If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. 1 Corinthians 13:2 TLB
Though I keep a spotless house, and though I’m faithful in church attendance, and though I work in the nursery one Sunday a month, and though I lead a small group Bible study, and though I homeschool my children—if I do it without love, I am nothing.
If I take care of my sister’s kids while she’s recovering from surgery, and if I make enormous sacrifices for my family, but I do it from a sense of obligation or a desire to impress—rather than being motivated by love—it’s worth nothing.
If I stay married to the same person for fifty years, but don’t have God’s love for my mate, and if I bring my aging parents to live in my home and care for them throughout their older years, without doing it out of a heart of love—what does it profit? Nothing.
And though I share my faith with others, and though I read my Bible and memorize Scripture, and though I give generously to the poor and the missionaries, and though I volunteer in local community efforts—yet I have not love—it’s all less than nothing.
Most of us make sacrifices of one sort or another to do what we do. We give of our time, our energy, our abilities, our resources. Those sacrifices may go unappreciated and unrecognized. But genuine love means giving of ourselves to meet the needs of others without expecting anything in return. Love is not only the act, it is the heart behind the act. Ask God to make love for Him and others the spring from which your service overflows.
[Paraphrased, The Quiet Place, Nancy Leigh DeMoss]