Good Evening to All!
I started a devotional tonight that had one particular verse. 1 Corinthians 12:31. The problem with that is for some reason, the verse seems incomplete. It need the verses above and below it to show its importance. For example: at the beginning of Chapter 12 it is talking about the Spiritual Gifts. It explains how they are diverse. We all have different gifts, none of which are more important than the other. ALL of them are needed. We are all members of the body of Christ, and we each have the gifts which the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us. As we get further into the reading, His Word goes from speaking of the gifts and the members of the body of Christ to positions in His body. (1 Corinthians 12:28) God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings helps governments, diversities of tongues. (29) Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? (30) Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? (31) But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. THEN Chapter 13 comes in and says All gifts, however excellent, are noting without charity: (4) the praises thereof. A more excellent way, meaning LOVE.
The beginning of Chapter 13 clearly tells us that no matter how many or which of the gifts which the Holy Ghost has bestowed upon us, and we may operate in, they are not good unless we are also operating in love.
Some people which God has honored with these gifts misuse them. Rather than focusing on the love involved in using their gift, they think about putting the attention on themselves. This counteracts the gifts and makes them useless. If people would just realize. When the man who was let down through the roof to be healed, Jesus told him that his friends' faith had made him whole. So really while God is the true healer, it isn't when we lay hands on people, or speak in tongues, that make the difference, its the faith and love for God which we show. The faith and love which we have in God and His abilities, definitely not our own.
In 1 Corinthians 12 there are nine gifts of the Spirit listed and several others in Romans 12. The Gifts of the Spirit are extremely important and we should ALL desire them, and there are nine fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. These fruits are extremely important also. They are the attributes which we need to achieve being Christ-like, which is what God's Word asks us to strive for. These are word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues.
He knows we aren't perfect. After all, He made us. He says to strive for perfection. The way I look at it is if there was a chance for us to be perfect before we are caught up in the air with Christ, He would not have had to sacrifice Himself for our sins. He could have found a man who was perfect to be the sacrifice.
OK back on track. The Fruits of the Spirit are what we strive for when we have been baptised in the name of Jesus, had our sins washed away, the old man was "taken off" and the new man put on. According to Acts 2;38, we SHALL receive the Holy Ghost. When this happens He will guide us into all truths and teach us. He will help us to achieve the nine Fruits of the Spirit.
If we achieve these nine Fruits of the Spirit, then we will undoubtedly have love, and operate with love in our hearts. Now let me say, you can have love without all of the Fruits but there must be some. Which ones do you have?
Love , Joy, Peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (self control).
Good Night and May God Bless!