By Lester Roloff
I’ve been refreshing my memory on I Corinthians 13, the great Love Chapter. According to the last verse and the last three words of the twelfth chapter, love is the “more excellent way.” Though one may speak with tongues of men and of angels, without love, it’s like sounding brass or tinkling cymbal. Though one may have the gift of prophecy and be able to explain all mysteries and all knowledge and have enough faith to remove mountains, without love, it leaves us in the land of nowhere. Though one may bestow all his goods to feed the poor and even give his body to be burned and has not love, it will profit him nothing.
What I believe he is saying is this – apart from the knowledge of God through Christ, our accomplishments are void, and our life is empty. Remember, “He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love,” I John 4:8.
Love lightens the everyday load, even as in the case of Jacob who served fourteen years for Rachel while it seemed to him but a few days because he loved her.
The thing that has impressed me most in the thirteenth chapter as I’ve restudied it is that love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Love never faileth! We’ve seen prophecies fail and education and knowledge get embarrassed, but Christ has never been a disappointment. Love is the only basis of acceptable service to the Saviour. With pierced side and nail-printed hand, Jesus called to the fisherman on the seashore and said, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” When he answered in the affirmative, Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
Christianity becomes insincere and a racket when love is absent. The greatest challenge Jesus ever gave His disciples was the challenge to love one another – “Even as I have loved you,” John 13:34.
It was Celsus, a critic of the early Christians, who said, “These Christians love each other even before they are aquainted.” Again, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another,” John 13:35. And when the heathen gladiators sat in the big stadium as the Christians became lighted torches, they said, “Behold, how they love one another.”
Love is the bread for which most people starve. Love is the oil that goes into the delicate machinery of life to make it run smoothly.
It was a glorious day when heaven struck up a love affair with this old sin-cursed world. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16.
Love will save us from fretting and worry. Have you ever known of a bird that tried to build more nests than its neighbor; or a fox that fretted because he had only one hole in which to hide? No squirrel ever died worrying over the fact that he did not have enough pecans laid up for two winters instead of one. Love simplifies the problems of life. The early disciples lived gloriously and victoriously and while “Jesus” was about the longest and hardest word they knew, and to them it meant “Love.” Only the Christian knows God’s love. The Holy Spirit, according to Romans 5, only sheds abroad the love of God in the heart of the one who has been justified by faith in the Lord Jesus. The greatest privilege that the Christian could ever know is to be engaged to Jesus and look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The Bible will be our marriage license, and the Holy Spirit will perform the wedding. The redeemed will be the bride; Jesus will be the Bridegroom, and our Heavenly Father will witness the wedding. Praise God!