Sunday, February 27, 2011

If I have not love, I am nothing

1 Corinthians 13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

God gives His people wonderful gifts. He first gives us salvation, the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the body of Christ (the church) to help us in this life. He gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us to fulfill the commands He has given us to make disciples and to love, encourage and uplift the body of Christ. The gifts of knowledge, prophecy (speaking God's word), and understanding, and many others, are great gifts and very necessary. However the greatest gift is also the one that Jesus taught as the greatest commandment, which He gave us here in Mark 12:29-31: “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” God's plan from before the beginnning of creation was to create a people who would have this law of love in their hearts and so live to glorify Him and love Him and one another. There is nothing more important than this.
God has been gradually teaching me this lesson over the last year or so, and probably longer. I've gotten side-tracked sometimes by the cares and distractions of this life, but He keeps bringing me back to it. For me, it takes the form of learning that any knowledge and understanding I may have (or think I have) is nothing compared to the love that He showed me and that He commands me to show to others. He also, by grace through the Holy Spirit, gives me the ability to love others, and I need to keep walking in that love in my daily life as I interact with my family, other believers, and all that I meet.
The second form it takes is a continuation of the first, that I must give of the gifts and talents He has given me to uplift the Body of Christ, not giving in to fear and timidity. One of my precious friends once said to someone "Don't be a blessing stealer!' She meant 'you need to share what God has given so we all can be blessed.' That stuck with me. So ya'll pray for me as I try to walk in love. And forgive me for when I haven't but instead have used knowledge as a way to puff myself up. God bless all who come here!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Colossians 2:4-15 As you have received Christ, so walk in Him

4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Three Exercises for the Soul: Bob Burridge

Bob Burridge of the Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies has a new blog post up about three spiritual exercises that believers should remember to practice daily. They are taken from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which says: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I for one really needed that reminder.

You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham

Beautiful song about our beautiful Lord.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sen. Rand Paul Opposes PATRIOT Act Renewal

Please contact your Senators to urge them to vote against the PATRIOT Act extensions. The House rammed through the extensions two days after an earlier vote had defeated them.

You can find your Senators here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

New Covenant Living: Americn Evangelicals Ignoring the Bible, Flocking To Dictatorial Pastors

New Covenant Living: Americn Evangelicals Ignoring the Bible, Flocking To Dictatorial Pastors

Here's a commentary by D.A. Carson posted by Jack at New Covenant Living. I'm going to have to read this one several times to take it all in, but on a first reading it seems right on target.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Shane & Shane - When I Think About The Lord

Love in the Bible: Bob Burridge

Bob Burridge of Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies has a new blog post up called 'Love in the Bible' that is very helpful. I've been learning about love and God's grace lately and have been praying for God to help me to show love to others, and to love Him more and show this in an obedient life. Jesus said that all the commandments of God are summed up in two commands: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. The Christian, as Pastor Burridge brings out, is equipped to obey these commands by God, but must learn to obey by God's grace in every area of our lives. As 1 Corinthians 13 teaches, love must pervade all our interactions, or all we do is worthless. God's plan from before the beginning of time, as revealed in Scripture, is for His people to be a people of love and glorify Him.

Thursday, February 03, 2011