I woke early one morning and gathered my thoughts. I took a deep breath and tried to remember where I had last put my Bible… and then realized that my handy phone contained every good Word that my printed Bible carried. So, I googled a scripture site that I often use, and this verse came up in the search bar-
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. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails- 1 Corinthians 13
It most certainly was not by accident.
If I have faith, but not love- I am nothing.
If I give to the poor, but do not do it out of love- I gain nothing
God is love.
I am nothing without God.
I am nothing without His love.
If I do anything that is not out of love– it is meaningless.
Like a child wanting to please their parents, I want to please my Father in heaven. This verse hit me like a ton of bricks. How many times have you done the right thing because you knew that was what you were supposed to do? I have done it for years! But here, He’s telling me that if I really love Him, I have to do everything out of love. Without love in our hearts, “doing the right thing” still doesn’t cut it.
Slowly He is opening my eyes. Showing me the things inside my core that are not of “love”. He is teaching me how to see through His eyes. How to feel through His hands. How to love with the heart of my Father.
For many years, I have “done the right thing” when it comes to certain situations. But , I felt His awesome presence and love as I read the Word. We aren’t supposed to just do the right thing- we are called to LOVE. When we LOVE, when we love with God’s love– His love compels us to do the right thing- each and every time- without fail! And without reciprocity. No strings attached kind of love. Because that’s what His love is like.
We don’t deserve it.
We can’t earn it.
But when we accept His love, we can give it- freely. And His love changes people. I know, because it sure has changed me!
You know that phrase “fake it ’till you make it”? Well, I’ve done my fair share of that. But on this particular day, as I read those words about God’s love- I had a realization. All this “faking” it that I’ve done for so many years? In that instant I felt nothing but love for those who have disappointed me, or hurt me in the past. God has been weeding my heart of any bitterness or resentment… all these things that I have felt in the past are withering away… and are being replaced with His deep roots of love. The truth is, it is so much easier- and it takes far less energy to love people than to hold on to past hurts and regrets.
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
A dear friend showed me this hymn a while back. These words have resonated with me for quite some time. I set it to new music and also added a chorus to it. May He give us a passion to love those who hunger for the kind of love only He can give!
Help us accept each other
as Christ accepted us
teach us as sister, brother
each person to embrace
be present, Lord, among us
and bring us to believe
that we are ourselves accepted
and meant to love and live
to love as You have loved
to give as You have given
to die to our own desires
so we may do Your will
and love as You have loved us
Lord, for today’s encounters
for all who are in need
who hunger for acceptance
for righteousness and bread
we need new eyes for seeing
new hands for holding on
renew us with Your Spirit, Lord,
free us, make us one
*original text by Fred Kaan