February 17 I Thursday
“And yet I will show you the most excellent way.”
—1 Corinthians 12:31
To a body of believers ripping itself apart because of division and immaturity, exercising spiritual gifts in a way that does not draw people to the heart of who God is and wandering away from the truth and from the love of God, Paul gives the remedy to the Corinthian church’s problems, describing it as “the most excellent way.” What is it? One word, four letters—love.
I remember the very first Sunday I came on staff at The Peoples Church (Toronto, Canada). I was wandering around, and it stuck out to me that a person could be in a sea of people, but still feel utterly isolated and alone. I was sensing that until I saw a gathering on the other side of the gymnasium. The Friendship Class was meeting, a community to celebrate and encourage people with disabilities as the unique individuals God has made them to be. It was a joyful atmosphere, where everybody was worshipping with freedom to express themselves before God. They invited me to join, and I enjoyed stepping into this space. Afterwards, they said, “Thank you, Pastor Brett, for dropping by. Can we pray for you?” I answered, “Absolutely!” They gathered around, placed their hands on me and a young man, Ben, prayed a prayer that I will never forget. Why? Was it because his prayer fathomed all mysteries, all knowledge or had divine intellect? Was it because his prayer was so spiritually gifted that others stood in wonder? Not at all. His prayer was simply a visible manifestation of God’s love at the heart of it that was completely overwhelming.
Love does not show off its spirituality, shame others with its apologetics or puff itself up with its sacrificial giving so that all others may know about it. Love is not just theological words that we throw around. Love is a verb—it is an action.
As a member of the body of Christ, may the spiritual gifts that God has given to each of us be exercised in connection to His heart of love, that we seek to work as one body while functioning together in different ministries and different workings. From the wisdom He has entrusted to us to be shared with love, may we practice forgiveness, keeping no record of wrongs with one another. Out of our intimate union with Christ, may we allow His love to flow into our lives and overflow out of our lives to one another, to our workplaces, to our neighbourhoods, to our nation and to our world.
Love is not just talk; it is our actions that matter. Whom can we share the visible manifestation of God’s love with today?
Prayer: Precious Jesus, thank You for filling my life with Your love. Help me to allow that love to overflow as a visible manifestation of who You are to others.