Thursday, January 28, 2016

A More Excellent Way

"But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I to you a more excellent way" 1 Corinthians 12:31.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul warned the church not to be ignorant about spiritual gifts, their diversity, and use within the body of Christ (v1).  He states that just because some people did not have certain gifts, it did not mean their gifts were not useful and needed, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you” (v21).    He told them that love is superior to spiritual gifts, and the necessary ingredient with the use of gifts, "But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way" 1 Corinthians 12:31 (ESV).  In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul elaborates on the more excellent way of love, its great value, virtue, and victory. 
The value of love is beyond estimation.  No gift or possession is profitable without it.  In 1 Cor. 13:1-3, Paul compares the superiority of love to the gift of languages, the gift of prophecy, miraculous faith, and the doing of sacrifices and good deeds.  We must recognize the value of love also, for God's love enables us to do His work effectively.  God is love and the more like Him we become, the more love we will possess. But if we don't have love, we have gained nothing!

The virtues of love include kindness, humility, selflessness, patience, compassion, faith, and love.  Many people try to express the virtues of love without possessing love.  This is impossible to do.  We must possess the Spirit of Christ if we are to succeed in performing the work of Christ. Being filled with the Holy Spirit enables us to practice the virtues of love . Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Neighbor!  Oh, Neighbor! Look to your neighbor and say, "LOVE."  "Love" means "LORD OF VIRTUE EVERLASTING." Jesus Christ is Lord of virtue, and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 3:13).

There is great victory in love! Family members, friends, pleasures, and possessions sometimes fail, but "love never fails." Faith pleases God, but faith serves its purpose only in this life.  We cannot live without hope, but hope will not  be needed in the next life. Love is a necessity; everyone needs to love and be loved. Love is eternal; it will unfold in greater beauty and glory while endless ages roll. Victory is assured  to those who are filled with the love of God. Paul concludes by saying, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.: (1 Cor. 13:13) 

No matter how gifted you are, how well you can sing, minister, serve, you're just making a whole lot of noise without love.  God is love!  In what ever you do, choose the more excellent way of love.  Love never fails!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Benefits of Restored Relationship With God

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way in which you should go: I will guide you with my eye" Psalm 32:8.
Psalm 32 describes the blessings of restored relationship with God; the benefits of forgiveness like none other. As we face the new year, the question you must answer is, Will you walk with God or walk in your own understanding letting your conscious be our guide? Don't follow your own way, my sisters and brothers. Oftentimes, our feelings are fickle and our "unctions" won't function. They may lead you down the yellow brick road. Don't trust your GPS at the expense of wisdom and experience either, but in all things get biblical understanding (v 9). Don't trust in so-called pundits or experts, nor in horoscopes nor rituals. We need an adequate Guide in 2016 because we have not passed this way before, and we don't know what lies ahead. But God knows all things, and He knows what's best for each of us.  Let the Lord lead and guide you!
Psalm 32 shows us that the Lord will instruct, teach, and guide those who are willing to obey and follow Him, acknowledge and confess their sins in prayer (v5). God's guidance does not contradict the plan teaching of Scripture. The right way will not always be the easiest way. And following God will require faith. The wrong road, no matter how nice, no matter how beautiful, however, will never lead to the right place. I'd rather be with God in a storm on a raging sea than be without him on dry ground, wouldn't you?
The Spirit of the Lord leads us if we are in close fellowship with Him. This is a good time to consecrate yourself or recommit yourself, or return to the Lord.  The Lord opens doors where He wants us to go, and closes doors where He does not want us to go. We know we are in the right path when three aspects of His guidance lines up: His Word, His leading in circumstance, and the leading of His Spirit.  These are the benefits of a restored, a right relationship with the Lord.
Have a blessed and productive new year walking with the Lord!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...