Bible Pathways 11/26/04
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- 2004 Nov 26
Read I Corinthians 10 - 13
In Today's Reading:
Guidelines for worship; the Lord's Supper; spiritual gifts; charity (love), the greatest gift
Surprising as it may seem to the world, from God's point of view it is more important to be known for your loving-kindness, thoughtfulness, and consideration of others than for being a famous evangelist, preacher, or teacher. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal (I Corinthians 13:1).
It is also more important to be known for one's love, as God loves, than for being the most prominent prophetic speaker in the world. Paul went on to reveal this God-given ability to love: Though I have the gift of prophecy (forth-telling or foretelling), and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing - worthless to God (13:2).
Charity suffers long, and is kind (13:4). It vaunts not itself, does not brag with inflated ideas of its own importance, meaning it does not insist on its own way and is never rude to anyone. Neither is it self-seeking, quick to take offense, or resentful. Love does not think evil of anyone. This God-kind of love is very patient - never envious or boastful.
Another dimension of love is that it does not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil (13:5), meaning it is tactful, charitable, and willing to forgive. This love has a way of making us more concerned for the feelings and rights of others and less preoccupied with our own. The love of God causes us to stop trying to always grab the best for ourselves or taking advantage of others.
Love also has a way of keeping us from listening to people who are anxious to pass on the latest gossip about the faults and failures of other brothers or sisters in Christ.
Love bears all things . . . endures all things (13:7) without getting frustrated or angry. Charity never fails (13:8), regardless of whether it is for friends, difficult people, or strangers. Every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love (I John 4:7-8).
10:24 another's wealth = the well-being of others; 10:25 shambles = meat market; 11:11 without = independent of; 11:13 comely = proper; 12:2 dumb = mute; 12:11 severally = individually; 12:24 tempered = united, assembled, combined; 12:25 schism = division; 13:1 charity = love; 13:4 vaunteth not itself = is not boastful; 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly = Is not rude; 13:12 through a glass, darkly = all I am capable of knowing now is partial and incomplete.
For I Corinthians 10:7: See Exodus 32:6. I Corinthians 10:26: See Psalm 24:1.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Steve Buyer (IN), Rep. Shelley Capito (WV), Rep. Porter Goss (FL), and Rep. Gerald Kleczka (WI) · Country: Brazil (171 million) in South America · Major languages: Portuguese and Spanish · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% various forms of spiritism · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord in time of trouble, for He promises to hear us (Psalm 18:6).
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 4:17