And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:2–3
How important is love? Think of its value. According to 1 Corinthians 13:2–3, it’s more important than a lot of things we consider to be important. In verse 2, Paul gives us a very impressive list of gifts and abilities that, taken together, add up to nothing when Christlike love is missing from our lives. The gift of prophecy is the first gift on Paul’s list (v. 2).
I know enough about preaching to know that if you want to get a crowd, you can announce that you are going to preach a series of messages on prophecy. Man has an insatiable curiosity about prophecy. Far more people will come to hear a Bible study on prophecy than on love. But Paul says that love is greater than prophecy. And then Paul says love is greater than knowledge. People today value knowledge tremendously. They almost worship it. But as John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, once said, “All knowledge without love is splendid ignorance.”
According to 1 Corinthians 13:2, love is even greater than faith. Now faith is incredibly important. You cannot know God without faith. Paul even strengthens the contrast here by talking about mountain-moving faith. What believer would not long for mountain-moving faith? Yet without love, even this mountain-moving kind of faith is nothing. What good is it to remove mountains if you can’t remove malice from your heart? Are you giving people the gift of love this Christmas? Verse 3 fits right in this theme, because it talks about feeding the poor and even giving our lives for the sake of others.
Surely there is nothing greater you can do than to give all you have or lay down your life for another. Some people give money instead of love. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. People need to see Christmas love in action. How will you show Christ’s love this Christmas?
Make a “Christmas Gift for Jesus” out of a jar or small box. Decorate it to look Christmassy, cut a hole in the top, and put it on the kitchen table. Encourage the family to begin putting money in the bank so you can present a family Christmas gift to your church or to a charity as a testimony of your love for Jesus.
Take advantage of the related activities and resources at ExperienceChristmas.org.