Let All Your Things Be Done in Love
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Let all that you do be done in love.—1 Corinthians 16:14
In one of the last instructions Paul gives the church in Corinth he encourages them to “do everything in love.” After much advice regarding serious issues in the church, Paul summarized everything in one last statement. Just love one another, in everything that you do.
As we read and study the first letter to the Corinthian church, it is made obvious that there are a lot of issues and struggles that they are walking through, some that they seem not even aware that they are experiencing. And even though Paul gives long, thorough and instructive solutions to these problems, his heart is for them to understand that if they are to succeed in facing these issues, they need to be motivated by love and love alone.
To do things through love we need to look at the Creator and master of love, God. God is love, and by being motivated by love as a people of God, we also glorify and honor God. …
The Christians in Corinth are encouraged not to just seek their own good and their selfish desires in life; they are encouraged to seek the good of their neighbor. Paul even goes so far as to write: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Even as they eat and drink, they should honor and love others and in that glorify God.
Loving others means putting away our selfish desires and to “simply get over ourselves.” And if there is unwillingness in that, we need to ask ourselves the question: what are we willing do for God and for the salvation of others?
As Paul encourages the Christian Corinthians to be imitators of Christ and to be motivated by love and love alone, so are we to encourage each other of the same.—YWAM Turner Valley1
How to let all you do be done in love
Love. It’s a word that can mean so many things. We can say: “I love God,” “I love my mom,” and “I love spaghetti and meatballs,” and mean all three. The biblical idea of love is also multifaceted, but—unlike in the English language—there were different Greek words to express the nuances of different kinds of love.
The unconditional love of God for us which the indwelling Holy Spirit empowers us to show back to God and toward others is called agape love. This is the kind of love Paul is talking about at the end of his first letter to the Corinthians when he says: “Let all you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14). In the lengthy letter, Paul has been giving the believers many instructions for how to live in the world as Christians and how to handle many thorny issues they have been facing, and now he is summing up before signing off with his own expression of love: “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen” (1 Corinthians 16:24). …
Earlier in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul has spent an entire chapter showing them the “still more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31) of love. Paul details what love is in chapter 13, which is often read at weddings but has an application on every day of a Christian’s life: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8). …
1 John 4:19 reminds us that “we love because He first loved us.” This is not simply a nice idea or a historical happening, but a real, moment-by-moment reality in which we live and by which we are empowered. We can “know and rely on the love God has for us” because “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). It is in the atmosphere of God’s love that we are filled up and enabled to love Him back and love others, giving freely what we have been freely given. Love is the core of the gospel, and it never loses relevance in our lives. As J. I. Packer said: “We never move on from the gospel; we move on in the gospel.” …
Because of God’s incredible love, which has been and continues to be lavished on us, we can overflow with that same love. This love can undergird all the actions of a believer, showing the world what God is like. This love is a haven for us that casts out fear, empowers us to do hard things, and fills life with rich relational meaning both now and for eternity!—Jessica Udall2
How to do all things in love
Love is the mode of operation in which our lives as Christians move and flourish. Paul instructed the Romans, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). Paul taught the Ephesians, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). And furthermore, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Love is the disposition that Christians are to manifest toward one another and all humankind.
Christ Himself said that His followers are to be known by their love: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). Jesus establishes the standard of how we are to love one another. Husbands and wives should love one another as Christ loved the church and sacrificed Himself for it (Ephesians 5:22–33). When we correct or reprove another, we must do it from a place of genuine love for them (1 Timothy 5:1). If we must speak a difficult truth to a brother or sister in Christ, our motive must come from a position of love (Ephesians 4:15). We are always to work together as one body, inseparably joined for the purpose of building one another up in a spirit of unity and love (Ephesians 4:16).
We acquire love by emulating the example Christ demonstrated through His life: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16–18). “Let all that you do be done with love” proposes that we love as Jesus loved.
Dear God, thank you that you are a loving, gracious God. Thank you that you’ve offered us forgiveness and the gift of new life in you. Thank you that your love is perfect, it never fails, and that nothing can separate us from your love.
We pray that our lives would be filled and overflowing with the power of your love so we can make a difference in this world and bring honor to you. We ask for your help in reminding us that the most important things are not what we do outwardly, it’s not based on any talent or gift, but the most significant thing we can do in this life is simply to love you and to choose to love others. …
Lord, thank you that your love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; thank you that your love never fails.—Debbie McDaniel3
Today I took time to love
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.—Colossians 3:14
God loved you so greatly that even though He had to make the supreme sacrifice and leave His Father and His home to suffer, to be condemned, to endure all the evils of sinful men, He did it because He loves you. And if you had been the only one ever born into this world, He still would have done it—for you! He did it because He saw that underneath all that filth and sin, there was a beautiful creation of His.
In turn, He says that we must love others with the same love that He loved us with; that we must look beyond people’s faults and failings and sins and look for the beauty that He has placed there—to try to look inside their heart and to love others with His love.
The world is dry and thirsty for God’s Spirit and needs a massive infusion of His love. The world needs to feel God’s healing touch, warm concern, and compassion. Now is the time not to just read about His love or talk about it, but to live it, by loving God and everyone we can in every circumstance.
Taking the time to love people is not time wasted, no matter how many other important things we have to do. It can bring joy, comfort, and security to others and to those whom their lives touch. You may think that what you can do is meager, but “little is much if God is in it,” and His Spirit can work through even the smallest acts of love.
By loving people, we are practicing what we preach, and our preaching will therefore be more powerful. If we can say, “Today, I took time to love,” we can feel like we have accomplished something that will last forever and that will please the Lord.—Maria Fontaine
Published on Anchor August 2023. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso. Music by Michael Fogarty.
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