"Love is a verb."
"You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving."
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
-Jesus, John 13:35
We slept late today, ate a great breakfast prepared by John and Echo, and went to Blue Mountain for a hike of maybe three miles. The three miles were certainly beautiful miles and we had a super time. Once again, we were hiking through another part of God's incredible creation.
Lunch was back at the church and then we headed for Needles Overlook, an overlook into more of the Father's playground. I will not say much about this but will let the photos do the talking.
I will ask you to pray for me because tomorrow I will be speaking in the morning service here. Since I have not thought of anything else to write on this blog tonight I will give you a preview of tomorrow's message. As you read, don't forget to pray for the service. This will be the RQV (Really Quick Version).
In 1 Corinthians 12, the Bible lays out spiritual gifts and the Body of Christ. The gifts are described and compared to the human body and the parts that make it work. At the end of chapter 12 the gifts are once again listed and in verse 31 we are told, "In any event, you should desire the most helpful gifts" (v 31a).
In verse 31 we also find a transition from spiritual gifts to what is considered something much better, "First, however, let me tell you about something else that is better than any of them!" Better than any of what? Better than any of the spiritual gifts! What could be better than spiritual gifts? Take a look at chapter 13 and you'll see. "There are three things that will endure -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love" (v 13).
Some thoughts about love from 1 Corinthians 13:
1) Love is better than any spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31). When followers of Jesus focus on spiritual gifts more than the Giver it's like not seeing the forest for the trees. A genuine gift of the Spirit will point people to Jesus not to the Christians. God's love through believers will draw attention to Jesus.
2) Love should be from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. "The purpose of my instruction is that all Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith" (1Timothy 1:5).
3) Love should be continuous and observable. "Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).
4) Love is interested in others. "Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing" (Philippians 2:4).
Love isn't always easy. In fact, sometimes it's next to impossible. It is commanded, however, and made clear by Jesus that loving God and loving people is the greatest of all commands. "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40).
Jesus also said to those of us who follow him, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:35). Do you want to show the world who we really serve? Love each other!
Sound to me like the greatest platform for evangelism, missions, ministry, service, and worship is LOVE! I've heard this little poem many times:
To live above with those we love,
Oh, that will be glory.
To live below with those we know,
Well . . . that's a different story!
When we really fall in love with the Father it won't be hard to fall in love with the people he loves!
Love is a verb!