Tuesday, December 31, 2013
As we come to an end of the year 2013 some of us will look forward to a new year. A new year to do so many things... We even get caught up in the excitement of making resolutions... sometimes we look at this time as a new starting point. This year I will do better... This year I will get my weight under control... This year I will not act so badly... This year I will try to love more... This year I will draw near to God... This year I will be a better person... So tomorrow start 2014 and like many we want to be better... But what makes this year so special? Some of us have been trying hard for many New Years to be better... And believe it or not for many of us the New Year just fades away in a few days or weeks and we are living life just as we had before. Back to the same old, if you will. How can we change this New Year thing? How can we reach the goals that we know God wants in our lives? Now let us pull back a little and say small goals... small changes... and for some maybe big goals. You see we are always waiting for the right time... timing is everything right? We wait for the right day, we wait for the right season, the right place... But in God's word there is this verse Lam. 3:22 "The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." So as we go ahead this new year some may start a right if you will, some might not, some might still be waiting... but we do not have to wait for special days.. to seek God... to change for every day is new and with God's lovingkindnesses; you have to like that word lovinglindnesses. So let us go forth day by day in God's lovingkindnesses. Lovingkindnesses fits in with our study just right.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
As we have been going through what love is as written in 1Cor.13, it seems that we need to understand why we love! Let us start with why does God love us? Why would God love me; I'm not that likable... I have messed up a lot and I still mess up a lot... sometimes it seems that I just can't get it right, sometimes I feel like I am a one man wrecking crew or you may think that you have done something(s) so bad there is no way that God can love me. As we have been learning that love is an action(s), but what motivates that action of love. What motivated God to love us that He sent His Son! He does say in His word that not one is good. Why would God love us? Now before we go further let me say that this is not going to be an answer of great theology... God love us because we are His creation, and we are created in His image/likeness. I also believe that God also knows what we would be like when we can handle the knowledge of evil and when we really start understanding the knowledge of good. We are His! That is why He reaches down with love, the love of sending His Son to pay the price for our mess ups... to fix our thinking... so we can have everlasting life with Him. As for us when we accept this gift of God, Jesus, our life is changed... and love for Him becomes more real if you will and more... Now why do we love? A good example would be the love parents have for their children. Because they are yours part of you... The same as love for family! We love each other for we are connected. We don't have to do anything to earn that love. A child could be crying or over active... but as parents we still love them. How much more does God love us His creation. Now why does a man love His wife what is the bond that makes their love stand out if you will. The bond is that an attraction becomes more when they become married for they become one, a bond that is greater than family. Love is actions but before we get to those actions love is a choice. We need to choose to whom we love and then do the actions of love. As for God He chose the world, all of us, that all have the choice to accept His love of Jesus. As for us we need to learn how to love all and to do those deeds of love. Yes, God did give a gift, His Son but with His gift He is still doing what we are learning in 1Corinth. 13. For us we need to understand that just giving gifts to show love is not enough we need to do those action of 1Corinth.13 So Merry Christmas to you all!
Friday, December 20, 2013
As we continue our series of love; we find ourselves leaving the section of what love is not, and back to another section of what love is. You see love is an action, that is doing acts that demonstrate love and as we have seen that it also includes not doing actions that do not demonstrate love. With that the next of what love does is love "rejoices with the truth." Truth, so many times we wonder what is truth in the big picture of things. Some believe that the bible is true and some only think that parts are true... (there is another devotional for this). For us it will be helpful to recognize that when we look at truth in this circumstance that we focus toward individuals. That when we look at truth we are looking at the actions of someone, or ones. Are those actions done in good will? Are they sincere? Did they tell the truth? Are they honest? So many times we look at things of being factually true... that we miss in life when one tries to do something good... and things go array... we only see the negative... Or when one does a wrong we can't wait to jump... on them, make them pay... even when they are up front and tell the truth... our anger... So many times when we see truth... what do we do? but what should we do? Rejoice! So no matter what is happening when we see, hear... truth, we need to rejoice. Yes, when our children tell the truth we need to rejoice! Guess what, if we do rejoice it will help us in the way we deal with them... When we hear of someone who has done something... and tells the truth we rejoice! And if we are rejoicing then hopefully all that negative thinking... will go away. For hopefully when we are rejoicing we can put on the other positive actions of love; being patient and kind. You see when we where honest with God, confessing our sins... and believing that He will forgive us... in the Name of Jesus His Son who takes away the sins of the world. Do you not think that when God hears us being truthful... He rejoices! Not only then but when we come before Him in our Christian walk and confessing our sins as we are instructed in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Not only does He forgive us but He rejoices! He is not up in heaven saying here comes Peter again, can't he get anything right... No He is waiting for us to come to Him, yes with a good attitude... and when we start confessing in truth a smile of rejoicing if you will start... So this Christmas season let us have rejoicing more a part of our lives!
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Love is not provoked. Now this is an interesting concept of what love is not. When I think of provoke the thought of pushing one to act with anger is at the forefront. Some one's actions or words, bringing up feelings... to get me to respond in a negative way... Let's face it people know how to press others buttons... They know how to get under ones skin... knowingly or not. Yes, people for some reason do put people in negative "light" if you would trying to get that negative response... to confirm all what they have been saying... Provoke how ever has that positive meaning also; to provoke someone to continue in a good direction... to provoke a smile... so provoke is not a bad thing. But when love is provoked it is. Now before we go on we must remember that things need to be put in to perspective. That having a hard black and white approach may not fit; here is one of those times. The first example would be that of dangling an object... in front of someone. You want the object or even have a need for the object... so with that you show affection... even when you do not want to. OK I'm going to say it, "money can't buy me love". Nor can one who does the other of threatening... Another one would be that of favoritism... For if one is doing these things to get love, then one needs to stop doing those things for love is not provoked. The love you think you have is not really love, it is shallow, weak at best. For love is not something that can be bought, influenced... Just like you cannot buy God's love or the love of God for love is not a thing that can be bought. Remember it is a gift! You can try to buy it, steel it, borrow it... but you can never get the real deal with those ways... For love is a gift that one gives... if you need to do something to earn... influence... or buy... it is not a gift freely given...
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. Or rejoices not in iniquity. We are to be marked with love as a Christian. That is love is what comes forth from us ... Not only toward the people we know, or close to or the people we like... but toward all. When we think of this what love is not we can get stuck in the out ward appearance we have if you will. That is we are not doing bad deeds... to others; we are not the one that did such an such... that we have had no part in that... But this of what love is not goes much deeper. It reaches deep down inside of us. For deep down is where things boil up that should not be. We think that when someone is going through a hard time... that they deserve it because of their sin... Even when an unthinkable thing as a death of a child, people think that something is a miss... in their lives that is why it happened... Oh, some might say, that is not what I am doing... Love does not rejoice in iniquity, that is evil. Love does not rejoice when evil... comes upon someone... If you were to have love you would have compassion... not thinking what they did to cause this... or thinking that this evil/bad thing is deserved or what they have coming... You see if you are getting stuck in what people deserve... or what sin have they done... to be where they are... Then you will have a hard time to demonstrate love... I would even go as far to say you will have a hard time witnessing for our Lord and Savior Jesus. You see for God so loved us He sent His Son. This He did out of love. You see we all deserve His judgment but He reaches out to us in love... Love is foremost. You need to love the people that God created, even when they are in the midst of bad things because of sin or when things fall their way because we live in a fallen world... So if you find yourself thinking that they deserve such an such... or hoping that something happens to someone... That get'em attitude. Just maybe you need to refocus, rethink... even thinking that this might be tough love... you still need to change for love does not rejoice in evil.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
"Love does not take into account a wrong suffered," Of all the "does not" maybe this one gives most people the most problems. When I think of wrong, I default to my school days of getting problems wrong... but the main definition of wrong has to do with unjust, injurious acts, principles being violated and conduct. As with all things dealing with people there seems to be those things that have different meanings for different people. that what is wrong to one may not be a wrong to another. Never mind putting ones feelings into the equation. So with that said, you have been wronged by someone. The question is are you taking into account that wrong? Did you forgive the one who wronged you? Has the one who wronged you been restored? Here is the deal if you are one who is holding a grudge, you are not putting on love; if you are not willing to forgive someone for a wrong, you are not putting on love; if you are waiting for one to ask forgiveness... before you will forgive, you are not putting on love; if you are one who is judging someone's actions, you are not putting on love. For many of us we have great memories when it comes to remembering wrongs... we need to forgive and to forgive like Jesus forgives. Forgiveness is what demonstrates love. Eph.4:31-32 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."