"But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way." - 1 Corinthians 12:31
How can I best serve in the Kingdom of God? What’s my place in the church? How do I carry out my part as a member of the body of Christ?
All through the book of I Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is answering these questions. He describes life in the congregation, how we should gather together, what we should do, how to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and other very practical aspects of living as Christians in His Church.
In chapter 12 he has described the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how they work. He has just explained how God gives us supernatural gifts to minister to the needs of others in the church and then he exhorts us to seek these gifts so that we can help and encourage each other in our Christian lives.
Then he ends with the setup for the next chapter: “and I will show you a still more excellent way.” Chapter 13 is going to be the chapter about love. The “still more excellent way” of ministering in God’s power to other Christians is about to be explained there. The best and most effective way to supernaturally encourage other believers in their Christian life, better than delivering a word of prophecy or a timely exhortation or a healing or a miracle, is to love them.
Chapter 13 will explain in greater detail what it means to love other Christians and what God has in mind with that word. It isn’t necessarily going to be what we first imagine when we tell someone we love them.
Loving other Christians in the way that God defines love is the best way to minister to them, encourage them, and help them follow Jesus.
Lord Jesus, you have made me a member of Your Body. You have placed me in this congregation to minister to others by Your power. Lord, give me the gifts that the people around me need, and most of all, open my eyes to understand how You want me to show your love to them. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles