February 12, 2015

Motivated by Love

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 12, 2015

I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts.
1 Corinthians 13:3, The Voice

How do I know if my actions are motivated by love? One indicator is when I serve or give without expecting anything in return. I recently witnessed a love-motivated deed when a friend quietly gave his SkyMiles to an extremely sick child, so she and her parents could fly to another city for specialized treatment. He received nothing in return, except the satisfaction that he loved well. I know I’m not motivated by love when my actions are driven by approval, attention, guilt, pride, shame, materialism or to feel good about myself. Love-motivated deeds give God glory.

Paul sandwiches the love chapter 13 between chapters 12 and 14 to remind his readers of the goal of their giftedness. Their gifts were not to show off for all to see so others would praise them as communicators, interpreters, prophets, believers, givers and martyrs. Our gifts and skills are given by God to love God—and to love people. Love looks for ways to love without drawing attention to itself. Absent love we are a noisy clang, but with love we harmonize like the Vienna Philharmonic. When we love well—we fulfill God’s will. To live in love is our best life goal.

“Let love be your highest goal” (1 Corinthians 14:1, NLT).

What are some goals you can set to love well? Perhaps you meet a younger man or woman monthly over breakfast, lunch or a walk. Listen to their felt needs and fill them with hope and encouragement. Share with them your mistakes and offer ideas on how to anticipate life issues. If they are married, invite them and their spouse into your home for a meal, fun and meaningful conversation. Hospitality communicates love. My home is your home. My stuff is your stuff. My time is your time. My inconvenience is your convenience. Love really wants to know someone.

Most of all, we make time to be loved by our heavenly Father. He is the lover of our soul. He is a jealous lover, who wants the first fruits of our affections, not our leftovers. A soul loved well by the Lord is able to love well for the Lord. Indeed, God’s love for us is a great love that makes us come alive in Christ. Other inferior loves found in this world leave us lacking—even frustrated. Human love is imperfect—temporal at best, but the purely motivated love of our heavenly Father is eternal. His perfect love adopted us into His loving family. God’s love gave us Jesus.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, purify my motives to love like You love me.

Related Readings: Ezekiel 16:1-14; Jeremiah 31:3; 1 Corinthians 13:8; 2 Corinthians 8:7

Post/Tweet this today: When we love well—we fulfill God’s will. To live in love is our best goal. #motivatedbylove #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 6 minute worship video- Kristene DiMarco- It is Well

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