To Have LoveJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:03
To Have Love
To Have Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
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. 2 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. 3 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. (NIV)
Our passage today teaches that if we ‘have not love’ our life is but vanity. We can put on a show, and create a façade of godliness, but what lies within us will be anything but godly. And all the godly overtures of our life will be nullified because we ‘have not love.’ So, love is something we must have.
When the Ancient Serpent appealed to Eve in the Garden of Eden, he did not attempt to change her love for God, but to manipulate it. She had been made in the likeness of God. He had no power to change her ontology, but he corrupted it. Eve wanted to honor God by becoming like Him, but this desire in her was manipulated which led her to dishonor God in ungrateful disobedience.
We have been made in the image of God who loves. There is not a person alive who doesn’t want to love and be loved. Sin has manipulated our desire to be loved and corrupted our ability to give love. The result is a love centered on selfishness which, of course, is not love. What we had in Eden has been lost. But to move our life beyond vanity, we must regain what was lost.
To have the love of God without manipulation and corruption, our love and desire must be purified. To have love, we must pursue holiness. Striving to do what God desires us to do works to remake the love in us corrupted in the Garden of Eden. As we obey God’s Word, that action also works to remake our desires to resemble more and more His desires.
To have love is not a mere decision. We can’t make ourselves love as God loves. Rather, to have love requires the consistent pursuit of holiness. When we tell others and ourselves that we are going to love better, we are committing to something we can never do. But in the pursuit of holiness through the effort to obey the Lord in faith, our hearts are laid open before God’s. Then He can pour Himself into us and the love that was had in the beginning can be had again. Our life will no longer be vanity because we will have love.
Prayer: Lord, remind me that loving like you is beyond my ability, but in seeking to honor You, I open myself to Your transformative power so that I might have love once again. Amen.