We are called to identify with Christ in our actions. We are called to partake of the Lord’s Table when we are identified with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul addresses the issue of those who would partake of the demons table and then come to the Lord’s Table. The absurdity of this is obvious. Yet in this world people do try to sit at both tables. In this message, Pastor Steve opens up 1 Corinthians 10 to seek clarity from the Scriptures.
1 Corinthians 16
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
After yesterday morning’s message, I read these verses in my personal reading this morning. Notice the call to “let all that you do be done with love” and “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed” and “my love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” The final words of a letter will wrap up the writers emphasis. It seems that Paul was emphasizing the love of Christ in them and in him.
To have the love of Christ and to live the love of Christ was the answer of Christ when he was asked what the greatest commandment of the law was. His answer, yesterday’s sermon, found in Matthew 22 was that we are to love God with all of our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Yesterday we studied that God is love, God’s love shows us how to love, and that we are to love with the action that God showed in his love to us. Of course, God’s action of love is that he continually gave to those that he created in his image and that he gave of himself when he sent the Lord Jesus to become the sacrifice for our sin.
So how do we “let all that we do be done with love?” The opposite action of love is taking, a selfishness that always thinks of self first. The action of love then is a selfless giving that gives to those in need and does so at all times. Galatians 6:10, “Let us do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith.” We are also taught in Galatians to “bear one another’s burdens and to so fulfill the law of Christ.” To whom are you doing good things? Whose burdens are you helping to bear? If you are not actively showing the love of God to someone, ask God who you can show his love to. Ask God to open your eyes to someone’s need and then reach across your insecurities and do what you can to meet their needs or to help them carry their burdens. Then we will be heeding Paul’s final words in 1 Corinthians, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.”
Last week I was in class and the week before I was preparing for class. It is good to have the class finished and to be back into my work schedule. Thanks for your prayers for me during that time. God enabled me to get everything done and I am thankful.
This week and next week, we are finishing some things at the house. If you like to paint or to clean carpet or do other things, we could probably use your help. Getting the house ready to sell is a HUGE job. We have appreciated those who have already helped us. There is still much to do.
Have a great day in the Lord,
1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
There may be several ways to read this verse but my favorite method of interpretation is to take the most obvious meaning first.
The most obvious meaning here, based on the context of the chapter, is that godly love never fails. Everything else that is important will fail, cease and vanish away but godly love never will, it will endure forever. Elsewhere we learn that knowledge puffs people up. When we learn something we get proud of what we have learned. We try to teach someone else our new-found smarts and if possible put them in their place for their lack of knowledge. On the other hand, love builds people up. When love and knowledge are mixed people feel better.
We can spend the majority of our lives increasing in things that will pass away. Shouldn’t we instead spend our lives increasing in that which will endure both this life and eternity? Do people care how much you know or how gifted you are if you are filled with yourself? Or do people enjoy you because you are filled with love for them? Do people’s eyes light up when they see you because they are glad you are there? If you are bringing something of value to the room, then yes, they will be glad you are there. And what is the most valuable gift you can bring into a room? Yep, godly love, that self-sacrificing care for someone else that they know is going to build them up, encourage them, make them feel special, ask how they are doing, be happy with their success, and grieve with their sorrows. Godly love is ever giving, never taking. Godly love cares when no one else has time to care. Godly love is not on a clock or a calendar but is always available to give.
When we love someone with godly love they are receiving from us that which they will never lose for it will endure forever. Therefore, love, godly love, John 3:16 love, is the best gift we can give and should accompany every tangible gift we place in another’s hands.
Last night the men finished the video series, “Not a Fan.” In it we were brought face-to-face with the reality that God wants us to be followers of Him not just admirers of Him. Fan’s sit in the stands and watch the game, cheer the team, and go home without any real commitment to the team. Followers give everything to follow Christ. They hold nothing back at any level and do so because of their love for the Lord Jesus. Love is the defining action of a follower. Fan’s love themselves and try to make themselves feel good by their service and participation. Followers are in it because of God’s love to them and having forsaken all to follow Him serve with His love flowing through them. When others see the love of God in a follower of His they can then believe that God is real. It is our prayer that we all become and live as followers of Jesus Christ until we die.
Pray for a friend named Julie who has been given four –six weeks to live. She has been to church and is a close friend of Barbi. Pray for God’s grace and peace for Julie and for her family and friends.
Have a great day in the Lord,