Wait For and Serve Others Equally
Today’s first “one another” is somewhat interesting in that it is very simple to understand but evidently not always easy to follow through (maybe that’s true of all of the “one anothers” and certainly true apart from Christ). We find it in 1 Corinthians 11:33 where we are told to “wait for each other” when we come together to eat.
In the context it strongly appears to point to those who were giving into their hunger pangs and coming just to fulfill those with no regard to other believers. This caused them to fall or fail in two ways: 1) to wrongly partake of the Lord’s Supper (Communion or Eucharist) because they were more concerned with filling their bellies and flesh rather than acknowledging The Lord’s sacrifice, death and payment on our behalf, and therefore bringing condemnation on themselves (1 Corinthians 11:27); 2) they ate impatiently and indulgently or selfishly (see vv. 17-22) and without thought, care of deference for others, i.e., waiting respectfully on all those who would gather to partake.
Both of these point to a heart that is hardened and not open to humility, generosity and fellowship as it places self above others. It hinders and/or destroys the loving fellowship of believers, which is the desire of Christ for His Bride, The Church.
Seems simple but when we move in our flesh there is a need for the command, not just about eating and partaking properly, but this is only accomplished with hearts of love…loving one another as we wait for and, defer to, one another.
What guides and drives your heart, mind and body (flesh, hunger, lust, selfish desires)…OR humility, graciousness, gratitude, generosity, others above self?
Only Jesus can give you the latter and that’s why all the “one anothers” of love and loving are found only in Him!
As we continue with the “one anothers” in Scripture I need to remind myself and if needed you will receive this reminder…the “one anothers” are included in Scripture to literally help us love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31)…and as Christ has loved us (John 14:15).
However as we spent time sharing previously in these posts we can do neither without first knowing and learning to love God with all we are (Mark 12:29-30) as we prayerfully attempted to do through better knowing His Names. The we must learn to love who we are in Christ (Ephesians 2:10) as we did in the Identity in Christ focus.
With that said we find the next “one another” as we continue in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 and look where The Holy Spirit leads Paul to write just after reminding us to wait on others. He tells us that love is to “have equal concern for each other.” In a simple summary…don’t show favoritism!
The text here is where Paul is describing the various parts of the body, our literal body, as an example of how all the parts are absolutely needed and of great importance. No one part is greater than any other regardless of the function and recognition given to it. This is how the Body of Christ is to function and by giving equal concern and care for each other we avoid division and create unity.
He follows this teaching on the unity and importance of all the parts and gifts of the Body with what we know as The Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. Here The Holy Spirit, through Paul, describes what happens when we place undue importance and priority on what we’re doing rather than why we’re doing it…in Love.
This is why we must not show partiality or favoritism in any way because it divides us and it diminishes His Love in and through us. We rejoice in their blessings and fruitfulness and we hurt when they hurt…this is love as we care for each and every “other” in the fellowship in His Church.
How are you caring for all those in your sphere of influence?
As Paul, in The Holy Spirit, continues to address the various early church plants we find more and more of these “one anothers” encouraging The Body of Christ in how we are to love each other and all others in Him, bringing us to our final “one another” this week.
In Galatians 5:13, just before Paul describes the lusts of the flesh and the fruit of The Spirit, he tells the believers, then and now, to “serve one another in love.”
Just before this passage he has spent time admonishing believers regarding 2 key issues; 1) to know the freedom they have in Christ and; 2) not to abuse that freedom so that it becomes license (a false freedom of unbridled sin).
How do we do this? By placing others above self in love and serving our fellow man. Doing this as an overflow of our love for Christ it keeps us from turning our freedom in Him into selfish satisfaction and seeking for our own fleshly desires.
This serving is not simply a duty on a checklist but as Paul states, it is done because of and in love. This is why it’s essential that we understand and continue to seek and grow in our love for God, know and love who we are so that we are “serving one another in love.”
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – What does your service flow from? Is there evidence in your life of your loving relationship with God (not just attending church, giving and serving but time spent in His Word, in prayer and in meditating and listening to and for Him)? Are you waiting on others with equal concern?
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)
- Spend time with Him in His Word and prayer daily – read and study the Scriptures in this post as a way to start
- Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you
- How do you practice patience and deference to others? Where do you need to grow in these areas?
- Take some time to search (and ask The Holy Spirit to search) your heart to find out the source of your serving others? Respond to whatever you find out in line with God’s Word to serve selflessly.
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