It was a warm, sunny fall afternoon so I decided to go outside and just sit in the sun. A slight breeze caused the golden hued leaves to gently rustle to the ground. Birds chirped as always… asking for food again I suppose since the squirrels ate everything I’d put out for my feathered friends. Then I heard the strangest noise. It was awful! Loud screeches, bangs and an indistinct whistling sound. When I say it sounded horrible, I mean it! “Like finger nails on a chalk board resounding through a megaphone.” Listening more intently I realized that the local high school marching band was practicing for the weekend Homecoming activities. With the wind, the band’s practice location and my dull hearing their music was just clamor to my ears.
Recently I have been studying 1 Corinthians. Paul began the church in Corinth and about a year later he left it to Apollos to pastor. Paul received a letter that the Corinthian church had some major issues with divisions, folks suing one another, carnal living, incest and more. In response he wrote in the first 11 chapters about dealing with behavioral problems that caused division in the church. He chastened, taught and sincerely desired for the Corinthian church to return to it’s “first love” place: the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In chapter 12 Paul wrote: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all…”
After explaining the gifts, ministries and diversity of activities his final verse of the chapter says (31) But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
What is that MORE EXCELLENT WAY??
Go on to chapter 13 and read what he told them very bluntly with harsh words in verses 1-3:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
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.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
Most of us know the rest of chapter 13 is referred to as the “Love chapter”. What I was taught by the Holy Spirit from these 2 chapters is plain and simple. Isn’t that usually the way it is with our Loving Father? WE, as human beings make it so difficult.
It’s all about who He is. HE IS LOVE!!
We can preach, teach, share everything we learn from the Word; give everything we have (including our physical selves); help others; have enough faith to literally move a mountain; and have all the knowledge of God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ; know every word of the Bible…BUT
If we don’t have love— the love that only the Holy Spirit brings when we release our hearts to His purpose— and show that love to EVERYONE(!!!!) we are nothing more than “noisy unprofitable nothings” for our Lord’s use. This truly challenged me! My prayer is that you too are up for the challenge.