#TreasuredTruth #115Of366 #RawderKidulaKedaha
Ever skipped a simple instruction in an exam that caused you to fail everything? This happened to me so many times in school. I thought I knew exactly what the examiner wanted me to say even before fully understanding the question, I even compared with previous exams and believed I was doing the right thing. The feeling of wasting time writing an entire three paragraphed wrong answer always tormented me. You mean all that was for nothing? No matter how tidy my handwriting was, no matter how true the answer was, no matter how beautiful the diagram was, if I did not follow the instructions it resulted to nothing.
I felt the same way when I realized that going to church every day, actively participating in ministry, fasting and praying, speaking in tongues and rolling on the ground was all meaningless if I did not obey God’s Word. His word says ‘obedience is better than sacrifice’ (1 Samuel 15:22) There are things that should matter more than being religious, than being seen by people as a ‘faithful servants of God’. There are things that matter more than the praises of men. One of those things is love: the greatest commandment.
1 Corinthians 13 speaks a lot about love, the first three verses tell us how important love is, especially in a religious society where we can easily perform all church duties yet our hearts are full of hate towards even the people we serve with, a society where your level of Christian depth is measured by speaking in tongues and prophesying, a society where the one who gives more money is esteemed more highly than the one who loves. Well, this is what the Bible says ‘If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.’
All that for nothing! Feels like my failed exam in the first paragraph, right? Many times we desire gifts of the Holy spirit, we look at others teaching, prophesying, speaking in tongues, praying for long hours, interpreting the word of God, singing, ushering, giving, you name it; but if all this is done without love it profits nothing. It is a failed exam. Many paragraphs, long explanation, neat handwriting, quoted great authors but failed because you did not follow the instruction: The commandment to love. All those gifts should be desired, we should crave to be used by God to serve in the ministries we are in, we should be filled with the spirit, we should be prayerful, we should see visions and prophesy, but love should be the foundation.
God has commanded us to love one another as He has loved us. (John 13:34) and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39) Being super spiritual without love makes us noisy gongs. It results to nothing. May the Lord teach us to love His way. ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13: 4-17)