Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – He Never Fails


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

He never Fails

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love never ends.

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.

Jesus never ends.

1 Cor 13 - 1601 fail

The summary statement of all statements. Paul comes up with one statement that caps off his most amazing teaching on the description of love.

Love never ends.

The ESV translated this as “Love never fails”.

Is this “never failing” due to the nature of the love, or the effort of the one exercising true love. If it is of effort, we may be concerned. Let’s consider.

During our study, we have looked at all the description of the term love, but have yet to consider the term “love” itself. As you may expect, when Paul used the term “love” throughout this passage, he used the Greek term agapao.

If there is one Greek word Christians know, this may the be one that is most familiar. There actually are 5 terms the Greeks used to define different types of love. Not all of them may be found in the New Testament, yet it is good to consider each for comparison.

Epithumia — Legitimate physical desire
(disordered form: lust)

This term is not found in the New Testament.

Erōs — Romantic love or sexual love
(disordered form: leads to illicit relationships, treating others as gods and sole sources of our personal needs)

This term is not found in the New Testament but the concept of sexual intimacy and physical love surely is. (1 Corinthians 7:5, 8, 9 and Hebrews 13:4)

Storgē — Affection or belonging, as shared by family members
(disordered form: disdain or ungratefulness; taking for granted)

This Greek term is found, with prefixes and suffixes only, within the New Testament 3 times, but alas only once is there a positive command to hear. The other two instances speak of the darkness of our hearts.

Romans 1:31 ESV – 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

2 Timothy 3:3 ESV – 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,

Paul writes of believers to love (philostorgos) one another. Notice the double word found in this instance of the storge root word. We will consider philo in our next Greek term. The NASB brings out the flavor of this compound word by translating as “be devoted”.

Romans 12:10 ESV – 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Philia — Friendship and companionship, a love of openness that is occupied with common interests and activities
(disordered form: manipulative relationships, one-upmanship, cliques)

This Greek term is abundant in the New Testament as a portion of a compound word, describing everything from love of money (philargyria) to lover of God (philotheos). As you can see, the moral temperature of this term is influenced by it’s associations!

Agapē — A willful choice to put another’s interests above one’s own; an unselfish, giving (even to the point of sacrifice), and unconditional love
(with God as its source, it is never disordered; elevates and correctly orders the other four loves, making them human-divine loves that fulfill God’s original intentions)

Not so with agape love. I read a book decades ago that defined agape in a way that has not left me. The definition above captures much of the message, yet this book spoke of the love being solely from within the giver, not dependent on the recipient. The willful choice from within the Giver, based on the character of the Giver, in my mind describes the God we worship.

This is the love that is to be produced in our lives. Do we love based on what we get out of it? Not agape folks! Do we love to be seen by others as good Christians. Again, no agape folks.

With this definition of Christian love, is this “never failing” due to the nature of the love, or the effort of the one exercising true love. My friends, the nature of the love of God is from His character, His nature is of love.

The nature of God is defined within the words of the New Testament with the following descriptions

John 3:33 …God is true.
John 4:24 God is spirit…
Romans 3:30, Galatians 3:20, James 2:19 God is one….
1 Corinthians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 1:18 …God is faithful
1 Corinthians 1:25 … God is wiser
1 Corinthians 10:13 …God is faithful
1 Corinthians 14:33 …For God is ..a God .. of peace.
Hebrews 12:29 …God is a consuming fire.
1 John 1:5 …God is light.
1 John 4:16 …God is love.

With this final description in 1 John 4:16 of the nature and character of God, we find that the love that never fails is not based on the continued effort of the Giver but on the eternal character of the Giver. He is the eternal One, and His nature is love.

Paul concludes his treatise on the eternality of love, and by application for us, teaches us that true biblical love will not fail. This love offered based on the character of the Giver.

God is love.

But the question continues – do we accept and experience this love? The offer of this love is of a free gift of eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believing the gospel, with resultant admission of our sin and bending our knee to His will, gives us entry into the eternal life offered through His Son.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus never fails

This is the character of the Eternal One. Give Him the praise and worship desrving of One so gracious.

In conclusion, this passage on the character of love has alerted me to two overarching themes

  • Love is “other’s” based
    • This is so obvious, yet each of the terms we have discussed in the previous posts relates to our relationships with others. To be sure, there are benefits to our lives, but they are not the focus of the discussion. The focus is that of sacrificing our desires for the sake of others, for unity in the body, for the sake of those we don’t naturally like. Need I go on?
  • Love is not time dependent
    • This last post, which of course is freshest in my mind, is the capstone of all other descriptions of love. Love never fails. If you are in a relationship, and it is failing, check your “love meter”. How are you exercising each of the previously defined characteristics of love given to us in the Word?
    • Understand it takes “two to tango” so I am not intending to lay unattainable goals for our lives that are out of our control, yet many relationships may fail due to our lack of love.

Consider who the Lord Jesus is, and His exhibition of true love throughout His life. Such a lofty, seemingly impossible goal is laid before us. Yet the goal is in front of us, and the Spirit of God is available. Past failings and losses should not keep us from a fresh decision to understand His life, and follow after Him.

We began with my speaking of being in the writings of the Apostle John, and I would like to close with a story I heard of the Apostle Johns finals days. Whether this is a true story or simply a personification of the apostles core message, I will leave with the reader.

During the service, the elders carried a frail old man to the middle of the assembly, usually reserved for those who would teach of the Scriptures. Many famous and powerful men had spoken to this group, including Paul, Barnabus, Silas and Timothy. You see it was the assembly at Ephesus, and as the elders carried the man to the teaching area, the saints recognized him as the apostle. So old and frail, with his every effort being full of labor. The scars of old life were evident on this saint, yet the believers recognized him, for he was the one loved of the Messiah, the apostle John. As he opened his mouth, many expected a theological teaching experience that would find no parallels. His teaching began and concluded with the simple statement.

“Love one another”

That is it. The entire message. He simply let the message make its way into the saint’s hearts.

My brothers, no other message is more important in these days than to love one another.

Thank you so much for coming to visit. As we come to a close on this series, I would like to let you know that I have enjoyed this topic immensely. Many of the individual posts have personally challenged me, revealing failings and loss in my own life. Nevertheless, His Word is encouraging. In seeing my failings, I also see a goal to aim for a bit clearer. We all need to understand the goal if we are to stretch forth to it!

I do hope you have found a challenge and encouragement within these words.


I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – Enduring all Things


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Enduring all Things

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love endures all things.

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is endures all things

1 Cor 13 - 5278 endureth

Remember verse 4? I made a claim that Paul uses two different words for patience.

This is the verse where he pulls the second word in.

If you have been reading along with the entire series, you will recognize “hupomeno”.

If you have not been following the series and would like to consider the post where we compared the two Greek words describing patience, check out this recent post.

To endure under difficult situations, to abide in a trial, to stay under. This patience relates to circumstances that are trying, and produces a fruit in the believer, if he stays under, resides in the trial, even rejoicing in it.

James 1:12

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James does not give the believer any false confidence that God will crown him if he continually seeks to escape a trial, a difficult time, a series of set backs or disappointments, but that he is to abide under trials.

Love endures all things. Love suffers all things, resides in difficult situations.

One of my favorite terms to consider when I or a loved one is going through a trial is the Greek word thlipsis. Say it out loud. It is such a cool word! (Not like kaka! If you haven’t been following along, it is a term that has a graphic definition!)

Thlipsis is a term that descibes the crushing of grapes, of pressure, of squeezing together. Trench, in his awesome “Synonyms of the New Testament”, describes thlipsis in the following histoical picture. “When, according to the ancient law of England, those who willfully refused to plead guilty, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God

But Carl, why would we need to reside under a crushing experience if God loves us? Kindly remember that God is looking to create the Son in us, that the gospel message includes suffering for the saints. As modern American Christians, we have escaped physical suffering for the most part, yet there is no guarantee of continued respite.

Rom 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

God’s love for us includes the ultimate goal of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. This is a lofty goal, which includes suffering before glory.

Rom 8:29

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren

Endurance is the characteristic of love. This endurance, that is hupomeno, is related to the situations we find ourselves in.

It is amazing in this passage that Paul, in his description of love, refers to patience multiple times, and that in using the two terms for patience in the Greek language provides us a full orbed challenge to follow after the Master in quiet submission, waiting on the Lord.

When I was a youngin in the Lord, very very young, I met a godly lady in the church who spoke of a recent evangelistic meeting she attended. She spoke of a young enegetic believer who, when the invitation was given, dragged his friend up to the altar to get saved. She chuckled, but I broke in, commending this fellows love and desire to see others saved.

Carl, it is the Spirit of God who draws them, we cannot but pray and beg the Lord to bring them to their knees. The lost must decide on their own, or it will simply be of no use.

As believers, we are to wait on the Lord, to pray and also to exercise patience. This is not to say we do nothing. We are to pray to Him for souls, and live out the Christian life of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus endures all things. Based on the historical reading of the New Testaments, He has proven to all of His endurance.

Consider

Patience with His enemies

Although patience with people is technically a different Greek term, this summary is intended to exhibit the seemingly unceasing patience of the One who loved His enemies, who drew them to Himself. Some came, and some continued in thier rebellion. This does not negate the power of patience, or the reality of His love, but simply the hardness of our hearts in rejecting such love.

The patience He exhibited includes the scorching message of Matthew 23 and 24, where He condemns the actions of the religious leaders in the nation of Israel. His message to the Pharisees and Scribes is among the harshest messages in the gospels. Is this a proof that He lost His patience and “blew up”, lost control and let it all go? Not at all. His message is methodical, convincing and prophetic. The passage starts out with the phrase ” Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples”. He did not raise His voice, start yelling uncontrollably and “loose it” He laid His argument out, and let the truth speak.

Eventually they crucified Him. His patience with His enemies is unparalleled.

Patience with His disciples

The examples are numerous in the gospels, but let us consider the time of prayer in the garden.

Mark 14:37-38, 41

And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” …

And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

The failure of the disciples is evident here. Jesus speaks the truth of the flesh being weak, but also adds that the spirit is willing. Is this a general truth of speaking of the disciples spirit, that is that Jesus knew they wanted to obey, but simply could not due to exhaustion.

My friends, when was the last time you experienced disappointment in a friend or family member.

We have recently experienced a betrayal in our family, in that my daughter has suffered a tremendous disappointment. For her sake, I will not speak of specifics, but understand that this betrayal cuts deep. My first reaction was to find a way to get even.

She spoke of not retaliating, that the betrayer is still a human (that is suffering), and that he will suffer in the future for his current decisions. In her pain, she lived out of this patience I simply write about.

My initial reaction is not the same as Jesus’ reaction with those who disappointed Him. He gave correction, He stated truth, and He did not reject His friends. He saw what they might become, not what they currently were

Patient in His sufferings

1 Peter 2:23

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

Consider this verse. Please take a moment to meditate, dwell on this verse and the complete “unnaturalness” of Jesus reaction to suffering.

Patience in His present Kingdom

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

During the building of His Kingdom, Jesus has exercised patience with His followers, taking the failings, fragility and frustrations of His people, turning it around for the Kingdoms good, and continuing the growth of His world wide assembly of believers. Nothing will stop His Kingdom.

Not even the gates of Hades

Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Are you alright with that? Are you convinced of His patience, or His endurance? We are to follow His example.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider the summary of all these characteristics of love. Hope to see you there.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – Hoping all Things


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Hoping all Things

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love hopes all things

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus hopes all things

1 Cor 13 - 1679 hopeth

Hope is inextricably linked to expectations

I am a naturally pessimistic fella. I struggle to find the positive in my circumstances, and when I pull back and consider my situation, it is utterly ridiculous the thought life I allow my self to wallow in.

I have a loving wife who would literally do anything for me, five loving children, (although one was taken from us too early). I have 7 beautiful grandchildren. I have a boss that is willing to suffer my inadequacies and give me a chance to succeed in a new career. I live in a wonderful country, a fantastic state, and everything I could want is provided in the city I live in. My neighbors are great, the weather is almost always fantastic (granted August can be a bear!). Need I go on? And yet I fall into a pessimistic thought life too often.

And this is the crunch. What are my expectations for my future? What do I dwell on in my thought life? Do I hope all things, expecting good and right things to prevail? Does the constant wearing down of my expectations, cause me to loose hope? Or are my current expectation unrealistic?

Am I concerned about my possible dwindling mental capacities, my occasional loss of memory, my weakness of body? These are inevitable! It is a process of aging that is ordained by the Lord, and I need to accept it as his way of training me. Since my expectations are not realistic, or worse, not based on the reality provided by the message of the gospel, my expectations are negative, and therefore my hope is diminished.

And this is a proof that I am not residing in the abundant love of God that will produce a “hope all things” environment in my thoughts, heart and life.

Love hopes all things.

Why am I telling you this?

I realize my hopes and fears are a result of living in the wrong world, and I fear there are many believers that are in a similar condition. Dear reader, where is your hope? Is the life you are living focused on the here and now? During this past year, with the trials and struggles we have all faced, the Lord has allowed fear and distractions into our lives. Stately correctly, we have invited these emotions into our lives, listening to the prophets of fear and control.

Let me ask you. Are you under the control of the spirit of the world or of the Spirit of the Lord.

Check out your fruits, for if you are not “fruiting out” the love joy and peace described in Gal 5, along with the other characteristics of the Spirit, you just may be controlled by a different spirit.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus hopes all things. This is not the way I have seen the Lord in much of my past life. I carry with me the image of the vengeful God I was introduced to when I was a itty bitty boy of 7. Check out my testimony for those who may be unfamiliar with the rescue of yours truly.

Don’t get me wrong – We all have to stand before the judgement seat of Christ, and there will be tears. Yet in the memories of all the disappointments and failures of my life, the Word is teaching me that His attitude toward my is of love, that He hopes all things. That
He seeks out the positive of the story, that doesn’t dwell on the negative.

His scars tell me of His love for me, and His constant protection. He is not the pessimist that I am. He is a realist, with a huge dose of grace and love toward those He came to save.

Where is your hope? Is your hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for you, who was buried and who rose again? Is your hope in the One who led the way into eternal life for us mere mortals, us rebels and sinners?

Consider Who our Messiah is. Live under Him.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – Believing all Things


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Believing all Things

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love believes all things

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus believes all things

1 Cor 13 - 4100 believe

Whenever I read this verse, I think – this is so impractical. No one can believe all things. All things are contradictory.

Johnny says the sky is blue and I believe him. Franky says the sky in not blue. I believe him too?

This contradictory belief of all things cannot be what Paul is writing to us about. This is just foolishness Carl.

Okay so smarty-pants, what is Paul talking about?

How bout this – how bout being gullible over everything we are told of? Did you know about this investment opportunity I have? Send me 50 bucks and I will send you the secret.

Okay – that is obviously not what Paul is getting at.

Some folks teach that Paul is teaching the Corinthians that they are to believe all things written in the Scripture. That is a truth that I support. I just don’t see it in this particular passage. There are many passages that teach of that, yet this verse seems to be speaking of something a wee bit different in my opinion

I like what Vine says in his collected writings – This verse “does not mean that it accepts as true all that is stated. Love is never taken in thus. It is, however, ready to impute the best motives even to one whose act is unkind or detrimental. In bearing with evil conduct, it seeks to avoid undue suspicion. Where there is any element of doubt as to the real intention, love decides to regard it as good and honest.”

This love that believe all things is a matter of trusting your brother, believing he has good intents, of thinking your teen age son will do the right thing and telling him so. “Believes all things” when it comes to fallen people is risky, yet love believes in them, in their good intents.

And when they disappoint, or break trust, we are to believe all things. This gets dicey, since a man that lies to me and asks for forgiveness 490 times is to be forgiven. At the 423rd time of requesting forgiveness, it is sheer gullibility on my part that I believe he is still coming to me with sincerity?

Oh Lord – what wisdom we lack. What discernment we need in the exercise of true Christian love.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Is the phrase ” Jesus believes all things” an accurate phrase, a truthful phrase?

How could He believe all things, in the way we considered above? He knows what is in man.

John 2:24-25

But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people

and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

But notice that this passage speaks of knowledge. It is true, He knows what is in man. The evil heart, the greed, the lies, the murder and envy. He knows. And yet He accepts us in our brokenness and failings. He seeks out those who lash out at Him.

Yes – He believes all things. He regards our mixed motivation with a positive response. He accepts us in our brokenness and our self delusions.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider our hope and its relationship to true Biblical love.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – Bearing all Things


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Bearing all Things

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love bears all things

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus bears all things

1 Cor 13 - 4722 Beareth

Here in the next four statements, Paul supplies general truth about love. He will summarize all of his teaching after these general truths about love.

To bear, in the Greek, is synonymous with suffering. Suffering for another, bearing the pain and carrying the load of another. Love protects the one suffering. It is interesting that this term had a connotation of protection by placing a roof over the one who is vulnerable. It also speaks of suffering silently, patiently, possibly directing this teaching to those in the Corinthian church who were seeking flashy, self aggrandizement. It is so good that the modern church has shed its reputation of this problem!

Love suffers silently. Love protects the weak and vulnerable.

When I was a itty bitty boy living in Canada, during the winter, our family would huddle around the TV to watch Hockey Night in Canada. It was almost ritualistic. Each of us boys had our favorite team. For me, it was the New York Rangers. They never won a Stanley Cup, barely made it to the semi-finals, but I tended to the underdog. For some reason, the weak appealed to me. (Forgive me Brad Park!)

Then, on June 14th, 1994, after 54 years of being without a Cup, the Ranger won! (They simply bought the Edmonton Oilers to do it!) Nevertheless, it was the last hockey game I ever watched. They didn’t need any attention. They were champions.

Do you root for champions in the church, in the workplace, in your family relations? We are to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, but we sometimes forget that we are to simply love the unlovely. Help the ones who are not visible. The weak and vulnerable are the ones we can exercise our love with.

Of course, if we seek the weak simply to love them (and to get a notch in our belt), we completely miss the point. Remember, the term speaks of suffering silently with the weak.

1 Corinthians 9:12

If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

Paul is speaking of enduring/bearing anything rather than placing an obstacle in the way of the gospel. This is such an high calling, and Paul so often exemplified this attitude. He was so faithful.

1 Thessalonians 3:1, 5

Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone…

For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

Golly Paul, this love thing is tuff. Love bears all things and yet under the mounting pressure you experienced in Athens, you admit you could not bear “it”.

But wait Carl – don’t be so quick to judge. The bearing in 1 Corinthians 13:6 speaks of bearing all things. In this passage, Paul is speaking of his desire to be with the church in Thessalonica, but that Satan hindered him over and over again. This is what he could not bear. The frustration of Satan’s hindering, the longing to see his brethren. Paul exposes his weakness to the church, his desire to be with them.

Love bears all things, yet when a giving heart is not able to love, it can become unbearable.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

On the cross, Jesus suffered. It is well known that Jesus uttered seven sayings from the cross, and the sum total time to express these thoughts are under a minute. As far as we know, the remining time on the tree, He suffered silently, willfully hanging in shame and extreme pain, suffering unjustly, in order to protect the vulnerable, the weak and destitute, the one who is writing these words. The one who is reading this post.

He bore all things for our redemption and rescue, for our protection and provision. Give thanks brothers, for He is good.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider the next “all things” phrase. You won’t believe the topic!

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – Rejoicing in the Truth


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Rejoicing in the Truth

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love rejoices with the truth.

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus rejoices with the truth

1 Cor 13 - 225 Truth

In our last post, we considered what rejoicing does not do, in that it does not rejoice in iniquity, in injustice. We spent a few moments considering situations where we may delude ourselves in certain circumstances, where our happiness may not line up with the Word’s definition of righteousness and unrighteousness. I mentioned that the only basis for determining what is righteous is from the Bible, and without a solid understanding of it’s message, and the moral expectations laid out, we can justify almost any action as “right”

This is so dangerous, in that self deception is so easy.

Love rejoices with the truth. But what is truth? In our culture, we have lost grip with truth. Our walking away from the Word of God has left us with no foundation upon which to understand God and our relationship with Him and others. Without a knowledge of the Word, we simply fall prey to any lie offered.

Consider a believer that is seeking to obey the Word, to be pleasing unto the Lord. As we seek Him, we experience a constant temptation to abandon His Word. Hear me now – believers are constantly tempted to leave the Word behind.

Please understand that the habit of Bible reading is critical in a believers life. Knowledge of the truth is the foundation of successful living in front of the Father. The foundation that is. Even better is the habit of understanding the Bible for my life. There is a difference!

If you are a believer seeking to follow the truth, you know of the testing’s, the fighting’s, the struggles to come under obedience, the doubts, the fears, the tears. The tempting’s to ignore the Word, to turn to something “not so demanding”

My brother and sister, God the Father has high moral expectations of His children. His goal is to mature His children into the image of Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:29

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Jesus the Son has supplied the model. He has provided, in His life, a guide to understand the Old Testament laws. His life is an interpretation of the moral code that the religious man or woman needs to consider. He never failed in understanding the intent of the Law in front of the Father.

Sadly I fail. I was well on my way to knowing the truth, to getting the letter of the law under my belt, to knowing the facts of the law. It has been a blessing to have that foundation. I thank my teachers and friends for their encouragements and efforts in my life. Yet my handling of the facts made me religious, a Pharisee, a believer that looked down on others. Pride took residence in my life!

The truth is based in the facts of the Bible. Yet the truth is also found in the Spirit of God, interpreting those facts through the lens of Jesus.

If you are not a believer, understand that you do not understand Christianity. In your ignorance, you may judge the failings of believers, feeling this justifies your rejection of Christ. This is a false security my friend, since you are judging what you know not.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus rejoices with and in the Truth. He is the Truth. He has accomplished so much, and is in perfect relation with the Triune God. He is the Alpha and Omega, and in these truths, He rejoices.

Our rejoicing is to be in the same source, that is in Him.

Please join me in our next study where we will begin to consider the last four descriptions of love.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Jesus · Kingdom of God · Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Rejoicing in Evil


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Without Rejoicing in Evil

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing

1 Cor 13 - 5463 rejoice

To rejoice. To have a deep seated joy in the midst of any circumstance, to have a calmness and serenity that is deep seated in my life. This is a fruit of the Spirit.

But love’s rejoicing is kinda picky.

Love’s rejoicing does not live in evil doing, in the wrong.

1 Cor 13 - 93 iniquity

The next two posts will consider this “pickiness” of love and give us direction as to the condition of our hearts.

This post will consider what love does not rejoice in, what love cannot rejoice in. Love cannot rejoice in unrighteousness.

Any injustice or wrong doing, from love’s perspective, can not be rejoiced in. In our last post we considered holding onto a wrong, a “kaka”. Paul was referring to a memory of an injustice or a hurtful word, of a wrongdoing suffered by us.

This verse may include a wider audience. This passage may include my injustice. My wrongdoing. My sin. Sure, love cannot rejoice in the injustice perpetrated on a fellow human being. That is not love. That seems so obvious.

It is easy to be furious, even “self righteous” in our condemnation of another’s ill treatment of a brother. It sets us on the “high ground” supposedly, and we feel like we are better than those wretched dogs who are so filthy in God’s eyes.

What is not so obvious for me, in my day to day walk, is the sin that I spread around my friends, family and foes! Let me explain.

True love in a believers life, as we walk in the Spirit, cannot find rejoicing in a sin. If I do not have a solid understanding of what is right and what is wrong, I can find myself rejoicing in unrighteousness. A friendly reminder – the Bible helps bunches on defining this what is right and what is wrong!

Consider

I got the upper hand on my peer at work. That is so great. Let’s party! Of course he suffered a wrongdoing, and may not trust me in the future, see’s me as a bit of a cheat, but I landed that promotion and am able to supply for my family. Surely that is what God wants, and I am so full of happiness, it must be the right thing to do! Rejoice in that promotion!

What would love do here? Where can we find true rejoicing in this instance?

My child comes home from school with a note about being in a fight in the school yard. My first question invariably is “Did you win?” After all, he is a chip off the old block. Sorry to hear about the other kid, and the bruising, but life is hard. My son proved himself, and I am so full of happiness, it must be the right thing to do! Rejoice in my boys dominance over another!

What would love do here? Where can we find rejoicing in this instance?

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Recently I have read of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53, where the Master is referred to as a “Man of sorrows”. Our sins caused this sorrow. And yet the fruit of the Spirit is joy. He was led of the Spirit and under full control of the Spirit of God. The tension in this though is hard to accept sometime, unless you consider when the joy is to be expressed. Jesus, being under the authority of the Father, could not rejoice in wrongdoing. He was a “Man of sorrows”, and yet Luke 10:21tells us

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

In what hour? In the hour when the Father revealed truth to those who were receptive, and also hid it from those who were closed minded to the Messiah. Both of those actions are righteous acts. He rejoiced in righteousness.

I think I am getting ahead of myself, since our next topic will be rejoicing in the Truth. Let’s get together next time and consider the positive aspect of rejoicing! See ya then!

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.