Saturday, June 25, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love rejoices with the truth…”  God rejoices with the truth.
He enjoys truth.  It is healthy for every part of His creation.  Truth, undeniable, penetrating and sometimes confrontational, fashions an occasion for joy.  God rejoices with it.  God rejoices when His message goes out.  He rejoices when His good news is preached.  His heart delights in anticipation of its reception and the benefits that it will produce in the hearer and receiver of such good news - the truth.  When one is filled with truth, one is filled with this good news.  One has encountered that which rearranges the human heart.  One has been transformed by the beauty of what is realized about God and His relationship to mankind and all that was formerly believed, all that was a lie speaking to the conscience, is willfully resisted.  The truth is given preeminence.  Sometimes, however, the truth is also resisted.  Sometimes others deny the truth and hate the messenger.  God, love, stills delights in its presentation.  God and love still continue to carry and confront with truth.  It is His love for humanity that propels the message even at great cost.   This causes us to continue to allow Him to confront us with truth even though it stirs up our own resistance, however, we daily choose to enjoy the process because we know it produces His beauty in us.  We rejoice because it is His love revealed in the presentation of truth to every part of our body and spirit.  This causes us to continue to present truth to the earth even when it is resisted, sometimes unto our death, because we know and rejoice in its power to save and produce His beauty in the earth.  A lie may relieve anxiety for a moment, but in the end it breeds death, therefore, we opt for temporal suffering so that eternal life can be produced and we enjoy the meditation of the result even before it has come!  Where there is truth presented, even when it is temporarily painful, we always have cause to rejoice!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love does not rejoice at wrong-doing…”  God does not rejoice at wrong-doing.
He hates wrongdoing!  Those who rejoice in wrong-doing are expecting the arrival of personal benefit from the tresspass.  Wrong-doing will always eventually lead to death and this causes us to intercede at personal cost even though we could benefit personally from wrong-doing instead.  It becomes desirable to us that all of the immature and rebellious repent from their wrongdoing rather than falling under judgment.  Our intercession causes us to suffer circumstantially in this world.  We refuse to manipulate to gain… .to sin to get the advantage. We will not compromise our testimony by allowing the wrongdoing of others to benefit us.  We commit ourselves to God and intercede for them.  Love compels us to resist personal benefit from earthen exploitations and take no pleasure in their results.  We purpose to suffer with Christ who did righteousness, even when the results would not seem favorable, and trust God with the results.  We purpose to grieve for sinners and lament the wrong-doing they sow.  God grieves wrong-doing and its various exploitations.  God grieves the sinner who has chosen to go a crooked way.  Where there is love, personal benefits are set aside for the sake of intercession.  One loves when one looks not to his or her own needs or wants but lays his or her expectations down for the need, and sometimes the want, of another…. .in this one cannot do wrong but only rejoice in the benefit of the other.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love is not resentful…”  God is not resentful.
He is not bothered by forgiveness and mercy.  It does not annoy Him to set a prisoner free from his or her justifiable imprisonment.  Although it is unfair in the light of humanity to forgive the wrongdoer, God enjoys being merciful to the repentant.  He does not take it as a personal offense against His holiness.  Although He was punished for our sins, He does not resist releasing us from our punishment.  It was unfair that Christ was punished yet He delighted in satisfying justice for our sake.  This causes us to receive forgiveness.  If God who has the right to hold us accountable for our sin chooses not to, why should we hold ourselves guilty? And if we receive forgiveness we also give it.  If God who has the right to hold us accountable for our sin chooses not to how can we hold others accountable to us?  God has been wronged and shown mercy to the wrongdoer. So we can be wronged and show mercy.  In all things, we can fully trust God’s acknowledgment of our life and His willingness to show mercy and do justice for us.  We cannot resent any outcome; favorable or unfavorable, deserved or undeserved, temporary or eternal towards the righteous or the wicked.  Our faith rests complete in the mercy of a just God.. .He will be both merciful and just in ways far beyond our comprehension.  Resentment only exists when we feel that God has not been fair towards us through the persons and circumstances we have known.  But who knows of His fairness?  Who truly desires God to be fair?  I do not believe that we truly want fairness.  No, we need mercy.  God, though He could demand fairness from us, does not.  Neither should we seek it in this life from any source.  We are to beseech His mercy and trust His justice for all of mankind.  We are to love mercy and do justice in response to a God who does not resent unfairness.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love is not irritable…”  God is not irritable.
He is not easily annoyed by or overly sensitive to the attitudes of the peoples of the earth.  God does not react because of our disposition.  He acts only according to His own person and character.  He is not fickle in His dealing with us.  He personally makes us conscious of His requirements and the favorable consequences of faith and righteousness or the adverse consequences of sin and disobedience.  He binds His actions to His own requirements and administers justice based upon our faith or lack of faith in Christ.  It is declared and preached.  He teaches us as much as we can handle.  He never reacts but acts according to what we know.  This moves upon our hearts to act rather than react as much as we are ably conscious.  It causes us to remain steadfast in the midst of human opinions and circumstances.  It causes us to exercise consideration and rely upon the word of God.  His word is not fickle.  It does not change.  When we believe it, we are not fickle, overly sensitive or easily annoyed by others.  We are genuine, honest and sure.  Our convictions and attitudes are constant.  We respond to the unchangeable God.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love does not insist on its own way…”  God does not insist on His own way.
He does not worship Himself.  All of creation must be reconciled to Him, not because He demands that His own way be elevated for personal satisfaction, but because God has created humanity for mutual relationship with Himself.  In the end, God’s own love can sustain His own person.  He does not need to demand our attention or affection or cooperation to get what He needs.  He is one within Himself, however, He has covenantally bound Himself to seek, honor and enjoy reciprocal relationship with His creations.  Although God can sustain His own person and therefore He can sustain all of creation, He seeks humanity to walk in the humility of mutuality that causes us to become equal partners in His purpose.  He does not have to depend upon us to accomplish His purpose but rather He desires all of humanity to participate in His purpose to increase our favor and joy.  God is good and gives humanity an equal share in the establishment of His goodness.  Yes, God even listens to, considers and often implements our strategies and designer ideas to bring about this establishment… .because He has no egotistic need to insist on things being done His own way.  Therefore, we no longer think about how others can serve us and our egotism or designer ideas, rather, we consider how we can serve them best by inviting them to share in the glory of God who will also sustain and gives wings and purpose to their bodies and souls.  We become flexible and mutual beings in the midst of others.  We commit our way to our Creator and enjoy exulting His way and their ideas!  In this God is worshipped among us.  It is our joy to worship!  And in this we experience the mutual expression of His goodness in the earth through which we become equal partners in His glory!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love is not rude…”  God is not rude.
He is not impolite, inconsiderate, or unexpected.  He always takes into account our humanity and limitations.  He offers us relationship and never forces Himself upon us.  He always announces His coming to those who are listening.  We are not thrashed and tossed about by a God who enjoys our suffering and confusion.  He considers our weakness and incapacity to receive His whole uncompromising being.  He comes and invites us little by little, day by day to enjoy Him, thus rebuilding the trust that humanity first had in its God.  This causes us to be considerate of our own weakness.  We remain under His discipleship, thereby allowing Him to teach us as much or as little about Himself as we are able to handle at that time.  We become sober, knowing our limitations and therefore gratefully staying within the boundaries God sets.  We also become aware of the weaknesses of those around us.  They are just like us and therefore we do not impose too much knowledge of God where it cannot be understood or withhold what should be freely given.  We also encourage as many safety precautions as are needed so that the souls of others will not be unnecessarily tempted… even when that means limiting our own freedoms.  Rudeness is a product of pride.  We are never to dispense or withhold the knowledge of God nor lift His limitations or impose limitations according to our own evaluation.  But we are always to allow Him to be the Father to His children through us.  He knows them best.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love is not arrogant…”  God is not arrogant.
He does not flaunt a superior disgust over our fallen human condition.  He is not pre-occupied with his own importance, value, relevance and influence in the universe.  He simply knows who He is and acts accordingly.  He is aware of His own superior holiness and therefore acts holy.  And then He gives us His spirit.  Not so that we can feel inferior, but so that we can share His holiness and be like Him. He knows that all of creation is dependent upon Him and therefore He does His part.  Rather than determining to constantly remind us of our complete dependency upon Him, He simply does what He should. By this all men are made aware that they depend on Him because humanity cannot do God’s part.  Likewise, this causes us to view our relationship with God as the meeting of our own deep need and not as a means by which we can continually be reminded that we do not measure up.  Therefore, we persuade others to be reconciled to God.  Not so that they can continually be reminded of their inadequacy, but so that their need for the cleansing of their conscience may be met through continual submission to God’s holiness.  We persuade others because we know who He is.  And now we know who we are because we see Him as He is.  And we know who they should be.  It is not arrogant to be certain of what is true.  But it is arrogant to believe that because we know the truth, we have reached a superiority that others should be dependent upon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love does not boast…”  God does not boast.
He is not self-promotional.  He does not need to be.  His works speak of His character.  He does not need to advertise what He thinks we should believe about Him by now.  He simply bears fruit, does work, lays down His life and gives His goodness away to all manners of people.  And then He lets us decide. He is justified in that His deeds are perfect and reveal that His nature is perfect.  We are not forced to a position of belief because He says we have to believe Him, but because our own hearts have witnessed that He is true to His word.  Therefore, we are condemned by our own knowledge of His person if we disbelieve or we are acquitted by our own testimony of His person if we believe.  This reveals to us that it is also our fruits that testify whether or not we are children of God.  It is not by our self-advertisement as His child that the world will recognize us as His, but rather, that our works are evidence of what we say we are.  We do as He does and let others make a decision.  Boasting is excluded.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love does not envy…”  God is not envious.
He is not filled constantly with a craving to possess our personalities to fulfill His own personal lusts.  He does not long to own our bodies and our material belongings for the purpose of building an egocentric kingdom or government.  Rather He gives of His personality, body and possessions to see us built up and edified.  The cry of His heart is that through such sacrificial giving, we would be motivated to sacrifice and give and thereby build a kingdom for His person.  Through giving and receiving, without thought for self-gain or reward, we become as He is and experience the freedom of communal oneness where He and I and all of us are shared.  Therefore, we could not envy.  This is not a religion of “use”, but a relational community of love.  When we feel that we are “used”, we must take to gain back what we have lost.  Until we are able to take, we will envy what others, or even God, has that we feel we are deprived of.  But, personally, if we know that God gives, even at a loss to Himself, we are motivated to give.  He always fills the righteous, His own children, with the good things we need.  Though we may experience a small loss in the meantime, we wait patiently for His goodness.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love is kind…”  God is kind.
He has a common passion with our outcry for the salvation of our souls and the deliverance of our bodies from the bondage of sin. Therefore He gives generously according to His unlimited resource all that is necessary for the accomplishment of that salvation.  Although His passion burns like a fire, He does not pour out His saving goodness upon us with fierce expectation of return but rather with a favoring, communicable gentleness that constantly reminds us that He wants us to be saved. This passion and generosity causes us to search for subsequent opportunities to share in God’s passion for our own soul as well as the souls of others. It causes us to gratefully receive His generous gift on our behalf as well as give generously from the deposited well-spring of life within us so that others might be saved.  And our passion is for our own reconciliation with a God that is not demanding our salvation, but desiring our salvation.  So we are passionate to gently reveal that God desires others to be reconciled to Him because He loves them.  This is kindness.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love is...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
“Love is patient…”  God is patient.
He waits a very long time for His will to be performed in and through us without any annoyance on His part.  This causes us to wait a very long time for the will of God to be performed in our own body and soul as well as the bodies and souls of others.  Where patience is required, we can only hinder God’s will through our impatience…. A felt and expressed annoyance that the expected will of God has not already been accomplished.  When we are annoyed, we will not do our part because we have given up on the possibility of the expected. When we are annoyed with others, our impatience renders us incapable of contributing to their personal success.  God, in patience, continues to contribute.  Patience makes out of each one of us a contributor to the personal success of our companions in life while committing all annoyance to He who has been patient with us.

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