by Rebecca Livermore
Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1 NKJV).
If you ask most people what the 14th chapter of 1Corinthians is about, they will say, “spiritual gifts,” and they would be right. Many would then go on to tell you their take on the subject of spiritual gifts, and dependent on which side of the fence they are on with this particular topic would point to specific verses in the chapter in order to prove their point.
Unfortunately, however, very few would mention the first two words in the chapter: pursue love. The Greek word for pursue, dioko, means to run swiftly, in order to catch a person or thing, to seek after it eagerly, and to earnestly endeavor to acquire that which is being pursued.
Many people are fervent when it comes to pursuing the gifts, and many are fervent when it comes to opposing the gifts, but few earnestly seek love with that same degree of passion.
Much of the division in the body of Christ regarding the gifts would be done away with if those on both (or even either) side of the fence would pay close attention to the first two words found in 1 Corinthians 14.
When it comes to the controversial subject of the gifts, which side of the fence are you on, when it comes to pursuing love? Are you pursuing love, even with those you disagree with, or is your main objective to win an argument and set people straight?
If you pursue love, and then earnestly desire spiritual gifts, the instructions in the rest of the chapter will fall into place in a way that pleases and honors God.
Father, we come before you in repentance for our times of pursuing winning an argument rather than pursuing love. Help us to run swiftly after love, to seek it eagerly, and to earnestly endeavor to acquire it. We pray that love will be first and foremost on our hearts and minds as it is obviously on yours. Help us to put love ahead of our own agendas, desires, plans, and goals. Then help us to desire the spiritual gifts that You have created for the benefit of the body of Christ. -- Amen.
Thought: Think back to the last time you had a discussion about the gifts. Was pursuing love your main objective, or was your main objective to win an argument? Repent and make amends if necessary.
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