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Daily Devotions – What is a Church? Pt. 15

Photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

1 Corinthians 14:10-17 (NIV)
10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. 13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,[a] say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.

 

When I played baseball, I worked out on my own to get fit and work on specific skills, but that time spent in personal ways was always meant for the sake of the team and playing the game. Faith is personal, but it is not private. Paul’s conversation about the spiritual gift of tongues might be confusing, but he makes clear that while personal faith is important we are never disconnected from the body of Christ, the church. You are reading (or listening to) a personal devotion right now, but what did Paul say was the “more excellent way”? Love. Let us ask God to always build our faith in such a way that we grow in love through the power of the Holy Spirit so that we would bless, strengthen, encourage, and edify others.