Part nine in the 1 Corinthians 13 series.
“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.”
1 Corinthians 13:8-10
As we discovered earlier in the series, the church at Corinth placed far too much emphasis on the use of spiritual gifts. Their motivation for using these gifts was skewed due to their competitive nature, pride, and self-importance. The Corinthians particularly valued the three gifts mentioned in these verses; prophecy, speaking in tongues and knowledge.
Which three gifts would make the list in your church or denomination?
Can you see ways in which your congregation, or denomination, may have fallen into the same trap as the Corinthians?
Paul tried to shift the perspective of the Corinthian church so that they could see that love is integral to the building of God’s kingdom. Each spiritual gift given to us by God plays a part in showing the world the love of God here on earth, but they are only a part, they are not the whole story.
Love is the undercurrent flowing through everything.
Love is the life source and purpose behind every word we speak or action we take.
There will come a time when these gifts will no longer be needed as God’s Kingdom will be revealed.
Love, on the other hand, will never become obsolete.
“Love is God’s river, flowing on into the future, across the border into the country where there is no pride, no jostling for position, no contention among God’s people. We are invited to step into that river here and now, and let it take us where it’s going.”
Right now, we have a glimpse of where God’s river of love is taking us. God has given each one of us gifts to help call others to submerge themselves in the water, but one day none of that will be needed as the fullness of God’s love will be revealed.
In the song link below, Nichole Nordeman pictures us as small stones carried along the river bed.
As you listen to the words, invite God to smooth your rough edges as He flows through your life.
Remind yourself of the permanence of His never-failing love.