October 31, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:14
Our attitude plays an important part in the way we think and the decisions we make. Things we encounter every day contribute to our attitude and influence our life. Even the strong influences of our past training, culture, and parental guidance play upon our mind and contribute to our attitude. But that which affects our attitude most goes "much deeper" than the effects that people and circumstances have upon our life.
Paul writes to the believers at Corinth, a tremendous message on the essence of love. He emphasizes that however gifted we may be, whatever ability we may possess, to what extent we may accomplish any endeavor, or how broad our influence may be in doing good deeds, without the underlying motivating quality of Christian love, all we do is of no eternal value. He makes very clear, that LOVE must be the under girding foundation from which all these things proceed.
Whether man has the capacity to speak with wisdom and eloquence, the gift of prophecy, the insight into hidden mysteries of Christianity, faith to move mountains...if he is destitute of Christian love, Paul says, he is "as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal," the most harsh and monotonous of all sounds from a musical instrument.
A person may have a desire to give all his goods to feed the poor, or give his body to be burned, and yet be destitute of this imperative principle of Christian love. We see this practiced in India; men reducing themselves to the wretched state of want and misery, women voluntarily burning themselves on funeral pilings of their deceased husbands, and mothers sacrificing their children by throwing them into the Ganges River. Sacrifices for no better principle than pride and vainglory. Sadly, such devotion, devoid of Christian love, profits them nothing. Not one of their sins would be removed by these acts.
Paul says, "Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Colossians 3:14). Christian love forms the basis by which all other virtues that constitute completeness, maturity, and perfection are bonded together. How imperative that love embrace our hearts, our innermost being, so that our efforts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration, will not resound as repugnant chords of miserable, self-indulging. self-centered efforts of a deceived heart. There is no measure of Christian love with which we are to rest satisfied. To attain any measure of the principle of love should only encourage and move us further to higher attainments.
What a tremendous testimony the new Believers in the church at Thessalonica had. Paul commends them because their faith grew exceedingly, and the love of everyone of them towards each other abounded (2 Thessalonians 1:3). What caused their faith and love to abound in such measure? It was the extreme persecution and intense suffering that befell them as Christians. They chose to drive their "stakes of faith" deep into their commitment to Jesus Christ. Notice carefully...the very means of destruction used by Satan, was the means God used, by which their faith grew exceedingly, and their love toward each other abounded! They "dared to trust God" regardless of their suffering and persecution.
Love is the image of God, for God is love. The more we adorn these principles of love, the more we become like Christ. Let us "follow earnestly this best of gifts," and however much any of us may have attained, "we beseech you...to abound more and more" (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-31
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