I am extremely grateful for our brother Hoyle (Hoyle Dabbs+@tchable) for presenting his series on the Supernatural church, which I pray has spoken to us in our inner most being, the hidden places in our soul where even we fear to tread. Resulting in walls being torn down and old cess pits being filled so that the word of God can begin again a fresh work in our heart.
So much so that I was directed back to 1 Corinthians 12 to re focus my spiritual eyes and transforming mind again on the very words of God. What I read as I continued into chapter 13 set me back on my heals as I was rocked backwards by Gods piecing words.
If I speak in the tonguesof men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the gift of prophecyand can fathom all mysteriesand all knowledge,and if I have a faiththat can move mountains,but have not love, I am nothing.3 If I give all I possess to the poorand surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.
How this can be I silently screamed. How can Gods Holy Spirit flow through a person, but in Gods eyes it counts for nothing? Is love that important? Really, truly! Within any fellowship a person whom God has chosen to be his vessel and who moves in the gifts is looked up to and respected by his brothers and sisters. Is this not true? Yet in these brief words at the beginning of a well known and often quoted chapter I am hit between the eyes that God thinks differently. How can this be? How can God use a person to build up the body of Christ, but that person is not all that God expects him to be. Why does God continue to use a damaged vessel?
For me there is only one answer – Gods Grace. By grace we have been saved. By grace Christ gave gifts as he ascended. Grace is a foundation stone that under girds our salvation and relationship with God, including the giving of the Holy Spirit and His blessings. Therefore a person who does not flow fully in the love of God but never-the-less Gods Spirit flows mightily through him; is because of Gods free gift of grace. Our role in the body and our function is given by the grace of God.
Unfortunately many of us who work in the gifts of the spirit have taken advantage of Gods grace and have not cultivated the higher gift – that of Love. These three remain – faith hope and love, but the greatest is Love. God desires that we all attain the unity of faith in the likeness of the Head; Jesus; but this requires not only the manifestations of the spirit but also the fruit of Love. My friends we have to cultivate the fruit of the spirit.
So may of us sit back and believe that the sovereign work of God in saving us; ensures that we have nothing to do with our salvation. This is true up to a point. We cannot be born again, that is a sovereign work of God, but God expects us to maintain our salvation by discipline; but not only to maintain, but to grow in grace into the fullness of Christ.
The love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts, for when we were born again God poured his love into our spirit, to be released by us to the world. But we have been selfish with this gift of Gods love, for we have locked this self-giving love away in our hearts. We are like a house owner who lights a candle and hides it under a bucket.
We are told in 2 Peter chapters 0ne to ‘add to brotherliness: love.' Gods expects us to add his love to our personality. The windows of our soul have been caked with the grime of unbelief, and covered with the dirt of disobedience. Today is the day to spring clean our soul and to renew our mind, so that the ‘self giving love' of God may begin to shine out into the darkened world. By surrender and discipline we maintain a clean heart and a contrite spirit so that the love of God given so freely and generously to us, can be shared with others. Work out our salvation is Gods expectation.
Gods love has been majestically poured into our hearts, now we have to screw down our disposition and begin to form godly habits; for we are not meant to live on the mountain top of operating in the gifts of the spirit. We have to come down; for our character is formed in the drudgery of the valleys. Remember Jesus took a towel and began to wash the disciple's feet. We have to learn that God will not always give us thrilling opportunities for dazzling ministry, for as Jesus humbled himself and became a servant, in the form of a man, so to ,we must learn to live in the valleys by the power of God.
To be an approved disciple before God one has to have the twin waters of the Spirits power, manifesting in the gifts, and the love of God, growing as the fruit of the spirit flowing through ones life.
When I first started studying the scriptures, I thought man that church at Corinth was messed up. One should add here, Paul addressed them in love, regardless how many would define one doing such as he did in addressing much today. I look around today, however, and see a lot worse. In an awful lot of ways.
Thank you for your blog. God Bless.
As you have said here, the Lord expects a change in us. Many speak of the "fruits" of the Spirit in ways which give the impression these fruits come in a little package. In listing these "fruits," we are told of God's character. If we are dying to self and allowing Him to live through us, people will see these "fruits" (God's character) in us. Love is one of these characteristics. Paul tells us in Romans that love must be sincere; just as all of God's character in us must be. To be true love; the love spoken of in scripture; it must be God's. Human love has little resemblance to God's love. Again, this comes through our dying and Jesus living in us. We must die and allow Jesus residency in all areas.
Thank you for the words.
When we look at and contemplate the cross of Jesus Christ we cannot help but see the depth of God's love for us. Then when we see that we are only dust and that God in all His glory and perfection would suffer on the cross, what He suffered, all the wrath of a Holy God so that we could obtain forgiveness for our sin and rebellion it is really more than my mind can comprehend. To love one another as we love ourselves seems a small thing by comparison. Thank you. Phil