Good time last night at our midweek group in Pontypridd. We have such a diverse bunch yet there is a wonderful sense, which is increasing all the time, of oneness and love between us.
And that is only going to get better and better as we embark on a practical study of 1 Corinthians 13 over the coming weeks. Last night was just the beginning and I already feel stirred that I need to change and that my character needs to be shaped so that my role in the body is a benefit to all my brothers and sisters in Christ…
We talk a lot about the body – each limb and ligament working together, playing it’s part, building up the whole body, not independent from any other part, rejoicing in the success of other parts, suffering as other parts suffer, and ALL under the headship of Jesus Christ. Yet no sooner as the Apostle Paul writes about these things (1 Cor 12:12-f), he puts it all in the context of love. Because without love “I am and have nothing.”
We talk a lot about spiritual gifts too. Desiring them, moving in them, encouraging them, stirring them up, and moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, again, the Apostle Paul only refers to them in the same breath and context of love whilst he only begins to talk about some practical uses of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14) after he has laid down a foundation of love – because if we don’t have that then spiritual gifts won’t matter. (1 Cor 13:2)
Everything we do must be from a heart of love. We must be perfected as the body of Christ – that will happen when we truly love one another. We must eagerly desire and move in the spiritual gifts, which are for the building up and nourishment of the body, but only from a place of love. As if to say, for example: “I have this word of knowledge and I love you so much that I have to bring it to you and if I don’t, I’m going to deny the body of something it needs.”
It must all come from love. So last night we looked at 1 Corinthians 13 and we asked the question – what does the passage say that love is? Our list was long. Partly because of the different Bible translations people had, but more so because the description of love is so vast and detailed. We looked at the list we had written and agreed that our definitions of love were found in the Bible. We talked about which we felt we were good at and which were our weaknesses where we can improve. For the next few weeks we’re going to look at them in detail so we can improve on our strengths and we can transform our weaknesses.
Take a look at the passage and descriptions of love – what are your strengths? Patience? Kindness? Slow to anger? What are your weaknesses? Patience? Kindness? Slow to anger? We’re all different and we found that some people are the total opposite of others when it comes to what we’re strong/weak in – that’s why we need one another, to encourage, sharpen and help one another.
I’ll keep you posted over the weeks.
To hear more about love, God’s love click here…