If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Cor 13:!-3
In a moment where the church community had reach high dysfunction in the city of Corinth, in particular with their understanding of spiritual gifts, Paul writes the precursor to one of the most used passages of scriptures in weddings. However the love that Paul describes in this chapter was not aimed to be a romantic declaration but rather a clarification around what is the most essential strategy, central motivation, of the Christian life. If we do many great things, if we serve, give and pray but we do not have love we are missing one of the most essential ingredients of the character of God desperately needed by the world. The chapter finishes with a powerful declaration that faith, hope and love remain as the highest virtues and pillars of the Christian lifestyle. But when Jesus returns we will not need faith, for we will see and know him, we will not need hope for it will have been fulfilled, but we will always need love.
How often in our own lives is it easy for us to operate and do day to day menial tasks without love. The problem with it is these tasks are having no positive eternal effect on our souls nor those around us. Love is the key to a flourishing relationship with God, and a catalytic relationship with man. Spend time reading through verse 4-7, what part of these attributes do you struggle to reflect in the way you love?
Jesus, I can only love because I have first been loved. IN moments of trial and hardship teach my heart how not only to love and serve you but also to love and serve those around me. Let me taste your love afresh that I might be a conduit for it to the world.