All For Nothing
All For Nothing
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I do not love I am nothing. Let that statement just rest in your mind for a moment. It alters your perspective of life pretty quickly. If I do not love I am nothing. It brings the simplicity of life into perspective because we put so much value on accomplishing goals, becoming upstanding people, and pursuing our callings in life that we become busy and have a thousand things on our mind but miss love. Often we start off doing things because we want to love others but after we get started we get overwhelmed by the task and forget about the love. God has called us to one simple thing – to love.
Come Back To Your First Love
In Revelation Jesus says to the church of Ephesus, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had first.” (Rev. 2:4). God desires for us to make Jesus our First Love. The most important love in our lives, the priority love. He is jealous for it because He is worthy of it. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Who is worthy of our love? The one who suffered the consequences of sin so that we would have eternal life, that man is worthy of our love.
Through the passage in Revelation we know that Jesus holds against man the fact that we do not have Him as our first love so we must do a heart check to make Him the First Love of our hearts. Many of us have probably had Christ as the first love at one time but life has taken its toll and we love some other things more than we love Christ or we have allowed life to dictate how much we are willing to love him. Others have not yet ever made Christ the first love of their lives but He is reaching out to you inviting you to make Him the first love of your heart.
It Takes God To Love God
John tells us that, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). To love we must have an understanding of what love is and I believe that our Hollywood culture has diminished the meaning of love to a simple feeling. We downgrade love to a feeling of compassion, or attraction, or dare I say liking something. We make comments like, “I love tacos” and “I love the beach” but we don’t actually love those things we just like them because they make us happy. We say we love him or her because we enjoy their company or are attracted to them but again do we really love?
Real love by definition has to be voluntary and completely selfless. Meaning when we love we love without expectation of receiving anything from it. From birth we are incapable from truly loving because our human nature is completely selfish and it is only by rebirth in Christ that we are capable of loving. Its because God first loved us that we are able to come into understanding of what selfless love looks like and then receive it in our lives. Once we receive that love through Christ we have to keep pursuing Him to keep it in our lives.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (John 4:7-8). It takes God to know God because without God living in our lives we incapable of loving, which means we cannot love God without God and we cannot love others without God.
Love Increases In Relationship
When my wife and I decided to start dating we had an interest in one another but we didn’t love each other yet but the idea of being able to love her and be loved by her was intriguing so we started a more serious relationship together. Once we dated and got to know one another our love for each other grew and we learned how to love one another and receive each others love. Now that we are married we love each other deeply but we are still growing in our love and will continue to until the day we leave this life.
Our love for God is very similar except He already loves us greatly and is waiting for us to get into the relationship so that love can grow. Jesus is eagerly awaiting your yes to Him so that He can pour His love onto you and yours back out onto Him. There is a lie that many tend to believe that basically says that if you pray a prayer, go to church and do things for Him you are loving Him. And God likes when we do things for Him but He desires our love and nothing less will be acceptable. Jesus said this in the sermon in the mount, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in you name perform miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never know you. Away from me, you evildoers” (Matt. 7:21-23). Jesus desires our love more than anything we can do for Him.
Obedience Is Key To Love
The other thing we see about loving God in what Jesus said in Matthew was that only the ones who do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of heaven. God desires to things from us as His children; first, that we would have a wholehearted voluntary love for Jesus and second, that we would be absolutely obedient to Him. It takes a relationship to grow in love and it takes a relationship to hear God’s voice and it takes obedience to respond in love to hearing that voice.
Obeidnce to God may look different in everyones life depending on what He calls you to in your life but one thing is true for all of us who have chosen Jesus as our Lord and Savior and as the First Love of our lives we are all called to love Him with all our hearts, minds, soul and strength (Luke 10:27).
There is writing on the wall next to me at the Student House of Prayer and it reads like this: “You won’t obey someone you don’t love. You wont love someone you don’t know. You don’t know someone you don’t experience. Experience > Know > Love so you can Know > Love > Obey.
My reason for all of this is to encourage you all to check your hearts to make sure Christ is the First Love. With so many distractions in life it is easy to make other things priority like schools, jobs, hobbies and friends and leave Christ to become a secondary love. The reality is that Jesus is more important and our love for Him is to important to let any other distractions get in the way. I encourage all who read this to take these things to heart and realize the importance of our love. Parents, I encourage your to look at who you are living before your children, are you showing them how to make Jesus their frist love in your own life? Or are you stressing school, hobbies or something else more than loving God? Parents, I ask this because often we want what is good for our kids like good grades, scholarships, to excel in what they do but if they excel in their talents, and get great grades and scholarships and good jobs some day but if they don’t love God or know how to make Him the first love it is all for nothing. I want your kids to have the best and greatest thing in their life and thats the love of God and eternal life with Him. Let’s pour our love back to God and invest into what is eternal!
If you have questions in how to grow in your love for Him or you have never received the fullness of His love by accepting Him into your heart and life please let me know so we can help you.