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  • Writer's pictureTim Hemingway

The Gift of Indwelling Love


"Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:30-31

There are all kinds of gifts that the Holy Spirit may choose to impart to His people, and some are more unusual than others. Paul says, some are greater than others - 'eagerly desire the greater gifts’. That doesn’t mean the one to whom they’re given is greater, it means the gift itself is greater in some way.

The provision of these greater gifts can be perplexing: Why are they given to some and not others? Why are they given at certain times and not others? Why are they given in certain situations and not others? The answers to those questions are not easy to arrive at, but the Holy Spirit always knows best, and when and where and to whom he gives them is always wise. Regardless of whether we can understand the Holy Spirit's plans, or discern his intentions, the Apostle Paul does encourage us all to eagerly desire the greater gifts.

How ever great those greater gifts are though, they are only resounding gongs and clanging cymbals if they are not exercised in conjunction with the greatest gift of all - Love. Paul says, you can have faith that can move mountains - what a gift! - but if you don’t have love, you have nothing (13:2). Paul says, you can have the gift to fathom all mysteries and all knowledge! but if you don’t have love, you have nothing (13:2). In fact, you can have these exceptional gifts always and in fullest capacities, but they are ultimately destined to fade away forever. But faith, and hope, and love will never fade away, they are eternal realities and the greatest of those three gifts is love - love never fails (13:8-13).

Jesus, speaking to his Father said, ‘I have made you known to them (that is to us), and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them’ (John 17:26). So there’s a love that the Father has for the Son which needs to be in us. Jesus wanted it to be in us. And in order to put the love of the Father in us, he not only made the excellencies of the Father known to us, he continues to make them known to us by his Spirit which he has sent forth into our hearts (John 16:15). If we are in possession of the Father's love, it is because Jesus has gifted it to us by making the Father known to us through himself in us.



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