Identity - Week 29

Jul 31, 2011    Dan Jarrell    1 Corinthians 16

Today is the last week in our study of 1st Corinthians. We began it together in January! We've considered philosophical issues such as the source of true wisdom and the role of God's spirit in our lives. We've discussed sexual purity, marriage and divorce, the exercise of rights and liberties, leadership in the church, the roles of men and women, church discipline, spiritual gifts, the Lord's Supper, the resurrection, and the importance of order when we gather to celebrate in worship. Some of the issues are controversial and tend to stand out in our minds but above every issue, regardless of controversy, hangs the priority of love. 16 times in 16 chapters the Apostle brings his readers back to the priority of love.

In this final chapter Paul drives that point home once more. Most of the chapter has very little to do with us really. Verses 1-9 talk about a collection for the persecuted followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. Verses 10-12 introduce Paul's young disciple Timothy. Verses 15-24 are all personal and contain greetings, expressions of thanks, and finally a blessing. But tucked right in the middle of these 24 verses is one of the most pointed descriptions of love's power in the entire Bible. I hope it challenges you today and that you leave here more enthralled with God's love for you and the privilege you have to live a life of love.

- Dan Jarrell