the how and why

The great commandment that Jesus gives us is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourself.  In 1 Corinthians 13 it says that you can be an incredible speaker, have amazing faith, give away all your money, and even be wiling to be martyred but if you do not have love it's all a noisy cymbal and counts for nothing.  I was reading this morning in Revelation 2 where Jesus is speaking to the church in Ephesus and He says the following: '2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.'

He goes onto say if they do not repent, or make a serious change, He will remove their lampstand out of its place or they would cease to be a church at all.  So they had alot of noteworthy actions and deeds and their stand for doctrinal purity was truly commendable but the spirit in which they conducted themselves was completely off.  These passages remind me that it's not just about what I do but why and how I do it that really matters to God.  Our God sees our hearts and He knows with perfectly clarity our inner motives behind our actions.  I think this is why worship is so important.  Whenever I spend time in personal or corporate worship and prayer it draws me back to the Creator and Author of love and I realize once again that I can only love because He first loved me. 

striving to operate out of love,

Brian