LOVE

1 Corinthians 13:13
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
 As we have seen in the last two days , faith and hope are very important character traits for every believer. But, today, let’s cover the chief trait of 1 Corinthians 13:13, the greatest of them all, which is love. Love is at the pinnacle because love is the foundation and motive for all other necessary traits in the life of the follower. Just about any trait in a believer’s life must have love as its driving force or it will lose its godliness. James 1 tells us that pure and undefiled religion is tending to orphans and widows in their need, but if someone does the act of tending to orphans and widows, but does it to make themselves feel good or to get the public praise of people, then their seemingly godly, loving deed was actually sinful in nature. We must constantly challenge our motives for all things that we do as believers, because the flesh is a daily double agent against our soul. Think of evangelism. We know that God wants us to evangelize and has even called us to evangelism, but if we do so to post “big numbers” then we are evangelizing in our own pride! This means that we can be doing what the Bible tells us is our great commission, but actually missing the heart of the commandment completely!

    Our flesh is an expert at polishing the external. We, like the Pharisees, have been guilty of being white-washed tombs. Christ isn’t interested in the external, but, rather, He is interested in the internal. He is after our hearts, not our hands. Here is the great irony of Christianity, however. Once Jesus has our hearts, we give Him our hands (and everything else), too. He, like a gardener, is concerned with the roots, because He knows if the root is healthy, the fruit will be abundant. We, on the other hand, can grow overly concerned with the fruit and neglect the roots. You know what we call fruit that is produced without roots? Artificial. It looks good, but it actually isn’t healthy at all. This is the same as a believer who does the right things for the wrong reasons. Let’s all examine our hearts and make sure that our motive for all services rendered to the Lord is love! For without love, we have nothing.
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