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Devotional - week of February 18, 2007


religious without love

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging 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, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:1-3

 

These verses tell us that a person that does not have love can engage in religious activity. They also explain that when religious activity is done without love, it is in vain.

 

Speaking with the tongues of men and angels without love leaves one sounding like brass or a clanging cymbal. Using the gifts of prophecy or understanding mysteries or knowledge or having faith that can move mountains without love makes one nothing. Giving to the poor or giving one’s body to be burned, without love, profits no one.

 

Why would one who does not have the love of God in his heart do such things if they are all in vain? They can be done for selfish reasons. Even though there is severe sacrifice in giving one’s body to be burned, all of the things that have been mentioned can be done only to make one the center of attention. They can be done for personal glory rather than for the glory of God.

 

When all of the religious activities mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 are done in love, people will be blessed and God will be glorified.

 

Jesus said:

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

 

Our light will surely shine when our good works are done in love. We will do our good works in love when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. He, in love, will use us as His instruments for doing works of righteousness.

 

When we live out our union with Christ, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.