Happy Monday! When my son in law first arrived from his home country it was very difficult to have a conversation with him because he wasn’t familiar with the language. In order for him to understand me or vice versa we needed an interpreter which was my daughter or Google. As we began to have more conversation I brushed up on his native language and he is learning our native language. I’m proud of the growth that is taking place for the two of us. In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul continues to explain the limitations of speaking in tongues verses using other gifts. While he never dismisses any spiritual gift, he provides direction on the use. Join me as we continue reading verses 5 through 9.
“5 I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I wish you could all prophesy. For prophecy is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened.
6 Dear brothers and sisters,[c] if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language,[d] how would that help you? But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful. 7 Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody. 8 And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle?
9 It’s the same for you. If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying? You might as well be talking into empty space.
10 There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning. 11 But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me. 12 And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. 13 So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said.” 1 Corinthians 14:5-13 NLT
In these verses, Paul was explaining to the Corinthian church how important it is to understand the meaning/words that are spoken in tongues. He mentions that if there is someone speaking in tongues that there should be an interpreter. Paul’s focus on this was not to undermine the spiritual gift of prophesy, but the limitations of the gift because although it is spoken, someone must interpret what had been said or was being said. To grow community in the church and ensure other members in the church do not feel like foreigners, an interpreter of tongues should be present. If you have the gift of tongues pray also for the gift of interpretation and allow God to use you.
Father God, thank you for the spiritual gifts that you have given to us. Lord, when you give the gift of tongues can you bundle the gift with interpretation. Lord, we want to be used by you wherever you see fitting for us to use our gifts. Therefore, Lord as you give us the gifts provide for us an opportunity to use them to the full extent possible. Lord, pour out your spiritual gifts in the church and use us in a mighty way to be the church that you have called us to be. Lord, bless and keep us humble and focused on you. Lord, when we don’t understand a particular gift that someone else has, remind us not to judge unjustly. Lord, forgive us for the times when we have. Lord, open our eyes to see what you are doing in the church and the world, open our ears to hear what you are saying to us, and open our hearts to be obedient to your word/instruction for our lives. Lord, be with our sisters and brothers in the faith. Lord, teach us to love like you. Lord, be with us today as we seek to follow you with our whole heart. In Jesus name, amen.
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