September 30, 2014
In the middle of the discussion about spiritual gifts, Paul pauses to talk about the most important thing in the world: the love of God. He reminds us that if we don't have the love of God all we are is nothing, all we do amounts to nothing, and all we will receive from all we do is nothing.
Without the love of God ruling and reigning and flowing through my life, I have missed the most important thing.
Then, like a prism, he holds up the love of God and turns it in the light to show us what it really is. If he had not done this, we would think love is merely a gooey feeling, a nice emotion. But he shows us that it is the central issue of the character of God in us that must drive everything. Love is the God-quality that always responds in self-sacrifice. It always makes us care more about others than ourselves.
So, here are 15 questions to evaluate ourselves.
Do I have the love of God?
1. Am I patient? Am I willing to suffer a long time in order to love others?
2. Am I kind? Do I always respond with kindness and seek for that which will be a blessing to others?
3. Am I jealous? Am I upset when others have something I want or think I should have received?
4. Do I brag? Am I drawing attention to myself to make sure everyone knows how good I am and what I have done?
5. Am I arrogant? Am I filled with pride that makes me think more highly of myself than others? That my thoughts and actions are better?
6. Am I rude? Do I act unbecomingly before others simply because I care more about myself than other’s comfort and well being?
7. Do I seek my own? My own way? My own thoughts? My own position? My own time? My own rights?
8. Am I provoked? Am I quickly roused to anger (because I am more concerned for my way and my rights than I am helping and loving others?)?
9. Am I unforgiving? When I am hurt, do I put it in a ledger book to remember and make sure those who have hurt me hurt too? Do I seek retaliation or am I willing to be hurt and respond in love so that others may see and feel the love of God? The love that forgives?
10. Do I laugh at my enemy’s failures? Do I rejoice when they fail or do I genuinely want the best for them?
11. Do I bear all things? Am I willing to go the extra miles to keep loving, even when I see the faults and failings of others?
12. Do I keep believing in someone, even when I see their worst sides?
13. Do I hope in all things? Do I have the confident assurance that comes from love?
14. Am I willing to endure anything that so that others may find and see and feel the love of Christ?
15. Do I give up and does my supposed ""love"" fail with others or do I keep loving with the love of God, which ""never fails?""
If you see that the love of God is not preeminent in your life, you should repent. If you know Christ, you have love, for He is in you and He IS love! (1 John 4:7-8; Galatians 5:22; Romans 5:5). Turn from your self-centeredness and enthrone Christ afresh in your heart. Ask Him to fill you with Himself and shed abroad His love in and through you.
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August 07, 2020
August 06, 2020
There are thousands, perhaps millions of people who believe they are Christians who will never enter heaven. This is not my evaluation, but the clear teaching of Christ Himself.
Christ spoke of false prophets who "come to you in sheep clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matt 7:15). It is not the outward clothing, but the inward heart that indicates a true believer.
What is the only way to know the difference between a professing believer and a real believer?
August 05, 2020
Of all the things Jesus could have addressed in the Sermon on the Mount, it's fascinating that He spends a good bit of time addressing worry. In fact, He commands us not to be worried: "Do not be worried about your life."
We are champion worriers. God knows that worry is so counterproductive. Not only is it useless, but it ties us up, destroys our faith, is a poor witness to those who are watching, and dishonors God. So, to help us He gives His true followers multiple reasons why worry is so useless.