Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Love is Greater than Any Spiritual Gift

Photo by Alvanman
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Insights: This past Sunday was the Sunday before Valentine’s day.  Our community had a Valentine emphasis focusing on the refuge crises in Aleppo, Syria.  Our community prayer was for love, peace and hope to spread to those in Aleppo.  This community focus was timely chosen because of the focus on love during Valentines day.  We as a church also desired to focus on love as well.  The sermon was titled Limitless Love and focused on the love chapter found in First Corinthians chapter thirteen.  One of the aspects regarding this passage which is so often read at weddings is that fact the context of the chapter has nothing to do with marital bliss.  Rather, the dysfunctional church of Corinth had been fighting over spiritual gifts and the uses of them to such an extent that divisions were forming.  Paul had to write them in order to correct this erroneous poison that was plaguing them.  This thirteenth chapter starts off with Paul declaring love is more important than the gifts themselves.  The people of Corinth had gotten to the place of bragging over their gifts.  They were no longer using them for the edification of the Body, but were rather boasting in their own spiritual goodness.  In these three verses we see Paul mention six spiritual gifts and the first four are found in the previous chapter in verses 8-10.  Notice Paul uses the word nothing two times and also uses descriptive words like noisy gong and clanging cymbals.  We can have all six of these spiritual gifts, but if we do not have love, we are worthless.  Beloved, let us be mindful of this reality and not bring in spiritual dysfunctionality into our church walls.  Love others while you use your gifts for God’s glory.

1. What do you think your spiritual gift(s) is/are?
2. Do you always display that gift in love?

Prayer: Father, You are love, but if I am honest I focus more on my spiritual giftedness than I do on Your love being made manifest in me.  Grow me into a more loving disciple and may my use of Your spiritual gifts then be driven by love.  Amen.

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