1 Corinthians 13:5 Signs Of True Love

 

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It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:5

The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 is all about love. It describes love in various ways and what love does and does not do.

There are many books out there that talk about love. Love is a common subject of many stories, in books, tv shows, and movies. Yet, most of the time the love talked about is physical love. It is a selfish love, seeking self pleasure.

Although many in the world will quickly say that they love others, their actions do not match their words. People are very quick to dishonor others, both friends and enemies. Very few people are not seeking something for themselves in every relationship. People keep long lists for many years of everything done wrong to them, causing them to also be easily angered about a situation or a person.

These types of actions also occur within the church very often. Someone gets offended about a word or action and holds it against the person for many years to come. Some will fight against others in order to get their own way. Gossip will be spread about anger against a pastor or some other person in the church.

God never works or has ever worked with a self-seeking love. His love is a true love for others. He loves first and foremost, without requirements on a person.

Believers are to be like Jesus in their love for others. They are to never dishonor another person, but to lift them up and encourage one to live for God. There is to never be looking out for self alone, but to build others up and put them first as Jesus did going to the cross. Forgiveness should  be high on activities done, because Jesus has forgiven each one.

Take a look at your life and see how you love others. It is easy to love those who love you, but how are you loving those who do not love you? Work to make sure your definition of love is not like that of the world. Your love should mirror what Jesus’ love is for you.

The signs of true love are that it will not dishonor anyone for any reason. It will not be self-seeking or easily angered. And it will not remember past wrongs.

I pray today that you will know the love God has for you; that your love will be like that of Jesus; that your life will be one of God’s love to this world; and that you will always show God’s love to this world.

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1 Corinthians 8:9 Be Careful In Your Freedom

 

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Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9

During the biblical times, there were many rules on foods that a person could or could not eat as a believer in God. Food was often used as a sacrifice to idols, thus people were not to eat any food that had been sacrificed.

Paul just pointed out that food sacrificed to a false idol was no different from any other food. As a believer in Jesus the people could eat any food as long as they gave thanks to God for it.

Now he states that people should be careful in this knowledge and their freedom to not cause anyone else to stumble.

Newer believers often struggle with knowing what their freedom is in Christ. They are still working on removing themselves from the ways of the world. Doing the things that they have freedom to do, can cause them to fall back into sinful ways, or they may still see them as sinful.

Freedom to do what a person wants to do, regardless of what others think, is a common thought in this world. Believers are not to live like that. They are to be concerned first with God’s thoughts, then for the other person.

In Jesus there is a lot of freedom in doing things. However, they must be done with the proper motivation. They should not be done with the mindset of that it is the person’s right to do it. Rights need to be put aside to build others up.

It is all about love of the other person. That is what God did in sending Jesus and what Jesus did in going to the cross, it was about love. Love builds up, rather than demands personal rights.

In your own personal life there may be things that God has helped break the bondage to. This allows you to work with those things, without sinning or being pulled away from God. One example is drinking alcohol. You may see it as allowable, while another still sees it as sinful or dangerous.

However, there may be others that still struggle with it. Put those things aside to keep them from struggling and stumbling before God.

Be willing to put your own rights aside, so that you may build someone else up. Do not allow yourself, on purpose, or on accident to cause anyone to stumble in any way.

I pray today that you will know the freedom that you have in Jesus; that you will know the love God has for people; that God will guide you in the proper use of your freedom; and that you will not be a stumbling block to anyone.

Romans 12:2 Change Your Mind

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

A person’s mind is a powerful thing. It can control how a person acts very quickly. It can give a person power to do something, or has the power to keep a person from doing something.

It is the mind that thinks about fear of something. Many people throughout the world live in a constant spirit of fear. It could be fear of failure, fear of letdown, or fear of others. When there is fear, it paralyzes a person from getting something done that needs to be done.

After fear is the thought that one can do anything on his own. Many people in this world believe this way. They feel that they have full control of their own lives and their own destinies.

God does not want His people to have any fear, because He is perfect love and perfect love casts out all fear. And God does not want anyone to do anything completely on his own. 

God is seeking a relationship with all people. He wants to be with them to guide them and strengthen them. God wants His people to lean on Him and trust Him.

There are many believers who struggle with fear and with the belief that they can do everything on their own. They are not relying upon God.

In order to change this, there must be a transforming of the mind, a change of the way the mind is thinking. This can only be done by actively focusing upon God and allowing Him to change the mind.

Knowing God’s word will allow the believer to change his mind to what God is saying, not what the world is saying. It will allow God’s love to penetrate the mind and transform the way it is thinking. Fear will be pushed out. Selfishness will be pushed out.

As you look at your life, think about how you think. What is your mind focusing on? Is it focusing on the failures, mistakes, others, or fear of failure?

Or is your mind focused on God and His power, abilities, love, and faithfulness?

Do not allow your thinking to be like the world’s thinking. Allow God to change your way of thinking.

I pray today that you will know God’s word; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide your life; that you will allow God to change the way you think; and that you will know God’s perfect love and faithfulness to you.

John 18:36 No Physical Fight

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Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36

Jesus had been arrested and was going through a trial. The leaders did not believe that He was who He said He was. They were asking Him if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus points out that His kingdom is not one of this earth, it was not a physical kingdom, but one from somewhere else.

There has been times that Christians have been known to be violent in standing up for Christ. During the middle centuries, the church went on crusades in order to kill of the believers of false religions. It was a physical effort to build God’s kingdom on this earth.

In more recent times, there have been some “Christians” who have been extremely violent against unbelievers. Some have been known for blowing up abortion centers in an attempt to stop the sin going on there. In the process people are killed and not given the chance to believe in Jesus and change.

Jesus did not use any physical violence in the process of building His kingdom. He never harmed any person, no matter how good or bad that person was. His method of building His kingdom was using love.

Love is something that is not of this world. This world is ruled by the devil, who does not believe in love other than the love of self. The world claims to show love, but it is selfishness and hate for others.

People will not be won over to Jesus, by striking them and cutting them down. They can only be won over by showing love, mercy, and grace. These are the very same things that Jesus showed you.

The kingdom of God is from heaven. It is filled with love, not violence. You do not need to use force to get people into His kingdom.

Jesus did not need physical protection, because He was in God’s hands. In the same way, you do not need physical protection. You are in God’s hands and are of a different world.

Since you are from a different world, the ways of doing things are different. Live the life of love, mercy and grace as you reach out to build God’s kingdom, not force.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will use God’s love to reach the lost; that you will not fight in the physical against this world; and that God will strengthen you to show His love to this world.