E100 Devotion – Day 91

August 4, 2012

Reading: 1Corintians 13

In the previous chapters, Paul writes about the Lord’s Supper and spiritual gifts which are both centered on unity and diversity. We find unity when Jesus Christ is the focus of our diversity. We may all have different functions, gifts and abilities but when focused upon Christ and His Body, our differences unity us instead of dividing us. We’re all one Body in Christ – yet as individuals each uniquely different and equipped to build up the Body of Christ.

In this chapter Paul elevates Love as the greatest gift of all. Love is the endgame of all that we are gifted and equipped to do. We can actually give without loving, but we can’t love without giving. How? We do that by doing things, good things for selfish reasons. Expressing love is the purpose of all the gifts God gives us. Love is the experience others have through our giving.

We can focus on what we have or our individual gifting, instead of why we have them – to express love to others, not so we will be needed or esteemed by them, not to obligate or indebt others to us. Love is expressed in its purity when we invest in others without bringing the attention or glory to ourselves but to the giver of all gifts Jesus Christ!

Love has contenders and pretenders that must be overcome. What we do for God we must do without pride or false humility. We must not only reflect the gift of God in our giving, but we must reflect the character and likeness of the God who gave it.

Our giving must also be enduring, longsuffering, without judgment, kind and child-like in motive but adult in expression. Our spiritual growth must also parallel our spiritual contribution made through our God given gifts and abilities. If we don’t overcome love’s contenders and pretenders we won’t be enduring givers, we’ll become selfish quitters, when others don’t pay us back or treat us right. It’s then that we discover we were giving but not loving.

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