Today’s Scripture: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 1┬áCorinthians 13:1-2

When asked what he did to help his spouse feel loved, one smug man wrote a list of things he had bought for his wife and why he had so ‘generously’ purchased them.

1. Something that would revolutionize her life-a brand new mop and bucket. Explanation: “It would be nice for both of us to remember the original floor color.”

2. Something to remember-a dinner inside a fast-food restaurant. Explanation: “It’s memorable because I took her to something other than the drive through.”

3. Something she would savor-chocolates in last year’s box. Explanation: “What can I say? She is a big fan of recycling.”

4. Something she could see-a dozen beautiful roses, vibrant and in full bloom…printed on high quality photo paper. Explanation: “These roses will last a lifetime!”

As we all know, these are not good ways to find or keep your true love, or even a friend for that matter. But, how many times do we say we love someone and our actions, or lack thereof, tell a different story? Whether we are disciplining a new believer, encouraging a friend, or supporting a spouse, it is of utmost importance that we lead with love as Christ did. This often requires us to set aside the plans we were looking forward to, the money we could have spent on ourselves, and the hours we could have been resting. Without this sacrificial love, no church or relationship will glorify the Lord. Love takes work.

In 1┬áCorinthians chapter 13, known as the love chapter, Paul addresses the struggling Corinthian church. Although they were filled with spiritual gifts and great wealth, there were countless problems within the congregation. In fact, Paul had a difficult time finding anything to commend them on. There was envy, division, lawsuits, and other behavior that was disgracing to the Lord. What caused all of these issues? The church was lacking one key ingredient-charity, what we would call in today’s vernacular, love.

It is so easy to get to a place where we stop showing God’s love to people. We go to Sunday school, help with Awana, have devotional time each day; we think we have it all together. However, if we are not motivated by love for God and others, what we do will be worth nothing. I urge you to set aside some time today to read through I Corinthians 13. It will refresh your memory of what true love is and will hopefully encourage you to share it with those God has placed in your life. Friend, love does not sit idly by, LOVE WORKS.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.