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. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all m possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; loe does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing.
Love never fails…But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13
PRAYER: Loving Father in Heaven, help us to live our lives with loving hearts. Amen
Chris and I got home late one day last week and missed a precious phone call from our eight-year-old grandson, Phoenie. With a very sombre voice, he left this message:
My best friend says he doesn’t even believe in Jesus and I don’t know what to do because I’m scared he won’t be in heaven with me.
K. Please call and tell me what to do. Bye.
Chris and I listened to the message a few times and we were so touched by Phoenie’s genuine concern and sadness about the situation. I called him back and we had a good, long talk. Phoenie and I agreed that the best thing to say was something like this:
It really makes me sad that you don’t believe in Jesus. I do and I believe in heaven too but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. I’ll pray for you and let’s still be friends.
This morning, I asked my daughter if Phoenie talked to his friend yet and as far as she knew, this particular interaction had not taken place yet…
…but Phoenie is ready. He’s prepared. He’s got the heart, the hope and the humanity to give a confident and loving answer to his friend.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3.15 NIV
Being prepared in this context is about being both compassionate and articulate. Warren Wiersbe said, “Truth without love is brutality. Love without truth is hypocrisy.” Neither scenario is attractive to an authentically searching soul. There must be balance – intentionality and grace.
Don’t let LOVE and TRUTH ever leave you.
Tie them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will find favor and a good name
in the eyes of God and people.
Proverbs 3.3,4 NIRV