August 8

1 Corinthians 13 / Read

Throughout the past few chapters of 1 Corinthians, we have been reading the ways in which Paul instructed Christians to live out their faith together in community. In Chapter 12, Paul addressed the incredible reality that Christian community is marked by the presence of spiritual gifts due to God’s Spirit being resident in each person.

We will read in Chapter 14 that Paul continues the discussion on spiritual gifts. It is with this in mind that Chapter 13 holds particular significance. It is as if Paul is saying, “We need to pause before going further. Yes, we must be aware of how God has gifted us and use those gifts. But we must always remember to keep first things first. Regardless of our gifts, there is a way of living that we all must embrace.”

Paul calls it “the most excellent way.” (Ch. 12, vv. 31) It is the way of Jesus - the way of love.

No matter our gifts and no matter how well or how poorly we use them, they are worthless if we don’t have love. Paul’s words at once address our motives and our actions. It is not just what we do that matters, but why and how we do it.

  • Are you aware of how God has gifted you? It may be helpful to re-read those mentioned in Chapter 12. To what degree are you intentional in using your gifts among your family of believers?

  • Re-read vv. 1-3 of today’s passage. What most grabs your attention? What is a practical application for your life?

  • How might you become a person who lives love - that is, whose actions and motivations are grounded in the love of Christ? Invite God to guide you to a specific response to that question.