be more Christlike in our actions, in our speaking, and our relating to others. Before we get up in front of a congregation, we need to check ourselves to be sure that God is pleased with the way we have treated others according to His Word, and not the way we feel that they deserve to be treated. If we have hurt or offended anyone, we are to go to them and make amends before we offer our gifts (Matt 5: 23-24). God is looking at our hearts...what does He see?  Love God...Love People!


The Greatest of These is Love! Pt. 1

*This is a repost from February 2011...Enjoy!
    You can't give it
    Til you live it
    You can't live it
    Til you give it away -- Israel Houghton*

     Imagine for a moment that one day, you opened your Bible and it read something like this:

Though I worship in the aisle and in the balcony, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of singing and understand all musical styles and all technical skill, and though I have choreography  that moves the congregation, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I produce books and DVD's, and though I wear beautiful praise garments, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
     I'm definitely not trying to tamper with God's Word, so please don't be offended. The point is that God is Love, but many times we have forgotten this in the midst of our outward activities. We have excitement and zeal, diligence and excellence, but no Love! Now, if God is Love, yet there is no Love in what we do, that means that God is absent from it. Selah...

Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God.  The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. 
I John 4:7-8 (CEB)

     God is very concerned with the way we treat others, so much that He even says that if we don't show love and kindness to towards other people, we can't even identify with Him. He is more interested in love, than He is in how much we do, how we perform our duties, how much we give, or how spiritual we seem to be. We can do nice things for people on the surface, but God knows our intent. Sometimes what appears to be a loving actions towards others is actually an attempt to control them. If you are fortunate enough to have large sums of money at your disposal, what is your true motivation for giving? Do we give just because we want to share, or do we really want to manipulate them into doing our bidding, giving us a position, platform or favor in return? Let's look at I Cor. 1:1-3 again:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 
 I Cor. 13:1-3 (NKJV)

     This passage of scripture lists many things that we can do, that amount to nothing if we lack the love of Christ. Israel Houghton's song: Love God, Love People  says that "We can't give it, til we live it, we can't live it, til we give it away". Let's be sure that in all of our serving, that we are truly doing it from heart of God's love.

Stay tuned for Part II...

*Love God, Love People-Israel Houghton