Love

The Power of Love-1 Corinthians 13

IMG_5532

In 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, we learn that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (v.6).  This means believers aren’t to dwell on the harm others cause and write them off as hopeless, despicable criminals.  Love enables us to hate the evil unjustly visited upon the innocent while valuing the one who committed the act.  More simply, we hate the sin but love the sinner.

In spite of everything that seems apparent about someone who’s been driven to sinful actions, God has created him or her with the potential to be made into something good.  Outwardly, it may seem as if a difficult upbringing, poor treatment, or negative influence has corrupted a person’s morality and worldview beyond repair.  For such individuals, the capacity to love and rise above circumstances can get buried so deep that it may seem nonexistent.

God still considers the most evil and corrupt person worth saving.  How do I know this is true?  Because John 3:16-one of the very first verses we teach children-He said that whoever believes in God’s Son will have eternal life.  Many of us are guilty of thinking we deserve His love because we look good compared to those we deem unlovable.  But God doesn’t work that way.  He loves every single person, no matter how awful his or her sin may be.

God doesn’t want anyone to mistreat others; such sinful action will bring repercussions or discipline.  But the Lord does extend His care, mercy, and salvation to anybody who wants it.  He keeps no record of wrongs.  He loves without conditions.  And He wants us to love in the same way.

Commentary from In Touch Devotional magazine by Charles Stanley, May 4, 2017.

A Little Bit of Harmony

IMG_5245

The need for believers to care for the poor is a constant theme of Scripture, but often we do nothing about it.  We get caught up in meeting our own needs and desires, or we just don’t see enough poor people to remember their needs.  Both in your own city and across the oceans there are people who need help.  What can you do to show them tangible evidence of God’s love?

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional NT, May 23.  Tyndale House Publishers.  2003.

Stop Giving Up On People

20161219_210019

Consider the command in Ephesians 4:32 to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving.  When we carry resentment in our hearts, it’s like a little pocket of poison that pulls down our personalities and sours our spirits.  But when we’re kind and pleasant, it lightens our burdens and brightens our days-not to mention what it does for others.

God knows how we best function-He created us-and He’s an expert on the care of the soul.  Obedience not only glorifies Him, it blesses our lives.

Commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, May 10.

Love: The Superior Way

If I speak the languages of men and of angels,

but do not have love,

I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have [the gift of] prophecy,

and understand all mysteries and all 

knowledge, and if I have faith,

so that I can move mountains,

but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I donate all my goods to feed

the poor, and if I give my body

to be burned, but do not have love,

I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

img_4707

The Beauty of Worship of God

img_2821

What is worship?  A. W. Tozer described it this way:  “Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of that most ancient Mystery…which we call Our Father Which Are in Heaven”.

For some, the word worship conjures up awkward feelings of being uncomfortable while singing in a church setting, but notice Tozer never mentions singing, raising hands or even being with others.  Rather, he states it is expressing “in some appropriate manner” that which you feel in your heart toward God.  In fact, the most commonly used word for worship in the New Testament, the Greek word proskuneo, has more to do with an intimate reverence toward God; being still before Him in awe and adoration.

The beauty of worship is that it is not limited to what anyone believes it should be.  The most important things are for worship to be personal, selfless, intimate and from the heart.  Worship as a performance is not worship, it is performing.  Worship of God is from an overflow of love for Him.

Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways devotional, November 24.