Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
1 Corinthians 14:1 (NLT)
Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.
Paul had just finished talking about the supremacy of love in the life of the Christian. Here, however, he expresses that while love is the ultimate thing, it is not the only thing. He tells us that we should desire spiritual gifts. The word desire here is a very strong word that means to “desire eagerly; to desire earnestly; to be zealous and ambitious for; to show a great interest in” (Practical Word Studies in The New Testament). Spiritual gifts are to be desired. We are to pursue love first, but this does not mean we are not to seek the spiritual gifts of God. On the contrary, the more we love God and men, the more we covet the gifts of God so that we can minister to the world of men more effectively. All too often people read this verse this section of Paul’s letter and come to the false conclusion that Paul is saying, “all you need is love.” Nothing could be more contrary to what Paul is trying to communicate. Long time Bible scholar and teacher Stanley Horton said of this verse, “All believers are to pursue the way of love, strive to act in love. But this does not mean we can then afford to despise or neglect spiritual gifts. Both love and the gifts are from the same Spirit (Horton, I & II Corinthians). Judging by what it is happening in the church at large today this message has been largely forgotten. There is a major lack of the exercise of the gifts in church services today, and judging by the importance that Paul put on spiritual gifts it is no wonder that the church is struggling. If the gifts of the spirit are there to help and empower the church, and we are struggling to accomplish our mission, doesn’t it make sense that we should be tapping into this power source? Shouldn’t we be following the advice of Paul and be zealous for, ambitious for, and show great interest in the gifts of the spirit? Holy Spirit renew and empower the Church of Jesus so that we can do His work more effectively.