Over and over again, I am reminded of what Jesus said when He was asked the question, "What is the greatest commandment?" He replied that it was to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and though not asked, he immediately expanded it to the second greatest commandment which was to love our neighbor as ourselves. Everything else hangs on these two things.
I believe this is at the core of everything in our walk with God. THIS is what we must do. We have two, no, only one thing that we must do. When we love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, the natural result will be that we will also love our neighbor as ourselves. When we love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, we will be come increasingly sensitive and tender to His voice. We will find ourselves desiring to obey Him, not because we have to but because we simply love God and it is our greatest joy to serve Him and bring Him pleasure.
Paul sums it up very well in 1 Corinthians 13, which has become known as, "The Love Chapter".
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.- 1 Corinthians 13 (NKJV)
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.
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.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
We can have all the knowledge and wisdom in the world believing that we are enlightened above all men. We can have all the riches and fame to be had in this world. We can give great and convincing speeches in regards to our beliefs and opinions and even have the masses following us. We can preach fiery, inspiring messages. We can pray magnificent prayers and quote the Bible backwards and forwards. We can even do great acts of charity and gain the admiration of man and yet if we do not have love in our heart, love for God and as a result of that, love for our fellow man, it is all in vain.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ensh/3440275790/
Yes, at the core of it all has to be love or it is all for naught. It is sad how many people can quote various verses in 1 Corinthians 13 but how few know how to live any of them. Without the love of God in manifestation all our works are empty and our words are worthless attempts to bring glory to ourselves.
Thank you for reminding us all that it is all about love.
Blessings 2 You!
You are correct! (as Ed McMahon used to say to Johnny Carson every night.) Keep blogging. - bibleguy
There was an old time Preacher that said of your quoted verse "Christians are always asking how to be like God, here, in 1Cor. 13 is how God is, how Jesus is, to us and how we are to be in our lives to (and with) others."
You say very correctly the "core" and also the outside shell.
Missed you all so much I just had to come back.
"He replied that it was to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and though not asked, he immediately expanded it to the second greatest commandment which was to love our neighbor as ourselves. Everything else hangs on these two things."
I believe these to be the foundation of christian living and without them we will never stand the test of time.
[quote]I believe these to be the foundation of christian living and without them we will never stand the test of time.[/quote]