Friday, July 11, 2008

Perspective

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
I Corinthians 13:1-3
These verses have been working on me lately. There are just so many rabbit trails in our Christian lives. What should be our focus? What should define us? It is easy to lose our perspective. Sometimes we can get so far into things that we fail to see the big picture.

One of the places this occurs most is in the areas of doctrine and theology. Now let first clarify that I'm not insinuating that these things aren't important. We must believe truth. It is vitally important to know what you believe and why. Standing for truth and contending for the faith is one of the things we are called to do, but these things must be done in love.

Love is necessary!
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
I John 4:7-11
These verses really lay it out. God first loved us and sent his Son. We love him and now we love one another. Jesus stressed this kind of love when giving the two greatest commandments.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:30-31
Love must be in everything we do, because without it we achieve nothing. When sharing our faith, when confronting false doctrine, when striving to do all to God's glory, we must have love. None of these things are profitable to us or others in the slightest bit without love.

Now think about this. How do we want to be known? What would we want to hear when people respond when asked to to give a description of what best characterizes us? The first th
ing most would say they want to be known as is "Christ-like". I would agree. But what if you were with people who hadn't yet heard of Christ. They would have to answer with what they knew. The closest word I can think of the describes Christ-likeness is love. The verses previously mention attest to this. Would people say your life and walk would best be described as full of love?

As "ambassadors for Christ" sharing the hope of salvation to a lost and dying world, we
must be love. Love isn't what we do, it should be who we are. We are filled with the love that God has shown us, so that his love should flow out of us towards others.

I'm not sure if I have a nice clean point to make here, I'm just trying to get things in perspective. With so many things out there to argue about discuss we would do well to keep in mind none of us knows perfectly on this side of eternity.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. I Corinthians 13:12
I 'll close by just saying that we must do all our "good" with love.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.






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