Whatever we do, we should do it with love. If there’s no love in it, whatever we’ve done is worthless. Spiritual gifts such as: the gift of tongues, prophesying about the future, faith do to miracles, the ability to give sacrificially, and even giving our lives for the gospel don’t mean anything to God, if it is not done with love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Living Bible – “If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.”
Did you know our faith won’t work, if we are not motivated by love? Faith works by love.
Galatians 5:6, King James Version – “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”
Jesus was able to do miracles because His faith was fueled by love. Jesus healed the sick, gave the blind sight, fed multitudes miraculously, cast out demons, and raised the dead all because he was moved with compassion, first (Matthew 9:36, Matthew 14:14, Matthew 15:32, Matthew 20:34, Mark 5:19, Mark 9:22, Luke 7:13).
Jesus handled situations others would be afraid to touch because he operated in perfect love. Jesus healed a contagious leper by touching him. He could have just spoken a word to heal the man, but Jesus chose to touch him.
Mark 1:40-42, New King James Version – “Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
When we are abiding in God’s love, we will not be afraid to get involved. We won’t succumb to the tormenting “what-ifs”: If I try to help, what if this happens; If I say something, what if they do that; If I give money to them, what if I don’t have enough; and on and on.
1 John 4:18, New King James Version – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
God wants us to be “love-driven” and not “duty-driven”. Duty does what it has to do, without really wanting to do it. Duty just wants to get “this” over with. Love does the same task because of a desire to truly help. Love cares.
5 Signs of being “duty-driven”:
- Complaining – This can be inward too. Grumbling thoughts count as complaining.
- Resentment – Inward anger towards others because of what we are doing. This manifests as a negative attitude.
- Lack of energy – We are tired because we are relying on the soul for energy. Our spirit-man is not engaged in the activity.
- Lack of creativity – We really don’t want to do it, so we do not use our imagination.
- Inability to solve problems – We really don’t want to do it, so we are not willing to invest our time and brain-power to look for solutions.
LOVE NOTE: But, when we are “love-driven” we have great attitudes and can encourage others. We are full of energy, creativity and witty ideas for challenging situations.
So, how do we shift from “duty-mode” to “love-mode? Be Spirit-led. Jesus only did what the Spirit told him to do. Jesus received instructions from the Holy Spirit first by spending daily time in prayer so he would know who to see, what to do, and when to do it.
God gives us the grace (divine empowerment) to do what He has called us to do, not what we think we should do.
John 12:49, New King James Version – For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.
John 6:38, King James Version – For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
When we know we are doing God’s will, we can do it with love.
What is Love?
1 Corinthians 13: 4-10, & 13, Living Bible – “Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. Someday prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge—these gifts will disappear. Now we know so little, even with our special gifts, and the preaching of those most gifted is still so poor. But when we have been made perfect and complete, then the need for these inadequate special gifts will come to an end, and they will disappear….There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”