The performer shined that night. He brought people to their feet with shouts of "Bravo!" and "More!" As he stood to take his bows, his eyes went to the one man in the front row who was still seated. His smile faded. Suddenly, the performer realized he had studied and practiced to please the wrong audience. The only person in the audience he did not impress was his teacher. The qualities which impressed the crowd were not the ones that were important to his master.
Learning to follow Jesus, the Gentle King, the Lion with the Shephard's Heart, means getting our eyes off the crowd (yes, even the church crowd) and getting them on the Master. Jesus made it very clear what qualities impress Him. These are the qualities that Jesus told us He valued:
Paul put it this way, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging bell." I Corinthians 13:1
If I give powerful speeches that challenge men and convice angels, if I don't have love, I'm just more noise pollution.
Paul continued, "And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing."
Bottom line, Paul, says that even a cross between Nostradamus, the Psychic Network and the Encyclopedia Britannica can't make it without love.
What about good works, Paul? Surely giving money to feed the poor will count. Paul's answer, "Though I bestow ALL my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, I am nothing.