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Without Love

1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

When people see true love in action, they intuitively know it is the real thing. Here are some comments children made about love: Rebecca [age 8] said, “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend down to paint her toenails, so my grandfather does it for her. That’s love.” Chris [age 7] said, “Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he’s handsome.” But Jessica perhaps delivered the most profound statement of all when she said, “You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot, because people forget.”

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul delivers one of the most remarkable, yet challenging pieces of prose on the subject of true love. He effectively says, “It doesn’t matter who you are, or who others think you are; if you sacrificially act toward others with agape love, your life will be meaningful.” That may seem hard to swallow at first, but when we test his statement, we realize that he is right. Think about it: what is a marriage without love? Or a family? Or a friendship? Or a church? Or a career? Without love, life is like a fireplace without a fire or a pool without water. It’s cold . . . it’s empty.

The Bible says, “God is love.” He doesn’t just act in love. He is love! That means our ability to agape-love is a gift that comes directly from Him. When we love others, we are acting most like God, for that is who He is. Love, at its core, grows cold and is empty if we do not surrender to the God of love Who is the source of agape love. Let’s take to heart this description from Paul and remind ourselves today that were it not for Christ’s agape love toward us, we would not be able to offer it faithfully to others.