“Biblical Love: Rate Yourself” February 14

 

Biblical Love: Rate Yourself - What is biblical love? Is it what greeting card writers want us to believe? Is it some irresistible attraction? Is it something we fall into and out of?What is biblical love? Is it what greeting card writers want us to believe? Is it some irresistible attraction? Is it something we fall into and out of?

 

Today’s Readings:

Exodus 39 & 40
Psalm 22.16-21
Proverbs 8.22-31
Matthew 27.1-26

 

Biblical Love: Rate Yourself

 

Matthew 27.1-26

What is Biblical love?

 

So what is love? Is it what greeting card writer’s want us to believe? Is it some
irresistible attraction? Is it something we fall into and out of? Are we just victims of Cupid’s arrows?

One definition of love is “a purposeful, sacrificial action for the benefit of another and the glory of God without expecting anything in return”. And one of the best passages to show us what that looks like is 1 Corinthians 13.4-7a. Among other things, it says:

  • Love is patient. It’s patient when tempted to be impatient.
  • Love is kind. It’s kind even when the other person doesn’t deserve kindness.
  • It’s not envious of others. It’s not envious of their material possessions, their success, or anything else.
  • Love is not boastful. It doesn’t show off or brag. It’s not puffed up with pride.
  • It’s not rude. Sometimes we’re kinder to strangers than we are to our own spouses and children. But if God’s love abides in us we will not be rude, either in our words or our actions.
  • Love is not selfish, constantly seeking to have it’s own way. It prefers others as more important than itself.
  • It is not irritable, no matter what the circumstances. It is not resentful.
  • Love bears all things. It bears up under hardship. The old King James Version says that love forbears. It puts up with. At times we just have to “put up with” the shortcomings and failings of others. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4.8).
  • It believes all things. It gives the other person the benefit of the doubt. It believes that God is working in the other person just as He is working in us.
  • Love hopes. Biblical hope is much stronger than our “wishing and hoping” kind of hope. It’s expectant.
  • It endures. It perseveres. Love never ends.

 

Rate Yourself

 

Based on this list, if you were to rate your love on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being very low and 10 supremely loving, how would you rate yourself? Take a minute and think about it. I’ll wait.  Continue reading

“A Lovers’ Quarrel & Biblical Love” September 3

 

A Lover's Quarrel & Biblical Love - What is biblical love and can it enable us to treat someone in a Christ-like way even when the other person is acting selfishly?What is biblical love and can it enable us to treat someone in a Christ-like way even when the other person is acting selfishly?

 

Today’s Readings:
Song of Solomon 5 & 6
Psalm 104.24-30
Proverbs 24.19-20
1 Corinthians 13.1-13

 

A Lovers’ Quarrel & Biblical Love

 

Song of Solomon 5 & 6:

A Lovers’ Quarrel

 

In chapter 5.2-8 the Shulamite and Solomon have had a lovers’ quarrel. Solomon expressed his desire for her in the middle of the night and she made excuses.

Both of them were selfishly focused on themselves and by the time his bride had second thoughts, you might say, Solomon had gone to sleep on the couch.

“I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer” (5.6).

Verse 9 begins “What is your beloved more than another beloved …” This serves as a poetic reminder to quit focusing on his selfishness and to focus on his good qualities.

That is so important in a marriage!

God's grace

All of us, husbands and wives, are sinners and our tendency is toward selfishness. It’s only by God’s grace we can learn to put others before ourselves (Phil. 2.3-4).  Continue reading

One Verse that Could Change Your Marriage Forever

 

One Verse that Could Change Your Marriage Forever - Is there really one verse that could change your marriage forever? Could it change other relationships, as well? I believe there is!Is there really one verse that could change your marriage forever? Could it change other relationships, as well? I believe there is!

 

First, let me say that knowing this verse won’t change your marriage. Even memorizing this verse won’t change your marriage. Using it like a club over your mate, definitely, won’t change your marriage … not even praying it will do it!

 

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in praying the Scriptures and this verse (actually two verses to be more precise) would be a great passage to pray for your marriage and other relationships, but it can’t stop there.

And I believe it’s important to know the Word of God. The Scriptures were given by God, in part, to teach us how to have good relationships, beginning with our relationship with God Himself.

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3.16-17, NASB)

It not only teaches us, but it reproves us … shows us where we’re going wrong, corrects us … shows us how to get it right, and trains us so we can make godly living a lifestyle.

I, also, believe this would be a great verse to share with your spouse as something the two of you could work on together, though, we need to be sure we’re taking the logs out of our own eyes before we try to tell someone else where they’re going wrong (Matt. 7.3-5).

I believe in memorizing Scripture. Psalm 119.11 says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”  Continue reading

March 30 “Gay marriage & hard questions”

Interpreting Scripture is a hot topic today with even churches debating issues like homosexuality and gay marriage. One line of argument poses the question, “How can you say some Old Testament laws are still valid and others are not?”. It’s an important question.

hard questions

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 21 & 22
Psalm 38.9-22
Proverbs 12.26-28
Luke 5.1-16

Deuteronomy 21 & 22:

I’ll warn you; today’s comments are long. While I don’t pretend to have all the answers and there is certainly much more that could be said, I pray you’ll read and consider these things.

Murder, rape, rebellious children & your neighbor’s ox

What attention to all the details of life we find here in the Old Testament law—everything from the jurisdiction in a murder case (21.1-9) to “Good Samaritan” laws (22.1-4) to rape and adultery (22.22-30). But why would God care about different kinds of seeds being sown together or whether different materials were blended into one fabric. Bible passages like these sometimes raise questions that are challenging to answer.

Interpreting Scripture is a hot topic today with our courts deciding on the constitutionality of “gay marriage” and even some churches debating issues connected with homosexuality. One line of argument poses the question, “How can you say some Old Testament laws are still valid and others are not?”. It’s an important question.

For means of explanation and discussion, some scholars divide the law into three parts. They are: moral law, ceremonial law, and judicial/civil law. (For more discussion on this you can go to http://www.gotquestions.org/search.html.) Continue reading

January 31 “Are you raising rulers or servants?”

Happy kids

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant …” Ask yourself, “Am I raising the kind of son or daughter I’d want to be married to, have working for me, or have as my boss?”

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 11.1-10 & Exodus 12.1-51
Psalm 18:1-12
Proverbs 6:1-5
Matthew 20:17-34

Exodus 11.1-2 & 12.1-51:

The first Passover

Here we see the institution of the Jewish Passover. God is about to deliver His people from Egyptian bondage. But before Pharaoh will let them go, there will be one last plague–death of the first born.

Each Israelite family was to sacrifice a lamb and put some of the blood on the frame of the door to their house. When the death angel saw it, He was to pass over that home.

Jesus, on the night before He was arrested and the events leading up to the crucifixion began, was in the upper room celebrating the Passover with His disciples. On that night, as He was about to become the final Passover Lamb, that celebration or ordinance became what we call “Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper.” It was changed because there was no longer a need for a sacrificial lamb to be slain to temporarily cover sin. Jesus fulfilled that need once and for all. Praise be to the Lamb who was slain for me and for You! Continue reading