I am reminded again recently on the importance of building loving relationships in church. Relationships are the glue that unites and holds a church together.
1 Cor 13:1-4. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing”.
Paul begins this famous chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 by showing that without love, tongues, prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, generosity, and even martyrdom are nothing. A person can have huge spiritual gifts, but unless the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23) is present, Paul says, “I am nothing.
So, if I preach, lead in cell group, give sacrificially to church, witness and share Christ, serve in various ministry in church, etc… but neglect to show love to my brothers and sister, I gain nothing. Why?
Because God is Love and love is pre-eminent over everything else, we do in the Christian life. If we are not filled with the love of God, whatever we do has no meaning and reward.
As such, we must first build intimacy with God and know His heartbeat. His heartbeat is LOVE. Daily as we commune with God and as we soak in his presence, we can experience His deep love for us. We will desire to obey Him and exercise love in action.
In the same way, when we are not in tune with God, our relationships with others also suffer. We can so easily get entangled with the tasks of just “doing ministry”, leaving little time and effort to build God-loving relationship in the process.
God has given each of us a unique personality. Each of us have different strengths and weaknesses. Each of us brings a different gifting into the body of Christ. If God can accept us with our weaknesses, all the more, we should accept a brother or sister with their unique personalities and help to build up our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
When we understand and accept each other more, there will be more trust and less misunderstandings. We will be patient and exercise forbearance towards one another. We don’t keep record of wrongs or harbour anger and bitterness. Love seeks what is best for someone other than self.
1 Cor 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
Prophecies are temporary…. tongues are temporary. Knowledge is temporary…. and life on earth is temporary. Even faith and hope are temporary because in heaven, hope is now a reality and we will walk by sight as we can now clearly see.
The only thing that is permanent ..is Love! Love never ends … it will still be a permanent part of our nature for all eternity.
1 Cor 13:8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Cor 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Every church is filled with imperfect people saved by grace who are united in their love for God and their salvation through Jesus.
Through strong friendship and godly relationships, ROLC can continue to grow strong and healthy, fulfilling its vision and mission to the glory of God.
Let His LOVE floods our hearts and overflow into the lives of all whom God brings to us.
1 Cor 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Tung Weng Him