Sep 22 — 1 Corinthians 12-14

1 Cor 12 — Spiritual Gifts, One Body with Many Members
1 Cor 13 — The Way of Love
1 Cor 14 — Prophecy and Tongues, Order in Worship

Thoughts about serving others

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

One Reply to “Sep 22 — 1 Corinthians 12-14”

  1. One of the key studies I remember from my youth included these chapters. I still remember “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:11). Paul uses the metaphor of the body to explain how we should act as a church, “Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (12:14). It is such a privilege to be part of the body of Christ, why do we bicker about the part we get to play? The world would have us fight because Satan knows this truth: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (12:26a). The “b” part of that verse is more positive, but Satan focuses on the “a” part, pitting one believer against another, knowing that if one would suffer, the entire church body will suffer. Lord help me to keep unity in whatever church I serve, help me to do my part without looking around at what others are doing, except to encourage or otherwise be a part of helping.

    The “Love” chapter is often quoted at weddings, but my wife used this as her motivation for driving through tough times at work. Chapter 13:1-7 became her morning and evening devotion where she challenged herself by putting her name in place of the word love. The first time I ran into this notion was at a men’s retreat called Walk to Emmaus. It brought me to tears because I realized that in saying the words “Dave is patient, Dave is kind…” I fell short of God’s call, so short that I was convicted to change my thinking. Zoe did this for months on end as she walked through some of her toughest challenges. Try to read vv 1-7 with your name in place of the word “love.” Lord help me to be patient and kind, one who does not envy or boast, who is not filled with pride. Keep me from being self-seeking, one who doesn’t quickly record the errors of others, not quick to be angry. Lord help me to rejoice with truth, to protect and to trust, always persevering even in the toughest of times.

    Paul addresses speaking in tongues and prophesy in chapter 14, but more than ever, we should focus on God’s design for good order in worship. Here is the verse that popped off the page to me this morning: “Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?” (14:7). It was such a joy to play music in the band yesterday, indeed John and Amy Eldridge are so very talented, quite a privilege to be included in the band to lead worship. But we listen to each other. Jake provides substantial input, Michele is listening for the place where violin makes sense, Daniel keeps the beat. My job when playing bass is to compliment the drums and be consistent so the foundation is solid. When we are in sync, music happens. If we are all off trying to impress others, there is no music and no chance to lead worship. It’s such a rich metaphor. “Everything must be done so that the church may be built up” (14:26). Lord help me to remain in the business of building up churches! Keep me focused on your direction, listening for your prompting and playing my part when and where it belongs.

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