WHAT may we do without love? What may we accomplish? Many things, with little doubt. But to operate without love is to build in vain, whatever we’re building.
Consider the emphasis in the following quote:
“It is evident, beyond all doubt, that the saving grace of God in the heart, working a holy temper in the soul, is the greatest blessing that can ever be received in this world – greater than any natural gifts, greater than the greatest natural abilities, greater than the most universal learning, greater than any outer wealth or honor, greater than to be a king or an emperor, than all the riches and magnificence of Solomon in all his glory – is not to be compared with it.”
— Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758)
The wisdom of the Lord is manifest in this: if love doesn’t come first, and if what we do in this life isn’t underpinned by love, we waste our time, and we fail others; many of whom we are called to love.
Love must come first. And if all there is is love, we haven’t failed life. We succeeded.
But the world will often communicate that we failed if we only do love. The world wants us focused on tangible success; those things we can pin our own glory to. But love fixes its glory upon God; it’s emanating from the soul converted beyond self.
All of love springs from the rightly motivated heart — a heart after God, because the heart recognises how ruinous it is out of the reach of God. Such a heart plumbs the depths of God and the Lord is found in that heart.
Wisdom commends us, don’t miss love. It’s the be-all and end-all. Out of love, the heart is the wellspring of life. Yet out of itself, the heart motivates us to do what will ultimately prove worthless. Imagine living as a Christian yet not operating as a Christian at all. (We’re counselled to reflect often over the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23.)
What is to come first in our lives: love or the world?
Now it should seem an easy choice… love, of course! But we soon find that the world doesn’t value love, and a good deal of the so-called Christian world doesn’t either. It can seem that our works of love are done in vain. But in fact it’s the other way around. We see this later. The truth always lags. This is why faith is rewarded ultimately, but we need to keep plying our faith in trust that we’re doing good, even without reward; that, the rewards come in their due time.
The journey of love in the heart of God is a heart of love over the journey of life.
The world wants us focused on our own glory. But love fixes its glory upon God; from the soul converted beyond self. Love is the supreme way.
Love love and you will find the truth of life.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.