I Corinthians 13, NIV:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Within our nature and power, we only have the ability to APPEAR godly. We, however, can not BE godly without God. We also can not have God residing in our hearts without evidence of Him cleaning up. This takes on different forms for different people. Perhaps that filthy mouth is cleaned, perhaps that couch potato is now active. Perhaps someone selfish with time or money now entertains angels in the form of homeless men on the street. Perhaps now they pray for their enemies. Envy and strife no longer fill their vessel. Maybe pride is slipping away. All I know is that the flashbacks of our lives will either be positive testimony or convicting evidence. Were you on your knees or attempting to stand on your own? Were you a beautiful empty vessel too precious in your own eyes to be filled and used by the Holy Spirit? Your prophecy, singing, money, and time mean nothing without Love, without God. These works and gifts are only to supplement the love in you to spread the gospel. They become worthless in heaven. But love….Love is the key.
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