If I Don’t Have Love

Have you ever had a time that you felt like God was trying to teach you something or change something about you? Thankfully, I have and I’m experiencing His guidance, direction, and correction right now.

Maybe you haven’t realized it was happening, but if you think about it for a minute, God might be trying to mold you as well.

For me, it often happens in the form of being inundated with the same theme. Something comes up over and over and over again. Or maybe it’s been there all the time, but God has graciously opened my eyes to view things differently than before.

Right now, I’d say there’s a pretty big one going on in my life. LOVE. God is reminding me that He is all about love and because He is all about love, I should be as well. It all started with For King and Country’s song, “The Proof of Your Love”. I enjoy singing along and I love the fact that it’s straight from scripture, 1 Corinthians 13.

Take a moment to listen and read the words of the song.

In case you can’t view the link, the lyrics are below:

If I sing but don’t have love
I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise.

If I speak with a silver tongue
convince a crowd but don’t have love
I leave a bitter taste with every word I say.

So let my life be the proof
the proof of your love.
Let my love look like you
and what you’re made of.
How you lived, how you died.
Love is sacrifice.
So let my life be the proof,
the proof of your love.

If I give to a needy soul
but don’t have love
then who is poor?
It seems all the poverty
is found in me.

When it’s all said and done,
When we sing our final song,
Only love remains.
Only love remains.

[Monologue]
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all of His mysteries and making everything as plain as day, and if I have faith to say to a mountain jump and it jumps but I don’t love I’m nothing. If I give all I earn to the poor or even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, no matter what I believe, no matter what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (The Message)

Listen to the words and let them sink in. When I watched one particular You Tube video of the song, it hit me hard when they flashed a picture of Adolf Hitler as the words were being sung about speaking with a silver tongue and convincing a crowd. Wow! That’s exactly what he did. He convinced many crowds to do things that people still cannot fathom. Things that are unbelievable and extremely horrific. He convinced them and he was completely devoid of love. He was full of hate.

The Scripture translation from The Message in the monologue also gave me reason to pause. You see I teach children at church. I’ve done it for many years. I feel great joy when I’m explaining something to the children and I can see evidence that they really understand. They get it. 1Corinthians 13 reminds me that even if I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all of His mysteries and making everything as plain as day, but don’t have love, I’m nothing. Nothing in God’s eyes.

Even if I give ALL I earn to the poor, but don’t have love, I’ve gotten nowhere. Nowhere in furthering God’s kingdom. Nowhere in becoming a woman after God’s own heart.

We’ve read and heard this Scripture so often. But do we really take it to heart?

I mentioned that I’ve been inundated with LOVE lately, so on with the story. I’ve just begun Beth Moore’s Bible study about David. Yes, King David. The man whom God chose to be king over His people because He was searching for a man after His own heart. He found that man in David.

Can you just imagine being referred to as a man or woman after God’s own heart? By God Himself? I can’t imagine it, but I know I SO desire it.

There is a huge contrast between Israel’s first king, Saul and the second king, David. Saul usually tried to do things to please God when he knew he had messed up or when he needed a favor from God. David loved God. He sang songs of praise to God, he talked to God on a regular basis, he sought wisdom and guidance from God, he desired to spend time with God. He didn’t do these things in order to mark items off his to do list (pray, read Scripture, praise, sing). David did these things because he loved God. They were responses from his heart because he had a deep love for a mighty God. David wasn’t perfect, but he loved God and God took notice.

There’s a great lesson to be learned from 1 Samuel 16:7. “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart.”

One final thing. A sweet friend of mine gave me the book Kisses from Katie. This book is about an incredible young woman who gave up college, her boyfriend, her sports car, her family, her friends, her life…to live in Uganda. She loves the people of Uganda. She has adopted 13 girls. She has also established several ministries to care for the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Uganda.

What’s the most amazing thing about Katie in my eyes? She did all of this alone. Just her and her Savior that she loves and adores. No husband, no friends, no family. She went all alone to do the work God called her to do. She kisses and hugs children who have fungus growing on their heads. She removes jiggers (small burrowing insects) from their feet. She cuddles children who suffer from HIV. The list goes on and on.

Why has she done this? Because she believes God has called her to Uganda. She also believes Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” She does these things because she has love.

Katie lives in a village where deadly diseases run rampant and there is an ongoing war just a few hours away. She is surrounded by things that can destroy the body, but she says she is much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than she is of any illness or tragedy. She is running from things that can destroy her soul: complacency, comfort, and ignorance.

One of my favorite quotes from Katie is “Jesus called His followers to be a lot of things, but I have yet to find where He warned us to be safe. We are not called to be safe, we are simply promised that when we are in danger, God is right there with us. And there is no better place to be than in His hands.”

These are just a few examples of how God is reminding me to check the motives of my heart. Do I do the things I do because I’m trying to win favor with God and man or because God has changed my heart and given me a heart like His? A heart of love.

Dear Father, thank you for opening my eyes to Your truth. Your messages are all around me. Thank you for loving me and changing my heart so many years ago when I asked for forgiveness and gave my life to You. Please forgive me for allowing the things of this world to distract me from You and Your will. Remove any hardness that might have settled into my heart. Replace it with love and tenderness that can only come from You. Give me a sense of urgency each day to be about Your work. Help me to show Your love to others. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I will be enabled to love through Your almighty power. Help me to love the unloveable and reach the unreachable. Make me a woman after Your own heart.

Love,
Karen

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