This Day in History: 0000-07-12

July 12 – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, & 8-10 

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. 
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. 
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. 

Let’s take the next three days and do a short study on this famous “love chapter.” If we’re at all familiar with the Bible we know we’ve been commanded again and again to live a life marked by love. It is an attribute meant to define God’s children. So we should do our best to understand what it is, what it is not, and how we can ever hope to live a life of love. 

Here in 1 Corinthians 13 we find all the noble things we often find ourselves striving for as Christians mean little to our Lord if they’re not coupled with love. Ouch! 

But think about it, isn’t it easy to think of some people you know who makes a lot of noise in the name of Christianity but demonstrates little to no love in the process? Doesn’t the description of a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal pretty perfectly describe the way they come across? 

Isn’t it easy to think of some people who spend countless hours in study and always seem to have all the answers when it comes to the Bible, but fail to season that knowledge with a sprinkle of love? Or others who always seem to be “believing God” for really big things, but never seem to have the time to be His hands and feet? Don’t you find that all that effort, all that striving tends to produce pretty much nothing? Don’t you find little to no fruit surrounding these people? 

And finally, isn’t it easy to think of some people who are always boasting about all they’ve given up in the name of Christ? People who find one cause after another to pour into with pomp and circumstance and a great big helping of condescension with a side of condemnation? What do these people really have to show for all their self-imposed suffering? I’d be willing to bet there’s not a whole lot of evidence of lives changed by Christ in their wake, so what’s the point? 

More important than any of those questions, though, is this one: Which of those strivings tend to trip US up? What aspects of our lives are filled with the evidence of our own self-importance, but lack the undeniable marker of the Holy Spirit of God – love? Friends these things, these good things will pass. They won’t last. The good works we do on our own will bear no mark on eternity, but the things marked by love, well, those things will last forever.  

Check back tomorrow as we continue on in this wonderful chapter to find out what exactly love even is, and what it is not.