But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 1 Corinthians 14:40
Through most of this chapter Paul had been talking about prophesies and tongues being used in the church. Tongues was to be used as a witness to an unbeliever that God was there and doing something. Prophecies was to be used to edify and build up the believer.
Different churches have different views on both prophesies and tongues. The one thing that Paul stated that is needed in a church, no matter what the belief, is that everything needed to be done in an orderly way.
There are some churches that are very ordered in how they do things. They will have the opening statements, three songs, offering taken, a twenty-minute sermon, and a closing song or announcements. A person can time everything on a clock to exactly when something is going to happen and what is going to occur.
In other churches, there is very little to no order in the service. Many different people will get up and speak about many different topics. One time there will be three songs, the next time there will be ten songs. One time the sermon will last fifteen minutes, the next will be an hour-long sermon.
While have an extremely strict order of things sounds good, it may quench the move of God’s Holy Spirit in the service. The opposite side also sounds good because it appears to allow full move of the Holy Spirit, but there may be chaos, with no real message being said. A person can walk out and totally miss everything, because there was too much going on.
Paul did not forbid prophecy or tongues and actually encouraged both. However, he did encourage them to be done in the right time and in an orderly, not chaotic, way.
Total chaos usually does not bring any good message, but one of loss and mystery.
You may or may not be a leader in your church, but you can help guide things in an orderly way. How you set about worshipping or talking about God can be done in the right time and way, so that others will be built up.
In your own life, you can also seek God to do things in the right time and orderly way. God has a plan for your life, but it is to be done in the right time and way.
I pray today that you will know what God has for you each day; that you will know the right time to do God’s work; that you will do God’s work in the right way; and that your life will be a witness of God’s order and ways.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:5
The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 is all about love. It describes love in various ways and what love does and does not do.
There are many books out there that talk about love. Love is a common subject of many stories, in books, tv shows, and movies. Yet, most of the time the love talked about is physical love. It is a selfish love, seeking self pleasure.
Although many in the world will quickly say that they love others, their actions do not match their words. People are very quick to dishonor others, both friends and enemies. Very few people are not seeking something for themselves in every relationship. People keep long lists for many years of everything done wrong to them, causing them to also be easily angered about a situation or a person.
These types of actions also occur within the church very often. Someone gets offended about a word or action and holds it against the person for many years to come. Some will fight against others in order to get their own way. Gossip will be spread about anger against a pastor or some other person in the church.
God never works or has ever worked with a self-seeking love. His love is a true love for others. He loves first and foremost, without requirements on a person.
Believers are to be like Jesus in their love for others. They are to never dishonor another person, but to lift them up and encourage one to live for God. There is to never be looking out for self alone, but to build others up and put them first as Jesus did going to the cross. Forgiveness should be high on activities done, because Jesus has forgiven each one.
Take a look at your life and see how you love others. It is easy to love those who love you, but how are you loving those who do not love you? Work to make sure your definition of love is not like that of the world. Your love should mirror what Jesus’ love is for you.
The signs of true love are that it will not dishonor anyone for any reason. It will not be self-seeking or easily angered. And it will not remember past wrongs.
I pray today that you will know the love God has for you; that your love will be like that of Jesus; that your life will be one of God’s love to this world; and that you will always show God’s love to this world.