“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have,
and if I deliver up my body to be burned,
but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Continuing in love…
God has spoken and this is quite a listing. In it, Paul goes to the limit, to the extreme with examples of all we can do. If I have not just tongues but the tongues of men and angels, not just speak prophecy but have prophetic power that understands each and every mystery, have ALL knowledge, ALL faith, faith that can even remove mountains…if I am gifted with all that BUT have not love, I am nothing.
Please note that Paul does not leave himself out of this teaching. He understands that God has gifted him greatly but knows that these teachings apply to him as well as the Corinthians. He uses himself as the example instead of pointing his finger at the rest. It lets me know that we should not do an easy quick read for if Paul included himself surely I should.
He goes on to say if I give away each and everything I have and if I am willing to allow my body to be burned BUT have not love I gain nothing. It is all for naught for there will be no reward for either. There is no reward for doing anything that is not done in love. Love must be the motive. This is important to note because we can easily be deceived in regards to our true motives. “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD (Proverbs 16:2).” Let a man examine himself to see if he is in the faith (1 Corinthians 11:28).
Surely, these verses are worthy of a Selah, pause and ponder moment, for ‘God said it.’
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work 2 Timothy 3:16-17.”