Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Shouldn't Love Be?

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. I Cor.13:8

Personally, I love the 'love chapter' because it talks about something I love: love. It's not just any kind of love that is described here, not just the feeling of love, but this text talks about what love is and isn't. Love as a noun. Love's character. Who love is and exactly what it looks like. We may find in our scripture text for the day the most telling reason and most deeply rooted necessity we have for love in our lives.

We live in a day of self-gratification, not only outside of the church, but more disappointingly, inside the church. Saints of GOD in this dispensation want to live saved and do the things of GOD when it's comfortable and convenient. Because of fear, something not given to us by GOD(II Tim.1:7), greed and selfishness have reared their ugly heads within the Body of CHRIST, leaving those outside to not be able to see and experience the power that CHRISTians are supposed to yield on a daily basis because the CHRISTians have prioritized other things and thus are not walking in that power. This is not a statement of condemnation, but a revelation of sobriety that we need to return to. I heard someone define love, in contrast to lust, as the desire to please others at the expense of self. Hmm...shouldn't love be? Hold on if you will...

The Apostle Paul begins the eighth verse of this text, his final in defining love's attributes, by saying that charity never fails. Why is love referred to as charity in this passage of the Bible specifically and not another? GOD wanted us to know what HIS perfect love consists of. Charity is something that is given for the benefit of someone else. It's not sat upon. It's not kept quiet. It's not withheld. It's given away. Remember the Commissioned song, "Love Isn't Love", until it's what? Given away...that's charity: love that's given away. Now, if this type of love never fails, I mean for no reason does it ever fall short of completing it's task, a statement of absolution here, then shouldn't love be enough? Why isn't love our primary motive? Our absolute driving force? Doesn't it make sense? If love as our purpose, our motive, our root, our foundation (and not just any love, but love that's given away) never fails, ever, then why don't we do everything in love? Why aren't we operating more in love? Why aren't we ministering for love's sake(Mark 6:34)? Why aren't we giving and sowing for love's sake(II Cor.9:7)? Why aren't we seeking another man's wealth for love's sake(I Cor.10:24)? Why aren't we interceding for love's sake(Isa.59:16)? I mean, think about it, if I'm doing what I do out of love, then I won't stop or start when I feel like it or ultimately leave things undone or incomplete. Why not? Because love never fails; it doesn't fall down on the job or give up at the first sign of adversity or struggle, and it never operates solely based on how it feels or whether or not it's receiving in return. My gifting would be more effective in blessing others and being of use to the LORD and fulfilling the needs of the people when I'm not concerned about love offerings and honorariums or making a name for myself. Why? Love never fails.

If every purpose, goal, ambition, we set our heart's desire on was done out of love, how much more successful would we be? Now keep in mind, that when we speak of love and when we speak of success, we're talking about the love of GOD and success measured by the standard of GOD and not the world. I can;t and won't love the unconditional way GOD would have me to outside of the will of GOD; outside of relationship with HIM. Any good that I do would lack consistency and not be pure. But the love of GOD given away is the will of GOD and within that, how definite would be the manifested plans of GOD for my life(Jer.29:11), as my resume would read before GOD "giver of love to those who are in need."

GOD's plan for my life will be there, but it's up to me as to when or whether or not it's ever realized.

Charity never fails. When love is not our motive, the things we think we have and the gifts we like to place on display will wither away. Why? Love is an absolute spiritual entity and spiritual things are eternal. Everything that is not spiritual is temporal and lasts for only a short time(II Cor.4:18).

We know love is not the primary function or reason behind things that go on in and around our lives today, but shouldn't it be? We can't choose the motives of others, but we can choose for ourselves. Give love away today, and watch your life shift into another level of glory as you become more like GOD by modeling HIS flawless character.

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