The Priority of Edifying Others
Text: 1 Corinthians 14:1-12 Theme: Our greatest desire and purpose in worship should be to edify and exhort others in the Church. Key verses: “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” (v. 1) “He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.” (v. 5b) “Now brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? (v. 6) “Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.” (v. 12) What God said to me: Son, my Word is extremely clear and consistent throughout. I care for people. I left my church on this earth to reach people. I want people to know the Truth. I sent my Son to die for people. And when you are more interested in building up yourself, in seeking some spiritual high or estactic experience, than you are in clearly communicating my Gospel and my message to others, then you have missed the whole point of why you are there. Paul wasn’t putting down tongues. In fact he said he would like them all at Corinth to speak in tongues. But tongues was the last thing on Paul’s priority list because it served no purpose to edify the Body. And it is the Body that I am most concerned with. Dwayne, be sure as you lead and participate in church services and activities that you seek to encourage and edify my people. Your own needs and desires are secondary. I’ll take care of you as you obediently follow me and allow me to speak through you words of knowledge and revelation, comfort and love. What I said to God: Thank You, my Father, for meeting with me this morning. I know You are obligated because of my lackluster performance before You. Rather, You choose to meet with me because of Your mercy and grace. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for speaking to me and explaining God’s Word to me today. I want to follow and obey. I want to seek those spiritual gifts and unique God-given abilities that best help the Church of Jesus Christ. I praise You for saving me and for forgiving me and for blessing me beyond my imagination. Fill me today, and use me to bless others in return. I love You and need You today.