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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Verse 14: “Let all that you do be done with love.”

We are truly living in strange times in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has altered our daily lives like few things have in many decades. But amongst all the worry and dark times, there are some signs to see and to have hope in. Let me share one with you that happened to me.

I work for a company that now has me working remotely from home. I had to contact my internet service provider to talk about a change in my hotspot allowance I had noticed (it had gone up!). With their local offices closed, I had to stay online for about 20 minutes waiting to “chat” with a technician. After I connected with a woman who answered all my questions about how my hotspot allowance had expanded (the ISP was doing this as a way of helping most folks having to work on computer from home) and that it didn’t cost me any extra on my bill, she was about to disconnect our conversation when God encouraged me to ask her quickly, “How are y’all doing right now in all this?”

She at first replied with the usual “it’s been hectic and we’re doing the best we can”. We talked a couple minutes more, and I thanked her, telling her she had been most helpful. Though they were words on a screen to me, I could tell that it really hit home in a good way for her. I could almost hear her emotions, thanking me for my patience and my calm demeanor and my encouragement. I’ve worked with customer service people before and I know that the delay wasn’t her fault; they had been swarmed since the outbreak with callers, some of them hostile. But, at this moment, I genuinely wanted to let her know that we’ll be okay, and that things will get better…we’ll make it through. Somehow, I had the feeling that Jesus had me on that conversation with this particular person at the right time. She just needed to know…that someone cared.

Paul closes 1 Corinthians with many last blessings and requests, but he reminds the church to “let all that you do be done with love.”

Today, and tomorrow, and the day after, show Jesus’s love to someone. We all need that love right now!

Something to think about.

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verse 23: “He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor Than he who flatters with the tongue.”

Did you ever think that after rebuking someone, that they would THANK you?

I read an article in the newspaper recently about a local juvenile court judge in our area who was retiring after decades of service. On top of the usual accolades and congratulations that you expect to read about at such a retirement, I saw one portion where a former defendant who had served time (prescribed by the judge) also showed up to thank the judge for caring. He admitted that the punishment he received as a juvenile and the fact that the judge cared about all those youths who came through his court was just what he needed at the time to turn his life around. Today, the man is an upstanding citizen. He was grateful for the judge’s rebuke and caring attitude.

There are times we need rebuking, and God is faithful to bring us in line! But God does it because He truly loves and cares about us. Parents should mimic that type of Fatherly love in their parenting. Friends should mimic that type of love in their relationships as well. You may not want to hear the rebuke, but sometimes you just have to “take your medicine”.

Something to think about.

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verse 12: “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.”

Love and hate. Two polar opposites. One builds, one destroys.

Merriam-Webster.com defines “hate” as: “1 a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury b : extreme dislike or antipathy : loathing…”

I could list out a full paragraph of what hate is like; I could quote real and fictitious examples, and not even began to touch on the subject. Hate is a destroyer. At the same time, I could list and quote examples of what true love is, and not even come close to describing it in the fullest sense….except for one word: Jesus.

As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13, love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” There are times as human beings, that we can only love with Christ’s love, because we can’t love to that degree in our own humanity. These are deep concepts.

So which would you rather be? A destroyer or a builder?

Something to think about.

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verses 22-24: “If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Paul closes his 1 Corinthians letter with these verses.

There are 3 cross reference verses to verse 22 above and the use of the word “accursed”:
1 Corinthians 12:3: “Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is accursed’; and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 9:3: “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,”
Galatians 1:8-9: “But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.”

That Galatians reference had a footnote that further defined “accursed” as anathema, or devoted to destruction. Ecclesiastiacally, it was accompanied by excommunication. (Ryrie Study Bible NAS)

Pretty strong stuff. How would you like to be accursed? I know there are times in life when we may “feel” like we’re accursed (why is everything happening to me, woe is me, can it get any worse!)…and I am not making light of people’s troubles. God does care about your troubles.

Paul here is laying down both a command to the Corinthian church and a foretelling of what happens to those who preach contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are going to be accursed. If you are a true Christian, filled with the Holy Spirit, you cannot truly do what 1 Corinthians 12:3 is saying above…you can’t curse Jesus and acknowledge Him as Lord in the same breath! More than ever, we need to witness to a world that needs to hear the gospel of Christ. Please remember that today.

By the way, “Marantha” means “our Lord, come!” To you, I say today, Marantha!

I also echo the sentiments of the verses 23-24: ” The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

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verse 22: “So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers, but to those who believe.”

When it comes down to it, how do people know that we are Christians? You could say, as the hymn does, “they will know we are Christians by our love”. They will also know by our walk and by our talk.

The Holman concordance I’ve been using states some background about this verse. It seems that God used Gentiles to spread the Word, since the Jews were in exile and being disobedient. Thus, tongues became a sign to cross linguistic boundaries.

An analogy that comes to mind concerns the Carpenters for Christ group I serve with. When we travel, we wear our CFC shirts, so that folks will see that we are together, and maybe even ask who we are and what we are about. The shirts, all with the same logo, are a sign to folks, whether they are Christians or not. They “speak” even if no one asks us who we are…they state that we are representing Him.

Our lives, though, to fellow believers should proclaim Jesus. Yes, we sin daily and make mistakes; we should always ask forgiveness and seek repentance. Some examples of our “walk and talk” should be our speech, our actions, places we frequent, behaviors we engage in…do they glorify God? Would they cause a fellow Christian to be concerned about us?

I guess what I’m saying is that you should be a mirror every day…and reflect Jesus. Unbelievers might not understand the image, but they’ll know it’s different. Believers will know the image, and hopefully be encouraged and edified by what they see.

May you be a blessing to others this week in Jesus’s name.

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verses 11-13: “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully, just as I also have been fully known. But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

These verses tie into the previous post’s verses about maturity. When we grow up, we naturally don’t act as we did when we were kids (some might argue otherwise about people in today’s society! 🙂 ) As kids, we want to be adults so we can do things that require more responsibility and maturity. Jesus wants us to grow as Christians; for one thing, that’s how we become disciple makers…we have to grow as a disciple first. Even when we become a mentor or disciple maker, we still grow. You never stop learning at the feet of Jesus!

And just as “we see in a mirror dimly” now, through our study and gifts, one day, we “shall know fully, just as (we) also have been fully known”. Have you ever read a good mystery, or seen a good movie, only to never find out how it ended? And then the satisifaction (or disappointment) that you had when you finally, finally found out what happened? I guarantee you, you won’t be disappointed in the final pages of Jesus’s story!

May faith, hope, and love abide in you today; but the greatest of these is Love!

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verse 7: “(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

  • Bears all things: this is love in spite of all good and all bad that happens to you.
  • Believes all things: this is love that doesn’t give up on you, no matter what has happened to you.
  • Hopes all things: this is love that keeps you confindent that good will happen, that the future is brighter.
  • Endures all things: this is love that stays when the future becomes present, and may not be what you wanted.

May you have God’s love today, as you bear, believe, hope, and endure. It’s a lot easier doing these 4 with Jesus in your heart!

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