The Love Chapter III – “Generosity & Death”

Can you die for Christ without love for man?

TLC

Blessed, good morning! Gotcha coffee and cumpets? Ok, bearclaw? There we are! Let us continue on the awesome chapter of love in 1 Corinthians 13!

“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:3

Generosity is a very important aspect of God’s love inside of us. In fact, if we have problems giving of ourselves or of our possessions (monetary or otherwise), we should seriously consider who we are in Christ. It is one of the greatest characteristic of Jesus and His people. Blessings abound as we give of ourselves. That includes, but is not limited to, our labors.

But we cannot claim that our connection with Christ is proven by that generosity. “I give, therefore I am a Christian” mentality just doesn’t work. James teaches us that faith without works isn’t faith at all (James 2:20). But to think that those works are who we are destroys anything that Jesus teaches about love. Your hard work and generosity proves that you can work hard and give, it does not prove that you love anyone. When we are struggling to love, we will often do “things” to conceal it. To make people think we love when it’s really just empty labor and fruitless giving proves nothing, for God knows the heart (Romans 8:27)

In the same light, the saddest thing we could ever do is to give to the point of death in a hollow sacrifice. This is meant for more than just actual martyrdom. But can you imagine someone dying for Christ, without love? I’m not even sure it’s possible to go that far without love. You might think that a person can do for Christ because of their love for Christ, not for their love for other people. But…

Jesus made the greatest statement about love in Matthew 22:37-40:

“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

In reading the entire statement, we see that loving God only cannot be done. You cannot love God without loving mankind. So, if you give yourself to die in Jesus’ name, but have failed to love God’s creation (people) you have failed God in what appears to be the biggest way possible.

Paul was trying to make a point here about what you cannot do without love. Without love, you will never choose death for Christ. It just cannot be done. Prove me wrong!

In Love With God’s Creation,
signature

 

sigScrip

The Love Chapter II – “Useless Giftings”

The Love Chapter Series Number 2, Useless Giftings

 

TLC

Goooooood Morning Everyone! Sit back and let’s talk about love!

In the previous blog for 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, “The Love Chapter,” we just barely got started. We talked about how being able to say all the most wonderful things and having the most wonderful voice was just loud noise if it didn’t come out packed in love. Verse two puts a spiritual twist to it.

“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.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)

I think what first blows my mind by this statement is that Paul is saying a person can be great in the Kingdom and still be without love. And, sadly, it’s true. The Word teaches us that giftings are without repentance. They are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). God gives a gift to someone, that gift cannot be taken back. That’s God’s policy. That means a person can be gifted in Prophecy (or any gift) and use it for the good of the Kingdom their whole life but it end up worthless all because they could not grasp how to love.

It’s been said that there is no stronger force in the Universe than Love. I believe that is true because if you can do what a person that is described in this scripture can do, but are “nothing” without love, then that one thing alone can overcome anything! Re-read that. I want to make sure you get it.

So, think about that. Love can overcome anything!

I can speak the prophetic. Tell you your future, your present and your past. I can explain anything to you. Anything! I have such a belief in God that I can walk on water. Better yet, I can command the mountains to move. Sounds like a pretty impressive person, huh? Nope, just more schmutz without love. Yeah, that’s a real word….

Love goes beyond all of that!

With smuch love,

signature

 

sigScrip

The Love Chapter I – “Making Noise”

The Love Chapter Series Begins Here…

TLC

Good morning and welcome aboard! The Love Chapter Series Begins today!

1 Corinthians Chapter 13 is often referred to as the “Love Chapter” because it describes what love is. You can read the entire chapter click here. I would like to talk a bit about it. This might become an ongoing blog with many parts. Sort of an in depth study on this passage. So, we’ll go in an “expository” manner. Verse by verse.

If you get a chance, read 1 Corinthians chapter 1 through 12. It will give you a little more to go on than starting just in chapter 13. In fact, we’re not actually going to start with chapter 13. We’ll pick it up in the last part of chapter 12. A little bit of setting the stage, you might say.

One of the lesson’s I am learning is to remember is to ask the Holy Spirit to open my understanding. Ephesians 1:17 and 18 says that Paul, the author, prays regularly that God will grant the Church (the people of God) the “spirit of wisdom and revelation that the eyes of your understanding be opened.” So, it is a very healthy habit to ask God to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation each time we read God’s Word, so we might understand it better. Trust me, there is nothing like reading something and God’s Spirit revealing a truth in it that no one else has shown you! Very powerful and faith building. Anyway, it will never fail you to ask God’s assistance.

The Love Chapter Preface

Now, let’s get going. Start at chapter 12, verse 27.

27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”

Paul begins his discourse on love by highlighting some very important areas of leadership, gifts and supernatural activities. He speaks of the variety of positions in the church. How that different giftings rest on different people. And then states that we should always desire to have greater things happening in us. But he ends it all by saying that there is even a more “excellent” way. What does that mean?

Some have said that Paul would have intended his letter to continue here and not pause in a chapter break. But I actually think there could not have been a better place. He brings us into this great conversation about the supernatural things that can happen in and through people and in the middle of it, he says, “But wait. There’s something even better than all of this.” Then, he delves into the great treatise that will be forever the best exposition on love that man has ever written or heard. And since that’s what we’re all about, let’s delve with him!

We’ll begin with just the first verse. I want to bring this fully to us. You know, kinda melt it down and rebuild it piece by piece.

Chapter 13

Verse 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.”

I can’t help but think of politicians when I read this first verse. Even actors and famous motivational speakers. Dare I say, famous preachers? Love has nothing to do with with what you can say to persuade, to inspire, to explain. To convince. What you say, the words from your mouth, means nothing. Whether you are singing a song that the world sings along with you or one that praises God to the point of goose bump insanity.

Your words may inspire a generation to go to the moon. It may become the anthem for a nation. It might change one life or one million. You might be a Shakespeare. An Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King, Jr. Your words might be quoted by Presidents or Kings. You might be invited to open Congress, speak to the Assembly or present at the Oscars. Heads of State from around the globe might want you to come and speak. Maybe your voice is so that Pavarotti is jealous. The classics all hope you will record them. If what you emit causes repentance, tears, breathlessness. If the mobs scream and beg for more. When you read words, the minds swirl with vision. Your concerts are packed stadiums with billions watching on TV and internet. Your records stay at the top of the charts for months. When you preach, everyone is healed. When you lead worship, souls are saved and lives are forever changed.

Your ability is nothing but noise if love is not the focus… “crickets”…

In God’s noisy love,
signature

 

sigScrip

 

Grace & Beyond

Grace: The Subject of the Ages

graceGrace has been compared to many things. It can be harder to put in a box that nailing jello to the wall. The word “grace” is used 145 times in the Bible. 159 if you use the old King James. I usually use the New King James. Semantics, it be.

What is grace? Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

So grace is what brings us to salvation. Faith finishes the job. And, as Paul pointed out here, not because of anything we have done.

Grace is extended unto us through the love of God. Not by requirement. He is not obligated to us in any way. His love and character is why He does what He does.

“…Okay, I see what the Bible says. But there’s more. After all, it’s spoken of over a hundred times.” Many times, it’s in reference to having favor. But grace is so much more. More than a few words typed here can fully exhaust. But, hey we made it this far, let’s go on.

graceGrace is that place we exist in between sin and the doorstep of Heaven. It’s kind of like this: the law displays our sin, and if we don’t ignore it, then we seek a way to rid ourselves of the sin. That’s how the law points us to Jesus. We see our sin and Jesus offers the only way out of it.

He brings us into His grace. He puts His righteousness on us so we can then have a relationship with the One Who remains without sin, God. Faith is the part where we accept it even though we cannot see it with our physical eyes.

Grace is our residence from then until we are with Him in Heaven.

Okay, Paul again talks about this in Romans 5. He basically says that God is SOOOO incredibly good, that regardless of our sin, grace trumps it. But, he adds in chapter 6 that we can abuse it. Yeah, leave it to man to find a way to abuse even grace! That’s what he meant when he said,

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (6:1-2)

We are taught that first we must understand we are covered by the power of grace. But also, that we move forward. So many times, we get the understanding of grace so well, we forget it’s not meant to be a static existence. We live in grace until Heaven, but we are to strive for the place where we no longer need grace.

Okay, something to think about, that last one….

In His Ridiculously Wonderful grace,
signature

 

bottomScrip

How To Get Saved!

This is a special blog. It’s meant just for you.

There’s a lot of confusion in the world today. Both in the secular part and the religious part. So much, it becomes frustrating. I don’t want to add to that. I want to make this simple.

God made mankind. He loved His creation. Very much! That’s you and I. And everyone else.

Mankind messed up. He sinned. And so, all the children since then sinned too. It can be hard to live in the world and not sin. But God made a way to fix that. Unfortunately, it would cost Him a great deal.

The price was life. Sin can only be resolved through the taking of life. A sacrifice had to be made. But, not just any sacrifice.

Okay, it’s gonna get complicated just a little. I promise to try and make it easy to get. Not that you’re not smart or anything. Please don’t think that.

The Sacrifice had to be Someone special. It had to be Someone very important. It had to be the Christ. The Messiah. And, so it was.

Before He went and paid that price for us, He said this, “For God loved the world (you and I and everyone) that He gave His only Son (Jesus to die) so that whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

It’s completely okay if you don’t understand why. But, it was because He loves us so much.

So, recap: God made man. Man sinned. Jesus came. Jesus died to pay for that sin. If you believe in Him (Jesus), you will never die. You will be saved. So, how to proceed? A simple prayer something like this one:

“Jesus, I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Who you are and I want to accept You into my life. Amen.”

How simple was that? If you said that prayer and you meant it, you are saved. You are now a child of God.

So you know though, Jesus didn’t stay dead…

 

got questions?

I hope so. There’s a lot to be answered. So, feel free to ask below. You don’t have to put your name in if you don’t want to. Or your email. But, if you want me to email you back, I will need it. Blessings, and welcome to the family!