Monday, April 13, 2009

Because of Your Love

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities , but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
1 Corinthians 12:29-31

Paul finishes writing 1 Corinthians 12 by saying he will show the Corinthians a more excellent way to pursue the higher spiritual gifts, then he talks to them about love. I had never before noticed that the reason he is writing about love has to do with spiritual gifts. When Paul writes, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal", he is making reference to someone desiring the gift of tongues. Likewise....
"And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing."
refers to someone having or desiring the gift of prophecy.

"Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless."
1 Corinthians 13:8-10

Prophecies have passed away, the gift of tongues is inactive, knowledge continues to pass away, the gifts that remain are gifts of love.

What does that mean for us today?

"All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills."
1 Corinthians 12:11

All gifts are empowered through the love of God that is made manifest to us through the Holy Spirit!

The goal of every gift is to build up the body ("To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good")

Without love, we are nothing.
God is love.
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" 1 John 4:7-8

If God is love then it would makes sense that every characteristic of love is a characteristic of God because love is His nature.
God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, He always trusts, He always hopes, He always perseveres. God never fails.

I think the goal of all this is that when it comes down to salvation the goal is love, is for us to know God; to know God is to know love.

People are vessels which can emit tremendous amounts of love. God made us that way. God is a god of order, of balance. This capacity is not a one way capacity, since we have the capacity for love, we must also have the capacity for hate, for pain, for rejection, and anything contrary to love.

You are an instrument.
What will you emit?
Can you emit light?
What enables you to emit light?
There is only one light, anything else you choose to emit is toxic to the world around you, to the people around you. If you choose not to emit light, you poison yourself, the Christians around you, and you continue to suffocate those who already are starved of the light.

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