“ If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Without love, we cannot serve God. Without love, we cannot see God. No wonder then the devil seeks to redefine love today in the process of turning evil into good and good evil. The devil tells us it is hate to tell a sinner their sin will cut them off from God and send them to hell unless they repent and change their behavior. It is actually hate not to warn them. Love tells the truth–gently, with the goal of restoration and forgiveness. Love seeks to lead people to grace, not condemnation.
We need compassion. We need grace. We need forgiveness. It is so easy to get caught up in serving God and become so focused on exercising our giftings, callings, etc., we can forget to love those around us–or even the very people we are called to reach. Whatever God has called us to, whether we labor in full time ministry or in a “secular” field, love for others as well as for Him should be the hallmark of our service and walk.
Lord, increase our love. Open our hearts to have compassion on those you place before us and give us the wisdom to know what they need, for you don’t say yes to all we ask, but give us only what is good and for our best. Show us how we can best love your people today and look after their interests and not only our own. Increase forgiveness in our hearts and heal us of pain and bitterness. Remind us of your love today. Enable us to walk in it and love others as you have loved us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Lord, amen.