May 1, 2007
1 Corinthians 13:1-2, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all the mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."
It has been said by men wiser than I, that love is the measure of all things. It is a saying with which I wholeheartedly agree, and would add that love is as great as God himself, because God is love.
There is nothing in this world for which, and about which more has been written than love, for it is love that is the spark which has inspired everything from poems to songs, to sonnets, to works of art, it is for love that every man searches, and absent of love feels perpetually incomplete.
Although a longer study on the topic of love is in the works, and deservedly so, I felt compelled to write down a few thoughts that have been on my mind continually for the past few days.
Just as man is nothing without love, loving the wrong things can bring man just as low, rob him of his hope, and in the end make him nothing more than an empty husk, a shadow of what he was created to be. As we look upon the world that surrounds us, and more precisely the modern day church, it is obvious that there is no shortage of love. We love our newfound prosperity, our newfound influence, we love the newfound doctrines of nominal Christianity, we love the absence of accountability, and the fact that we can readily find another pew to kneel in, another church to attend if by some odd circumstance the leadership in our current house of worship, is awoken from their slumber, the standard is raised, and righteousness is demanded.
Yes the average Christian today has love for everything and anything else it seems, except for Christ. We love what Jesus did for us, we love what He can give us in the way of material things, but our love for Him is growing cold, and many have stopped loving Him altogether. The actions of many say what their lips never will, that their love is not for Jesus, but rather for the power, the influence, the things and accessories they believe Jesus can provide them.
Today, I would like to pose a question that I have foremost posed to myself, namely what is the true condition of our relationship with Christ? Do you love Christ simply for being Christ, or for what you hope to get from Him in the material sense? Is Christ precious to you, above all else? Is the name of the heavenly Father a treasure for you in and of itself? Does the Holy Spirit move you toward righteous works? Are you perpetually thankful for all that He allows in your life?
These are heavy questions, but questions worth considering, and reflecting upon. Though some may consider them harsh, or inappropriate given the politically correct climate in which we live, they are questions with which we must confront our own individual selves, for it is better to know that which ails us, and find a remedy, then to never know, and slowly wither into nothingness. Love compels me to ask the hard questions, love should compel you to answer them. One thing is certain, the man who doubts his love for Christ, most often doubts Christ's love for him. If a believer's love toward Christ withers and dies, then all the other virtues die along with it, for love was the root of them all.
If the love of God is lacking, that burning, blinding, all encompassing, sacrificial, immutable, sovereign love, then nothing in the life of any man, or church for that matter, can be good, virtuous or noble. Love is what gives life to our actions, our benevolence, our charity and our works. Absent of love, there is nothing more than a dark vortex of emptiness that consumes our good intentions, our plans, our dreams and our desires. The most selfless acts, the most charitable deeds, the most noble of intentions, the greatest of ministries, are worthless without love, and even though God may commend them and praise them, He cannot receive them.
The love that matters, the love for Christ, and the nature of Christ can only live in the heart of an individual when nourished by faith. If faith is not the bridge, and foundation that unites the soul with Christ, it cannot survive, or is perverted into a love for things rather than the person of Christ.
By overuse, and baseless uttering the definition of love has been brought down to pure emotion of the heart, to chemical reactions of the brain, to certain synapses firing in tandem causing the giddy feeling, that overwhelming sense of euphoria one has come to equate with love. True love however is more rare than the rarest flower among men, and as Charles Spurgeon so aptly put it in one of his sermons, 'as the lily among the thorns, so is true love among the sons of men.'
It is this true love that the church is sorely lacking today, the love of Christ, birthed of pure intentions to simply draw closer to Him, to cling to Him and strive to be more like Him. May we as wise children truly love Him, not allowing ourselves to be distracted or sidetracked by things, but rather keep our eyes firmly and unwaveringly planted on Jesus, that we may one day reap the reward of our obedience.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.