The ultimate work - Hope 103.2

The ultimate work

By David ReayThursday 5 Mar 2015LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels,but didn’t love others,I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy,and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge,and if I had such faith that I could move mountains,but didn’t love others,I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body,I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others,I would have gained nothing. (NLT)

Everyone seems to agree that loving others is a good thing. If only we could all just love one another the world would be a much better place. Such love is seen as the key to happiness. The Apostle Paul certainly saw it as essential to Christian ministry and life. It is so easy to become a Christian professional in ministry and go through the motions with an absence of love. It is also easy to hold to all the correct Christian doctrines and sniff out heresies at twenty paces and lack love.

And yet this love is hard to come by. This is because it doesn’t come naturally but supernaturally. The love of which Paul speaks is no mere warm feeling for a likeable person but a consistent disposition of goodwill to even those who are far from likeable. We dare not reduce such love to a populist cliché.

The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke said this about love: “For one human being to love another is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks,the ultimate,the last test and proof,the work for which all other work is but preparation.”

This most difficult and climactic of tasks can only grow in the fertile soil of the love God has for us in Jesus.

David Reay