Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LOVE NEVER FAILS

Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 12-13

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

In the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth many artifacts were on display. This is the Marble head of Dionysos, 2nd century A.D.

In the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth many artifacts were on display. This is the Marble head of Dionysos, 2nd century A.D.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 12:31

But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

 

The “MORE EXCELLENT WAY” is LOVE! From 13:1 to 14:1 “LOVE” is found 10 times. It is appropriate that both chapters, 12 & 13, are included in today’s reading, for they are usually read in exclusion one from the other and sadly also in opposition one from the other. We should make sure that we do not stress the gifts of chapter 12 while failing to emphasize the love of chapter 13, or stressing the love of chapter 13 and ignoring the gifts of chapter 12. God has given the gifts of the Spirit to His people, and He expects them to be used to build His Church. Paul points out that God desires that the gifts be exercised in an environment of love, the love that is also only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. A gift is not an indication of spiritual maturity, but love, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), is an indication of the growth in Christ of the believer. We give gifts to our children, not because of their conduct, but because we love them. If we based our gifts on good behaviour, our children would have to earn them and they would not be gifts. The Corinthians did not exhibit the best behaviour, but God still gave them gifts. Let us “desire spiritual gifts” (14:1), and use these gifts in “A MORE EXCELLENT WAY,” exhibiting the LOVE described in chapter 13!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I recognize that Your character is described in chapter 13. Live and love through me, Lord Jesus, I pray. Thank You for the gifts You give to build up Your Church, to exhort me to seek the good of others, and to comfort others. I gladly receive and desire to exercise all these gifts. In Your Name, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Before I became an ordained minister, I taught public school. I was so impressed with 1 Corinthians 13 that I required my students to memorize all 13 verses. I had read that many scholars considered these words to be the most beautiful in the entire English language. Of course the thoughts were written originally in Greek and translated by those assigned the task by King James during the first years of the 1600’s. I see chapters 12 to 14 as a sandwich in which 13 is the meat and 12 & 14 are two slices of bread above and below the meat. To be well-nourished spiritually, we need to eat the whole sandwich. As a child, during our meal, I remember leaving the table, riding my little scooter into the living room and depositing my crusts behind the couch. That practise ended abruptly when the remnants of the bread were discovered. I must confess that I went through a period in my Christian life when I did not want to partake of what may have seemed like the bread crusts of the gifts of the Spirit, particularly the speaking gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues. One of my theological professors gave the interpretation to a message in tongues, and the thoughts that came to me were the same as his words. After the church service concluded, the teacher, Rev. Gordon Atter, came to me and told me off. He said, “David, God gave you that interpretation and you disobeyed God in not giving it. Because you failed, I had to give it for the proper exercise of the gifts in a public meeting.” As far as I know, I’ve not made that mistake since.

Yours for striving to be always in tune with His Spirit,

David

Statue of the god Serapis found in ancient Corinth. There were two precincts dedicated to this god on the Akrokorinth (the Acropolis) of the city. Serapis was worshiped throughout the Mediterranean basin; his worship seemed to transcend ethnic boundaries and earned him reverence in the Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures.

Statue of the god Serapis found in ancient Corinth. There were two precincts dedicated to this god on the Akrokorinth (the Acropolis) of the city. Serapis was worshiped throughout the Mediterranean basin; his worship seemed to transcend ethnic boundaries and earned him reverence in the Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures.

A Christian artifact from the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth.

A Christian artifact from the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth.

21 thoughts on “Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  1. There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you’ll stand firm if you stand on His love.
    – Charles Stanley

  2. St. Peters Confession comes to mind
    Not flesh and blood mor the will of man but by the Holy Ghost did St. Peter confess Jesus was Thee Christ the Son of the Living God
    God Bless

  3. Personal health and family crisis over the past two years has always led me to repeat often Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold firmly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for GOD can be trusted to keep HIS promises.

    I am so thankful for LOVE from my Saviour that never wavers. Blessings to all on this stormy day. Praying for added strength today David for you and Norma-Jean.

  4. It is no secret what God can do what He has done for others He will do for you
    Rock of Ages Cleft for Me
    Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by … Thee inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit
    God Bless you one and all

  5. I had to chuckle when reading about you getting on your scooter and depositing your crusts. Then your analogy of chapters 12-14 like that of a sandwich helped me look at these chapters with a fresh mind and brought me back to read them all over again.
    Thankyou for your devotion to this blog and sharing your words of wisdom

  6. 1 Corinthians 12-13 ,I’m glad these are the scriptures for to day.
    Vs:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy
    Spirit. Yes Amen! It is written, therefore we know we can trust this to be true.
    David your theological proff came to you and told you off…he said” God gave you
    that interpatation and you disobeyed God in not giving it. For the moment ouch!
    but, in the long run…how fortunate for you to have a spiritual mentor to nip that
    in the bud. What do you do when (you believe) that God is showing you things.
    Not because you are seeking the things you are shown, but, rather they are put in front of you …like, a traffic Cop stepping out in front of your car with his hand up. Saying Stop ! look ! listen! . For the past three years this has been the case.
    The result is,…now, I am grieved. I am sad, I am preocupied.Thus I can no longer speak.The last few times I saw you David I was unable to speak.I love God I love Jesus, I love people .Therefore I have a responsibility to step out in faith and take up my cross. God ( I believe) has shown me that there is a spirit of deception
    infiltrating the churches today. The Bible clearly warns us of this, so…why is it so
    hard for some people to even consider this issue? The bible says in the end of days many will be deceived and not ad hear to sound doctrin. Apostasy! Apostacy means to fall away or defect from the faith. So… it’s not talking about people out side of the church. For this to happen some one on the inside has to be the wolf in sheep’s clothing .So who is it? If God didn’t want to protect us from it, why would he warn us? Dose any one out there know what I’m talking about?Meaning has any of you been shown such things?.Back in 2010, I met a fellow Christian who told me he and his entire family were ousted out of their Church of twenty years. I would have to say that by definition ,they were the pillars of the church.I payed little head back then , but, I didn’t know then what I know now. Doesn’t the Bible also say…sound the Shofar and warn my people?
    At some point we need to have a serious discusion concerning this issue.
    M.

    • I agree with you, M. Churches are full of wolves in sheep’s clothing. It is the way the devil gets in to stir things up and wreak havoc. When leaders in churches get in the habit of not loving and accepting people as they are, and try to change people and judge them, without seeing that is what they are doing, it fails to allow the Holy Spirit to work through each person and causes division. When people in prayer groups share things in confidence and trust with one another and things get repeated and gossip starts, that is a perfect example of the way hurts begin. When people have different visions for their church and not everyone agrees with each other, difficulties arise and can carry on for years. Forgiveness of each other is the key and everyone needs to look at him or herself in the mirror to see the sin that resolves there. It is usually the people who believe they are farthest from sin that need to look at themselves the most. Until everyone is ready to do that, the vicious cycle continues and wonderful members of twenty years, as you refer to, can be driven away. These type of problems within a church are equivalent to having a scapegoat in a dysfunctional family to blame and displace anger onto. Each of us must believe in ourselves and stay centered in our relationship with Christ and serving Him, and know if it is time to leave a church because of hypocrisy that exists. I am not sure if my comment helps, but hope in someway that it does.

    • Word for you Today?Online Devotional for Feb. 26, 2013
      Have Realistic Expectations:

      The perfect relationship, perfect job, perfect church, and perfect neighborhood don’t exist! God knows that, so He gave us instructions on how to deal with people who disappoint us:
      “Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe.. the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2 AMP). You say, “What is the law of Christ?” Jesus said, “I
      give you a new commandment… Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another” (Jn 13:34 AP). To love as Jesus loved, you must love without condition and without pressure. It’s easier to talk about how to treat the irritating people in your life than it is to do it. But the Lord never commands you to do something that He won’t give you the grace to carry out. And the great thing is, in the process of carrying it out you become more like Him.

      Amen!

  7. Hi David, If l awaken early in the morning between 4am and 6am l remember you and thank the Lord for your LOVE for all of us in bringing us this Blog. l really want to get you back into bed with your honey but realize you are compelled to pour yourself out like this and we are all truly thankful. Regarding the reading for today,l had the honour of reading a piece of scripture of my choice at my niece’s wedding. After l had read l Corinthians chapter 13, l was asked to read it again at the reception; my nephew even asked me for a copy. Wouldn’t it be great to present all married couples a copy of the LOVE chapter along with their marriage certificate.It would have helped me,that’s for sure as l didn’t know the Lord back then and some guidelines would have been so helpful. Miraculously my hubby and l are still together iron sharpening iron(Proverbs 27:17) coming up for 46years!

  8. Thank you for your posting today. It was as if the Lord spoke directly through your words to me today. You helped me find an answer to a very troubling question that I have fought with for a long time > “Do only God’s elite receive the gift of tongues?” David your blessing of “Crossroads” brought me to be born again ten years ago when I was diagnosed with stage 3-4 lymphomic cancer. I watched your show daily when I was house bound after my stem cell transplant (my own stem cells). I know the Lord is fillling you with his peace throughout your battle with cancer. I will continue to pray for you and you family.Thank you for your gift “100 Words”.

  9. Dionysius and Serapis I had never heard of much less seen. Cannot say
    they are ‘impressive’ at all. Yet they are referred to as ‘gods’. Another
    reason why we should not refer to our Heavenly Father, our Creator, nor His
    Son, our Messiah as ‘God or Gods’. It is a denigration, bringing them down
    in association as these many other ‘so-called’ powerful beings. We have
    failed to realize that our Creator has a Name, even as Baal and Ashtoreth and
    Dionysis and Serapis have names, albeit not ‘Holy’ Names. The Father’s Name is Hebraic, pronounced in English as YAHWEH. His Son’s Name is also a Hebraic Name, pronounced in English as YAHUSHUAH. So I urge you
    to show respect to them and in obedience to the second Commandment,
    ‘do not take His Name in vain’, literally, ‘bring it to naught’.
    YAHUSHUA said very explicitly and succinctly, “I am the way, the TRUTH
    and the life”. Serving Him, living for Him and allowing Him to live in us and
    work through us is all about TRUTH. That is what our legend should be,
    everything that is TRUTHFUL. Nothing false, phony, or traditional. Period.

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