Do You Have That Loving Feeling?
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
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 be of no value whatsoever. 1 Corinthians 13:3
Six months after Brandon trusted Jesus, he’s studying his Bible and getting rid of the rotten stuff in his life. He’s feeling pretty cool as a Christian.
I pray thirty minutes a day and I read my Bible for another thirty, he thinks to himself. I don’t watch PG-13 movies anymore—or play T-rated video games, even if the body splats are cartoony. And I never let my boxers show above my belt.
His mom cuts off his thoughts when she hands him the phone. It’s a classmate.
“Help you with math?” Brandon says to the kid on the other end. “Can’t do it, dude. I’m too busy with a Bible study. Maybe I could squeeze you in next Tuesday. Let me check my schedule. …”
Brandon has a problem. He’s patting himself on the back for mastering the basic facts of faith and getting rid of the rude and crude sins in his life. He thinks, Hey, I believe right and I behave right—most of the time, anyway. So I’m doing just great at being the Christian God expects me to be.
But God is looking for something more.
Talk about it: Got any ideas? What more could God possibly want from us?
Believing the right things about God, Jesus, and the Bible is important. But that’s not enough. Behaving in the right way is also important. But that’s also not enough. If you have these two pieces nailed down, that’s excellent. Yet you could still be missing something essential—something that just happens to be at the top of God’s list!
It’s called right loving. According to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, all the right believing and right behaving we can do means nothing if we don’t connect it with right loving. God wants us to get along with people just as much as he wants us to believe and do the right things.
Got it? Just because you know that Jesus is your Savior—and you’ve straightened up the messes in your life—don’t stop growing. Loving the people in your life matters just as much to God as keeping the faith and living by his guidelines!
TALK: Why does God think loving right is just as important as believing and behaving right? What did or could happen if you made the mistake of not loving?
PRAY: Lord, we want to believe right and behave right. But help us love right too.
ACT: Have you ever used right beliefs and right rules to convince someone that God is real? Is there something you can do today for that person that shows the importance of love?