Love AND gifts!

If you want to be successful in the things that you do, then you need to be loving people.

August 21

Let love be your highest goal, but also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives, especially the gift of prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:1

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Love AND gifts!

Paul has just spent the last two chapters describing the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  In chapter thirteen Paul reminds us that while spiritual gifts are important, love is more important.  The reason love is more important is because when we receive our glorified bodies, we will no longer have a need for the other gifts.  Three things will remain after we have our glorified bodies; faith, hope, and love.

The reason why Paul is making this statement is because the Corinthians were desiring the manifested gifts of the Holy Spirit but there was no evidence of love.  Paul’s letter was to help them to put these things in the proper order.  In our verse today, Paul is telling them it is okay to desire those gifts but only as they are secondary to their pursuit of love.

This is an important message for us as well.  We can easily fall into the trap of desiring to do certain things for God or to be done for God’s people that are born out of the wrong motivation.  Our motivation should be love.  Your love for God and for others will determine how effective you are in ministry or in life.  If you want to be successful in the things that you do, then you need to be loving people.

If you don’t love people then your ability to serve, pray, teach, and minister to others is going to be seriously hindered.  Everything we do is going to be tested to see if it was done the way that God wants.  You might have a form of success, but it will not survive the testing by the fire of the LORD if you do not have love.

Our verse for the day gives us the first step towards loving others.  If you want to love others more than you do today, you start by making that a goal; and not just any goal, but your highest goal.  Too many of us put other things as our highest goal.  We might make our highest goal being the best preacher that has ever lived so that many will be saved.  We might say that we want to make a bunch of money so that we can give it to the church or to the poor or to some mission or ministry.  If anything is a higher goal in your life than love than you are not obeying God.  The Great Commandment tells us that the two most important things that we can do with our lives is to love God and to love others.

It is okay to desire to do great things for God and to desire that you be given the necessary things to cause those great things to happen; just as long as love for God and love for others is your great motivation.  God is looking for people just like that so that He can show Himself to be strong on their behalf.  A person whose highest goal is to love God and others is obvious for the world to see because they are modeling a life that looks like Christ’s.  Jesus, help to put all our goals at Your feet and teach us to desire love above all.

Daily Bible Reading Plan:
Read: Job 1:1-3:26; 1 Corinthians 14:1-17; Psalm 37:12-29; Proverbs 21:25-26

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