1 Corinthians 16:22 (ESV) — If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!
Sometimes, you can read something in God’s Word which you’ve read a multitude of times, that hits you with such fresh force it takes you up short. Such was true for me as I hit upon this all-too-familiar passage today. Let the gravity of these words sink in – “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.”
This really is a most sobering and searching verse.
We are prone to talk about individual faith by that term alone – faith, or belief. So many a person claims to believe in God, believe in Christ, believe in the Bible. Believe in the Gospel etc.. But bare belief is only one side of the coin. If there is no “love for the Lord” – no desire to see Him, be with Him, delight in Him and especially to find Heaven that place where we will see and experience His unveiled glory – if that is not a motivating factor in our hearts – whatever else we may profess to “believe”, we are still accursed.
Now this is a deeply necessary consideration. Paul says it in the most stunning of terms. He does not say if one has no love for the Lord, they need help – but that they are actually accursed.
We must search ourselves in this regard.
Many if not most desire “Heaven” in the sense of an existence without the scars and plagues of sin. Or simply as the pleasant alternative to Hell. But do we desire Heaven because we love Him and want to be with Him? Yes, we groan with all of Creation for the day when the Fall’s effects will be totally reversed, but Oh, to truly love His appearing (2 Tim. 4:8). To long to see the face of the One who died for us. To so contemplate the Resurrection and Return in terms of comprehending that seeing His glory is so magnificent that everything we might have here and now or in the most perfect of imagined worlds is nothing but dung in comparison.
So I ask you, do you love Him? I know, none of us loves Him as we ought, as He deserves, nor even as much as we can. But if we have no love for Him as who and what He is and not just for what He has done, then we are still lost. Still in the gall of iniquity. Still in need of saving grace. Grace which births in our hearts a love for Him whom we have not yet seen.
O beloved – if you find a lack there, pray that you might love Him. Pray for the enlarging of your heart – for an ever-increasing capacity to see Him and cherish Him and delight in Him. And to find that love for Him the strongest of all motivations in all that you do. Holy Spirit, fill us with a renewed and ever stronger and clearer love for Christ Jesus. Fill our hearts with Him today.