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    If I speak in the tongues of Greek, Hebrew, and conservative, exegetical Calvinistic inerancy, but have not love, I am only a clanging Sunday school bell or a leaky baptistery faucet. If I have the gift of Business Meetings and can fathom all mysteries, including Robert's Rules of Order and the Baptist Faith and Message, and if I have a faith that can move deacons, but have not love, I am nothing.

    If I give all I possess to the youth fund and surrender my body to the lock-ins but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient, (Even during committee meetings.)

    Love is kind. (Even during heated church softball controversies)

    It does not envy First Baptist's new activities center

    It does not boast (ministerially speaking, of course.),

    It is not proud, during the monthly Pastor's luncheon.

    It is not rude to the wife while illustrating a point from the pulpit.

    It is not self-seeking while hobnobbing at the convention

    It is not easily angered, even during moments of righteous indignation.

    It keeps no record of so-called constructive criticisms.

    Love does not delight when a fellow minister falls but rejoices when the truth wins out over personal agendas.

    It always protects like a shepherd to the sheep

    It always trusts- even the finance committee,

    Always hopes despite what the Sunday School report reveals

    Always perseveres even through church spats, rebellious kids, wayward couples, careless gossips, long wakes and emergency room vigils.

    The love we proclaim never fails.

    But where there are evangelism conferences, they will cease;

    Where there are sermon illustrations, they will be stilled;

    Where there is seminary, it will pass away.

    For we know in part and we preach in part,

    But when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears (Yes, that means casseroles, fish fries and Easter pageants.

    When I was a RA, I talked like a RA, I thought like a RA, I reasoned like a RA. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me and became a Baptist Preacher.

    Now we see through a glass house darkly but later I'll see the One I serve face to face.

    Now I only know a part of what I preach but soon I'll get a glimpse of the big picture and why I do this thing called ministry.
    And now these three remain: faith (in the God who called me), hope (In the truth that God make my ministry count and love- The entire purpose of my place in this body. But the greatest of these is love.

    Copyright 2004 Matt Tullos