December 2, 2017. 1 Corinthians 12-14.
Praise God that in His infinite wisdom and by means of His Spirit He has enabled believers to minister and build up one another in various ways. He tells us specifically this great and encouraging news.
1Corinthians 12:4 (NAS) Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Corinthians 12:11 (NAS) But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
1Corithians 12:7 (NKJV) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.
With believers having these truths as a part of their lives, for the profit of all, the simple question would be, “So what could possibly go wrong?” Well, as we see in the church at Corinth and in churches throughout time, the answer is, “Plenty can go wrong!” And the reason is always childish behavior. God has Paul write these personal words about himself as a believer.
1Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
A key reason the Lord has Paul write this letter to these believers at Corinth is because they have not put away childish behavior. There are divisions and contentions in the church over baptism, the use of spiritual gifts, even the Lord’s supper. Childish behavior that needs to be put away and replaced with mature adult behavior as a believer. And what does that kind of behavior look like?
1Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
What should abide in any mature believer is the “greatest maturity” of all, love. Faith and hope will come to an end when eternity begins, but because God is love, love never will end. That is why the most mature adult action of a believer is not using his or her spiritual gift, but using his or her spiritual gift for God to express love through them to another. Otherwise, they are merely like sounding brass and a clanging cymbal. (13:1)
No one ever wants to be called childish, and for good reason. To be childish is to lack maturity. Fortunately, to be mature as a believer involves one thing, love abiding in our life. Always allowing God to express His love toward another person through us.
Are there childish things in how you behave with others that you need to put away? If so, make this the moment you put those things away. Then make this the moment that you will continue to abide in faith, hope and the greatest, love. Love that others will see and experience whenever they are around you.