Today’s Scripture: I Corinthians 13:1-4; 13; 14:1
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal!
Do you remember WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets? These bracelets were all the rage a few years back. In fact, you could find “WWJD” printed on almost everything. I even saw a pair of WWJD socks once! Would Jesus wear socks? Maybe that discussion is for another time.
Recently I’ve seen in my Instagram and Facebook feed an ad for a different kind of bracelet. It has the letters HWLF on it. It’s meant to be an answer to the question “What Would Jesus Do.” He Would Love First – HWLF. Putting aside the obvious marketing and capitalistic impulse of selling these things on Instagram, I actually like the sentiment. And based on this passage, I think Paul would too.
Too often our first impulse is not love. Sometimes our first impulse is fear. Sometimes it’s anger. Other times it’s revenge or disgust or even indifference. But Jesus was a “love first – ask questions later” kind of guy. And I think Paul is picking up on that in this chapter.
What would our world look like if we followed the example of Jesus and the encouragement of Paul? What would our lives look like if we actually loved first instead of judged first?
Paul makes it clear in this passage that love is the foundation – the rock – on which everything is built. If we don’t have love as the foundation – if we don’t love first – then we are nothing and everything we THINK we are is nothing. Love is that important.
Maybe as we move through this week we should focus on what it would mean to actually love first. It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s so much simpler to think about love AFTER we have made a judgement. But if we are serious about following Jesus, we will make love a priority – always.
God give us the ability to love first. Call us out when love becomes an afterthought instead of our first thought. Help us to follow Christ in leading with love.
This Week’s Immerse Passages:
Day 11 pp. 125-135 1 Cor 1:1-6:20
Day 12 pp. 135-148 1 Cor 7:1-16:24
Day 13 pp. 149-164 2 Cor 1:1-13:14
Day 14 pp. 165-175 Gal 1:1-6:18
Day 15 pp. 177-190 Rom 1:1-8:30