I had been gathering my thoughts for an upcoming week of teaching at a Chinese-language ministry school. The people are terrific and it is one of my favorite places to teach and minister. This time, I was to teach on the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, from 1 Corinthians, Chapters 12 and 14. Listen to 1 Corinthians 13:2 (NKJV). It says, “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.”
As part of my daily devotionals, I read 1 Corinthians, Chapters 12-14 daily. As I was reading them today, I reminded myself that we are to demonstrate God’s love as we exercise these nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:2 reminded me that God places great importance on the gift of prophecy. He does this because the one who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation and comfort to God’s people. Therefore, prophecy in the church is to be the vocal demonstration of Christ’s love for His people. If you are going to prophesy, first check your heart. Let love have its place and then speak. This principle is the same for the other eight gifts of the Holy Spirit. We could say that the principle is “Love first… gifts second.” I’m Dr. Bob. 1 Corinthians 13:2 reminds us that the gifts of the Spirit are worth nothing unless we have love as our motivation and purpose for using them. Why would you desire and use the gifts of the Spirit?