Love – the essential giftBro. David Chancellor
11/18/2007 11:00 AM
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Jesus was preparing them for what was ahead of them. He had shown them the need to help and serve one another. Now he was speaking of the importance of love. Love is an essential component for all we do. The love in our hearts should be the source of our actions. This love is what makes us useful and effective in the cause of Christ.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
It is needful that we, as children of God, carry the gospel to others. Jesus saw how much mankind needed what God had provided. He wanted to help them; he was moved with compassion. This is the same outlook that we ought to have; its an outlook of love. Laborers are needed; people who can love others enough to help them. We need to care about the souls of those we come into contact with.
1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 31:1-8
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a 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, 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, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
These people desired to have a gift, but Paul wanted them to see what was more important than just a gift. It’s good to desire something to make you useful, but we need the love of God in us. Charity is love from us to others. Have the love of God in your heart toward others. What is the profit of your gift without love?
"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, I am nothing." Sometimes people feel they have "greater light," but if the love of God isn’t behind it, it will still be ineffective. Arguing just to argue is pointless. It means nothing to try to share the gospel with someone intent on arguing his point. If love isn’t behind it to break down the barriers that are there, you won’t be effective.
"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Good and great works still don’t have any value without love in it. Without the love of God in it, its nothing but a business transaction.
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." Love is kind when suffering and without envy and pride. Love doesn’t try to elevate self.
"Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;" Love doesn’t have unseemly behavior and isn’t self-seeking. We want to be a blessing to others. Love isn’t easily provoked. People sometimes try to provoke, but we need to set it aside and do what God would have us to do. Don’t always think that others do things out of a bad intent.
"Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth:" We need to rejoice in good, not bad. While what goes around comes around, we don’t need to rejoice when it does. The love of God can help us to care about each other here, even when we’re sometimes a trial to each other.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Love needs to control our outlook of others. Because of the love of God that the Holy Ghost brings, we can do more for God. The love of God moves self out of the way and helps us to see others as Christ saw them. We need the Giver more than the gift. He is what makes the gift useful.