August 22, 2013Thoughts from Mark
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. Paul to the Corinthians
This verse comes from the famous “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13. After beautifully describing love, Paul begins to differentiate between love and spiritual gifts. He uses the development from child to adult as an example.
Verse 8 starts out – Love never fails. That term never fails means that it doesn’t end. Love continues while other things pass away. As a child matures into a man, he has put away–allow to fail–childish things so that maturity can come.
We are being shown that as good and divine as spiritual gifts are, they are partial, failing things of spiritual life. There is a greater, more excellent way. A way that doesn’t fail. A culture that has no end.
But when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
As we embrace love, not as a concept or commodity but as a Person, the spiritual gifts diminish. As maturity comes, we increasingly live in Christ where are all of the gifts are wrapped up in His identity. In His love.
Love IS prophetic. Love heals. Love is merciful and generous. Love is miraculous and full of faith. Instead of operating like individual facets, love brings them all to bear in perfect harmony.
I am convinced that love is the highest form of ministry. It is when we stop operating or functioning and we simply live. We allow to fail the doing of ministry and we start being Him.
This is why God IS love. And why Jesus IS the way, the truth and the life. Everything done is so that it all one day will BE.
I want to be prophetic and not even know it. I want to be miraculous and not be surprised. I so desire faith without fear, generosity without caution and discernment without suspicion. I want Him, as He wills, to be Himself in me, and me in Him.
How do you know when you are maturing? When the good that used to take intentional, deliberate effort becomes a natural part of you. When what you once practiced diligently is now who you are.
That is why it will not fail. Because it is in you. Like the freckles on your face, maturity doesn’t go away. Circumstances, certain situations do not dictate when it comes to the fore. Love is and always will be.
Maturity is THE goal of this spiritual walk. Why? Because He’s a Father. Our Father. And every father, especially a perfect one like Him, desires more than anything, for His kids to grow up. And as we grow, we grow into Him, who is Jesus. Maturity is THE goal because He is the mature Son we are growing into.
Love is maturity. Maturity is love. It is not just a higher way. It is THE way.