Thursday, September 29, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Priesthood of all Believers
1 Corinthians 12:27-31
 
Binu Daniel
St John's MTC, New York.
31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Several gifts of the spirit are listed in this passage such as being an apostle, prophet, teacher, miracle worker, healer, helper, guide and speaking in tongues.  It is made clear that none of us are given all of these gifts, yet some Christians may claim otherwise.  There sometimes is a misconception that the more of these we accomplish or obtain, the better a Christian we are.  Christianity however, cannot be measured by a resume of gifts or accomplishments.  
The beauty of the Christian church is in the different God-given abilities and gifts.  Historically and even today we misunderstand the purpose of these gifts.  These gifts, made to bring the church together, has been sinfully used by us to separate the body of Christ.  We are quick to use it as a measurement to elevate one member over the other.  We are reminded here that we are one body and each of us has a part in it.    
    
This passage then urges us to "earnestly desire the greater gifts".  We desire because we do not already possess these gifts.  We can not say we are a born teacher or prophet, despite our abilities, but it is by the gift of the Holy Spirit that we receive.  Desiring these gifts is possible through earnest prayer and through the Holy Spirit alone.  When was the last time we prayed for God to use us for a miracle of His or to prophesy?
 
The most excellent way here is interpreted by many commentators as love.  After making clear that we do not all possess the same gifts, it directs that we are all shown the most excellent way.  The way of love is more valuable than all other gifts.  Even if we teach the word of God and it is not in love, what good will it be?  If we perform miracles in the name of Jesus and it is not with love, how beneficial and effective would it be?

PRAYER

Holy Father, we submit ourselves to You fully. Use us today for the glory of Your kingdom   Show us how to love, in all we do. Amen.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

As believers, we can excel in all we do, with love as our special ingredient.