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. (1 Corinthians 13:1, 2 NIV84)
Just ask a married couple having relationship problems if anything matters if there is no love. When love is gone everything begins to lose its meaning and purpose. Why? Because love is the defining factor of all things. It is the reason why we exist. It is the reason we live on this beautiful planet and have the ability to gaze into the sky in the evening and see more stars than we can count. It is the reason we have the gifts and talents we have. It is the reason that God puts us into relationships. He wants us to both experience and express love. Love is like the glue that holds it all together. When love is gone, everything gets chaotic and crazy.
Paul was gifted by God to be a preacher. He was blessed to have Jesus Himself show His love to him by revealing Himself to him and changing his life. The Lord blessed Paul with the gift to communicate the gospel to any culture that would listen. He was even blessed to have a vision in which he saw the heavenly realms. I mention this because I think it is significant that Paul says in our verses for today, “If I speak in the tongue of men and angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal.” One of the greatest gifts God gave humanity–to speak–is worthless if not rooted in love. Paul next touches on the topic of wisdom. He declares that if someone had all the wisdom a man could have so that he could explain all mysteries, it would mean nothing if it were not rooted in love.
You see, God is love. Without Him there is nothing, because He is the maker and provider of all things. He created humanity in His image. He showed us His love by sending Jesus to die on the cross to bear our sins and their consequences. We are recreated to love others as God has loved us. Love is what defined Adam and Eve when they were first created. Before the Fall, they loved God with their whole hearts, minds, souls and strength, and loved each other as themselves. As Christians, we are born again so that we can love again. Love defines us. Without love we are nothing!