Good morning and welcome aboard! The Love Chapter Series Begins today!
1 Corinthians Chapter 13 is often referred to as the “Love Chapter” because it describes what love is. You can read the entire chapter click here. I would like to talk a bit about it. This might become an ongoing blog with many parts. Sort of an in depth study on this passage. So, we’ll go in an “expository” manner. Verse by verse.
If you get a chance, read 1 Corinthians chapter 1 through 12. It will give you a little more to go on than starting just in chapter 13. In fact, we’re not actually going to start with chapter 13. We’ll pick it up in the last part of chapter 12. A little bit of setting the stage, you might say.
One of the lesson’s I am learning is to remember is to ask the Holy Spirit to open my understanding. Ephesians 1:17 and 18 says that Paul, the author, prays regularly that God will grant the Church (the people of God) the “spirit of wisdom and revelation that the eyes of your understanding be opened.” So, it is a very healthy habit to ask God to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation each time we read God’s Word, so we might understand it better. Trust me, there is nothing like reading something and God’s Spirit revealing a truth in it that no one else has shown you! Very powerful and faith building. Anyway, it will never fail you to ask God’s assistance.
The Love Chapter Preface
Now, let’s get going. Start at chapter 12, verse 27.
27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”
Paul begins his discourse on love by highlighting some very important areas of leadership, gifts and supernatural activities. He speaks of the variety of positions in the church. How that different giftings rest on different people. And then states that we should always desire to have greater things happening in us. But he ends it all by saying that there is even a more “excellent” way. What does that mean?
Some have said that Paul would have intended his letter to continue here and not pause in a chapter break. But I actually think there could not have been a better place. He brings us into this great conversation about the supernatural things that can happen in and through people and in the middle of it, he says, “But wait. There’s something even better than all of this.” Then, he delves into the great treatise that will be forever the best exposition on love that man has ever written or heard. And since that’s what we’re all about, let’s delve with him!
We’ll begin with just the first verse. I want to bring this fully to us. You know, kinda melt it down and rebuild it piece by piece.
Verse 1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”
I can’t help but think of politicians when I read this first verse. Even actors and famous motivational speakers. Dare I say, famous preachers? Love has nothing to do with with what you can say to persuade, to inspire, to explain. To convince. What you say, the words from your mouth, means nothing. Whether you are singing a song that the world sings along with you or one that praises God to the point of goose bump insanity.
Your words may inspire a generation to go to the moon. It may become the anthem for a nation. It might change one life or one million. You might be a Shakespeare. An Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King, Jr. Your words might be quoted by Presidents or Kings. You might be invited to open Congress, speak to the Assembly or present at the Oscars. Heads of State from around the globe might want you to come and speak. Maybe your voice is so that Pavarotti is jealous. The classics all hope you will record them. If what you emit causes repentance, tears, breathlessness. If the mobs scream and beg for more. When you read words, the minds swirl with vision. Your concerts are packed stadiums with billions watching on TV and internet. Your records stay at the top of the charts for months. When you preach, everyone is healed. When you lead worship, souls are saved and lives are forever changed.
Your ability is nothing but noise if love is not the focus… “crickets”…
In God’s noisy love,