A devotional thought from Lizette Beard for “God in Us”
1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.”
It’s a dangerous thing to guess what another person’s motivations are for service and good deeds. But even more so, it is dangerous when we try to hide or deny our own.
In 1 Corinthians 13, God’s Word is clear that love is the only acceptable motivation. In fact, regardless of how good our actions are (feeding the poor, gaining knowledge, growing in faith), if they are motivated by the desire to brag, we have just wasted our time.
According to Paul, the characteristics of “love” look like the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. Love is patient, kind, doesn’t brag, isn’t conceited or selfish, rejoices in the truth. These characteristics are not just descriptions of “love” or “fruit”; more importantly, they describe God. This is what God looks like in a person’s life. We can’t really show this kind of love without God in our lives, just as we can’t bear the fruit of the Spirit without God.
1 Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5 are not “to do” lists—they are mirrors. Are we seeking God? Are we spending time with God? Are we obeying God? If we are surrendered to Him, then these are the characteristics that He bears out in us.
Pause and Reflect
• What other passages in the Bible describe characteristics of God that show up in the lives of His faithful followers?
• What is something you can start doing today to spend more time with God?