Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: 1 Corinthians 12-14
Below are a few of the thoughts that made an impact on me today as I read through the passage.
1) With respect to spiritual gifts- they are provided by the Holy Spirit are provided to help others. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
No one gift is more important than another and jealousy over specific gifts has no place in the lives of believers.
2) The church is compared to a human body that has many parts that allow it to function. I thought of it much like a team. Each individual has a function or assignment based on their gift, and they must give 100% and utilize their talent in order for the entire "team" to succeed.If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Just as on a team when one player may be struggling, we need to encourage that player. This same concept applies to the body of believers (the church). We need to be actively looking for those that may be discouraged and encourage them.
3) The spiritual gifts God has granted us, as powerful and effective as they could be, are rendered ineffective if we do not have genuine love for others.
4) As many times as I have heard the description the passage from 1 Corinthians 13 vs 4-7 which describes love ( typically at weddings), it struck me just how opposite this is to human nature. Only God working in and through us is able to accomplish a love like this.
5) The death of loved ones, long term illness, starvation, and difficult challenges we face with others are all things which sometimes we struggle to understand as to why God might have allowed these things to transpire. Fortunately we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and has an understanding and vision beyond what our limited minds are able to grasp. The passage today tells us that the day will come when God will allow us to visualize things through His perspective. For now we see only a 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.
God, thank-you for the unique gifts you have provide and the team you have allowed us to be part of. May we continue to strive to be more effective as we focus on our love for others. Although we may not always understand why certain things happen, we know they are part of your master plan and look forward to the day when we shall see you face to face.