Wednesday, December 17, 2014

1 Corinthians 14:1

1 Corinthians 14:1 - Follow the way of Love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.

As we discussed in 1 Corinthians 13, without Love all we do is for nothing. Our life with Christ begins with Love, “For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) And again in 1 John we read, “We Love because He first Loved us.” God’s Love makes everything worthwhile, but Paul tells us not to stop there.
Paul tells us that we must, “Follow the way of Love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts.” On their own spiritual gifts have no value; they are nothing. If they do not have the right motive behind them they are both useless to you and those around you. When spiritual gifts are based in Love, however, they have great value. Paul says to eagerly desire them, especially prophecy.
Why does Paul single out prophecy? What significance does it have over the other gifts? I think we often misunderstand the word prophecy. We are taught of prophecy as being a foretelling of events, but that is not entirely true. Prophecy is a life-giving word to those who hear it. It can be telling of future events, but is not limited to it. And when it does foretell of what is to come it is still meant to bring life to the hearer.
Prophecy, when done out of Love, is a powerful tool that God has given us. We ought to desire this. Sometimes it comes as just an encouraging word to someone. It doesn't have to be much, maybe just a scripture or a couple positive words, but it can change the life of the one to whom it is given. Really, the reason prophecy is so important is that it speaks to the heart of a man, who he really is, and when done in Love it brings life. It ministers to his spiritual and emotional needs.
So, to echo Paul, follow the way of Love and eagerly desire the gifts of God. When Love is our foundation all of these gifts will be used to help others and not for selfish gain. Love is the key; Love makes it all matter.

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