"Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
      . . . though I . . . . understand all mysteries and all knowledge, . . . . but have not love, I am nothing.   Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
     I Corinthians 13:1,2,13 - NKJV

     There is an interesting connection between I Cor. 13 and I Cor. 12. In the 12th chapter, the Apostle Paul has cataloged the many spiritual gifts which God gave to His church. In the 13th chapter, Paul shows that ALL of these gifts -- if not coupled with Christian love -- are for nothing.

     Paul was one of the intellectual lights of his day, having enjoyed the best advantages at Jerusalem. In the vernacular of today, Paul was a college man. But it is not as a college man that Paul is remembered. When Jesus by a miracle of His love transformed the proud and haughty Saul into the meek and humble Paul, Paul's diplomas and degrees took on an entirely new significance.

     There is an earnest warning in this chapter for every Christian. Though I be a church member all my life, though I be an officer in my congregation with a long and enviable record, though I have the highest prominence, yes, though I speak with angel eloquence about the Savior and His love -- if in all these things I am not motivated by the love to God and to my fellow man, the n all my "gifts" and all of my "accomplishments" have no value in the sight of God. To him they are as the clank of dead brass and the offensive jangle of a clanging cymbal.

     We are living in a day of intellectual snobbishness. Wise men are glorying in their wisdom. The flames of intellectual pride and arrogance, in many instances, have dried up the cooling water of sweet kindness. Let us beware of a loveless Christianity, one that can see a brother or sister in dire need and merely say: "God bless you." Rather, let us come back again and again to Bethlehem, to Calvary, and melt our loveless hearts of stone in the warming rays of God's eternal love. If God so loved us, how can we withhold the full measure of our love even from the least of those for whom our Savior died?

It is at the foot of the cross that all knowledge finds its true perspective. That is why Isaac Watts could write:
          "When I survey the wondrous cross On Which the Prince of Glory died,
            My richest gain I count but loss And pour contempt on all my pride!". 


       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.




Updated January 13, 2010
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