There are people in our world who are absolutely brilliant and greatly gifted in many different ways. Individuals can show great mastery and expertise knowledge of different specialties such as science, math, language, literature, music, art, philosophy, business, architecture, agriculture, and on and on. And there are some individuals who are gifted in an amazing and almost superhuman combination of many of these areas, all at the same time.
There are people in our world who serve other people in great and sacrificial ways. These people care for the homeless and the helpless, the hopeless and the sick in all kinds of ways as they serve individually or support ministries and organizations with their time, their talents, and their tithes. These individuals sacrifice, in one way or another, to help feed the hungry, clothe the poor, visit the prisoners, care for widows and orphans, supply clean water and healing medicines, build homes, schools and hospitals.
All of these incredible intellectual gifts that individuals possess, and all of these activities that individuals do for the good of another, can be wonderful things. Or they can be nothing. They can mean nothing.
I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:1-3
Anything of any true and eternal value, of any true and eternal power, comes from love. Comes from authentic, God-given, God-transforming love.
Without God’s love filling us, motivating us, grounding us, informing us, and serving through us, we are nothing. Nothing we know or possess, nothing we do, even in the most brilliant and astounding ways or in the most self-sacrificial ways, will ever have any true and eternal value if it does not come from God’s love. For we know that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and our God is true and eternal. Our God is all worthy and all powerful.
Only God’s love is eternally true and transforming. Only God’s love is able to make any circumstance, any activity, and any relationship matter – now and for all eternity. Only God’s transforming love is able to bring true and eternal hope to the hopeless, peace to the fearful, healing to the sick, and life to the dead!
May God, our God who is love, free each one of us up from every shred of pride we have – in what we know and possess, in the temporary positions and perceived power we hold, and in our own earthbound, limited perspectives and plans – so that we may live and fully love as Jesus does, the One who gave His all out of His love for us!
It really is love or nothing!