One day, a guy walks up to Jesus and asks Him, “What is the most important commandment in the Bible? Give me the whole Bible in a tweet, 140 characters or less. Here’s what happened:
Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. ’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘ Matthew 22:36-39 (NLT)
The First Rule of Love: Love God with all you’ve got and love people a lot!
There’s no better use of your life than love.
You only live once and you get to choose how you’ll use it. You can use it for yourself and waste your life. Or you can use it to learn to love and to love, and it will last. You outlast your life by learning to love. Who do you love? You love up and you love out, God and others.
We need to keep love first in every area of our lives. Paul says without love on top of everything, nothing else matters.
5 Things I Do That Don’t Matter Without Love on Top
1. Without love on top, my words don’t matter.
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. 1 Corinthians 13:1
Speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15
2. Without love on top, my knowledge doesn’t matter.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
We live in the age of information explosion and overload. Check this out: knowledge and data doubles faster than once a day. That means that by tomorrow, all the knowledge of the history of the world will have doubled and then the day after that it doubles again. My brain is exploding just thinking about that!
We are smarter than we’ve ever been before in any other generation. But look at us! We are also more foolish than ever before. We still have the same problems – war, terrorism, crime, abuse, racism, hatred, violence. Because we need more love, we don’t need more knowledge. Without love, nothing I know will matter. All the knowledge in the world can’t make up for a lack of love.
3. Without love on top, my beliefs don’t matter.
If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. 1 John 4:20
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6
4. Without love on top, my gifts don’t matter.
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 13:3
God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
You can give for a lot of wrong reasons, but the Bible says if my motivation isn’t love, none of my giving counts and nothing I give will matter.
Love is spelled: T-I-M-E.
Jesus taught that you measure real love by how much of yourself that you give away.
How do you find more time for love?
Are you ready for this, it’s revolutionary: turn off the TV and shut off facebook and instagram. Can you imagine? What if we didn’t have those time thieves? I don’t mean never. I mean set a limit. We, you, most of us are in front of a tv screen or monitor at least 6 hours every day. Some of us even more. That’s a thousand five hundred and sixty hours in front of a screen every year.
5. Without love, my accomplishments don’t matter.
So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 1 Corinthians 13:3 (MSG)
Questions to Discuss
- What is your favorite love song and what does it have to say about love?
- “I love ice cream. I love my kids. I love God. I love those shoes.” What does that say about the meaning of the word “love”?
- Read Matthew 22:37, 39. What does it look like to love God with all that you are? Sometimes loving others can be harder than loving God. How can showing love to others be an act of worship?
- Why do you think we know so much more about lust than we do about love these days?
- Read Ephesians 4:15. What do you think it means to “speak the truth in love”?
- Since we seem to have more information today than ever before in history, why do you think we seem to still have the same old problems?
- What are some ways you can suggest to make more time to show love to people in your life? (example: less screen time, etc.)
- Think of someone you haven’t shown love to recently. How can you apply this week’s lesson to that relationship? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Take them out for coﬀee.
- Send a note, text, or e-mail.
- Give them a call to see how they’re doing.
- Ask how you can pray for them.
- Invite them to join your group.