In meditating on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, I thought of how perfectly Christ demonstrates love embodied for us: 1.) He is patient with us: How often has he and does he put up with our sin and pour out love grace and mercy to us? 2.) He is kind: think about His kindness in taking in human flesh, in humbling himself as the servant of all, in going to the cross for us, in sending the Spirit, in restoring us to the Father, in filling us with innumerable gifts and joy and grace upon grace, in giving us His word and...3.) He is not jealous concerning us in the sense of not wanting us to have all goodness. He wants to shower goodness upon us, He wants us to be satisfied, He wants us to be filled with joy, he gives us richly all things to enjoy, even the trials he brings are for our good! 4.) He did not come to the earth bragging with arrogance, He came in the lowliest way, he made himself the servant of all, He poured himself out and completely submitted Himself to the Father's will! 5.) He does not act unbecomingly: He always acts in a way that accords with righteousness and truth, He always does the will of the Father, He is always good, and just and gracious! 6.) He did not come seek his own, but the Father's will and redemption and blessing for others. He laid His life down! 7.) He was not provoked: think of the Jewish leaders railing against Him, falsely accusing him, abusing him; think of Herod's mockery of him, think of the Romans cruelty to him. As they spat in his face, whipped Him, beat Him and crucified Him, He was never once provoked to anger or hate, or bitterness, instead He said "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!", He entrusted Himself to His faithful Father and finished the work of offering Himself for our sin as our Savior! 8.) He did not keep an account of wrong's suffered. Remember how all of his discipled abandoned Him at his moment of greatest need. He did not hold that against them, but instead he restored them in Galilee. What grace and mercy to give Peter the opportunity to profess love 3x to Him to erase his 3 fold denial of Christ. What grace to send these men out to represent Him fully restored after they had forsaken them. What grace that He does not hold our sin against us if we are trusting in Him and embracing His forgiveness! 9.) He never rejoices in unrighteousness, but always rejoices in the truth. He loves us to much to allow us to remain in our sin--He wants to redeem us from every lawless deed. He has given his Word and His Spirit turn us from sin and turn us to truth and righteousness. 10.) He always bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things with us. Again think of his dealing with the disciples. He could have focused a lot on their weakness and sin, but instead He encouraged them and gently brought them along! He bears with us and our weakness and warts, and sin as well. He sees the good that he is working in us through His Spirit and forgives and forgets the bad, He knows that he will fully conform us to His image of perfection, He endures all that we do and remains faithful to us to the end! What a challenge to love in this way with a love that never fails! Lord, give us this love!
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Over the course of my ministry I have heard many people justify many programs and methods in the name of being "All things to all men." There is usually something worldly that is going on in the church to attract people, or something worldly in that persons life that they are saying is just a tool to reach more people for Christ. MacArthur takes this idea on and completely dismantles it.
He walks through the context of 1Corinthians 9:22-23
“I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it” (1 Cor. 9:22, 23).
He also highlights features of Paul's ministry and his methodology. What he shows is that Paul never adopted or adapted methods of the world to attract people or please people. Instead what he did was deny himself certain rights and work within various religious expectations in order not to be an offense so that he could have the opportunity to clearly present the gospel in word and deed to the lost. If you have every debated what it means to be "all things to all men" or every used that phrase to justify worldliness in your life or in the church, you should read this chapter. It is spot on!
We should never sacrifice godliness or the clear teaching of scripture to try to reach more people. Instead, we should sacrifice our own preferences, without sacrificing truth, to humble ourselves to reach everyone we can reach with the gospel without compromise.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
When I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (1 Cor. 2:1–5).
For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness—nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority (1 Thess. 2:3–6).
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
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