If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. – 1 Cor 13

I’ve read it a hundred times. Heard it at weddings. Even used it at weddings a few times myself. Maybe one of the most spoken verses in the Bible. Maybe it is time that it is the most lived verse in the Bible.

Last night at exchange, we explored Mark 8:29-32 and the idea of be-do-have (click here for the full audio under “Imagine: Cause unlocked”). We explored how before we do all the stuff of serving we need to be connected to Christ.

I think Paul is saying the same thing here. We can “do” the prophecy bit, rattle off a bunch of knowledge, even serve or die for the cause, but if love is not part of who we are, we gain nothing. Christ is most interested in who. The “be” is foundational.

Last night at exchange we launched our week of fasting. (Check out Shawn’s post). Tons of people are making significant sacrifices this week. Some are going without internet, some without smoking, some without food. I’m on a water and juice fast. Our purpose is that we might “be” closer to Christ. We hope that with some suffering, Christ may be a bit more supreme in our life. The things that we are fasting from this week are being replaced with spiritual communication (praying, reading the word, life journaling). Even as I am journaling this morning, Madison is next to me doing her journaling (she gave up TV for the week- not bad for an 8 year old.)

God, may you help us this week to be love. In our weakness, may you be strong, and may we somehow be love. May we love like your son.

[tags]fasting, devotions, Bible, journal, exchange, church, weddings, love, God[/tags]

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3 thoughts on “B.love

  1. Scot, i just wanted to be the first to comment on what i was fasting, which also is a sign that i may be the first one struggling with what i am fasting from. I chose to fast from video game, movies and t.v. Now, it’s finals week at Rose, so i have alot of free time, so this is hard, but also makes me focus more on my tests and studying for them, so I felt God telling me “this is good, but you can do more” so i decided to extend my fast an extra week to include my week of break (i.e. a week or usually nothing but video games, t.v. and movies). It’s only been a day and i’m already starting to go crazy trying to stay away from the video games and turning to prayer and reading instead. Besides my bible and life journal, i have a couple books i plan to read, we’ll se how it goes. 13 more days of this??? it is hard, but i know the reward i will get in the end. I want to encourage everyone else, no matter what you may be fasting from, God will bring you through it and draw you closer to Him in the process, keep it up.

    your favorite janitor,
    Christopher A.

  2. I acknowledge that we should not flaunt our fasting, but also that we should have an answer ready when people ask of the hope and joy we have. Now you may not be asking directly, but I do want to tell you, at the least, of how my week has been so far. Warning — this’ll be kinda long.

    I decided to fast, as well, from video games. Like Chris, being at Rose tends to envelop many of us in doing that. I was going to give up something like sweets (which I’ve learned to somewhat care for myself even though I’m a diabetic), but decided that the time I’d spend doing that would not really afford good time to give to the Lord in prayer. I also contemplated some other things, but you said to push ourselves and so I chose video games because unlike Chris I have no concrete finals this week and will head home early. I will be at home, where I spend all my time on video games and the internet, and I wanted to dedicate the first part of my week to my family.

    Now this is tough, because if I go visit my father, he works in a store which allows people to play video games for an hourly fee. I decided that despite the fact my father might find out (and not be too thrilled, but who knows), that if it’s another way my father can hear of how God is living and breathing and not far away… that He cares of the physical… then I want God to use me. There’s not much to do in Greenwood, and with friends, even, video games seem to be the only thing easy to do to have some fun. I have plans to visit friends during the end of my week, and then to visit for maybe more video game action later. I want to be able to bond with them, so video games is actually a good way to have something to do for a visit which might lead to better topics than who can beat who :-P.

    Well, I’ve found over the last day that I’ve just switched from games to watching TV or anime episodes. This was partially expected, but some other things today showed otherwise.

    At Rose, all we usually talk about is homework and classes. Due to the show I’d been watching, I was able to talk with another good Christian brother for 30 minutes about not schoolwork… and it felt great. It’s so discouraging to me that I can’t get into anything personal with people, and sharing in community and just talking about some of the funny things on the show and laughing… well I don’t laugh with another on a joke that’s not TV related much anymore, so it’s really nice.

    I also came back from a tuxedo fitting and ended up watching a friend who’s kind of a couch Christian play Guitar Hero 2. If I had not given up games I would have probably asked to play, his friends would have come in, and then I’d have left and the moment lost to grow in friendship with him a bit more. Instead, he ended up offering to make me some food since he needed to empty it from his freezer before he left for 1.5 weeks. So God provided food. We went into his room and watched some anime stuff (I went to Japan with him over the summer). It was just… beautiful again to see what God was doing. Earlier this year I’d asked him if he would think about coming to an IV event on science and religion, and he ended up coming. It’s just cool to see our friendship growing. For someone who’s stuck between being an introvert and extrovert, and a nerd at Rose, social interaction for me is usually always a wonderful thing blessed by God, haha.

    Finally, I was sitting down to do my QT and praying. I use to pray fervently and get responses from God and feel a deep connection with Him, regardless of thin place or valley. We just… had this communication connection. That connection has become more off and on lately at Rose over the last few years. I started to pray while my music was playing and I had (and am still) one of those moments where you don’t have to talk with God or say anything — in fact you can be writing this post — and you know He’s still right there in complete communion with you. It’s good to be where I am right now, returning to my first love. I’ve thought a lot of how you said you can’t fast without praying. It’s been really good.

    I pray God is blessing your fast, and that you are able to honor Him this week and not forget this time of being weak to be strong through Him. To make Him supreme.

    God bless,

  3. Keep up the good work guys. Stand strong and be weak.
    Check out the exchange forums for some good connections (www.exchangemcc.org) and plan on being at MCC Wed at 6PM to join a bunch of other weak fasters for some prayer and worship!