1 Corinthians 13
The Greatest Gift1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 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. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 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. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 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. 12 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.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
"The greatest of these is love". What should be happening within the body of Christ today is HIS definition of LOVE...NOT OUR DEFINITION of love. That's really the problem we're facing as the church today. It's not about whether we believe in love or not...WE DO! It's about clarifying what is true ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD, not our assumed, or presumed opinion of what that is! Children are born with an undeniable sense of ownership. From a very young age children learn to say, "MINE"! Not only do they learn to "say" it...they learn to "yell" it! We are born with a selfish nature. Selflessness is a learned behavior. We are taught to share, and be nice. Pure (Godly) selflessness is learned only through the power of the Holy Spirit. The same attitude that coined the phrase, "if you don't play right, I'll take my ball and go home!", often fuels the attitude of those caught in the "church jumping" phenomenon. It's not about the Spirit of the Lord, it's about the angry spirit that shouts, "MINE!". So many Christians like to spiritualize their emotional responses. They like to call it the Spirit of God, when it is no more the Spirit of God than when someone talks bad about another Christ follower behind their back!
Literally, Covenant LIFE Fellowship has seen a complete turn over of people during the first three and half years of existence! There are only a handful of people who have been involved in the body of CLF since the beginning. The other people have come and gone. Some left for reasons that are understandable. Some were being led by the Holy Spirit to leave. I respect those reasons, and applaud when Christ followers obey His voice! However, some, perhaps many, have left for reasons that don't make good spiritual sense. Whatever, the reason, validity of the same comes only by God's Spirit, not personal preference, bias, or mere incompatibility.
We have to face the TRUTH. Jesus' blood is the common denominator of ALL Christ followers. We don't get to choose WHO we love. We are to love everyone! We don't get to choose how we love. God has set that forth in His Word! We don't get to choose when or where we will love. NOW is the TIME! Where you are RIGHT NOW...is the place to start, or continue! May the Lord Jesus Christ help us to see through HIS EYES! May we quit looking at one another through eyes of envy and strife! "For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there". (James 3:16 NKJV).
The body of Christ is ONE. There are many different assemblies of the body of Christ throughout the world, but there is truly only ONE CHURCH! Jesus is returning for a bride without spot or wrinkle! He is returning for a bride that is single mindedly about HIM! He isn't returning for a bride with multiple personalities, who is unfaithful, and altogether selfish. May we as the bride of Christ begin to use God's formula for loving. May we get past ourselves, and embrace WHO HE IS! And as we do that, maybe we can begin to love one another the way the New Testament church did. In Jesus' Name may we stop majoring on the minor things. "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself". (Philippians 2:3 NKJV) Until next time, may you truly be blessed with God's BEST!
Your Partner in Ministry,