E100: 091 | I Am Nothing

love & hate
"Today’s reading in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 1 to 13. The Love Chapter – has to be one of the most well known passages in the Bible. This passage reminds us, that the things in life that have the greatest value are faith, hope and love. But love is the greatest. God’s love as expressed through Jesus is the active ingredient in the Christian life, and each of us should desire to practice love as described in this passage in all our daily encounters." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; | (ESV)

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. ... Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. ... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
"I am nothing" ...wow strong words. Shocking words for me. This passage is both beautiful and shocking. Paul's words here are shocking like the words Jesus spoke "love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44). David Sanford put this passage into his own words and titled it Love: A Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13. This really shakes up my world.
If I talk a lot about God and the Bible and the Church, but I fail to ask about your needs and then help you, I'm simply making a lot of empty religious noise.

If I graduate from theological seminary and know all the answers to questions you'll never even think of asking, and if I have all the degrees to prove it and if I say I believe in God with all my heart, and soul and strength, and claim to have incredible answers to my prayers to show it, but I fail to take the time to find out where you're at and what makes you laugh and why you cry, I'm nothing.

If I sell an extra car and some of my books to raise money for some poor starving kids somewhere, and if I give my life for God's service and burn out after pouring everything I have into the work, but do it all without ever once thinking about the people, the real hurting people-the moms and dads and sons and daughters and orphans and widows and the lonely and hurting-if I pour my life into the Kingdom but forget to make it relevant to those here on earth, my energy is wasted, and so is my life.

Here is what love is like--genuine love. God's kind of love. It's patient. It can wait. It helps others, even if they never find out who did it. Love doesn't look for greener pastures or dream of how things could be better if I just got rid of all my current commitments. Love doesn't boast. It doesn't try to build itself up to be something it isn't. Love doesn't act in a loose, immoral way. It doesn't seek to take, but it willingly gives. Love doesn't lose its cool. It doesn't turn on and off. Love doesn't think about how bad the other person is, and certainly doesn't think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply (as God is) over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth.

Love comes and sits with you when you're feeling down and finds out what is wrong. It empathizes with you and believes in you. Love knows you'll come through just as God planned, and love sticks right beside you all the way. Love doesn't give up, or quit, or diminish or go home. Love keeps on keeping on, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn't seem as special anymore. Love succeeds 100 percent of the time. That, my friend, is what real love is!"
If I am honest I would have to admit that I value knowledge above love. I desire to change this. I pray that my values will become aligned with God's values. Love is not something that is meant to be understood in the brain but lived out through experience.

I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.

Please share your own thoughts on this passage in the comment section below or on the Facebook page.

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