WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 13, 2022
TOPIC: DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Let all that you do be done from motives of love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 Weymouth’s New Testament).
There is so much emphasis on love in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. This is understandable because God is love. 1 John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (New King James Version). Also, 1 John 4:8 says God is love. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8 New King James Version).
Thus, the Bible says both in the Old and the New Testament that we should love our neighbours as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). Jesus goes further to say we should love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Luke 6:27 says a similar thing. Also, Luke 6:35 says, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (New King James Version).
Why should we love our enemies? Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:46: “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (New King James Version). He also says in Luke 6:32, “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them” (New King James Version).
As children of God, Christians must never forget that love is the greatest commandment – loving God and loving fellow human beings (Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-31). Romans 13:10b says love is the fulfilment of the law. Therefore, it is important to walk in love. We must ensure that whatever we do is done in love. “Do everything in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 New Century Version). The New King James Version puts it this way: “Let all that you do be done with love.” The Weymouth’s New Testament renders it thus: “Let all that you do be done from motives of love.”
It is possible to do good deeds but not in love. This is not pleasing to God. God wants all our actions to be motivated by love; otherwise, they mean nothing to Him. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 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 13:1-3 New King James Version).
Take note of the last statement in the passage: “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.” In other words, someone can give generously to others without loving them. The person could give gifts to people with ulterior or selfish motives. He could do it to control or manipulate them. He could also give to attract attention to himself and gain honour or respect. Anything that is not done for others in love will not receive God’s approval and reward. Let all that you do be done from motives of love.
Hypocrites don’t give in love; they give so that people can see them and honour them. Hear Jesus’ warning in Matthew 6:1-4: “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (New King James Version). Do you prefer man’s reward to God’s reward?
Do everything in love. Check your motives for wanting to serve, organizing a programme, giving to others, etc. Are you motivated by love? Or do you have ulterior motives? If you are going to get a reward from God and not from human beings whose attention, recognition, or honour you’re seeking, your actions must be in love. The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:15 some preached Christ from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill. There is no reward from God for those who do His work with wrong or impure motives.
God is concerned not only about your actions but also the motives behind them. Human beings could be deceived by appearance or performance but God looks at the heart. “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10 New International Version).
The LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 New King James Version).
Do everything in love. Let all that you do be done from motives of love. God weighs or examines the motives (Proverbs 16:2b). He weighs or examines the heart (Proverbs 21:2b). Don’t do anything with wrong motives. This is even one of the reasons some people’s prayers are hindered. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3 New International Version). Beware of wrong motives.
What is the state of your heart? If God should search your heart, will you be innocent or guilty of wrong motives? David said, “You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (Psalm 17:3 New King James Version).
Do everything in love. Let all that you do be done from motives of love. Romans 13:8 says we should owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Let your actions be motivated by love. Pursue love (1 Corinthians 14:1a). In all you do, pursue love. The Apostle Peter says, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’” (1 Peter 4:8 New King James Version). Do everything in love.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to do everything from motives of love. All my actions shall be motivated by love and not ulterior motives in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to love my neighbours, including my enemies, bless those who curse me, do good to those who hate me, and pray for those who spitefully use me and persecute me. I pray that sinners will respond to the love of God for them, surrender their lives to Jesus, and walk in love in society in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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