Tag Archive for love

Let Love Lead

Suggestions for those who lead music in the church:

  • Love your people, not your songs.
  • Without love, songs are just noise—“a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1, NIV).
  • Love your people, not their money.
  • Shepherds feed the flock. Wolves feed on the flock. Always be a shepherd.
  • Love is not self-seeking. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
  • Love is the greatest force for innovation, not ambition.
  • When faced with a difficult situation or a need, in love create something new (paraphrased from Dorothy Sayers, The Mind of the Maker).

Which Is More Valuable?

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 

For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:8-13, NASB)

Imagine how our society would rank the following in value:

  • an intelligent person
  • one who could foretell the future
  • a loving person

It’s obvious. Highly intelligent people are put on a pedestal. Those who can foretell the future are almost gods. Being loving is “nice” and admirable, but it’s not highly sought or greatly esteemed.

But read the scripture above. Knowledge is partial and temporary. Is anything more riddled with error than an outdated science textbook? True prophecies are rare. But even they, once fulfilled, simply become part of yesterday’s newspaper.

Love is the one treasure that time and change will never supersede. It becomes more precious as the years pass.

Hold on to Love

Peter came to Jesus and asked Him this: 

“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22, NASB)

Paul spoke to the same need when he said:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. (Ephesians 4:31 – 5:2, NIV)

Those we love sometimes hurt or disappoint us.
The cause may be
a misunderstanding or
human weakness or
plain old selfishness.
Even the highest human love sometimes falls short.

When that happens,
we can let bitterness and anger sweep in and
widen the separation.
We can put at risk the love we’ve held so dear.
Or we can hold on to that love with both hands.
We can continue to reach out and
seek to understand.
Even in our own hurt, we can do what love is designed to do:
focus on the other person rather than ourselves.

When we forgive this way,
we not only let the other person experience the beauty of God’s love,
we experience it ourselves.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Joy of Forgiveness
Printed Music & Lyrics

As I Want to Be Treated

In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.
(Matthew 7:12, NIV)

Relationships can be so complex and puzzling.
How do we know how to handle
the many situations and personalities that come our way?

Jesus has given us one simple rule.
It’s easy to remember and easy to understand:
Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
This single command sums up all God has to teach us about
living in harmony with each other.

Try it!
And ask Him for help.
He’s glad to give it.

Lord, help me
treat each person
as I want to be treated. 

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Live in Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

Create out of Love

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 

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.

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NASB)

Whatever your ministry, whatever your medium of communication, make sure you’re driven by love for your people, not love for your ideas. If you are motivated by love for your concepts or your creative material, rather than love for people, you are liable to become dry, impersonal, and abstract, a “clanging cymbal”.

This is true whether you’re communicating directly with people, or you’re communicating through something you create—a song, a book, a painting, or whatever. Your heart will show.

Remember, love is the greatest force for innovation. Not ambition or intelligence. Not curiosity or the thirst for discovery. Not the hunger for money, power, or glory. Love is the greatest innovative force in the cosmos.

It’s been true since the beginning. Read Genesis 1, and hear the Creator’s joyful love bubbling through every line. Love motivated the creation of this world. Love motivates His every redemptive act. Love motivated Jesus Christ, and love motivates His Spirit as He works through you.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God…God is love. (1 John 4:7-8, NASB)

If you want the Creator God to speak His Word through you, share His heart of love. Among God’s communicators, the medium varies, but the Spirit and the motivation are the same.