The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/14/2010

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The Power of Love


"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor. 13:13).

One of the definitions of the term paradox is; "an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises." You got that?? Chapter thirteen of First Corinthians is one of the most paradoxical statements about love ever written. I am so grateful that the members of the Corinthian church were in such a pickle about the "gifts of the spirit" they had, that it was necessary to bring them back down to earth. In the twelfth chapter, the brethren were wrangling over which of these gifts of the spirit were superior. They had received these gifts from the laying on of hands by an apostle, probably Paul. Instead of using them for their intended purpose, there was a rivalry over which was greater. Gifts of wisdom and faith were literally ignored, while the more visually evident ones like tongue-speaking, prophesy and healing were being argued over. It seems that there was a petty competition to receive the gifts that brought some personal prestige.

ENTER LOVE! With all this rivalry going on, they had forgotten what got them to this point...LOVE! In order for them to go forward, they had to go backward. It was necessary to remind them of the greatest gift of all! It was a free gift that all of them shared equally. Unalike the gifts, of tongue-speaking or miraculous healing, love required no supernatural power. Because of this tiff among Christians, we are now the fortunate recipients of this beautiful chapter about the excellence and power of love. Love is the most fundamental gift for understanding how the Christian character is to be sustained. Love is so powerful that a competitive spirit cannot quench it. The Corinthians were told that even the miraculous gifts that they may have paled in comparison to the greatest gift of all. Paul unequivocally states that compared to love that those gifts are resounding gongs and clanging cymbals...If they had all gifts, and didn't have love, they were nothing!

I guess you might have figured out by now that my next few devotionals will be about love. I look forward to writing them...

Have a great beginning to your week...Why don't we start it with a few RAKs LOVE mark Phil. 4:11

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