And now I will show you the most excellent way.
If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels,
But have no love,
I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1
Love is the greatest of all human qualities. In fact it is an attribute of God Himself; 1 John 4:8 tells us, “God is love.” So if we possess special abilities, such as eloquent speech, but we don’t have God, then those gifts are useless ~ nothing more than a noisy bell, a clanging cymbal, or the creaking of a rusty gate.
Love makes our gifts and talents useful. God’s love working through our lives is directed outward toward others. He has blessed each of His children with unique and special gifts, and His great plan is for us to use those talents in the work of His kingdom serving others. He desires for us to use our skills and abilities to build up and strengthen others in our sphere of influence.
We all don’t possess the same types of talents and abilities, but love is available to everyone. By allowing God to live through us, we are able to show His love to others. God’s love blended with our talents creates a dynamic synergy with divine purpose. This is “the most excellent way.”
“What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
…If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
…You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.”
Isaiah 58: 7 – 12 MSG
For the victims in the path of Super Storm Sandy, our thoughts prayers are with you during this time of extreme despair. Beyond our prayers, when anyone wonders, “What can I do to help?” the passage above from Isaiah gives us a very specific plan of action:
- Share your food with the hungry
- Invite the homeless into your homes
- Put clothes on the shivering ill-clad
- Be available to your own families
- Start giving yourselves to the down-and-out
We also learn what God promises us if we do these acts of kindness and generosity for others, He will answer our prayers when we call on Him for help, and He will always show us where to go. He also promises these blessings for our obedience to His commands:
- The lights will turn on
- Your lives will turn around at once
- Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness
- He will give you a full life in the emptiest of places
- You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew
- You will rebuild the foundations from out of your past
- You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again
I can’t find a more positive passage in Scripture to give hope and encouragement to those whose lives have been altered forever. With God’s guidance and the help of others, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, and you will use the rubble of past lives to rebuild anew and make your communities livable again.