1 Corinthians 16:14 Do It In Love

 

Selfless love

Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

Paul finishes out his first letter to the Corinthian church with a few last guidelines. He tells them to do everything in love.

Love is something that is talked or written about a lot. Usually the thought of love is a physical, temporary love. During the 1960’s many people talked about love being the most important feeling, however, it was a physical love.

The world understands the physical side of love very well. God made man to know and need that type of love. Yet, there is a different kind of love that Paul talks about here. It is not the physical, nor the emotional type of love. This type of love is God’s kind of love, eternal, selfless, pure love.

This type of love loves no matter what. It love each and every person, regardless of any past actions. It puts others first. It builds up, rather than tears down. It believes. It trusts. It is self-sacrificing for others.

It is with this kind of love that every action that is done is to be done in. Most of the actions of those in this world are done for selfish reasons. Believers are not to act that way, they are to do things for others out of love for others.

Jesus showed this type of love when He left heaven to live on this earth. He showed this love when He died on the cross for the sins of each and every person on this earth. He shows this love as He forgives any person who comes to Him with repentance for their sins. This is true love.

In order to do everything in the same way Jesus did, one must do it in God. God is love. He is that perfect love. When the believer does things in God, he will do it in love.

As you go through your day, take a look at all of your actions. Are you doing these things in God? And are you doing these things in love, true love?

Love for others can be shown no matter what is being done. It can be shown in helping others, sharing the gospel message, prayer, and even in rebuke of sins. God’s kind of love must be shown in every word and every action that you do. It must permeate everything that you do.

Are you doing everything in love?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you and others; that you will love others as God loves them; that all of your actions and words will reflect God’s love for others; and that your life will be one of love for God and others.

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1 Corinthians 8:9 Exercising Your Rights

 

soaring eagle

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

In America and some other countries the exercise of rights is very high on the priority of many people. The majority of the people feel that they have a right to do what they want, when they want, and how they want to do it. It is called freedom.

One of the great challenges with this type of freedom is using it when it can harm someone else or cause another person to stumble.

It is very common to hear people in the public places saying words that should not be said in public. Or they will be cutting another person down. They are exercising their rights to speak freely, but in doing so are harming others.

Believers can have the same problem in their lives. A person who has been a believer for a longer time has learned the freedom that he has in Jesus. He may have learned that there is a lot of freedom in what he says or does. Yet, doing some of these things may cause a younger believer to stumble in what he believes is true.

Paul talked about eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. To a strong believer, this meant nothing, it was just meat. However, to a younger believer, they may still struggle with the fact it was sacrificed meat and focus on the idol, rather than just food. The stronger believer must be willing to not eat the meat around the younger believer, in order to not make him question his belief.

Believers today need to have the same attitude. While some things may be permissible, it may not be beneficial to do around younger believers. Although today people don’t deal as much with sacrificed food, it could be with tattoos, earrings, clothing, the words being spoken, what is watched in movies or on tv, what is listened to,  or some other area in life.

Take a look at your life and see what you are saying and doing. Are the things you are saying and doing building up younger believers? Or are those things causing them to question what they believe?

In everything that you do, seek to build others up. Do nothing that will cause them to question God or the Bible and cause them to stumble in their belief.

I pray today that God will reveal ways to build others up; that God will show you ways you may cause others to stumble; that you will exercise your rights with others in mind; and that you will know the freedom you have in Jesus. 

Hosea 3:1 Love As God Loves

The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1

Hosea’s wife had been unfaithful to him and went off to be with other men. God tells him to accept her back and still love her. He takes it even further with telling Hosea to love her in the same way that He loved the Israelites, who had chosen to follow other gods.

Marriage is one area that people will often talk about unfaithfulness. One spouse becomes unsatisfied with the other and goes out seeking where that one can find love from another. As that occurs, anger and revenge usually builds up, the relationship is often destroyed and trust is lost. The spouse that was faithful, usually tell the other one that the marriage is over and will not be loved again.

People in the church are often guilty of this same unfaithfulness to God and to others. Loyal friends stab a friend in the back, striving to look better or raise higher. Hurting gossip is spread, damaging a person’s reputation or life. Turning the back on a friend in need. Telling lies behind a person’s back.

Each of these things and many more can happen, causing great pain and anger. Most people will reject a person who has done this, and refuse to have anything to do with that person. There is no forgiveness or love shown, because of the pain and anger.

Yet, God tells His people to love as He loved. God loved so much that He sent His Son to die for a people who rejected Him and did not want Him. He loved you before you even knew about Him or accepted Him.

God also loved you when you rejected Him. Think of the times when you went against God and followed this world or your own ways. Even then, God still loved you.

In this same way, you must be willing to love those who have hurt you and rejected you. Show God’s eternal perfect love to everyone around you, not just those who are faithful. It is through this love that others can learn of God’s true love. Love as God loves you.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you and others; that you will show God’s love to others; that you will trust God in the pain others put you through; and that you will be His witness to this dying and hurting world.

Proverbs 20:10 Different Weights

Differing weights and differing measures–the LORD detests them both. Proverbs 20:10

During the Old Testament times, weights and measures were used for determining the price of something. Instead of having a specific coin with a set value to purchase something, they would weigh out gold or silver, or some produce to determine the price. Some merchants were have two sets of weights that looked the same, but were actually very different weights.

The purpose of this was to make money in a bad way. When they were purchasing something, they would use a heavier weight so that they would pay less. When selling something, they would use a lighter weight so that the person would have to pay more. God did not like that method.

The same thing can occur today and not just in purchasing and selling items. Businesses are caught with illegal pricing of products or having differing measures, although the government, at least in the US, attempts to regulate it and keep it honest.

People are known to have different ways of dealing with people. In church, people are loving and kind. But outside of the church, some of those same people are backbiting and cheating. Take a look at how many marriages have a cheating spouse. People like to say one thing to one person and something different to another.

Believers should be living their life in a way that it is the same no matter where they go or what they are doing. There should never be a different weight in the life of any believer.

Take a look at your own life. Do you treat every person in the same way?

Or do you treat some better than others?

Although how you treat a person has nothing to do with buying and selling, it can be different measures. God has told all believers to love every person with His love. God’s love is perfect and the same no matter who it is for. You should have that same love for the person in the church, the family member, or your worst enemy.

Do not allow yourself to have differing weights and measures. God hates them.

I pray today that God will reveal to you how you treat others; that you will be filled with God’s love for everyone; that you will treat others as God treats you; and that your life will be like that of Jesus in all that you say and do.

Proverbs 12:16 Dealing With An Insult

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. Proverbs 12:16

There are people who like to throw out insults at others all the time. Sometimes they are just trying to be funny, but often are being rude and attempting to harm someone.

Getting insulted is something that is not just something that happens at a certain age or in a certain location, it is everywhere with everyone. Children start insulting other children and it continues all the way through their lives. Politicians are known for making statements that insult the opposing member.

Some people are insulted very easily. A person looks at them just right and they are insulted. Others do not get so easily insulted.

The real challenge is what to do when insulted.

People have left a church or a job because they were insulted. Friendships and marriages have been broken up because of an insult. Some have killed others because of an insult.

The most common reaction to an insult is to strike back. Whether physically striking or just being angry with a person, either way it is a type of a strike. This type of a person is called a fool by Solomon.

When a person is looking to what is best for the future, he will overlook the insult. That insult will be ignored.

Look at what Jesus went through as He was going to the cross. How many insults did they throw at Him? As they were insulting Him, what did He do or say? Nothing. He kept silent and kept going forward.

Striking back with an insult is only fighting fire with fire, evil with evil. You are told to love your enemies and do good to those who harm you.

In reality what harm is really being done if someone insults you? Pride might be hurt, but that is all. People who really know you, know the truth. God knows the truth about you.

Look to the future as to what God has in hold for you. How important is that insult compared to what God has for you? How long will that insult really last? Just a moment.

Do not allow your emotions get the better of you and strike back. Do not complain about that insult. Give it to God and move on with God. Pray blessings on the one who insulted you and see the change that can occur.

I pray today that you will know what God thinks of you; that God will strengthen you to overlook an insult; that you will keep from giving back an insult; and that you will show God’s love to those who insult you.

Leviticus 5:1 Public Responsibility

“If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be responsible.” Leviticus 5:1

God now lays down a responsibility for people to speak up when they have seen something done wrong. They are not to keep quiet about it. If they do nothing about it, they will also be held guilty.

People often see other people doing something wrong and choose not to say anything about it. This is a very common event in the workplace. One person does something wrong, the other person sees it and takes a blind eye to it. When asked if anything was seen, most will say no. The common feeling is that is between them, God and the boss, it is none of my business.

God sees it differently. Each person is in charge of each other. Just like with Cain and Able, each are each other’s keeper.

To turn a blind eye to something being done wrong is to allow that person to think he is getting away with it and that what is being done is acceptable.

As a believer, you need to set your standards at the level Jesus has His. This calls for perfection. It is correct that no one is perfect, but that does not allow for just freedom to do whatever is desired.

This also does not mean that you just point fingers at other people’s sins all the time. It is showing in love where a person is slipping up. It is asking them if they are sure that they want to do what is wrong. It is also speaking the truth about what happened when asked if you know about that situation.

Do not allow others to go forward in sin freely. This is especially true for others who are believers in Jesus. The world will sin and  you cannot stop them or control them. However, believers need to be guided and pointed back to the standards of Jesus.

Keep yourself in check and help keep others in check. Flee all sin.

I pray today that God will reveal to you anything that is sin in your life or around you; that you God will give you boldness to speak the truth at all times; that you will have God’s love for others; and that God will guide you in guiding others in their life’s choices.

2 John 8 Watch Out Or Lose

“Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.” 2 John 8

John’s second letter is to a lady. He starts out with emphasizing that she continue to love others and obey God’s commands. Then he points out that many are deceivers and giving the wrong message. Now he wants her to watch out and not lose what was worked for.

The apostles and many others had been preaching the gospel message. John had learned what love really is. After denying Jesus as He was on trial, Jesus accepted him again with arms open in love. He now realizes what true love is and how valuable it is. The gospel message is filled with God’s love for all people.

Many believers had gone through extreme persecution and even death to get the gospel message spread. Even to this day, there are still people going through persecution to get the message out to others.

However, there are some believers who have turned away from passing on that gospel message of love. They have been deceived into not showing true love, but hatred. They are losing what had been worked for.

When a believer does not show true love, it damages the message of the gospel. The world will look at that person and say they do not want to be a part of Jesus, because it is filled with hatred. Others will wonder why be a Christian if there is no real difference.

Those who truly follow Jesus will be filled with His love and will show that love to others. They will show love even when it hurts. In the end they will enter into heaven and receive the message from God, “welcome in good and faithful servant”. It is because they have loved as Jesus loved.

How are you loving people today?

Are you allowing people and things of this world to change the way you love?

Keep your eyes on Jesus. Remember the love He has for you and then you will be able to love others. Don’t stop loving others. God will have a reward for your love some day.

I pray today that you will know the love Jesus has for you; that you will be filled with His love for others; that you will not allow the world to change that love; and that you will be faithful to Jesus in all you say and do.