“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!
Revelation 2: 2-4 (NLT)
Have you ever thought about that? Why do you do what you do? It’s a big question and one that certainly deserves an answer.
As we look through scripture, we see one of the driving forces behind what the Lord does, and it’s His name. He does things for His name’s sake. Just look through scripture and you’ll see gobs of examples—Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others all write about the things that God does for His name’s sake.
Jesus takes it a step further in Luke 21:12-13 (NLT), saying, “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. See, here Jesus is saying that unbelievers will do things to us for His name’s sake. He’s saying that we will be persecuted because we live for the name of Jesus Christ.
We are driven to act because of God’s name, because we represent His name and His reputation is on the line in our lives. But even if we do this well, there is something deeper that we need to remember—LOVE.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (NLT)
Specifically, we need to remember our first love, which had better be Jesus. Look at our verses today. Now, I imagine that most of us would love to have those things said of us; it seems like pretty high praise from Jesus, until you get to the end.
Really, I mean, yikes. How wonderful it is for us to live for the sake of the name of Jesus, but let us never forget the heart that those actions come from a heart that absolutely loves Jesus above and before all else. I pray that our love for God always grows until it is the motivation behind all that we do. AMEN!
Bow Tie_ Tommy Hilfiger