Hi, there. My name is Patricia King. It is my honor to be able to share the Word on the love of God. Today, we are going to look at 1 Corinthians 14:1. It says, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts. But, especially that you can prophesy.” Of course, we know in 1 Corinthians 12 is lists all the gifts of the Spirit: the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith, healing, miracles. We know when we are in Christ we can operate in all those gifts. How awesome is that? You can go heal the sick, you can work miracles, you can prophesy, you can get words of knowledge that only God knows. Things that you are able to connect with Him in and to be able to reveal to others. This is so amazing that we have these gifts available to us.
Yet, it is said in verse 1: “Pursue love.” “Make love your greatest aim,” is what one version says. Make love your greatest aim. In 1 Corinthians 13 we just learned that if we don’t have love, we don’t have anything. We have nothing, we are nothing and it profits nothing if we have no love. We can have all these gifts and we can prophesy, but if it is not in love, it is nothing.
That is why Paul said, “Pursue love.” Make love your greatest aim. Then he said, “Yet, I want you to earnestly desire spiritual gifts. Why? It is because the spiritual gifts manifest the love of God. For example, prophecy is for exhortation, edification, comfort. To build people up. So let’s say you are really downtrodden and you are feeling really bad and you’re discouraged. Someone comes to you and they’re saying, “God, how can I love that person? How can I love them?” And He says, “I want to give you a word for them.” You reach out and say, “I just need a word of encouragement for them because that is what love would do.” So you bring the word of encouragement that is coming through the love channel. It transforms life. It goes in there and just transforms. It comes from God’s heart of love to the person you are ministering to.
You know, we have all probably heard preachers preach where you know they are preaching a great message on that and it says, “If we don’t have love if it is nothing but a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.” In other words, it is coming out of the mouth and it sounds good, but it doesn’t nurture the heart because you can’t sense that heart connection or that love. We know people that prophesy, they can prophesy for an hour over a person. But, if it is just all up in the head and operating in the gift, but there is no love connection to the person, you notice the difference.
What Paul is trying to teach us here is he says, “I want you to have it all.” I want you to prophesy, I want you to lay hands on the sick, I want you to have faith to move mountains, I want you to have it all. In it I want you to make love the priority. Make love your greatest aim. If you are going to minister to someone, don’t think about the dynamics of the gift. Think about the presence of love. The gift will flow through that channel. Whatever it is. We can do nothing from selfish ambition or strife. We need to do everything from a heart of love.
Can you imagine if everyone who is a believer in Christ were to operate and do everything they do out of love? For the sake of other people? Not being selfishly motivated or selfishly ambitious? No! It is doing it to love the one in front of them. Oh my gosh. What a wonderful, glorious church that would be. I think, then, the world might actually say, “Ah, they are Christians. I can tell by the love they operate in.” The love of God is what is to mark us more than anything else. Yes, we are to speak the truth, especially in a day when there is so much deception. Yes, we are to prophesy, yes we are to lay hands on the sick, yes we are to work miracles. All of the above. But, before any of those things, love and cultivating love needs to be our greatest priority.
Let me pray with you. Father, I thank you that you are teaching us how to grow in love. The same kind of love that you operated in and the same kind of love you exude through all of eternity. Fill us afresh with love that will not only transform our own lives but transform those whom we contact. They will be so blessed and so built up because of the love. Today, we choose to make love our greatest aim. God bless you.