Kids of the Kingdom
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If 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 have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love 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. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When 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. 12Now 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. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Being a child of God means much more than appearing to be by our outward actions. It means being a child of God by becoming one with His nature. In order for that to happen, our old nature with all of its pride and arrogance needs to be laid at His feet so that His nature of Love will begin to flow out of our lives.
I love this Love chapter in God’s Word because it cuts right to the heart of the matter. Note that verses 1, 2, &3 all deal with nice godly actions of His people like using the miraculous gifts He has given us, being able to discern the heart of God and tell others, and even giving all we have to feed those less fortunate than ourselves. Oh how God’s heart must ache for us all to realize that each and every one of these pale in comparison to a love walk with Him. Give me a church or fellowship that is rich in Loving God and yet weak in the “proper techniques” of walking a Christian walk any day compared to one that has all of the “techniques” of walking the walk and talking the talk and yet lacks the passion to know Christ.
I think there is going to be quite an awakening when we enter glory and then begin to see those who are actually rich in Christ compared to those who appeared to be rich in Christ here below but were actually paupers in their relationship with Him. How we need to take time and listen to these verses of God’s Word here in 1 Corinthians 13. I don’t know about you, but if i saw someone who had the gift of the tongues of men and of angels, who could prophecy and could fathom all mysteries and knowledge and had the faith to move mountains and the dedication to surrender all of their possessions to feed the poor, I would think they were a saint! Have you ever noticed how easy it is for us to act righteous without us being righteous? We can do something often enough that it just becomes a routine rather than an action of Love. How we need to guard our hearts from entering into a life of routines and habits rather than actions that spring out of Loving, and Grateful hearts.
I feel so sorry for those evangelists on the radio or TV who get so consumed with the miraculous thinking that God is in the miraculous. They seemed to be so consumed by arms growing back or the blind to see or the lame made to walk that they are totally missing the heart of Christ and that is a Love walk with Him. Sure, He is fully capable of doing all of these things and sometimes does, but His Heart’s desire and purpose for doing so is for us to grow in relationship with Him. Not so that our bodies can be free from their momentary discomforts and pain here below, but that we can see that He Loves us. Love that is based on performance and not character is shallow love. Look at the Israelites who saw some of the most incredible miraculous actions of God this world has ever seen. How much depth of character did it build? Absolutely zero! Most of them when God tested their faith began to mumble and complain instead of learning that God was someone they could trust to supply their needs.
Oh, how self-consumed we are with our bodies of clay or our bank accounts, those things that are not who we are but only what we have. Note again these verses; 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. Love IS patient, Love IS kind. Sure, Love does display patience but because it IS by nature WHO we are. Sure, Love does do kind things because it IS by nature WHO we are. You cannot be one with Love and not perform loving actions but you can perform loving actions without being one with Love. So in other words, even though it appears we are performing loving actions, when we are not one with Love, they are merely actions that appear loving but are merely performed from a selfish heart.
Young men who want more from their lady friends than what they should be receiving are great at saying all the right words and even doing all the right actions but most if not all of it is for selfish reasons. Some people think if i just had a body of excellent health or a bank account filled with wealth they could then serve God whole heartedly. I say to that look at Adam and Eve who had it ALL! In fact they even had a world with absolutely no sin where God even walked with them in the cool of the evening and how did they end up? Turning their backs on the One Who made them. When will we realize what is important in this life? It is relationship with God In Christ His Son via the Holy Spirit. And what a relationship! Look at verse 7 & 8 again; 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. Love, God’s Love is not one that is lazy and complacent and full of hypocrisy.
When I read about the Love that is of God, my heart yearns to be one with that Love. It is a living, active, overcoming love. One that is powerful but not one that is powerful through just its actions or its words, but through its being. God alone is the maker of the heart and no amount of our self-will is going to transform ourselves into His image. And, God can only begin that process when we realize how helpless we are. Why do you think that we have merely to receive His Gift of redemption through His Son by faith? Probably one of the greatest reasons is because it does not involve our pride, which is what led us away from Him in the first place. And even the gift of faith we cannot become proud of because it too is a gift; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– (Whole Chapter: In context: )
Oh, the joy of being a child of His! The joy of being set free from the pride and arrogance we were born with! With the final release from all of the passions of this life being laid to rest when we see Him face to face!
Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing us to be Yours. Ever teach us how to release every bit of ourselves to You, not because of what You can do for us but because of Who You Are. In the Wonderful, Matchless, Beautiful Name of Jesus! Amen.
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