"If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all the mysteries and all knowledge, and I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I posess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."
To recap Pauls message-if he does not act in love, he amounts to nothing!! I want to say something before I begin, and I apologise in advance if this sounds too blunt, but I think its something the Lord wants to convict us of.......if you have a ministry and you long to reach the world for Christ, but you do not have the motive of love to back you up-don't even bother. Everything God has done for us, and everything Jesus sacrificed for us was motivated by their great love for us. The first command is to love the Lord with all our hearts and the second is to love our brother.......God is very clear on this command. He wants our service, and He wants our obedience, but above all, He wants us to love, because He first loved us.
God is not impressed with our intellect, skill, or resources (which He gave us in the first place). He is touched by our hearts and He sees the heart. His word exposes the thoughts and attitudes of the heart(Heb 4:12), and nothing is hidden from His sight, it is all layed bare before Him. So there is no need to hide from God, its impossible, anyway :)
Paul said that if He speaks in tongues, and prophesies, and he does not have love, all he is doing is making noise! He says if he gives to the poor and sacrifices himself for the Lord, but has not love, he amounts to nothing. If we serve the Lord, but do not love the Lord, and if we serve people, but do not love people, we are just doing, and serving, but not impacting. Besides, if someone gave to me, but did not seem happy about it, and did not act in love towards me, I would feel acward accepting their gift. If Jesus died for the cross for me, but did not invite me into His Kingdom, with the love that He has, I would feel weird about being a part of it.
When we bring the gospel message to the world, but do not act in love, the world only sees us a bunch of babbling religious people who have no credibility. Yes, it is good to preach the gospel, it is good to teach the gospel, but none is more effective than when we ACT the gospel! Doesn't a book make more sense when you see the movie version ;) People want proof that this God we serve exists, and what better way to show them, then by ACTING like Him! Showing them what kind of Daddy we have, by taking on His likeness?
God has called us to love His people, and to share His truths with the world. He has showered us with an amazing, unfailing love, and He wants us to carry that with us, so we may share it with whom ever we meet. Its easy to say "Jesus loves you!", but God wants us to give examples of Jesus love through our actions as well.
Dear Lord-help us to be like you, and to remember why we serve and why you have called us. Make us a people that exhibits your love to all we encounter, and make us a people who never ever forget the first and second command-to love you, and those around us.
In Jesus name