Better

  Oct 30, 2017   admin


1 Corinthians 14:1-5 NIV
[1] Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. [2] For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. [3] But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. [4] Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. [5] I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.


Seems like every new thing our little guy, Braydn, comes across that looks “cool” gets put on the list of things that he’s getting for Christmas. If he has the least bit of desire for it, then there is some degree of expectancy that it will someday be his. What we hear a lot of is, ‘“I’m going to get that”. What we don’t hear a lot of is, “I’m going to get that for someone”. What has not yet become clear to him is which of those two is better. 

The blessings that we receive from God are what really draw us to Him in the first place. Even before He is received as Savior, there is healing and other provision that can be accepted and enjoyed. In salvation, though, and becoming full of the Spirit’s influence in life, there is a continual flow of God’s favor and blessing that is available. These gifts can and should be desired, but not just passively, as if they would sort of be nice when needed someday. With salvation there is an entrance into a flow of blessing that is intended and designed to function as what is received enables what can be given. From the moment we accept Christ, it’s not just the reception that is affected, but the testifying and giving of God’s goodness takes salvation to an even higher and better purpose. It’s actually the giving of this gospel that secures and heightens the value of salvation. 

There can be no giving until there has been a reception. This is why Paul’s purpose here is not to eliminate the reception of gifts that will personally edify. But, He is actually directing towards a better purpose for our reception than personal gratification. To be led in the way of love is to be taken from an obsession with reception to an eager passion to somehow share what has been received as a given blessing. The more full of the Spirit we are, the more will be an overflow the Spirit’s purpose in another heart. There is speaking as an overflow of the Spirit’s filling that is communication and expression of personal interaction with God. The more this occurs, though, the purpose will grow from building up an abundance of personal edification to something even better than that - sharing it. 

Our brothers and sisters are in need of the strength, encouragement, and comfort that is ours to give by the Spirit. For it to be effectively given by the Spirit, however, it will have to come as a result of our own filling and edification. Otherwise it will just be human wisdom that is shared apart from the Spirit’s power. But, when personal edification begins to overflow with an obsession with sharing the love of Jesus, the Spirit’s direction and purpose will be accomplished in the better way.