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A Martyr Without Charity (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Introductory Thoughts

It takes a special person with strong conviction to be willing to die for a just cause. This is especially significant when that cause is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, martyrdom for the faith in itself does not indicate that the individual was a mature and complete Christian. The apostle Paul indicated that an individual can give his life for the faith and yet lack charity (1 Corinthians 13:3). In fact, we are told that a man could give his “body to be burned” and profit nothing because he lacked the necessary charity. Unfortunately, there are many Christians today that seem willing to die for the faith. Some even seem willing to provoke the world to put them to death but lack biblical charity. According to Paul, those people who may even sacrifice their lives profit nothing.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The Bible tells us to have charity (1 Peter 4:8). It is treating others like family and like you would want to be treated (3 John 1:5-6a). It is the greatest indication that you are a grown-up or mature Christian (Colossians 3:12-14).
  • (For everyone): What would you think of someone who was willing to die for his faith? Why is it important to keep things in proper perspective concerning those who are martyred?
  • Sometimes Christians make idols out of martyrs. How does 1 Corinthians 13:3 admonish us to keep things in the proper perspective?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you to live a balanced Christian life.
  • Ask the Lord to strengthen your charity.