READING: 1 Corinthians 12-14
The church really is an amazing thing. Somehow, the Spirit of God takes believers from various backgrounds and places us in the church “so as to form one body” (1 Cor 12:13). We differ by culture, education, vocation, wealth, gender, age, etc., and yet somehow we’re all parts of one body. Some may seem less significant than others, but God gives “greater honor to the parts that lacked it” so that all parts of the body matter (1 Cor 12:22-26). The Spirit gives gifts to each of us “just as he determines” (1 Cor 12:11) — and He always does it right, gifting us to “build up the church” (1 Cor 14:12).
The greater gift the Spirit gives us, though, is love (1 Cor 12:31, 13:13). That love is by definition and action distinctly different from the enemy. The enemy seeks his own throne, but love “does not boast, it is not proud . . . It is not self-seeking” (1 Cor 13:4-5). The devil is a liar who rejoices in wrong; love “does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor 13:6). Satan is the accuser, but love, in contrast, "keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor 13:5). The enemy seeks to discourage and destroy, yet love “always protects . . . always hopes” (1 Cor 13:7).
With all these thoughts in mind, it shouldn’t surprise us that Satan aims to create strife, division, and hatred in the church. He does not want us to “follow the way of love” (1 Cor 14:1), for he knows that we won’t threaten him as long as we shoot each other in the back. Nor do we alarm him when we fight over our spiritual gifts, for we nullify the gifts God gives us when we have no love (1 Cor 13:1-3). When members of the body of Christ turn on other members of the body of Christ, we’re now playing the enemy’s game. In fact, we’re now acting as if we’re on the enemy’s team.
- Review 1 Corinthians 13, and evaluate the love you claim for others. If it’s not a 1 Corinthians 13 love, ask God to change your heart.
- If strife with other believers characterizes your life, repent and seek reconciliation. Break the enemy’s hold.
PRAYER: “God, teach me how to love with Your love. Thank You for Your Spirit who changes lives.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Corinthians 15-16