God’s Glory–Priorities

Pray:

Father, let the beauty of Your life shine through Your church as we seek You.

 

Read: 1 CORINTHIANS 12:21-31

[21] The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” [22] On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, [23] and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, [24] while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, [25] so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. [26] If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. [27] Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. [28] And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. [29] Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? [30] Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? [31] Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

 

Reflect: Which gifts has God given you?

By listing roles undertaken in the church (28), Paul develops the theme that every member of the church makes up the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians apostles (28) are those who have seen the Lord (9:1; 15:5-9; see also Acts 1:21,22). Then there are those with a prophetic ministry who speak an inspired word to build up faith in specific pastoral situations, followed by teachers who pass on the traditions, as Paul has done (12:2,17). Subsequent gifts are important evidences of God at work. In this letter, speaking in tongues may come last because of the “spiritual elitism” tongues had caused in Corinth. But all of these gifts are valuable. For any church to function properly, we need each other, since no one person has been given all these gifts.

What is more, Paul commands the Corinthians to make it a priority to seek the greatest gifts–not ones that accord status but those that are for the good of everyone. The chapter division leaves us on a cliffhanger!

 

Apply:

Do you prioritize building up the faith of everyone–and this really means everyone?

 

Pray:

Lord, give Your people Your vision for unity and allow us to reflect You to the world.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union

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