Passage: Psalm 41
Today: Love-the greatest gift of all!
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. (1 Cor 13, NLT)
There is a list of things mentioned here, which we often look as “great”
They all have their “greatness”, and we cannot just put those things down; but God values true love more than all of them, and so should His children be
The things mentioned here are: the gift of Speaking in tongues, gift of prophecy or word of knowledge, great faith, acts of Charity and self-denial/sacrifice
For some reason, we consider all or some of the above as “way important”, while taking no time to see if “love” is involved
The other day, I saw some people talking about “valentine’s day”, and sure, many people treated their friends nicely. But all “acts of love” need not necessarily involve love; obligations sometimes force people to “show” the love they don’t have!
I remember reading some article in “The New York Times” about PDA(public display of affection) . They were saying that in countries like India, this (PDA) was very uncommon, but of late, people have started doing it more often; that does not mean that people in India have started loving each other more than before; many “styles” travel across the Atlantic, and there may be nothing wrong in demonstrating love, as long as people don’t start fighting w/each other as they get home
God has no problem, if we demonstrate our love for God through acts of love, like charity or kindness; the problem is when we do it for “show” and recognition, and not from love. We need to love the very subjects of our charity
The bottom line is, God does not approve anything that does not come from our heart. That was the problem between Jesus and the people around him; Jesus was true love and the people around him were people who loved to do their PDA towards God, by giving their tithes and “charity” in public; they would toss a coin up in the air so that the poor could run after and get it. These days, it happens in another way. People publish each and every dollar donations in a book or something so that it encourages certain people to give!
I know a certain church (not in the US) with few thousand members, where they don’t want individuals to show their names on the offerings; so each person puts their tithes/offerings in the box, and the authorities don’t know who gave what. It is between God and the giver! That church tops all other churches around, in income!
When Love is first, no one is looking for any credit; God gets the credit!
Have a blessed day!
Prayer: 16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. (Ps 51, NLT)
Lord, help me to love you and others I must love, with all my heart, not some of it. In Jesus’ name, Amen
The greatest of all gifts, is the gift of love!