February 14th is coming soon. It’s the day when love is celebrated, but it’s a special day for Walt and I. We will celebrate our 39th anniversary this day. I thank God everyday for my Valentine, but I’m especially aware that we would never have made it to this point had it not been for the love of God. He changed our hearts toward each other when we decided to take on this challenge of unselfish love. So this is for you, babe. A tribute to our deep abiding love for one another and our desire to see others transformed by the same.
I Corinthians 13:1-3 ERV; I may speak in different languages, whether human or even of angels. But if I don’t have love, I am only a noisy bell or a ringing cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy, I may understand all secrets and know everything there is to know, and I may have faith so great that I can move mountains. But even with all this, if I don’t have love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have to help others, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing by doing all this if I don’t have love.
This chapter is commonly called the ‘Love Chapter’ and is often spoken at weddings. Walt and I usually begin our marriage counseling by having the couple read this together daily and discuss with each other whether these verses are true of them. I’d like to first point out a strong truth in this passage; Love is the foundational principle in life as a Christian. Everything we do must be done in love because God, our creator and King is Love. If we don’t understand love or know the value of it, we will never understand or know the value of each other. Love is the key to a victorious life as a Christian. Not faith, although without faith you cannot please God. Verse 13 says; And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
A lawyer asked Jesus which of the commandments were the most important, Matthew 22:37-40; Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’ All of the law and the writings of the prophets take their meaning from these two commands.” Well then, this should be fundamental for all Christians, the first thing we study, the first thing we learn to practice; LOVE.
I’ve heard Christians use these first verses as an argument that ‘tongues’ have passed away and that ‘prophesies’ have ceased. No, Paul didn’t say that at all. He simply said that the value of these things, though important, if not done with the overwhelming, selfless, deep abiding love of God, they have no meaning at all. As Christians, we shouldn’t be challenged to love, it’s part of our new nature. If the blood of Jesus flows through our veins, then our DNA makeup will be LOVE. We may not like the sin, it may grieve our hearts as it does God, but this kind of love, it covers a multitude of sin.
Father, you loved us so much that you sent Jesus to die in our place. You sacrificed your only son so that He could be the firstborn of many. I’m one of those you love. My heart is so overwhelmed with love for you and you keep pouring more into me, so much that you’ve caused it to spill over onto others around me. This love can’t be manufactured into a stuffed toy or a heart shaped necklace. It can’t be purchased at the store with a credit card. This love is deep and abiding. It’s value can’t be measured and the only way to get more of it is to give it away. I want to explode love all over everyone today. I want to change my corner of the world with the love you freely give to me. It’s in Jesus Name and for Your glory. Amen