Supreme Love

All our works for the Lord mean nothing if they’re not done in love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory, but do not have love, it does me no good.

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Today’s Scripture is commonly known as the love chapter. Interestingly, Paul didn’t spell out a definition of love but instead described its importance and expression.

This type of love isn’t human in origin; it comes from our heavenly Father and is part of His very nature (We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 1 John 4:16). What the apostle’s describing is an unselfish, sacrificial love that acts on behalf of someone else. God’s desire is to transform all believers into the image of Jesus (For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; Rom. 8:29). And we are most like Christ when we display such selfless care for one another.

The first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13 issue a warning. Without the motivation of love, all our good deeds—including service for the Lord—will profit us nothing. In God’s eyes, a loving spirit is more important than impressive words, knowledge, faith, generosity, and self-sacrifice. When we stand before Christ to be judged for our good works, any deeds done for selfish reasons will not be found worthy of reward.

We’re all blind to some degree regarding our motives, so discerning why we serve God or do good deeds can be difficult. Pray to know your heart’s hidden intentions, and ask the Lord to replace any self-centered motivations with His more excellent way of love.

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