GET TOGETHER -Don’t Forget the Main Thing
1Co 13:1-5 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 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. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
The Apostle Paul takes a break in Chapter 13 from teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Chapter 12 before He goes into teaching more on them in Chapter 14. I believe that one reason that he does this is that he does not want the Corinthian believers or us to forget how important it is that we are called to a life of loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
What a blessing it is to know that God has given us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to serve Him and to serve others with. What a blessing to know that God wants us to partner with Him in ministering to the poor. What a blessing it is to know that God loves for us to grow in and to exercise our faith. But He wants us to be sure that we grow in the right kind of spirit.
Paul list several characteristics of Christians who are loving God and loving people. We suffer with one another. We work through some things together. We are kind to saved people and unsaved people. We are not envious of other Christians or of non-Christians who may be prospering in some way. We don’t try to impress others, but what we do we do heartily to the Lord and not to men.
Here is one that I had to repent of the other day. I was rude and impatient when a man was trying to park his 18-wheeler at a restaurant that I was pulling into as I was running a little late to meet some of my family for lunch. I didn’t say anything to him, but to be honest I was impatiently waiting on him to move the truck and he could tell it by the way that I was operating my vehicle.
We can’t be rude in our conversations with non- believers, or people that disagree with us. We can state what we believe. But we don’t have a license to do it in a rude way. They are supposed to see something different in us.
As Paul points out we are to seek the will of God rather than our own will. There are plenty of things in our culture that we certainly need to be concerned about. And yes, we need to be bold. But sometimes people confuse boldness with arrogance. We often see people who disagree not really listening to the other person, but biting their head off before they can finish what they are saying. Paul was a very bold man. On the other hand, I don’t believe that he was an arrogant man. Paul tells us that love isn’t easily provoked. The Greek term for provoked is paroxuno, par-ox-oo’-no. It means to be upset with someone or something involving severe emotional concern. We are not to be quick tempered.
Sometimes some of us may be operating in the Spiritual Gifts, but not loving as God desires for us to love. Some of us may be serving the poor out of cold hard duty without really loving those that we are serving. Keep operating in those gifts. Keep ministering to the poor and others that God has called you to minister to. When you do ask the Holy Spirit to give you so much love that everything that Paul says that love does is evident in your life. And ask the Holy Spirit to remove those things that don’t reflect the love of Christ from you. Pray for me that I will do the same. Remember what Jesus said about the greatest commandment. Lu 10:27 So he answered and said,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'”
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we thank You that you have given us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to serve you and others. Today through Your Holy Spirit let love manifest in our lives in the way that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 13. Break off from us any of those negative things that Paul talks about in that chapter. Helps us to flow in our gifting in a way that Your love flows out of us.
In Jesus Name
Thanks for your love good friends.