We are called to desire the greater gifts. And we are to use the abilities, talents, and the gifting of God for the common good of the Church, right where God has placed us! I cannot emphasize this enough! You are supposed to be a part of the Body of Christ within the local congregation of God’s Church!
What the Holy Spirit is telling us is that the overall, driving motivation, the better way, the most excellent way, is to be love! That is what is to motivate us within our congregations: to reach up and to reach out. Every step we take should be motivated by one or the other, if not both! It is the love of God and/or love of neighbor that causes you to take your next step!
This is not the wishy washy emotional love of romance, this is the hardcore commitment of Biblical love that is to be ours within the body of Christ! This is the love that sent Jesus, the very son of God, to the cross because of our sin! This love is the love that has been poured into our hearts!
The love of God, the love He has for us, is seen in the cross, His love is seen in the grace and mercy that is offered to us each and every day. In Ephesians we read, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Love is the most excellent way for the exercise of not only our gifting, but also our abilities and talents. Love is to be the oil that keeps the friction of all our differences from creating excessive heat…
Love has two parts: positive and negative, “Love is patient, love is kind.” In Romans 5:8, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Are we patient and kind? Is the love of God seen in how you treat others? I don’t know about you, but I find it far easier to be patient and kind to those I don’t know than with my immediate family, those I claim to love… I mean they should know better – Right?
Through God’s love we are enabled to love one another here on this earth when we not only accept the gift, but unwrap it and put it to use (Romans 5:5)! His love is right here, right now, and is to be used within the congregations of His Church, as well as out there in the world. They will know we are His disciples, Christians, believers; how (John 13:35)?
Our being made completely one is made as we grow in our love for one another, since love is the perfect bond of unity that the Father and Son share (John 17).
As Christians we are blessed with this bond, but it needs to be made strong, and that can only happen as we come together as a congregation to learn and grow and go into our communities as a congregation of God’s Church.
- How has the Love of God changed you?
- How can you show God’s love to your neighbor (the person you are near at any given moment)?
- How does love guide you in using your God given abilities, talents, and gifting for the common good? (see 1 Corinthians 12:7, 18)
Further Reading: John 17:6-26, Romans 5:5, Romans 13:8, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 2:1-2, Colossians 3:14, 1 Peter 3:8