“If I speak in tongues of man and of angels, but have no love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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, bu have not love, I am nothing. If I give all that I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will e stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 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 childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor 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. ” (1st Corinthians 13:1-12)
Tongue-speaking and preaching skills are means of revelation but secondary in the Christian life to God’s love being active in one’s life. Intellectual ability (the wisdom often worshiped by Paul’s readers) and powerful faith that can perform miracles do not compare to love that reveals God’s own heart. Our ability to understand or know God’s truth is still limited as human beings, but one day we shall see God’s truth and love face to face.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, there are gifts you have given some people but not all. They are to be used for the betterment of the congregational church and also for the community that it serves within. Lord let those with gifts use them to further the kingdom of heaven now, not in some time in the distant future. Let us come together as a congregation that seeks to nurture and grow our membership, but also to grow our service in the community. We are not to withhold our gifts, but to share them in abundance, just as we are to share the Gospel of salvation that Jesus brought to us all. He was used and abused by the local government and their military might, to reveal that He was no power at all; yet, after all they did to Him and ultimately killed Him on the Cross, You resurrected Him to show that death has no power whatsoever and this, we pray will charge and recharge our efforts to take this message to the farthermost reaches and beyond. It in Christ’s name that we pray. Amen
“But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.” (Luke 10:14-15)
In the context of Chapter 10, Jesus has sent out the 72 men to essentially evangelize the countryside with specific instructions: Do not take an extra garment, do not take any money, accept no money for what you do for the people. In addition, Jesus empowered them to heal the sick, to preach on the salvation message, for the “One” that they have waited for is coming. They were to eat what was given to them and sleep where it was provided, but if they were not accepted into the town or village, they were to “dust off their feet” and move on to the next place. All of this sounds great, doesn’t it? If you have been called by God, truly called, you will do this and more. This I can tell you for sure.
“The 72 returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even he demons submit to us in your name.’ He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:17-18)
Christ’s followers found evil was subject to them. This symbolically foreshadowed God’s full reign in the world. These sighs, revealed through the disciples, teach the nature and purpose of God. He makes good to rule evil and redeem all who submit to His loving and good will. Christ reminded His disciples the greatest miracle is the salvation we as sinners receive, not the power God displaces through us.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“The Parable of the Lost Sheep; The Parable of the Lost Coin; The Parable of he Lost Son. Read these three parables on your own.” (Luke 15:3-32)
Luke brought together three stories revealing the depth of God’s love and the extent to which He takes initiative to find His own. God loves His children, even to the last one. Jesus is, in fact, a revelation of how far God goes in seeking His misplaced children. Did you ever see someone and think to yourself, “Surely God’s not waiting on this guy.1” The answer may be, “He’s waiting for you to see ‘that guy’ the same way He does. Surely God has something “important for me to do!” You might be surprised to know that God wants to see if you will actually lower yourself to help people out of troubles. God really loves us all, even the unlovable as much as he loves us.