Jesus, 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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Jesus, 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, 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, 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, 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.

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Jesus, 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, 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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Jesus, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Resentment


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 Resentment

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 is not resentful

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 not resentful

KAKOS

Some think this word is the basis for our understanding of waste material, if’n you know what I mean. In other words, it may be the root word for the result of defecating. My grandson speaks of an accident as “kaka”. Kind of impressive if you know what I mean – My 2 yr old grandson knows more Greek than I!

Wiktionary has a helpful categorization of this term

  • As a measure of quality: bad, worthless, useless
  • As a measure of appearance: ugly, hideous
  • Of circumstances: injurious, wretched, unhappy
  • As a measure of character: low, mean, vile, evil

In the New Testament, the overarching intent of this word is “of a bad nature”. It is used 56 times in the Word. You know, “of a bad nature” is so technical. I would like to consider the word picture of the original term “kaka”, that is of the result of defecating, the defecated material, the solid waste of the human body.

The passage we are looking at this morning, speaks of this “kaka” as being something retained in the life, something that I hold onto.

I remember the “kaka”. That is, I do this, but love doesn’t.

Love doesn’t hold the “kaka”. Why would you want to hold the “kaka”? This word picture, of love is becoming helpful to me.

When I remember something hurtful, or someone who has hurt me, I am holding onto “kaka”, I am, as the NASB translates it, taking into account a wrong suffered. It’s “kaka”.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Every person reading this post has had hurtful things happen to them. Hurtful words flung at us, unjust actions, painful trials that have pierced our hearts.

When a believer, or for that matter, any person hurts us, as believers, we need to forgive. This is the first action of many in the healing of our lives and in following the Lord. The first action, that is, since the memory will come back to taunt us, to hurt you and I. We may need to forgive that person multiple times in our hearts to get through this battle.

When the memory of this hurtful action floods our minds and hearts, it is helpful for me to associate it with “kaka”. It is “of bad intent”, it is “kaka”, and my ruminating in it is downright disgusting.

Oh, of course this hurtful memory disguises itself as an “injustice” or “that brother’s sin” or some fancy justification. The end result is that me and my memory are all alone at the moment, and that “kaka” is making me smell! The original offender is off enjoying his life, and I need to wrestle this excrement to the ground.

Love is not resentful, it does not keep records of wrong, it does not play with poop!

Don’t play with poop!

Jesus replacing Love

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

If anyone in this creation has justification to be resentful, to hang onto “kaka”, it is the Lord Jesus. He has suffered unjustly for the sins of the world and yet does not hold resentment.

Consider the failing of Peter. Jesus discussion with Peter had the flavor of restoration not of resentment. And what about Thomas. Jesus suffered for his sins, and yet he doubted. How could He not push this in to his face, speaking of the pain it caused Him. But He didn’t. He simply came down to Thomas’ level and gave him the opportunity to believe.

No – I can’t see it. Jesus is not resentful. Bitterness and indignation over being unjustly treated was not the Lord’s response, since it is not in His character, expressing love to those who do not deserve it!

Please join me in our next study where we will consider rejoicing out 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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Irritation


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 Irritation

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 is not irritable

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 not irritable

1 Cor 13 - irritable

Paul used a lot of Greek terms that are rarely used elsewhere in the New Testament when he wrote this passage. This particular word we find here is only used one other time in the New Testament.

Act 17:16

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

Guess what word is the same as “irritable” in our study. If you said, provoked, you win a cigar!

Let’s get some background to this verse.

Paul was wandering around Athens, waiting for his partners in crime, Silas and Timothy to show up, when he started to notice that the city was full of idols. This provoked Paul, irritated him, it was like a sharp stick that goaded him as he saw this idolatry. Of course this irritation was channeled into a season of reasoning with the Athenians, which brought about further preaching opportunities. Not much fruit came of this initial preaching, but that is immaterial to the topic at hand.

Paul channelled this irritation into good. We cannot avoid being irritated at times, yet love is not irritated. How do we reconcile our real ife with this claim?

If I am walking in love, nothing will ultimately irritate me. This is a huge claim, and reveals the weakness of love I experience toward some during my day. The issue is that “the love” I walk in is not compatible with the love defined in the Word. That is a problem!

Consider.

If I am irritated over the guy who swerved in front of me on the highway, I need to be thankful I wasn’t cut off and run into the ditch. If I was run into the ditch, I need to be thankful my car didn’t roll over. If my car rolled over, I need to be thankful that I survived the accident. If I didn’t survive the accident, I will be home. That will be a day of great thanksgiving.

Is that too simplistic, too general, too easy of an answer? Tell you what I’m gonna do. I will practice a thankful heart around my chief “irritator”. Hey, and if I don’t get back to you on this, you have my permission to try it on your chief “irritator” – you know who I mean!

My point is that as I have been experiencing irritability recently and been searching for solutions. The solution is to have a thankful heart.

Jesus replacing Love

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

I can’t help but think He has had every irritator available to vex, provoke, annoy and aggravate Him. His character has shown that personal attacks did not irritate Him. He walked in love. Those times when anger rose, He was responding to our lack of concern over who the Father was.

My morning memory verse was

Romans 15:3

For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”

I realize that reproach implies a rebuke, a blame and a discrediting of another, and this is where much of my irritability roots from. Yet when God the Father was shamed and defamed, He absorbed this vitriolic action. He not only did not react out of provoking, He eventually stretched out His hand and received all our hate.

Yes, He is not irritable. He is calm, loving and in control.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider how resentment relates to the Christian life.

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Demands


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 Demands

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 insist on its own way

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 insist on His own way

1 Cor 13 - his own

This is a difficult study, in that the suggestion of my brother seems to go against the lordship of Jesus. I mean, the lordship of Christ, by definition is to have His way.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Lets look at some passages that may flesh out the idea of “insisting on it’s own way” and consider it’s message.

Lets look at some passages that describe the act of love in not insisting on it’s own way

Not Insisting

Romans 15:1-3

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”

This passage is teaching of the willingness of the Christ to give up what was pleasing to Himself, (not insisting on his own way) in the plan of God.

Luke 22:42

…”Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Again, when the most excruciating time in Jesus life was upon Him, He did not insist on His own way, but desired the Father’s will to be done.

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Paul is directing the believers in Philippi to not insist on their desires but to consider others more significant, to be open to other believers. To consider others to be more significant, would necessarily consider their ways to be worthy of considering, and by implication, we would need to be willing to be malleable, not insisting on our ways.

1 Corinthians 10:24

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

Another time where Paul instructs believers to seek the good of their neighbors. The same logic can be applied as with the Philippian passage.

1 Corinthians 14:4

He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

It is becoming apparent that the believer is to be willing to adjust, to be flexible, to not insist on their ways in an expression of true Christian love.

And yet there are passages that speak of the believers responsibility to be inflexible, to stand and not be moved

Insisting

Jude wanted to fight over something, definitely not a “give in” attitude.

Jude 1:3

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

To contend, or to earnestly contend, comes from the Greek word epagōnizomai. Can you see the “agony” in the Greek word? Jude was not willing to give in or “not insist” on a certain truth. The gospel was non-negotiable.

Of course, there may be some out there that consider every teaching, from end times to modes of baptism to be “gospel truth” and every secondary and tertiary teaching they hold to to be worthy of dying for. Convictions of belief are good and should be established in our lives, and yet we are to handle some truths with a kid glove, understanding that other truly born again believers hold to different teachings. This is where discernment comes in.

Before that discussion, let’s consider one more passage that speaks of a believer insisting on his own way.

Paul was preaching the gospel, teaching the unity of the body of Christ, when Peter came to visit the Galation church. All was well, until Peter joined a group from Jerusalem, separating himself from the others, and causing Paul a kinipshin fit.

Paul insisted on correction. He did not allow Peter’s decision to eat with the Judaizers to potentially split the Church into two factions

Galatians 2:12-14

For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.

And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.

But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Paul wasn’t willing to let this go. He insisted on his own way.

So what can we learn from this?

1 Corinthains 13 teaches us that love does not insist on its own way, and yet there are passages that show the very leaders of the Church, even the author of 1 Corinthians, insisting on thier own way.

One point in this conflict may be helpful to consider. When it comes to self sacrifice, to giving up your own ways in order to consider a fellow believers thoughts and actions, show some grace and sacrifice your way for the body.

I once attended a church that was voting on the color of shingles to be placed on the roof of the building. You would have thought they were arguing over the divinity of Christ.

Be at peace with one another as much as is possible. It takes two to tangle, and if you give up your rights and ways, peace may erupt in the body. How wonderful!

When it comes to sacrificing the truth about the person of Christ, and the message the Word of God provides us, INSIST – do not budge!

In the context of 1 Corinthians, where the body was being ripped apart with infightings over gifts, and tongues etc. giving way is a powerful reminder of the attitude and mind of Christ. We need to practice the mind of Christ without giving up the truth of Christ.

Jesus replacing Love

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

Jesus does not insist, He does not demand.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this one aspect of love seems to fight against the Lordship of Christ.

He does make demands on His people. You shall not lie, steal, commit adultery. You shall love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. He does expect obedience and that indicates His Words are commands, demands, items He insists on.

One verse that has caught me off guard is in 2 Corinthians 6:1, where Paul states that he works together with God.

2 Corinthians 6:1

Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

Notice that Paul “works together” with God. He is the Lord, but am I off base to think that the Lord of all actually considers our thoughts, and adjusts His plans in order to work together with us? Prayer is the very topic I am thinking of in this instance, and it may need to be considered in a separate post, but it is amazing that the One who is above all, considers our thoughts and concerns in the grand scheme of all things.

He truly is a great God!

Please join me in our next study where we will consider how love relates to irritability.

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Rudeness


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 Rudeness

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 is not rude.

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 not rude

1 Cor 13 - rude

As many who read these posts know, I am Canadian by birth, and the typical characteristic of a Canadian is that they are sooooo polite. One of our favorite words is “sorry”, and my mother drilled it in my head to say “please” and “thank-you” everytime I opened my mouth.

This rude thing – I got it. I am the most unrude fella you will come across (A bit arrogant aren’t we Carl?)

Sorry ’bout that mate!

This anti-description of love is only spoken of twice in the New Testament. The other passage is also in 1 Corinthians.

 1 Corinthians 7:36

If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.

One thing to notice regarding my definition of “rude” is based on speech. This Greek term is a verb, and not simply a description of a fella saying the right polite words. Don’t get me wrong – Christians should exhibit honor to others in their speech, and part of that is politeness as I have described.

I think Paul has a bigger picture going on here in this passage. Notice that the Greek word we are looking at begins with “a”. This is the prefix a Greek writer would use to negate the word. We do the same today, when we use “athiest” to describe one who says no to God, or to the existence of God.

Lets look at the term without the negation.

Paul uses the greek word euschēmonōs to call for proper, decent or seemly behavior on the part of believers

Romans 13:13

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

Okay – walking properly is described in negatives in this verse and confronts self control, sexual fidelity, anger/pride and jealousy. Nothing specifically about politeness Carl – You may want to reconsider your limited assumption at the beginning of the post!

1 Corinthians 14:40

But all things should be done decently and in order.

Paul is giving a summary conclusion at the end of a chapter dealing with tongues and prophecy. These gifts, that is the tongues gift, was being coveted by the Corinthians. It was showy, flashy and “proved” God was talking to and through you.

No matter where you stand on the tongues issue, be decent! Behave properly in the exercise of your gift in the body of Christ. Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 4:12

so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Paul does not restrict a believers responsibility to act properly to those within the church. This is a characteristic of the spirit led believer, that is to act decently, properly and seemly amongst those who do not share the faith we have.

Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.

Jesus replacing Love

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

Let’s summarize the idea of rudeness described in our passage. To be rude is to not behave properly, decently and in an orderly fashion.

Was Jesus rude in speaking to the Pharisse’s in Matthew 23, giving a scathing indictment on their actions. Remember, rude is an action word and may not apply to a prophet declaring the truth. So I think not. He was simply expressing love in giving them warning!

Well, how about when He overturned the temple trade tables, and whipped the animals out of the Temple. This is an action that may be construed as rude, but for two things.

  1. It was His Father’s house!

It was not done in an unseemly way. Check out the description of how Jesus prepared for this action.

John 2:15

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

2. This action took time!

It is informative to note that the Lord took the time to “make a whip of cords”. This speaks of a deliberateness, a time of controlled anger, of planning and performing in a specific manner. I suppose this statement removes from my thinking that He simply reacted to the situation. A bad situation, that He addressed in a proper manner. The very definition of not being rude

Please join me in our next study where we will consider love as not demanding!

It would be silly for me to insist you come visit next time, but it would be good to see you visit, as we continue considering the Bible and the message we are hearing on the topic 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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Arrogance


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 Arrogance

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 is not arrogant

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 not arrogant

1 Cor 13 - arrogant

Arrogance

The fifth term that describes what love is not is arrogance

This term is often translated in the KJV as “puffed up” and I always chuckled when I read those passages. It seemed so descriptive.

Paul was careful when he chose this term to describe what love is not, since there is another term translated as boast in the New Testament.

That word is kauchēsis, Strong’s # G2746. This word is used to describe the boasting in the Lord that Paul (and all believers) exhibit in their lives. It is the act of glorying in the Lord. It is a positive characteristic of the believer, and it is used of our estimation of the Lord and of His people.

Pauls boasts of the church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 7:4

I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

Paul boasts of his fellow workers

2 Corinthians 8:24

So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

The word we are looking at in our current study is physioō, and this word closely imitates our common thought of pride, arrogance, haughtiness, selfish elevation over others. The root word describes the bellows used to blow a fire. (A bit of an association with hot air!)

Love does not boast, does not inflate itself, does not tell everyone to “look at me”, listen to me, I’m more important than that fellow over there. As a matter of fact, I’m more important than you. Me me me me…..

It is interesting that the majority of the time this word is used is in 1 Corinthians. The only other time this word is used in the New Testament is in Colossians 2:18, where Paul describes enemies of the gospel, being puffed up without reason about visions they have had!

Again, it is important to remember the nature of the Corinthian church. This group of believers were immature, fleshy, and in division! Boasting is a tool used to create division, of pitting self over a brother.

As many who read these posts have come to realize, I have a struggle with how to handle knowledge. My relationship with knowledge brought about great boasting in my life early on, to the point of defining my knowledge as the pure doctrine of the gospel, mocking discussion and discourse with other believers. I somehow convinced myself (I wasn’t convincing any one else!) that I had the pure teaching. How proud and haughty.

In the following passage, Paul addresses the Corinthian’s relationship with idols in the City. It is my go to verse when I consider how to handle knowledge. We all possess (some) knowledge. Remember that love builds up the fellow believer.

1 Corinthians 8:1

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

One of my Old Testament memory verses speaks on this topic. Hannah was praising the Lord for the answered prayer of God in giving her a son, Samuel. She had weaned her son, and brought him back to the temple, giving her son to the Lord.

As you many remember, Hannah’s husband had a second wife, Penninah, who bore children and mocked Hannah for her barrenness. 1 Samuel speaks of Penninah provoking Hannah, seeking to irritate Hannah.

Hannah’s prayer speaks of the Rock, our God and then slips into a portion concerning Penninah.

1 Samuel 2:3

Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.

Boasting of oneself, in the believers life, as he seeks to love like Jesus, is excluded.

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Walk humbly with thy God. This characteristic of a believer is such a rare commodity in the days we live in.

Jesus replacing Love

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

Jesus is not arrogant

This term is so closely linked to our previous discussion on boasting that I will refer the reader to our previous post – Love Like Jesus – Without Boasting.

In summary, Jesus, the Son of God cannot be arrogant since His own word’s define His attitude of life, that is of gentleness and humility.

Philippians 2:5

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Please join me in our next study where we will consider a sister characteristic of being “puffed up”. Hope you can join me as we continue our study.

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Boasting


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 Boasting

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 envy or boast

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 envy or boast

Boast

The second term that describes what love does not do is boast

This word is used only once in the New Testament and we find it in the verse we are looking at.

The term is built on a root word to describe a braggart. Our modern descriptions would include a show-off, a blowhard, and egotist.

How does this relate to the popular self esteem movement that has travelled through the modern church in the last few decades? Is there a conflict with the teaching of high self esteem and the characteristic we are looking at today. Is being a braggart comporable to being one with high self esteem?

First off, let me confess my history with this movement. I have been involved with a church that jumped into this self esteem movement when it became uber popular in the 90’s.

I struggled with it due to the teaching that self esteem is equated with self love, and this is definitely a teaching that we need no help on. The Word describes us humans as having no trouble with self love. As a matter of fact, it is self love that has drove us from the love of God and love to God.

One of the passages those who propose the self esteem teaching like to refer to is Matthew 22:39. I published a blog post a few months ago on this verse, trying to get some clarity on the teaching. You may want to check it out. What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean – Matthew 22:39

There is a confidence we believers are to exhibit due to the love of God expressed through Jesus work on the cross, the sacrifice he has given to redeem us from ourselves. Focusing on our own self is a dangerous past time.

A number of Bible passages speak of our requirement to humble ourselves. Verses such as

James 4:6-10

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

If we seek our own exaltation, we will fail. Humility before the Lord is the only way to be pleasing to the Lord and to find our self worth.

1 Peter 5:5-6

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

One more passage that speaks of the need of humility. It is imperative that we see this as an action we are to initiate. We are to humble ourselves.

Romans 12:3

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

It is interesting that Paul does not tell believers to not think of himself too lowly than he ought to think. Think with sober judgement. Serious contemplation of self before the throne of the Father will bring about a crumbling of our self love. He is the one worthy of our love. Bragging of our own self worth or of our accomplishments is not in the description of love we are considering in this post.

So is boasting to be evident in the believer? The Word speaks of boasting in a favorable light.

Psalm 34:2-3

My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

Our boasting is to be in the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice how David connects humility with boasting in the Lord. In our boasting of ourselves, we cut off opportunity to exult in the Lord

1 Corinthians 1:31

so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians, prior to getting to our chapter on love, speaks of the proper place of boasting the the believers life.


2 Corinthians 10:17

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

It seems the Corinthians didn’t quite get the message last time since Paul needs to remind them one more time of the principle of boasting for the believer to be in the Lord, (and not in themselves).

Galatians 6:14

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Paul, in his teaching to the Galatians, speaks of the exclusivity of his boasting, in relation to his religious duties before the Father. He has none, as we need to recognize in our lives also, that before the holy Father, our deeds are not of boasting value. Only in the cross of Christ is the truth of boasting for the believer.

Jesus replacing Love

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

Jesus does not boast.

Is that a good description of the Lord Jesus? A few posts earlier, I referred to the Lord’s self description

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

He describes Himself as lowly in heart. Humble.

Since He is God in the flesh, any statement he makes could not be boasting. Say He declared “I made the moon” Well, that is a true statement, and the element of boasting may be evident if I said it, (along with the bold face lie), but for Him to make this statement would only be stating part of a greater truth.

I can’t see, given the status of our Lord, where boasting would be a possibility. He cannot lie and any statement He supplies is truth. Boasting may also be considered an attitude of superiority, and Jesus has informed us that this is not His attitude.

His attitude is of humility, of gentleness and of a low degree. This mind of Christ is to be in us my brothers. We are to take on humility and gentleness.

Philippians 2:5

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Please join me in our next study where we will consider a sister characteristic of being “puffed up”. Hope you can join me as we continue our study.

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Envy Reconsidered


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 Envy Reconsidered

In our last post, we considered that Christian love is not expressed through envy. We learned that envy and jealousy are two different emotions, and that envy is prohibited in the believers life.

And then I mentioned that envy is to be a positive characteristic in a believer’s life.

So now I am surely considered a lost cause. As my momma used to say, Carl you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

It may seem so, but bear with me.

The verse we primarily dealt with previously, contained the description of love as not envying.

1 Corinthians 13:4 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast

I then found that John 2:17 uses the very same Greek word for envy in describing the Lord’s motivation for cleaning the Temple. Kind of shook me a bit.

Then, as I was looking at the context of the passage above, an additional question rose in my thinking. Check out 5 verses earlier in 1 Corinthians 12:31

1 Corinthians 12:31

But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

What’s the problem Carl? Check out that the term “desire” is the very Greek word we were looking at above. Paul is commanding the Corinthian believers to earnestly desire the higher/best gifts, to be “envious” of the higher/best gifts, to want the higher/best gifts.

But Paul, you mention five verse later, that love does not envy! What is going on?

I see two issues to be addressed with this problem. The first is a misunderstanding of my common concept of envy.

Positive Envy

Envy may have a positive characteristic in a believers life, in that it may be describing envy in the pursuit of good, righteous and holy things. The ESV translates the word zeloo, (translated as envy in verses discussed in our earlier post), as zealous in the following passage.

Galations 4:18 (KJV)

But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Paul is encouraging good “envy” in the believer, that emotion which fuels us to do good, to be zealous in a good sense. We are so often considering envy in a bad sense, and rightly so, but the New Testament is not restricted in this way.

The Lord himself, as considered above, was consumed with “envy” for the Father’s house.

John 2:17

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

We are commanded to be zealous in Revelation 3:19

Revelation 3:19

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Yet, I can’t seem to get away from the fact that Paul is telling the Corinthian believers to be envying the “better gifts”. This seems to be against the spirit of love, expressed in humility and preferring others that is taught elsewhere in the Word. (Remember it is only five verses later that Paul teaches that love does not envy!)

Selfish Envy

The context of 1 Corinthians 12:31 may give us some help in understanding the intent of Paul’s message.

Are we to be desiring the higher/best gifts? Let’s consider a few questions that may clear help the reader understand the point.

  • I do not know of another passage that defines any gifts as higher/better than any other. The lists of gifts are lists, not rankings of quality. (Paul does describe a gift later that is “spiritual” that is to be sought, but that discussion will come soon enough!)
  • Paul just finished with an extended passage speaking of the importance of accepting the gift you have, of exercising this gift or gifts that has been given to each of us. The ear is not to be seeking to be an eye!
  • The Corinthian church is known for division, infighting and a competitive spirit.

Is this phrase in the last verse of chapter 12 describing the immaturity of the Corinthians. As baby believers, the Corinthians were seeking the showy, flashy gifts. Is he simply stating a fact, that is, you Corinthians are seeking the better gifts? I have read in the past that this passage may be translated this way.

It is an interesting idea, and seems to fit the context. Paul is going to show them a better way, a way that is better than seeking the “higher/best” gifts. This way includes not seeking what others have, which we have addressed in the previous post.

Another Monkey Wrench in my Mind!

Ok Carl, that may be, but how do you handle Paul’s clear exhortation for the Corinthians in the 14th Chapter

1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

Good question! (Tough question, but good question!)

Paul may be simply stating a fact in the last verse of chapter 12, but it is clear that Paul is commanding the Corinthians to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts. It is interesting that Paul uses “best” gifts in 12:31 and changes the modifier to “spiritual” gifts in chapter 14:1.

Could Paul be a bit sarcastic in 12:31? “You Corinthians are chasing the best gifts (in your opinion, that is!)”

1 Corinthians 14:39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

Paul summarizes the intent of his message regarding the the difference between prophecy and tongues in this verse, stating that prophecy is the gift to seek after. (The Corinthians can allow tongues.)

Consider the 3rd verse of this chapter, where Paul identifies the intent of the gift of prophecy

1 Corinthians 14:3

On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.

Paul has spoken of love as being about others. Prophecy is about building up others. Pursue love Corinthians, and in doing that, find that prophecy is a clear expression of love.

Prophecy syncs with the better way of love. The gift of prophecy the Corinthians are told to seek is a natural outgrowth of true biblical love. Tongues seems to be a distraction for Paul, and I feel it was overemphasized by the Corinthians to the point of division.

If you are seeking another’s gifts or talents, stop. Put that envy off like an old shirt. Hoping to have someone else’s gift will only cause you pain and heartache. Wanting some one else’s abilities or talents is sin.

1 Corinthians 14:12

So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

As believers, Paul instructs us to exercise love. Love is not exercised by envying another’s abilities, but in supporting their ministry. Find your own talent and ability and quit wasting time and effort on envying someone else’s gift.

Love does not envy.

Thanks for visiting. I do hope you found something of interest and of challenge in this post. Drop me a line to discuss and hope to see you in our next topic, where we look at the topic of boasting in the life of loving like Jesus.

Its going to be the absolute greatest post ever written in the history of the world!!!!

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Without Envy


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 Envy

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 envy or boast

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 envy or boast

Envy

1 Cor 13 - envy

Let’s look at the first of the terms describing what love does not do.

The term zeloo means to burn with zeal, to be zealous, to desire earnestly.

Let’s think about something that is often equated in my mind. The synonyms of envy and jealousy. Surely they mean the same thing! Is that correct?

I have previously penned a series on A Jealous God, which may be beneficial to refer to if of interest. With that study, I found that jealousy, rightly held by the believer, was of benefit to both sinner and saint. You see, God’s jealousy sought out our best, by directing our love away from distractions and sin, and toward the springs of living water.

Envy, is not associated with God. Jealousy is. Interesting! Let’s consider the difference.

Jealousy

Jealous behavior is borne of the fear you may loose something or someone. It is rooted in a love relationship, and when referring to God’s jealousy, the love is towards His people. Therefore to be jealous has three participants. The one who is jealous, the one who is the object of jealousy and the one who is causing the jealousy.

Consider a cheating spouse, and the participants in the trial. The victim, the cheating spouse and the third party.

So often the Word of God describes His people as adulterous, and the emotion of jealous is directly linked to this.

Envy

Envious behavior is not so. Envious behavior has two “participants”

The one envious, and the object/person of envy.

Envy is addressed in the decalogue, where God’s command is clear. It seems clear that envy is not to be found in the believers life

Exodus 20:17

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

So lets conclude that jealousy and envy are different animals. Both jealousy and envy may have positive and negative intents associated with them.

Love has the component of jealousy, but properly held in the life of the believer, seeks out the benefit of the one loved. This is not the common practice of jealousy in our lives, where we act out of our own hurt, seeking revenge. Of course, this type of jealousy is not to be found in the believers life. Godly jealousy is selfless in its exercise.

Envy in the believers life is two fold also. Envy, in the natural realm is to be shunned by the believer. Love does not envy, and the New Testament commands us to not envy.

Galatians 5:26
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

This passage is linked with pride and a spirit of challenging our fellow believer. Envy, in the believer, has a source of separateness, of being in a “us vs them” relationship. Of course envy is to be shunned, and for me, it is an alarm that I have not the correct attitude toward my fellow believer. I am conceited, and from that heart, I become envious!

1 Peter 2:1

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

Galatians 5:26 addressed envy in relation to our fellow believer. Even as I was commenting on it, I was considering if envy would be addressed in the believers life in relation to those out of the body. Golly, wouldn’t you know it, but Peter speaks on that very topic.

Peter notes that we are to put away all envy. Notice the group of characters related to envy in this verse! Definitely a group of sins that believers need to reject.

As a matter of fact, Peter tells us to lay these sins aside, as an old garment, toss them off, and not to pick them up again.

Jesus replacing Love

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

Jesus does not envy?

The root word of the term Paul uses in our passage is used once in a description of our Lord in the book of John

John 2:17

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Oh my, that throws a monkey wrench in my thinking. The term for envy, which I described as not being acceptable for a believer to exercise, is actually used to describe the Lord as His motivation for cleaning the Temple.

What was all this post about then Carl? Are we to be envious or not?

Please join me in our next study where we will consider where “envy” is to be sought after in the Christian life. I hope you can join me.

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Kindness


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.

Kindness

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 is kind

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 kind


1 Cor 13 - kind

Kindness, in my mind, is the same as being “nice”.

But does the Bible teach believers to be nice?

Let’s consider a comparison of these two concepts. I owe this information to Crumps Corner.

KindNice
Speaks upStays quiet
HealingToxic
Tells the truthLies to keep the peace
Moves forward with careHolds back
Takes courageLacks courage
Is more concerned for others than selfIs more concerned for self than for others
Desires to be helpfulDesires to be liked
Leads to successPrevents success

Nice

I read a book a few years ago, simply because the title was so outrageous. “Don’t Be a Nice Christian”, or something like that. I had always assumed that Christianity was typified by niceness. You are so nice Carl, what a nice Christian. You do nice things Carl… The book started to bug me. Alot.

Let’s consider the concept of niceness per Bible teaching.

Okay I found three words in the Bible that refer to “nice”

Bernice, Eunice, Phenice – Definitely not the results I was hoping for! Nothing of any command for believers to “be nice”

Nothing to see here folks. Let’s move along…

Kind

Not so with the kindness Paul uses to describe Christian love. The passage we are reading today defines love as kind (chresteoumai). This word is used ten times in the New Testament, mostly describing the kindness (or sometimes translated as goodness, gentleness) of God. Nevertheless, love as expressed as kind is a goal for the believer to strive to.

What does that look like? This table above, I suggest gives us much to consider. If you are “nice” like I am “nice”, you will want to consider the differences.

2 Corinthians 6:6

by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;

Paul is describing the methods of service to God by which they commend themselves to others. It is interesting that two verses earlier, patience rears its head again in the description of the Christian life! I wonder which patience he refers to? The “makro” or the “hupo”? I gave you a hint in the last post if you remember!

Back to kindness. Paul’s method of serving God included kindness. Vines Expository Dictionary of the New Testament states

It signifies “not merely goodness as a quality, rather it is goodness in action, goodness expressing itself in deeds,

Kindness is not simply a feeling within your heart, or only a good attitude toward others, which of course is required, but it is expressed in acts of usefulness to others. By implication, to those who do not deserve it – those who may be neutral to us, or – dare I say it – our enemies!

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, not a work of the flesh. Focus on the source and not the fruit and the fruit will fruit out. (does that make sense to you?)

Colossians 3:12

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

A simple command for believers to obey. Be kind, by putting on the new man, the Christ.

In conclusion I have a question for my gentle reader.

Was the Christ kind when he cleaned the temple? I certainly do not think He was nice, but again, let us refuse that connection with Christianity.

Jesus replacing Love

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

The gospels do not describe Jesus with the exact Greek term Paul uses in this passage, the root word chrēstos, is definitely used in relation to the Master. Many of you are zeroing in on one of the more famous descriptions of our Lord when He described Himself thusly.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

He is gentle and lowly in heart, and yet the term we are looking at is describing the yoke He is providing to those who will follow. The yoke is “kind”. He is gentle and His yoke in easy, or kind. I have heard it described as a yoke that doesn’t chafe the neck of the one wearing it.

As we look to the Master, as we recognize His character, and the tremendous love He has for us, the yoke, no matter what it may entail in our lives at the time, is tailored to our need and condition. To realize this, we must understand His character, His meekness and lowliness of heart.

He directs us to learn of Him, and yet describes Himself as meek. If He were not the Son of God, this claim to learn of Him would be an act of extreme arrogance. If the Son of God, this direction to learn of Him is wisdom personified.

Learn of Him. He is the truth.

Please join me as we continue our travels through 1 Cor 13, looking at the first description of love as a negative. (Say it isn’t so Carl)

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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Love Like Jesus – Two Much Patience?


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.

Patience in the New Testament – A Comparison

In our last post, we considered patience that Christian love exhibits. Patience that is exercised by an anger that is far away, that is distant, that is put off. That patience is Makrothumia

Our current study is to concern ourselves with two Greek words that are commonly translated as patience, or long suffering.

Of course you recognize makrothumia, since we spent some time in our last post thinking on it. The idea of stretched out anger, anger that is put off.

The second word for patience in the New Testament is hupomeno. We will consider this type of patience in a later post on the 7th verse in this passage , but I wanted to consider these two words in comparison.

Hupomeno is also a compound Greek word, made up of the prefix hupo, with the meaning of “under”, typically when associated with patience. The root meno is also a very interesting word, which typically means to “abide”, “remain” or “dwell”. Taking these two word meanings, we can build a sort of synonym when we see hupomeno.

To abide under.

By application, abiding under a situation or condition that is not favorable, that is difficult, that might be crushing your soul. Exercise patience by not escaping from a difficult situation. If an opportunity to escape a difficult situation comes along, patience would require you to remain under the difficult situation. The opportunity to escape may be a temptation to do wrong!

One patience speaks of long drawn out anger, while the other speaks of abiding under. Two completely different terms, describing two different attributes of the patience in a believer.

Another interesting feature of these two Greek terms is what they relate to in the subjects they are active upon.

Makrothumia is patience related to people, whereas hupomeno is patience related to situations.

Makrothumia

A few examples

Rom 9:22

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

These vessels of wrath are the people who have rejected God and His Messiah. The verse speaks of God enduring with much patience. Much “drawn out anger”. The Lord cast His anger far away when relating to these people, and yet this verse speaks of destruction. Patience has her limits!

Eph 4:2

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

This particular verse speaks of loving one another, with the expression of humility, gentleness and “drawn out anger”. (Not your typical description of love we might find from the modern media message!)

When I consider patience as “drawn out anger”, it changes my perspective, since I have recently experienced anger towards people. This history of non – “drawn out anger” is sending off alarms in my head. This is not the Christian life I am to live.

We need to realize that anger is a real emotion that can be controlled under the leading of the Spirit of God. I need to possess my soul and control my thoughts under the Lordship of Christ.

Hupomeno

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Paul speaks of patience in tribulation. We may look at the term of tribulation later on in our study, but suffice it for now, the term speaks of a squeezing, of pressure applied. Paul speaks of being patient with his circumstances, with things that are not proceeding as he wishes, of trials that are fighting him.

Paul is telling us he remained under the tribulation. As a believer, I know I seek relief from trials and tribulations. Not so with Paul. Granted, there were times when Paul, in the wisdom of God sought relief when justice was being twisted, as in the time he was beaten in Philippi.

Nope, can’t use that as an example! He took the beating though unjustly. You see, the magistrate did not have the right to beat a Roman citizen, and yet Paul took the beating.

Something is going on here. Paul stayed under the tribulation. His faith was different than mine.

I have a theory about that particular incident in Paul’s life, and how the beating he took supplied a practical blessing to the ones he was ministering to. But that will be for a another post.

2 Timothy 2:10

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Notice that Paul speaks of a patience in everything, for the sake of believers. He saw the faith as a all encompassing life, that had a Father in heaven that worked out all things for his good and the glory of God. Even tribulation or trial that he may have rightfully escaped

Jas 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Temptation. The very word brings a sense of weakness to my heart. My temptations are so justifiable, so reasoned, so allowable. To the point that I do not recognise them as temptations. And there I go.

The believer is the abide under the temptation, carry the temptation instead of simply succumbing to it.

Easier said than done. Help me Lord to abide.

Lets get back to the topic of this series. Our next study will consider how love is kind. (Kinda obvious Carl!)

Let’s wait and see. You may be surprised.

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Patience


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.

Patience

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 is patient

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 patient

1 Cor 13 - patient

Patience is a major theme in the word of God. Almost exclusively of the patience of God.

Believers are to be patient. That is, if we are to express the love of God through Jesus Christ. The love of God through Jesus Christ does not look like the love that is popularized in the media, the emotional gushy teary eyed feeling that makes you go awwwww.

To love as Jesus loved is impossible for us humans. That is why we need to depend on Him for the strength to do that which is not natural.

This is where patience comes in. To be patient means to wait. To possibly loose opportunity. To sacrifice instead of to consume. I don’t know about you, but this is not natural for me.

And yet, this Greek word Paul uses is trying to teach us much more. You see, the Bible uses two Greek words for patience. The first one we come across in this passage is makrothumos, This is a compound Greek word from makro, which we use in English with words like macroeconomics, or largeness of economics. It defines largeness or farness, distant. Thumos, surprisingly speaks of passion, anger, wrath.

Putting these two together we get the concept of anger being far away, long enduring temper. It is the practice of putting off anger, even rightly deserved anger. This is a blessing in the nature of God. This is sorely absent in the nature of man.

We come across the idea of patience once more in the passage we are considering. 1 Corinthians 13:7 speaks of

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The concept of patience is in the word “endure” and yet it is not the term we are looking at. This Greek word in this second passage is hupomeno. There are two terms for the concept of patience in this text. Interesting!

Jesus replacing Love

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

Based on common knowledge of the Word of God, patience is surely a typical characteristic of God, and by extension Jesus the Messiah. Many examples in the gospels show His seemingly unending patience with His disciples, and towards those who were planning His death.

Yet, in my research, I found only one passage in the gospels that uses this term in relation to God’s patience. This is surprising since the Word speaks of the patience of God in numerous passages, from the Psalms to the book of Revelation.

Luke 18:6-8

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.

And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?

I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Our Lord speaks of God’s reaction to His saints as they seek relief from Him. As we wait on the Lord, and sometimes feel like He is delaying long, Jesus gives us a different perspective. The Father will give justice speedily. Delays from our perspective are what works in us a greater glory, an exercise of patience required to build character. When the exercise of our patience has come to full fruition, the Father will quickly, at that time, supply justice.

The exercise of our patience is typically related to our suffering, and the relief is the justice we seek. His patience over our situation is for our good.

In closing, I would ask for help with understanding Jesus’ last phrase. You know, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” How does that relate to the patience of God in providing justice speedily? This parable has always given me more questions than answers, and your input would be appreciated

Our next study will take a bit of a rabbit trail, since the idea of two greek words speaking of patience for the believer kinda intrigues me

Hope you will join me as I look into the difference, and understand the love of Jesus more.

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, Love

Love Like Jesus – Introduction


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.

But Carl – that is so obvious!  How could you miss something that is so clearly taught in Scripture?

I am a man that is easily distracted.  Don’t get me wrong – these distractions were good and holy and christian.  Distractions like Bible reading, study, teaching, evangelizing…

But Carl – these are not distractions.  These disciplines are ministry that believers are called to!  Granted, that is true, but the very thing that is good, can easily become an idol we worship, an end of it’s own, a goal instead of a channel.

My friends, Love is the goal of the Christian life.  Let me try to explain.

When I first became a believer, I gulped down the Word of God, consuming it’s message like a starving man.  It is such good news.

Eventually, I became a believer that others would ask questions of, a source of Bible knowledge for others.  This fed my pride, and fueled my desire to know the Word even more.

This is where I tripped.  I became a Bible worshiper.  Jesus just became a topic.

I sought to study the Word more in order to define the message clearly.  Looking back, I “defined the message” so tightly that I built walls around a message instead of bridges to Jesus. 

One fine Sunday, as I was teaching a Bible class, I listed all the specific doctrines I trusted on the white board. I used theological terms like soteriology, and cessationism.  Foolishness oozed from my marker, elevating my self image above my brothers and sisters in the class.

My foolish pride fueled this display of arrogance. Looking back on that day, I hang my head.

John tells us to love our brothers and sisters.  I simply lifted my self above them.  I became nothing, as a matter of fact, I became less than nothing, if I take the Apostle Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 13:2 seriously.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Although I may have self deluded myself into thinking I “understood all mysteries and all knowledge” (how foolish!), Paul put me in my place – I was less than nothing!

Paul described this believer as knowing all knowledge and yet was nothing.  I definitely did not possess all knowledge – therefore I was less than nothing!

All this to say that love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.

For the next few posts, I would like to settle on a passage that describes Christian love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

I hope you find the time to join me in considering the action of love, and how it is to be worked out in our lives. As we tunnel into this passage, your comments and thought would be appreciated.

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.

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