“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." (1 Corinthians 13:1)
In college, I played half a season of rugby before I pulled my hamstring which ended my short-lived rugby career. Our rugby team was marked by toughness but also heavy drinking. Though I did not participate in the drinking culture, “our drinking team has a rugby problem,” was a common phrase used to describe our team. Sadly, alcohol abuse is a distinguishing mark of the rugby culture for most teams.
But what about for followers of Christ? What should be the distinguishing mark of a Christians? The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about the most important mark of a Christian. The Corinthian church struggled particularly in the way they were selfishly and boastfully using their spiritual gifts. They had missed the point of God’s intended purpose for the spiritual gifts.
The Scripture is clear that even the most powerful preacher and the greatest miracle worker is nothing if he has no love. The gospel without love is dead. Love is the key that turns on the gospel engine to fire up the believers to live out the gospel. Even the most powerful preaching, works of miracle, and any kind of perceived generosity, means nothing if we do not have love.
The greatest selfless love known to man was displayed for us at the cross of Christ, where the wrath of God for sin was taken upon the Son in our stead, and where mercy of God has been shown for sinners who do not deserve his forgiveness. Christ’s selfless love must be the supreme mark of our identity as Christians. May the world know that you are His disciples by your love.
Question: Why is love so important to Jesus above all other values? (Read John 13:34-35)
Challenge: Do something selflessly and unconditionally for someone today.
Prayer: Lord, give me the heart of Jesus to love those who are hard to love, and may love be the distinguishing mark of my life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Tim Cho, Chapel Leader -- Washington Nationals