1 Corinthians 13:3 Don’t Give Without Love

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3

Throughout the world many wealthy people can be seen giving large amounts of money for different causes. Many of those people doing the giving have never even set foot in the area to help with the cause directly themselves.

Others have gone out of their way to physically help with a cause, while giving some money. Often these things are done for tax write-offs or for publicity.

As Paul begins to describe what true love is, he states that if he gives everything he has to the poor or goes through hardship for others, but does not have love, he does not gain anything.

Wealthy people are not the only ones who often give without love in the process. Giving in order to get something is a common problem for many people, whether wealthy or poor.

Getting some type of tax exemption is a common reason for people to give money or things. Getting praise and recognition is the common reason for giving of one’s self to help another person out. Both of these types of giving gain nothing, since love is not really in it. The only love is selfish personal love, not God’s love.

Giving like this is also very common in a church. Some will give as little as possible, just to say that they gave. Or they give a lot and announce it loudly, so that everyone knows that they gave. Again these people gain nothing.

God gave out of love when He gave Jesus. Jesus gave out of love when He gave His life. Every believer needs to give out of true love, love for God and love for others.

You may or may not be a person who gives money or self to others. If you do give, examine why you give. Ask yourself what is the motivation behind your giving of money or self.

Allow God’s love to permeate your heart, so that all that you do will be done out of love, not for selfish pride or dead obedience. If God’s love is not in the giving, it will mean nothing and gains nothing.

When love is at the center of your giving, God will be able to reward you greatly, both in this life and in eternity.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know God’s love for you and others; that you will have God’s love in your heart for others; that you will give out of love for God and others; and that God will help you to remove all selfish pride.

Luke 14:33 How Much Are You Willing To Give Up?

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33

One of the freedoms given in America is the ability to seek one’s own wealth. With that freedom, most people are seeking or at least desiring to be wealthy. They are focused on how much they have and can get.

There is never enough. In the process of trying to get all these things and wealth, many will give up a lot of things. Some understand that one must give up something now to get something greater later.

Jesus gave some parables about how some try to build something, but did not consider the cost. He then tells the people that they must be willing to give up everything to be His disciple.

One thing that is claimed a lot is that one just needs to repent and believe in Jesus to be saved. While this is true for salvation, this is not the only requirement to be a follower or disciple of Jesus.

In order to be a true disciple of Jesus, one has to give up everything.

This is not necessarily throwing everything else out, but it is putting Jesus first above everything else. It is trusting Jesus with everything that one has and trusting Jesus for what He will give.

Often someone becomes a believer and continues to hold on to some sin or something that gets between him and God. God is to be on the throne of one’s heart. There is no room for anything else. If there is anything else on that throne, one is not a full, true disciple of Jesus, he is lost.

As one gives up everything for Jesus, God will fill those losses with greater things that will last for eternity.

You must ask yourself how much of a disciple of Jesus you are. Examine your life and see if there is anything in it that you are allowing to get between you and God. Those things, regardless of what they are, must go.

When Jesus is anything less than your everything, He is nothing to you and you will be left with nothing in the end.

Allow Jesus to be on the throne of your heart. Allow Him to be your everything, not just one more thing.

Are you a disciple of Jesus or not?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give up all to be a disciple of Jesus; that you will see God’s hand of provision for all you need in your life; that you will not fear giving up things for God; and that you will follow God with all of your life.

Lamentations 4:1 Loss Of Value

Brown hills

How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at every street corner. Lamentations 4:1 

Pushing and working hard for money and things is the goal of many people around the world. They see something they want and the work and strive to get it. They want what someone else has and more.

No matter how much a person has gained, he wants a little bit, to a lot, more. The desire for more is unquenchable and continues on and on, with no end in sight, nothing to stop it.

Jeremiah talks about how the gold has lost its luster and gems are scattered on the street corners. Both the gold and the gems have lost their value. The loss of value was because the nation had be destroyed and everyone was in captivity. At that point the greatest concern was food, shelter, clothing and life. Money and things did not mean anything.

Times have not changed the view of things for people around the world. The desire to have more things is still just as great as in the past. Wealth is praised, honored and desired.

Yet, when a great disaster strikes a person, money and things no longer has any real appeal. As a person is laying on his death bed dying, he is not wishing he had more money or things. He wants to have more life, a longer life, a better health.

As the world runs after money and things, true believers have what gives life–Jesus. Freedom from sin and eternal life are of more value than all the gold on the earth. Gold perishes, but life does not when in Jesus.

God is there in and through disasters that occur on this earth. His love and peace in the life of a believer will never end.

There are many things that you can run after and seek to have in this world. Your first goal should be to seek after God and His will and ways. Fight for what lasts for eternity, rather than what is temporary and has zero meaning in a disaster.

When you go through a struggle, God will be there with you and for you. He will never leave or forsake you. Gold and the things of this earth will fail and fade away. Do not chase after them.

Chase after what has eternal value, rather than the temporary value.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will chase after God with all of your being; that you will know the value of a relationship with Jesus; and that you let the world know where true value is found in Jesus.