Let us keep the ball rolling for our love talk series (previous posts: Revisiting the Two Greatest Commandments | Who is my neighbor | How then should you love your neighbor?). But before anything else, let me thank you first for offering prayers for the Philippines as I brought up last week some of the current trials we are facing (Request for Prayers for the Philippines). God is sovereign.
Today, let us take a look at how apostle Paul sees this four-letter word, and flesh out from it the practical side of sharing love.
If you have watched A Walk to Remember, I am sure you are quite familiar with the most commonly quoted love passage: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. But now, I encourage you to step a lil backward and listen to what Paul says in the first 3 verses:
13 I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2 I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned —but if I have no love, this does me no good. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Spend some time reflecting on these verses. When I tried to dig into this in relation to God’s two greatest commandments, I found how logical Jesus words really are. It is really impossible to fulfill those commandments without love. It is impossible to please God without love. If you continue reading the passage of 1 Corinthians 13, you will see how Paul described this kind of love (Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not jealous or conceited or proud…love is not happy with evil…and so on)
Have you ever felt like doing things so plainly, without any passion or simply because you have to? Have you experienced sharing your talents or gifts with others but did not feel any fulfillment or delight? Have you attended a worship service and yet left the church like you’re in a spiritual drought? That is perhaps, you fail to do those things with love-love for God and love for people around you.
In the above-mentioned passage, Paul gave emphasis on having love and putting that love to the things that you do. When we summarize that, it’s like saying, it is better to have not lived at all than living without love. And toward the end of the passage, he said: Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Can you imagine how wonderful it is to live a life full of love? Jesus served as our perfect example. He showed His love for the Father by submitting himself to obey and fulfill His will, even if it means dying on the cross. And he showed his love not just for people whom he personally encountered, but love for the world! He did every thing in every step of the way, out of love.
Now I encourage you to take time and think of these statements. Try to fill in the blanks as you reflect on this short post:
- (if your are a student) I am studying hard because I love my _____________.
- (if you are a working person) I work everyday for my _______________, because I love him/her/them.
- (if you are a church minister) I devote my Saturday/Sunday in service because I love my ___________.
- (if you are a parent) My _________ motivates me to wake up every morning and do my daily routine.
- (if you are a charity worker) I’ll continue doing this because I love ______________.
- What cause are you living for?
- Why do you drink, eat, sleep on time, take care of yourself?
- Why do you join protests for climate change or whatever advocacy you have?
- Who are you living for?
- Let Love Motivate Your Work – Rick Warren
- Do everything out of love – KSB Sunday sermon
- Do everything out of love
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Next week, let us see how we are ought to love our brothers and sisters in Christ, or the flock/the church/the body. Let us hear it from Jesus himself.
God bless you.