Nothing Without Love
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity[love], I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [love], it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (underling added)
The day I bounced jubilantly into my beloved Pastor Freddie’s office years ago to proclaim the Lord had called me into ministry, He had a simple, blunt, and unappealing reply. “And now begins the preparation.” Though Pastor Freddie is now with the Lord, his words remain loud and clear in my heart. I was too prideful and immature to heed the wisdom I was given. I jumped head first into ministry and made a MESS. I not only knew and understood too little of God’s Word to be able to minister to others, but I needed my mind renewed by His Word and my heart and life transformed by His Spirit through His Word. More than anything, I didn’t know how to receive God’s love, nor did I know how to love Him and others. I did not know how to love with the love of God. I loved in my own human strength, and human love can only go so far before it fails. God’s love never does (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Years later now, I have been transformed. God took the hardness off my heart, drew me to Himself into intimate fellowship with Him, and by His Spirit began to teach me His Word and to change my heart and life. He is not done with me, and I fall and repent daily, but He is ever transforming me as He intended to do all along. Daily, as I chase after Him, I experience not only His blessed fellowship, but His faithfulness in and dedication to teaching me how to walk in His ways – most importantly to humble myself and to love Him and others the way He intended all along.
He has taught me the way to pour out HIS love is to vigilantly keep my heart pure for Him, to repent when it is not, to study and practice His Word, and to strive more than anything to empty myself of me and my wrong thinking and acting and to seek to be filled with and led by His Spirit. The difference is astounding. I still fall daily, I need to repent often, but I have a commitment to learn to love as He does, and to give His Spirit free reign to convict me of sin, to chasten me when necessary, and to teach me what it means to love like my beloved Father in heaven. Opened your heart and life to the Lord’s love, Word, Spirit, will, and ways?