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Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

1 John 4:7-21 (NKJV)

Being Valentine’s Day, this is the day of the year that a lot of people are thinking about love.  So I had planned to post 1 Corinthians 13 – the love chapter.  Well, this morning I was looking for verses about love, and decided maybe I should post this passage.  Then in Sunday school, one of the verses Mr. Craig asked us to look up was from this chapter, and Pastor Jim’s sermon was on this passage.  It’s just amazing how God works everything together!

I think this passage is a wonderful definition and summary of the concept of love.  Here are some of the main points I got from Pastor Jim’s sermon.

  • vv. 7-8 – Love comes from God.  There is no way we can show true, agape, putting-others-before-ourselves love unless we know God as our Savior. 
  • v. 8b – Love doesn’t define God.  God defines love.
  • vv. 9-10 – God’s love is revealed through Christ.  He didn’t just talk about love, He demonstrated it through Christ.  We shouldn’t just talk about love, we should demonstrate it.
  • v. 12 – No one can see God, but they can see us.  Their view of our Savior may depend on how we demonstrate Him to them.

This is a challenge our Bible study teacher left us with at the retreat I’ve talked about before.  Does our love for people show through in our actions and demonstrate that we belong to Him?   

 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  🙂

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Love Is…Enduring

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. -1 Corinthians 13:7-8 (ESV)

Love bears all things.- Love bears each others burdens and troubles.

Love believes all things- Love gives you the benefit of the doubt

Love hopes all things- Love wants what is best for you

Love endures all things- Love will stick with you through the tough times, n matter what.

Love never ends- Everything else does, but love is always there.

Love is enduring, that’s what I have titled this post. Why? because it seemed to encompase all the ideas covered in these two verses. While the previous three verses cover characteristics of love. These last two cover the nature of love so to speak. These two verses proove that love is more than emotions. After all, emotions fade away don;t they. but love, love stay. It bears, belives, hopes, endures. It never passes away. Love is timeless. Christ’s love is everlasting. If you take anything away from this series, let it be that.

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Love Is…Encouraging

it [love]  does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. -1 Corinthians 13:6 (ESV)

I think it’s kind of neat that I get to this one today. In our family we have a weekly memory verse. This weeks is 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV), Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. So we were talking about being an encouragement this mourning. You may wonder why I am talking about encouragement since the verse covered in this post says nothing about encouragement. But I think that 1 Corinthians 13:6 has everything to do with encouragement. How encouraging is it when someone rejoices at wrongdoing, yours or someone elses toward you? It is one of the most dishearening things to hear someone laugh at you when you mess up. However, when you do something right and someone rejoices with you, that lifts your spirits. Encouragement is huge. Often all it takes is a smile, a kind word, just a friendly action. So often something so simple as a smile can turn into something a huge encouragement.

Encouragemnt was very important to the early church.The believers were constantly encourging each other and helping each other through difficult times.

After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” -Acts 13:15 (ESV)

And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. -Acts 15:31 (ESV)

And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. -Acts 15:32 (ESV)

So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed. -Acts 16:40 (ESV)

And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, -Acts 18:27 (ESV)

When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. -Acts 20:2 (ESV)

This is an example we to should follow. We should strive to be an encouragement. It is really easy too. Let me share something with you. A few weeks ago I was at Key Club when one of the moms came up to me. She told me that a week or so before that I had encouraged her. Her daughter was just starting the Ballroom Dance Class I go to. I was sitting in the lobby waiting for class to start. All I was doing was talking to some of the other dancers. This simple act was an encouragement to the mom though. She said it was because she got to watch a young person who was so happy just to be there. This encounter surprised me a little bit. (Even more so since I was actually talking to some people I don’t know as well, something I don’t do easily.) I never realized just having a conversation could be such an encouragement. Especially to someone who was only observing the conversation! Here’s something else. It encouraged ME to know that I had been an encouragement to someone else.

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it [love] is not irritable or resentful; -1 Corinthians 13:5b (ESV)

One may think these two ideas, love is not irritable and love is not resentful, should be covered in two separate posts. However, these two ideas are so closely linked that it is necessary to combine them. If we are irritable, we tend to be at least a little bit resentful. I have, at least, found this to be true in my own life.

Resentfulness is deadly. in Genesis 4, Cain resented his brother Abel because Abel’s sacrifice was chosen by God. Verse 8 (ESV) says Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.Cain killed his brother because he resented him. Verses 9-16 go on to tell how God punished Cain.

Irritableness is also deadly. In Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV) Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. Man, reading that, I am guilty of countless murder charges. i could not tell you how many times I have lashed out at my brothers or sister, be angry at them, whatever. Every time that happens, I commit murder in my heart. And that’s just with my siblings, that doesn’t even include other people. Just because I started out irritable, for whatever reason, or no reason at all (which does happen), that does not give me the right to be angry at anyone. Much less my siblings.

So think about that. Irritableness and Resentfulness can both lead to sin. (The story of Cain and Abel can be used as  an example for both.) Love is not either of those things. Christ was neither irritable or resentful. Isiah 53:7 (ESV) says, He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

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Love Is…Not Selfish

It [love] does not insist on its own way; -1 Corinthians 13:5a

Okay, so you may have noticed by now that um, I have changing the wording a little bit for the titles. This is so that I could stick with the “Love Is…” format. And so that the titles wouldn’t get to long. In this case I have used selfish to equal insisting on its own way. Is this true? Well think about it, when we instist on having our own way, what are we doing? We are being selfish. We want the world to revolve around us. Whenever I think of selfishness I always think of this poem by Tracie Hogg and Melinda Blau:

Eight Rules of Toddler Play

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little time ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way, shape or form.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.

If that doesn’t speak to human depravity, thn nothing does. Even at a very young age wwe are selfish. As babies the whole world revolves around us. As we grow up we have to learn that this isn’t true. Yet we still insist on having our own way. I can’t tell you haw many times over the years that me brother and I (and this is only with one of my brothers) have argued over what we were going to play, what movie we were going to watch, who got the front seat, which episode of Stargate we watched, who’s turn on the computer it was, who got to decide which show we watched, who’s turn it was to pick up this, etc., etc., etc.. Let me tell you something, what we argue about may have changed from whether we play Star Wars of pioneers to whether we watch 18 Kids and Counting or, well ANYTHING else (he does NOT like that show) but the motive behind the arguements has not changed. We are selfish. And we are sinful. We have not shown each other Christ’s loe. Yes, I realize you could argue that we are siblings and that gives us a right, it does NOT. If I cannot show my own flesh and blood brother Christ’s love, how can I expect to show that love to a stranger? I struggle with this every day. I need God’s help to get around it. Love is not selfish. Wow, I think we should be reminded of that more often.

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. -James 3:13-18 (ESV)

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Love Is…Not Rude

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. -1 Corinthinas 13:4-5a

I have a question. How often a day are you rude to someone? How about at least once a day. Does that sound reasonable? Whether we talk back to an adult, shove past someone without a care, or simply forget to use thank you or please, we are probably rude to someone every single day. You know what, God says that love is not rude. So then when we are rude to a parent or sibling or friend or stranger we are not shoeing God’s love. How about that. I must confess that personally I would never have thought of that. After all, we humans tend to hide our rudeness behind a lot of excuses. “Oh, well, I was just having a bad day.” or “It just wasn’t a good time for me.” or “I was really tired at the time.” We brush of our rudeness like its a minor offense. But guess what, anything that impedes our ability to show Christ’s love to the world is a major offense. And guess what, god punishes rude people. Through out most of the Bible the are called scoffers, and they are punished. So don’t brush of rudeness. Take it seriously and avoid showing it to the world. Instead let Christ’s love shine in you.

Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing, and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside. -Job 36:18 (ESV)

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; -Psalm 1:1 (ESV)

Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools. -Proverbs 19:29 (ESV)

Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land. -Isiah 28:22 (ESV)

“‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’” -Acts 13:41 (ESV)

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Love Is…Not Arrogant

Love…is not arrogant. -1 Corinthians 13:4c

Arrogance, or pride, is perhaps one of the biggest thing that we struggle with as human beings. God frowns heavily on pride. There is no way around that. As human beings I think I can rightly say that we all have pride issues. I know I have them. I would even dare say that it is prideful to say that you have no pride issues. (Not to mention that you would then be lying since you’re being prideful about not being prideful.) We have struggled with pride since the day of Adam and Eve. Since Eve decided that she new what was better for her than God did, pride has been in this wold.  We find it the most natural thing in the world to be prideful. Yet 1 Corinthians 13 says that love is not arrogant, or prideful depending on your translation. If we are to show Christ’s love to other people, than we must be humble. After all, Christ was the humblest man in history. Phillipians 2:8 (ESV) says, And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and He humbled Himself and came to this sinful and rotton world and died on the cross, the cruelest form of death at that time at perhapos ever, and it was all for us, for our sins. Wow. Now then, if we are to follow Christ’s example, we too must be humbled. This is something that we cannot do on our own. We need to pray and ask God to help us get rid of the arrogance, of the pride and help us be humble before Him.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. -James 4:10 (ESV)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, -1 Peter 5:6 (ESV)

And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. -Leviticus 26:18-20 (ESV)

There they cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride of evil men. -Job 35:12 (ESV)

Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. -Psalm 31:23 (ESV)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. -Proverbs 11:2 (ESV)

“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. -Proverbs 21:24 (ESV)

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