Monday March 2
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1 – 14:1
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.
Verse for Meditation: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:7-8
Devotional: Love must be the animating environment for the practice of spiritual gifts. It is not a mistake that in the middle of the Bible’s most extended discussion of spiritual gifts there is a chapter that points us to the way of love.
Any practice of spiritual gifts not grounded in God’s love is incapable of bringing glory to his name. Far more important than the degree of gifting is the fact that love must be the motivating factor. The fact is that it is very easy to fall into traps of pride and self-aggrandizement and to forget that God gives his gifts so that others will be encouraged and strengthened in him.
In particular with the gift of prophecy it is important to know that people’s attention should be fixed on Jesus and not on the prophet. 1 Corinthians 13 let’s us know that even when spiritual gifts operate powerfully, we still only see of a dim reflection of the wonder of God’s glory. Spiritual maturity is NEVER measured by spiritual giftedness. As 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” As we learn and grow in spiritual gifts let us never forget that God’s greatest gift to us by far is his love which we see perfectly in Jesus Christ.
: It is impossible to love others well when you are not secure in God’s love yourself. What is one thing that you can do to help you be consistently more aware of God’s great love?