Be Still Know
READ: 1 Corinthians 14.1 NLT
‘Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.’
1 Corinthians chapter 13 is a really famous chapter and rightly so. But the fact is that Paul didn’t write in chapters. Chapter divisions arrived about 1,200 years later! So, whenever we see a chapter division, we need to, at least, peer at what happens next. This is really important in this particular letter because if you only looked at chapter 13 you might think that love is so important that you can forget about the gifts of the Spirit. After all, they have got a limited shelf life as Paul has just explained. But here at the start of chapter 14 he makes it plain that we all need to make love the goal of our lives and, at the same time, we need to seek after the wonderful gifts that the Holy Spirit wants to give us.
The church in Corinth had got into a horrible muddle about spiritual gifts and Paul is trying to straighten them out. Their meetings had become totally disorganised and unhelpful with people trying to outdo one another as they used their gifts. Paul is eager to give them some clear rules so that they will start appreciating the gifts that God has given them, and use them in a way that will build up the whole church.
Sadly, the Corinthian church wasn’t the last church to get in a muddle! Churches can still slip up. Sad as this is, it should never surprise us because they are made up of sinful human beings. Much as we love the Lord, we still trip over our selfishness and idiosyncrasies, so it is vital that we keep focused on Paul’s wise words and continually ensure that we make love our goal continually, but also eagerly seek after the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
QUESTIONS: What gift has God given you to build up the church?
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the gifts that you have given us. Help us to treasure them and to use them to build your church today. Amen
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