In yesterday's devotional, we talked about how love is "the more excellent way." We are to pursue love, especially in how we practice the gifts of the Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul presses home the point of just how important love really is. Let's start with verse 1,
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
Paul does not say the gift of tongues isn't legitimate or genuine. But if there is not a heart of love behind it, it is just noise. You see, the water picks up the taste of the pipe that it flows through. If the pipe isn't clean, the water can pick up a pretty nasty taste, even though it is still genuinely water.
So also the gift can be genuine, but it is more noise than anything else to the hearts of the people who hear it if it is not accentuated by love.
Let's move to verse 2,
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, but have not love, I am nothing.
Notice he did not say the gifts are nothing. The gifts are genuine. He says you are nothing. From heaven's point of view, you are defined by your character, not by your accomplishments. The world tends to define people by their accomplishments. In heaven's books, however, you are defined by your character.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing (verse 2).
It does not say the poor won't profit, but you won't profit. You lose your reward if your heart is not right.
Today is the National Day of Prayer
...and your prayers are desperately needed for our nation and our world—and for everything you're believing for in your own life!
Our country needs all its Christian citizens to join in this call to prayer. And God's Word promises that we will receive answers as we agree together!
What are you believing for God to do in this nation?
Today's Scripture Reading
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:
“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence...."