If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. - ! Corinthians 13:1-3 (The Message)
There it is in a nutshell. Love is the foundation of all our motivation. But not any love. It is the love of Jesus that must occupy us. We must envelop ourselves in his love, allow it to become an ocean to us, the very air that we breathe. It is more than just looking to his example. It is more than an outside force influencing an inward change. It must become the inner force that impacts our outward actions. This is only possible when we are possessed by Jesus himself.
We can't stop pursuing greater revelation of his love. We can't stop learning. We cannot set it aside to pursue other aspects of his character because love is at the heart of all of his character. It is what binds it all together:
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14, NIV)
After Apostle Paul describes the functioning of the Church, the Body of Christ, in 1 Corinthians 12, he said there was only one way, the excellent way, that the many parts of the Body could function as one: Love. In the Church today we try to unite people with the thought of having a common goal. Churches will try to encourage its members in this way. But often we get the goal wrong. The one thing that unites us, binds us altogether, makes us as one, is the love of Jesus Christ.
Some say we spend too much time on this subject which is not true; we don't spend enough. We have the wrong perspective of this love. We continue to treat it as something that is on the outside that we need to get in but we have to see it as something on the inside we need to pour out. This one prayer of Paul's has never left me and remains my desire that I must act on every day:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Oh to have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge. It is the only way to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Without love we have nothing, we are nothing.
In all the glitz, glamour, pumped emotions, ecstasy music, mission statements, lofty goals, let's not lose sight of what is the real power. Let's not lose sight of the foundation. Let's not lose sight of our motivation. Let's not lose sight of the purpose of it all. If you are not grasping the love of Jesus what are you grasping? If your desire is not the fullness of God, what is your desire? Love binds it all together in perfect unity.