Love makes our actions useful; love makes our gifts useful

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, May 17, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the church body. Great faith, acts of dedication or sacrifice, and miracle-working power have little effect without love. Love makes our actions useful; love makes our gifts useful. Although people have different gifts, love is available to everyone. (NLT)

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – If I speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear.

It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.

There are three things that will endure—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Paul wrote, “If I have a faith that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” –1 Corinthians 13:2 (NIV)

Grace Epperson (Michigan) titled her story “THE ICE CREAM MAN;” here is Grace’s story:

“When I was around six or seven the ice cream man would come in his white truck with the chimes ringing out – a signal for the children to come with their nickels and dimes to buy ice cream. I would hang back because there were no nickels and dimes to be had at my house. One day the ice cream man called me over and asked if that was my garden in our yard. I said yes, and then he told me that he loved carrots – and that if I would bring him some from our garden, he would give me ice cream. So I ran to the garden, pulled some carrots, and went back to collect my ice cream. We continued the carrots-for-ice cream exchange for a good while.

“It was only later in my life that I realized what grace the ice cream man had shown me. He didn’t make me feel like I was taking a handout or that I was to be pitied. He treated me with dignity in front of my friends. Without my knowing it, he was showing me a love like God’s.

“Simple acts of mercy can help someone get through a tough day or even a tough childhood. I have never forgotten the ice cream man’s gift to me. When we act with love toward others, we echo Paul’s words, ‘the greatest of these is love.’”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Compassionate acts demonstrate God’s love.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank you for the people who have shown us your love. Help us to be the hands and feet of Christ to those who need us. Amen.

Prayer Focus: CHILDREN WITHOUT ENOUGH TO EAT

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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