A More Excellent Way (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31 – But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

“But covet earnestly the best gifts.” This is the “way” that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying, sure you can try your hardest to get the best spiritual gifts, “yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” Paul was writing to an entire Church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, “a more excellent way.” This way is the way of love. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because it is God’s way. The very next verse begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity.  The love of God (charity) is the “more excellent way” because it will bring the most needful and “best gifts” right to you.

I Corinthians chapter 13 unfolds to the believers some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance, “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6 – {charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

“Iniquity” means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who just wronged us fall down and we think “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or being happy with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing abundantly.

I Corinthians 13:8a – Charity never faileth: . . .

How often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never! How do Christians avoid being failures? “Charity never faileth.” When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, “charity never faileth.”

Our loving Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly be rejoicing in the truth, for you will tap into a new spiritual love that will never fail you.

A More Excellent Way (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31: But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

But covet earnestly the best gifts is the way that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying the opposite; sure you can try your hardest (and covet earnestly) to get the best spiritual gifts, yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Paul was writing to an entire church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, a more excellent way. This way is the way of love, to conduct our lives with charity as the following verses in chapter 13 then explain. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because living with the love of God in our hearts is the best way to enjoy life and experience happiness.

The basis for Paul explaining to the believers that there is a more excellent way goes back to verse 27–31 of I Corinthians chapter 12, which shows some of the gifts that the believers in the church were coveting, thus prompting Paul’s discourse.

I Corinthians 12:27–30:
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
-29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
-30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This section of Scripture first states that we are the body of Christ and then that we are members in particular in that body. Each believer is unique within the body and each has a special place that is tailor-made for him or her with room to grow. As Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” It is this more excellent way of God’s love that allows room to grow and enjoy life as God intended for His children.

Then within this body, there are some ministries given by God in Christ Jesus, such as Apostles and Prophets and Teachers. Also, some believers in the body work miracles very well, such as ministering healing to others. As well, there are others in the body who are very diverse in the use of additional spiritual gifts and manifestations that have been supplied by God’s grace to help us walk with Him and with each other.

The verses above are not a shopping list from which we can pick and choose the ones we personally want to have; rather, God set some, i.e., God gives to His children what is needed at the appropriate time and in the proper measure to supply whatever would fit the spiritual need within the body of Christ. Paul is saying that when and where believers simply conduct their lives in love, they will then have tapped into the more excellent way as God supplies to His church (the body of Christ) the best and most needed gifts, which will be received effortlessly and enjoyed by all.

I Corinthians chapter 13 begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity. The love of God (charity) is the more excellent way because it will bring the most needed and “best gifts” right to you at the appropriate time and in the right measure. The chapter unfolds to the believers the more excellent way with explanations of some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6: {Charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Iniquity means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who wronged us in some way in the past now going through a hard time and we think, “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or finding satisfaction with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God. This is because charity thinketh no evil.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing ― abundantly. I Corinthians 13:8 reads, “Charity never faileth” when active in one’s life. Now, how often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never!

How do Christians avoid being failures? Charity never faileth. When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, charity never faileth.

Our loving, heavenly Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way and learn to be loving, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly fulfil your God-given talents and gifts as you continue rejoicing in the truth, for you will have tapped into a new spiritual love that will never fail you, for it is God’s more excellent way.

I Peter 4: 8–11 (The Amplified Bible):**
-8: Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
-9: Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
-10: As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
-11: Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Micah – Revealing Our Spiritual Strength

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

As we are following along through the Old Testament we find a pattern emerging throughout, and that is that the people of God rejected His prophets and His Word over and again. Throughout, God continues showing His loving care, desiring that they would accept His deliverance.

God’s healing Word continues revealing to them their glorious future, and showing that eventually God would set things right by sending His Son who would quench the sin nature by giving his life. All of God’s wonderful mercies given to Israel became known as they acknowledged the Messiah’s coming.

In the Book of Micah, Jesus Christ was prophesied as the Ruler in Israel who would come forth from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). The Messiah would be the king of lords and the strength that they would need to conquer their fears and shortcomings, and Jesus Christ would become our strength to daily enjoy our God’s presence.

In Micah, God delights in mercy towards believers:

Micah 7:18-19:
-18: Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? {The “remnant” are those who would believe out of the nation of Israel.} he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
-19: He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

The more of God’s Word we come to know, the greater we begin to perceive our heavenly Father’s true characteristics of love. He is called the “God of love and peace” in II Corinthians 13:11; the word “of” in the Greek Text is in the genitive case because love and peace originated from God Himself.

Even though His people continued rejecting Him, He continued revealing revelations regarding the hope of the Savior coming and his day of deliverance.

Micah 5:4 – And he {Jesus Christ} shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they {believers} shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

As Jesus Christ receives his strength from God, he strengthens us today: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). The strength that we receive originates with God, and Jesus Christ strengthens us with his very own strength that he receives from God.

We have the strength of Christ to continue walking daily with our heavenly Father.

Micah 6:8 – He {God} hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee {and this is what God requires:}, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

It is Christ within who helps us walk humbly with God, strengthening our endeavors to do that which is just and to love with the love of God. This of course would fulfil the requirements God desires of us, perhaps not the requirements some people expect of Christians, but I am confident that we would rather be pleasing to God first.

Micah 7:7-8:
-7: Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me {when I pray to Him}.
-8: Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

Ephesians 6:10 records, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might,” and in walking with our God we can acknowledge our Spiritual Strength (in Christ), and become more than conquerors with the inseparable “love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

He Is Called Faithful and True (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In Revelation 19:11 Jesus Christ is called Faithful and True,” because he was always true to the healing Word of God, and he was always faithful to his heavenly Father. In Revelation 19:20 he is “called The Word of God,” because he is the epitome of everything that God’s healing Word represents. As Jesus Christ is faithful and true representing the Word of God, he always made God known to anyone who would listen to him.

John 17:25-26:
-25:  O righteous Father {Jesus is praying}, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these {his disciples and Apostles} have known that thou hast sent me {for God sent the Word (Psalms 107:20)}.
-26:  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will {continue even to this very day to} declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

God sent Jesus Christ who is “called Faithful and True” to make known the true characteristics of God Himself. Jesus Christ continues even today declaring in our hearts and souls everything that the name of God means personally to us; Paul called this “the revelation of Jesus Christ” in Galatians 1:10.  The revelation of Jesus Christ can and will declare in our own hearts the love that God in Christ has for us.

Psalms 119:138 – Thy {God’s} testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

The testimonies of God are righteous – so is Jesus Christ as righteous as God, and as the testimonies of God are “very faithful” – so is Jesus Christ as faithful as God. This is why Jesus Christ cannot be separated from the Scriptures. He is the subject of the Word, and he was God’s plan of redemption on the level of humanity. God is Spirit, Love, and Light, but Jesus Christ was flesh and bone, blood and soul, sweat and tears, and was truly able to feel the full gamut of the living emotional experience that men and women live every day of their lives.

Jesus lived God’s healing Word as an example for us to follow, he was (and still is) “called Faithful and True,” Jesus continues showing us the way by blazing a trail that leads to the actual right hand of God. Jesus brought man back to the Creator of life and light through his life, his death, and his resurrection and ascension, for he was the forerunner to the right hand of God.

Without Jesus Christ we could not fully understand how righteous God really is, we could not believe how faithful God really is, and we could not fully believe to receive the promises promised to us in God’s very faithful Word.

Titus 2:13-14:
-13:  Looking for that blessed hope {Christ’s return for us}, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
-14:  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

“A peculiar people” does not mean that Christians are strange people like some think, rather peculiar means that we are a people united together by our heavenly calling. We are those who do enjoy the good life and the promises that God has prepared for us. When we look to Jesus who is “called Faithful and True,” he will reveal to our hearts God’s “exceeding great and precious promises: {so} that by these {promises} ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (II Peter 1:4). Partaking of “the divine nature” is having and knowing that God in Christ lives within your life.