July 21, 2010
Love is foundational.
What comes to mind when you hear the word "love?" That's right, 1 Corinthians 13. That is what we read. Bottom line of the chapter: If love isn't there, the rest won't last. And the rest doesn't matter!
This is all really quite serious. You could essentially give up your entire life and everything in it, but if it is not done in the name of Christ's love, then it's worthless. Vain. Meaningless.
It's easy to look at this chapter and think, "Oh, well, that just applies to the big sinners out there. Those that steal, murder, lie, and cheat. Or to those who just think that living a "good" life will get them to Heaven."
And well, it does. But it also applies to the Christian who knows something to be good, and doesn't do it. Or the Christian who does something good, but for all the wrong reasons. Or the Christian who poses, pretends, and completes tasks more out of obligation and duty than our of service and love. It's dangerous ground when we get so used to "being a Christian" that we forget that being a Christian means to love... at all times. And to love, everyone. We may not always like people. But we must love them. Because as a soul, any person's salvation is worth just as much as yours.
Don't do things in order to get something in return. Do it out of love.
Love does not keep score. Love forgives seventy times seven times without enabling or rescuing, but with mercy. Love is not proud.
Do you want to know the most important thing about love? God is love.
When we do things out of love, we don't expect the favor returned. Our motive is not for reward or gain, but our motive is for furthering Christ's Kingdom.
This is not a natural human trait. To wake up every morning and perform every action that day out of love does not come easily. After all, if God = Love, we are far from God, and while we strive to be like Christ, the striving is there because we aren't that way in the first place. We do good to remember who we are and who God is, and in that way, we realize that without God's grace and God's help, we are nowhere.
Love is foundational. Why? Because without it, nothing else matters.
Love you all... T