1 CORINTHIANS 16:14 – Let all that you do be done in love.
THEME OF THE DAY. OUR SPEECH REVEALS IT. Likely the most familiar and quoted verse in the Bible is found in the third chapter of John’s gospel – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It isn’t hard to see why this verse stands out in popularity. The rich truths in God’s declaration and demonstration of His love to us is the most amazing and thrilling revelation a person will ever know. And what makes this truth so overwhelming is the simple word “so”. Feel the contrast if that one little word of intensity is removed. Imagine reading John 3:16 like this, “For God loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. It loses its “punch”, its intensity, doesn’t it? Yes, God so loves us and as we marvel over this staggering truth, we must tie it to another aspect of this love. God did so love us that He gave us His Son, not only in His death but also in His life as an example of love.
There are many demonstrations of love by the Lord Jesus as He walked upon the earth. From His foot-washing, healing of sick people to profound teaching, we see actions of love – sacrificial actions of love. Yet, there is another demonstration of our Lord’s love which might go unnoticed. Why? Because of its normal occurrences in life. I mean when is the last time someone literally washed our feet exemplifying their love for us? How about watching a diseased person get immediately healed by the touch of the Master? No, we don’t see these “extraordinary acts” of Divine love as Jesus traveled through His earthly life. But what we do see is a demonstration of love from Jesus that is extremely relevant for us and a pattern to follow – daily. It was in the Lord’s speech. Enter the scene revealing the quality of Jesus’ speech.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth” (Luke 4:16-22).
After Jesus read the scroll of Isaiah and sat down, the people “marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.” Gracious word are loving words. Gracious words are love controlled words. And when it comes to loving, our speech will either affirm our love for people or reveal our lack of love for people.
It is 100 % accurate. It will never fail to reveal the true condition of the heart, how close we are to Christ, and how much we are becoming like Him. Nothing else is a truer measuring tool of the health of one’s spiritual life. This “thing” is the quality of our speech. If we talk about people with words we would never say to their faces; if we tear people down in conversations; if we gossip or slander; if we criticize people; it does not matter what we say about our love for Christ or how much we think we are pursuing Christ, we are as far away as we possibly can be from knowing and experiencing the love of Christ.
God so loved the world that He gave us His Son. And in this love is the power and ability to control our speech. May it be said of us what was said of the loving Jesus, “they spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.”
PRAYER: “Lord, teach me to walk under the incredible power of Your love.”
QUOTE: “To be under the control of Christ’s love is to be learning to live the Christian life.”