- If I exercise charismatic gifts but have not love, I have become an annoying ring-tone or a fire alarm buzzer
- If I have The Preaching Gift, and know my Systematic Theology thoroughly; and if I have the faith to change the most intransigent of Elder Board members, but do not love, I am Game Over
- And if I minister in an inner-city missio-community, and if I am a missionary to the most demanding and God-foresaken place on the planet, but do not have love, those are an utter waste of time
- Love keeps going, love is kind and doesn’t get tweaked when someone else gets the credit; love doesn’t entertain invitations to write ‘ministry success’ stories in Leadership, Outreach, or Rev!, and certainly doesn’t cop an attitude,
- Doesn’t get rude; it doesn’t welcome a pastor-centric ministry model, isn’t prickly, doesn’t keep score
- Does not gloat when someone from another movement gets trashed in the press, but rejoices in Jesus
- Is sacrificial in ministry, gives people the presumptive benefit of the doubt, is optimistic about the future, keeps doing ministry even when it is Really Hard
- Love doesn’t stumble; but if there are preaching gifts, they will be obsoleted; if there are charismatic gifts, they will be abandoned; if there is theology, it will be tossed
- Because we don’t have all the facts and we preach incompletely
- But when Jesus comes, all those gaps will be filled
- When I was a kid, I talked like a kid, I thought like a kid, had a child’s perspective; when I grew up, I wasn’t like that anymore
- Now we see in a pixilated manner, but then with our own eyes; now I have a limited perspective, but then I will see the whole thing just as I will be fully seen
- But now conviction, optimism, love, these things are always around; but the most important is love.
1 Corinthians 13
Back In The Day, it became popular to paraphrase 1 Cor. 13. Such paraphrases are not just 'a dime a dozen,' but more like a dime a gross! Still, I came along the chapter in my devotional reading yesterday and my mind went to paraphrase mode. Here's what I came up with...