In 1 Corinthians 14:1-40 the Apostle Paul goes in depth on the spiritual gift of tongues. My New King James Bible divides this passage into 4 sections…prophecy and tongues…tongues must be interpreted…tongues a sign to unbelievers…and…order in church meetings. On the surface it can seem a bit difficult to discern what Paul is talking about. But I believe all 40 verses are summed up in the first two words: pursue love.
I sense that Paul is still exhorting the Corinthians to stay focused on the message of salvation and love that has been given to them by the Grace from God. And, as a singer and musician, I like the musical references Paul uses to illustrate his points. He says “even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?” You get that? If a flute sounds no different than a harp, what difference does it make which is played? And who would even know which one was being played?
When we pursue love first, we realize that getting others to understand us means speaking a language they can understand. Otherwise it’s just noise to them.
And this gets back to one of my earlier points…if we’re so focused on what’s on the Master’s table, and not the fact that we’re with the Master, we’ll merely make noise and look silly to unbelievers. I know, for me, I’d much rather spend 7 seconds with Jesus than to have a whole lifetime of spiritual gifts.
I want to pursue love and pass it on as best I can. And I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Not the all-you-need-is-love kind of love the Beatles sang about. But the love that comes from a heart full of gratitude for the Grace of God which surpasses everything. What do you think? Would you like to focus on that kind of love, too?
In Faith, Hope, and Love…