Recently, we have experienced new visitors in our church who are asking about the gifts of the Spirit. Their first question is usually whether we believe in speaking in tongues.
When I think about it, as a new Christian, that was one of the questions I had when visiting a church. When asked about the gifts of the Spirit, I like to refer people to the apostle Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, 14. We must show new believers Paul’s first verse in 1 Corinthians chapter 13: “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” The apostle Paul wanted us to build a foundation of love before we enter into the activity of operating in the gifts of the Spirit.
The apostle Paul gives us details of the significance of love and the gifts of the Spirit. After reading his words, we understand why the Lord put chapter 13 between chapter 12 where we learn about the gifts of the Spirit and chapter 14, where we read about the manifestations of the Spirit. Paul was aware that the church needed to catch the meaning of God’s love and their love for others before they experienced the manifestation of the gifts. Paul wrote all of these chapters under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
The best part of love is that it is available to every follower of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul is helping us to understand love and how we must show our love when we operate in the gifts of the Spirit. I believe the apostle Paul is saying that love is more important than even operating in the gifts of the Spirit.
My intention is not to belittle the gifts of the Spirit. It’s just the opposite. I desire to help those seeking the gifts to build a foundation of love prior to operating in them. For a moment, may I ask you to try to imagine everyone who has been blessed with the miracle gifts of the Holy Spirit, to keep love as their primary reason for operating in the gifts.
These scriptures help us better understand God’s love. Paul is telling us that we must operate in the gifts without expecting anything in return. Because love is patient, it is kind, it is forgiving and it is how God wants us to live our life.
My prayer is that everyone who is a believer should seek the gifts of the Spirit. They are miraculous, powerful, working, supernatural gifts from our heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit.
Because the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us, we have the opportunity to receive these wonderful life changing gifts. As we seek the gifts, we must never forget to build a foundation of love for others. The gifts must comfort and help others.
Always place seeking the giver of these gifts, our heavenly Father, as our priority.
David Friend is an award-winning author. He has written several books on quality Christian living. He is a teacher, pastor, business owner and veteran. Please visit David’s website at davidcfriendauthor.com.