1 Corinthians 13
1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10. but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love, where does it come from. Is this not where we fail. Is the lack
of love not that which causes me to seek my own... to cling to and
fight for my own way and to heck with everyone else?
Listen to Church of the Good Shepherd sermon Fruit of the Spirit II from March 5, 2006
Of particular interest, is the idea that without love, giving my life to the flame is nothing. Without love, sharing the gospel is nothing! Where does this love come from? Should we not share the gospel or proclaim God's truth or give to the poor because we do not have love them? Should we stay away from our brothers, because we do not love them? Should we keep our mouths shut and cover our lamps because we do not love our enemies?
I John 3
Love one another
11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
So we know that love is an action, but these actions without love are nothing. It is with love, I see now, the same as it was with faith... Lord, I fail to love you, give me your perfect love. God, I don't love my enemy, give me love for them. Lord, I live to please myself, give me your love by which I will consider others more than myself.