In my last post I wrote, “The way Drummond unpacks the entire chapter is worth going back to again and again, because this love thing is not something we can get down perfectly in this life. Growing in love is a pursuit that gives back a hundred fold. At the beginning Drummond asks the question, he calls it “the great question of antiquity” “What is the summum bonum – the supreme good? And as is stated at the end of chapter 13 of 1Corinthians, “three things remain, faith, hope, and love but the greatest of these is love.” So Drummond going to talk to us about love and I am looking forward to sharing with you some of his wisdom, insight, challenge, and encouragement.”
Drummond begins by supporting his thesis by referring to other “masterpieces of Christianity” written by Peter and John who of course quotes Jesus. One of the ways Jesus tipped the world upside down was by saying things like, “if you Love you will fulfill the whole Law.”
Then he starts by going through the contrast, briefly outlined in beginning of Chapter 13 of 1Corinthians – eloquence of speech, knowledge, sacrifice without love these things are nothing, worse than nothing, rubbish.
"From the day you land, that language of Love, understood by all, will be pouring forth its unconscious eloquence. It is the man who is the missionary, it is not his words. His character is his message."
In the contrast of “giving my body to be burned,” Drummond speaks to would-be missionaries, “to remember that though you give your bodies to be burned, and have not Love, it profits you nothing – nothing! You can take nothing to the heathen world than the impress and reflections of the Love of God upon your own character. That is the universal language. It will take you years to speak in Chinese, or in the dialects of India. From the day you land, that language of Love, understood by all, will be pouring forth its unconscious eloquence. It is the man who is the missionary, it is not his words. His character is his message. In the heart of Africa, among the great Lakes, I have come across black men and women who remembered the only white man then eve saw before – David Livingstone; and as you cross his footsteps in the dark continent, men’s faces light up as they speak of the kind Doctor who passed there years ago. They could not understand him; but they felt the Love that beat in his heart. Take into your new sphere of labour, where you also mean to lay down your life, that simple charm, and your lifework must succeed. You can take nothing greater, you need take nothing less. It is not worth while going if you take anything less. You may take every accomplishment; you may be braced for every sacrifice; but if you give your body to be burned, and have not Love, it will profit you and the cause of Christ nothing.”
In the next section, which I will save for the next post, Drummond gives “The Analysis” and he breaks it down into 9 ingredients of the Spectrum of Love. It is my favorite part of this short address by a man who has been one of the influencers of my life.