In our previous post, the Explanation of Love, love in 1 Cor. 13 is defined as a concern for the good of fellow believers in the body of Christ. In this entry, we note that such love demands sacrifice.
A king asked his three daughters how much they loved him. Two of them replied that they loved him better than all the gold and silver in the world. The youngest one said she loved him better than salt. The king was not pleased with her answer, as he thought salt was not very palatable. But the cook, overhearing the remark, put no salt in anything for breakfast next morning. The meal was so dull and tasteless that the king could not enjoy it. He then saw the force of his daughter’s remark. She loved him so well that nothing was good without him. (Heartwarming Bible Illustrations, AMG International, Inc., 1998 in PC Study Bible V.5 CD, Seattle: Biblesoft Inc.,1988-2007)
Love is no good without sacrifice for others. Wiersbe says that agape love is “love that sacrifices for the good of others.” (Wiersbe, Expository Outlines on the New Testament, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1992 in PC Study Bible V.5 CD, Seattle: Biblesoft Inc.,1988-2007) And the first thing to sacrifice is your selfishness. Love demands that you sacrifice your selfishness and learn to seek the good of others. It demands that you stop asking, “What’s in it for me?” It demands that you start asking, “What can I do to build up others in Christ? This concern is a sign of spiritual maturity.
Love should dominate the way we serve. Paul says here that love should control the way we serve God and the Body of Christ. It should define the way we see others. It should dictate how we treat others. Why is it that when rich people come along, we give our full attention to them, while neglecting the poor among us? Why did James castigate the Christians of his time, when they treated the rich better than the poor? (See James 2:2-4). Because love did not dominate, define, and dictate the way they treated the poor among them. James wrote, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:8, NKJV, emphasis added). Brethren, love should control the way we serve others.
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