But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Cor 12:31-13:1 ESV
Gifts are gifts, presents – literally “graces”. They are not earned. They never even “belong” to us – they are the works of the Holy Spirit, working his will through us. The Spirit gives these gifts as the church needs them, NOT for the benefit or honour of any individual. Still, sometimes we become proud of “our” gifts. We might think “our” ability, “our” ministry makes us special. Yes, we can start in the Spirit and end up in the flesh! It can also happen that we think that “our” gifts are the most important – that every-one must become like us. Of course the gifts must differ, we said. No, our gifts should always make us humble. Ultimately our gifts must be exercised in LOVE – otherwise the whole purpose is defeated! A loveless ministry is just a lot of noise – Paul’s words, not ours! Remember, loves wins over the most impressive gift!
Holy Spirit, thank you for working your gifts through me. Help me to remain loving and humble as I work for you. Amen.
Focus on love, not just on gifts!
These devotions are part of a series on discipleship. Follow the whole series!
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