Bible Pathways - Nov. 26, 2007
In Today's Scripture 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 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 suffereth long, and is kind (13:4). It vaunteth 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 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (13:5), meaning it is tactful, charitable, and willing to forgive. 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 keeps us from always trying to 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 beareth all things . . . endureth all things (13:7) without getting frustrated or angry. Charity never faileth (13:8), regardless of whether it is for friends, difficult people, or strangers. Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (I John 4:7-8).
10:24 another's wealth =b> the well-being of others; 10:25 shambles =b> meat market; 11:11 without =b> independent of; 11:13 comely =b> proper; 12:2 dumb =b> mute; 12:11 severally =b> individually; 12:24 tempered =b> united, assembled, combined; 12:25 schism =ivision; 13:1 charity =b> love; 13:12 now we see through a glass, darkly =b> all we are 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 The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in China, Japan and the Far East in memory of Keith E. Loomis • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Officials: Rep. Steve Buyer (IN) and Rep. Shelley Capito (WV) • Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Chinese and Malay • Religious freedom • 54% Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese Traditional Religion; 15% Muslim; 9% Protestant; 4% Catholic; 3% Hindu; .5% Sikh; .2% Baha'i; 14.3% None/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your hands in surrender and praise as you pray (Psalm 63:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:14