Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Corinthians 16:14
“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14
Paul here is closing out his first letter to the Church in Corinth. He spoke to them throughout this letter about what love is. There are four basic words for love in the Greek language. First there is ‘Storge’ which refers to a family type of love, such as a love of a parent to their kids, and vice-versa. Second there is ‘Philios’ which is a love between friends. Third there is ‘Eros’ which is a romantic love. And fourth is ‘Agape’ which is an unconditional God-like love; the love God has for us. Remember, God loves His people, however He also loves those who are not His people. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. God loves everyone, and desires that all would be saved. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:17.
The Greek word translated love in our focus verse is agape. What Paul is saying is that whatever we do, it should be done with unconditional, God-like love. A love that transcends and persists no matter what our circumstances are. Whatever we do for someone else, we should do with a love that is not lessened by what they do, say, or react. In fact, what we do should come out of our love not only to the person, but also our love for God. We should desire to do the most we can in our service to God, which includes our service for others. “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-4.
We should have the same love for others as Christ has when He came into the world. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8.
So, what is our focus verse saying? That everything we do should be done with an unconditional, sacrificial, God-like love that does not look at how we benefit, but how the recipient of our deeds benefit. We should see others higher than we see ourselves, thus doing things in humility and not out of self-aggrandizement. Anything we do for another should exhibit and, as much as possible, be seen by them as an act of love toward them and that we are doing it because of our love for them and God. When we do this, our brothers and sisters in Christ will be encouraged that God is bringing us there way, and those who are not saved will see the reality of this Christian life and the love God has for them.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.