After Jesus died, He told His disciples to go out into all the world to spread the Good News. So that’s what they did. They increased in number and carried God’s message throughout the earth.
They encountered opposition from various sources, particularly from a man named Saul. He was a member of the Jewish elite and he persecuted Christians. He was on his way to Damascus to continue these efforts when he encountered Jesus. Jesus changed his life and from them on this man, renamed Paul, became an evangelist for the cause of Christ. He traveled throughout the world spreading the good news. He started churches and continued to shepherd them as he traveled by writing letters. These letters make up a good portion of the New Testament. In many of his letters, he addressed conflicts and issues that arose in these new churches.
In the Corinthian church, arguments arose about which spiritual gifts were superior. There was comparison and competition over who had which gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul explains how God distributes spiritual gifts as He sees fit, all to achieve unity and His purposes for the church. Paul then explains the greatest spiritual gift, love.
In 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 NKJV, he says:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I have nothing. And though I bestow all my good to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in inequity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”
All we do should be done with love. All other spiritual gifts are ineffective if we don’t use them with love. Because God is love, the world we will see more of Him when we treat each other with love.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!