Last weeks commentary was in the ‘love book’ of the Bible, i.e.: I Corinthians 13;1. I said that love is the one thing in the Bible that can take care of everything that life has to offer. The Bible says love is more important than spiritual gifts, knowledge, or faith. In other words to have these things and have not love, we are nothing. In vs.3, Paul says: “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not Love, I gain nothing.” But notice what he doesn’t say: “If I give 10%” or “If I empty my checking account; if I cash in my insurance policies; if I give everything away to help the poor; and even sacrifice myself—but I have not love then I gain nothing at all.
Generosity by itself is not enough. I get calls all the time (and I’m sure you do too) from people appealing for funds for worthwhile causes. But why give? Do you give because the preacher just preached a sermon on stewardship? Or because you feel guilty if you don’t? Do you give because you want to impress others around you? If the only reason that I give is to receive or to benefit myself, then love is absent, and giving is empty. The motive for giving should be love. Love for God and Love for God’s people should be my motive. This is more important than we realize. Listen to what Jesus says in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another, as I have Loved you.” So you must love one another. Jesus says this is a commandment, not a suggestion. And God never commands us to do anything that we cannot do. Most people think love is something that just happens, because that is what the world teaches.
The Bible teaches that love is something we can control, which means that I can decide to love you and you in turn can decide to love me. So this is not a hopeless situation at all. In Philippians 2:4, Paul says: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This is love in the same way that Jesus loved (compassionate and unselfish). We should put this love into practice. Start with your spouse and your marriage relationship you share with your children, your in-laws, and every one else in the family. Then it will spill over into the church family and into the world. This is why I strongly believe that every church should have a marriage ministry. The stronger the family, the stronger the church. Jesus said: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you Love one another,” John 13:35. Love is the way the world will find out that the message of Jesus Christ is valid. Love is not about how much you know. It’s about how much you care.
My weekly prayer is that the reader of this commentary becomes spiritually inspired of God. Contact Expressions of Faith at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. God bless!