1 Corinthians 13
The Greatest Gift
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; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
We forget sometimes that the greatest GIFT is Love.
God doesn’t care as much about Spiritual gifts as he does about our character and our walk with Him; relationship.
This posting is aimed at Charismatic, Pentecostal, Spirit-filled believers in Jesus Christ. So many of us spend so much time focusing on gifts of the Spirit, seeking miracles and signs and wonders that we lose sight of why Jesus came. We no longer demonstrate love. We have become focused on positions and titles rather than on what really counts.
The Word is clear…if you speak in tongues and prophecy but do not love then it’s just noise.
Jesus was all about people. He didn’t heal people and perform miracles so He could be glorified. All of Jesus’ miracles had purpose.
Every time I hear people talking about gold dust appearing I cringe. Jesus never made gold dust appear (well, it wasn’t important enough to record if He did). Some things I hear Christians term as “miracles” are pretty lame.
The pastor I grew up with, Bishop Kenneth Phillips developed a class called “The People Business”. I like the title. I believe that Jesus was in the “People Business”. People where what He was about. He invested in people. He healed people. He died for people. He LOVED.
This year, I want to love people again. It’s so simple yet so difficult. I believe it takes more of the Holy Spirit in us to love people than it does for us to prophecy. As the Pentecostals/Charismatics like to term it (I am going to speak the lingo here), it takes more anointing to love and forgive people than it does to preach the perfect sermon, write the perfect song, interpret a tongue, teach a class, pray the prefect prayer…
Paul said in I Corinthians 12:31 “But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way…” The more excellent way, is LOVE. You see, it is in our power to ask God for gifts. Who ever asks for the gift of Love? People asking God for gifts of healing, gifts of tongues, gifts of prophecy. What about the gift of Love.
If Christians are going to change the world, we must exercise love toward people.
So before the merchandisers start setting us up for Valentines Day and pumping us full of the world’s definition of love let’s get back on track with what love really is. It is patient, kind, not self-seeking, it is not easily offended…