Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Love

Let God’s Love Shine

A devotional by Christa MacDonald

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 
–1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is one of my most favorite books of the Bible. 

The church in Corinth seems to think quite a lot about itself while ignoring some serious errors. Paul corrects them as lovingly as possible. He tells them to get over themselves and to straighten up and fly right, but the way he does it shows that he loves these people and wants what is best for them. He’s sending them Timothy, whom he loves, to help them as well.

When he gets to this passage above, I can imagine he’s writing each example with them in mind. They’ve become all about the show, polishing that exterior with good works and great oratory, but ignoring the interior, the soul that needs to believe, repent of sin, and follow Christ. What a metaphor for modern times! We are so fixed on our outward appearances. Our culture is obsessed with image. We curate our lives through social media, only showing the bits we like or want attention for showing.

It’s one thing to stand behind the counter at a soup kitchen and serve the needy, it’s another to sit at a table and engage someone. I know some dedicated saints who do this so effortlessly and it convicts me in my reluctance. Duty might get you in the door, but love gets you to sit down. And love is what we need to show others. I remind myself of this a lot. If I show up, but don’t really care about the people I’m supposed to be serving then I have missed the point.

When we share the gospel with those around us, are we doing it because we know we should, or do we feel the love for our fellow humans? 

When we interact with people without faith we need to be like Christ, meeting them where they are, approaching them with a loving heart, and sharing the Gospel. This includes the folks we find pretty unlovable. Later in this chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul describes what love is and it isn’t the fluffy stuff that our culture exalts.

When we’re out in the world, I pray that we let God’s love shine through us.

Author Bio:

Christa MacDonald is a 2017 ACFW Carol Award finalist for contemporary Christian fiction.

A native New Englander, she was inspired by her travels through the north woods of Maine to write The Broken Trail, which would become the first in the Sweet River Redemption series published by Mountain Brook Ink.

Christa's writing focuses on the real-life challenges of the modern world, love’s sometimes crooked path, and the redemptive power of Grace.

When not working or writing Christa can be found ferrying her kids around, reading, or attempting something crafty.

She and her husband live with their three kids, two cats, and one dog along the coast of New England. Connect with Christa at

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