Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Motivated By Love
Today’s Bible Reading: Numbers 24-27, 1 Corinthians 13
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:3
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 13:3 NKJV)
What motivates us to sacrifice for others or for a cause? The example of my Lord and His teachings leads me to be motivated by love. But this passage alludes to the fact that some people are motivated to sacrifice all (surrendering their bodies to the flames—suicide) for other reasons. In our world today we see examples nearly daily of those who give their all for hatred rather than love. Suicide bombers are a telling exposition of religion based on hatred.
1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter in the Bible, offers the most beautiful description of the virtues of true love—God’s kind of love—the kind of love people should demonstrate toward each other; love that always seeks the best for others and never evil.
In my reading today, verse 3 particularly drew my attention. What a message to any who, under the excuse of religion, would be driven by hatred and destruction. To any terrorist who believes that the sacrifice of their own body to the fires of suicide bombing will bring them seventy virgins and eternal rewards in paradise, God gives this message: If you don’t have love, you won’t gain anything! Compare these self-sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ, driven only and entirely by love.
Do I rush into the flames, sacrificing myself to rescue others? Am I driven to save and preserve life, or to destroy life (abortion, euthanasia, murder, suicide bombing)?
I’m glad to serve a God who loves and enables me to be motivated by love.
Lord, keep me from vengeance, hatred and bitterness. May I ever be driven by love—Your kind of love. Through Christ. Amen. -AP