Tag Archives: passion

The Greatest of these is Love

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails.

This verse of Scripture (1 Cor 13:4-8 NIV) is quoted at weddings probably more than any other. It’s been set to music, printed on posters, engraved on gifts. Yet, what many people don’t realize is that the “Love” spoken of here is not the kind of love we think of when we are romantically in love with another.

When we say we love something or someone we are trying to describe the feelings we have about that thing or person. I love my new car, my puppy, my wife, my new job, that new movie, etc, etc, etc. What an injustice to lump a husband or wife into a group of things as meaningless as a car or a video – yet we do it! We do it because our society over-emphasizes the word. Its not like there aren’t other words we could use – I like my new car, I enjoy my new phone, that new movie was great to watch, etc. etc. etc. Why does this world over use the word “Love“?

Before we attempt to answer that, lets look at what the Word of God says about “Love“. Not forgetting the selfless kind of love outlined in 1 Cor 13 what else do we see in Scripture?

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 LB

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31 KJV

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 KJV

Lets take a look at this last verse from John 15:13 for a minute. We all know that Jesus loved us all so much that He willingly took our place by dieing for our sins. Are we now to believe that He is instructing us to die for our friends as well?

YES! He is!!

But not the kind of death that He experienced. It’s more of that – “take up your cross and follow me” that Jesus also mentioned. It’s a “dieing-to-self” and considering the other person before yourself kinda thing.  Love can be a noun – expressing a feeling, desire or passion or Love can be a verb – an action word.

It is the noun that gets misused so often today. I love this and we love that and so on. But real love – the action word – is rarely seen in this society where we fall, as if by accident, into love and fall, as if involuntarily, out of love. But, the truth is, Love is a choice and not a feeling.  It’s a conscience decision to care for and support and cherish another person even if you sometimes don’t “feel” like doing so. Certainly, feelings play a role in people first getting to know each other. An attraction or shared interests or even a passion brings people together. This is the “Eros” or physical kind of love that is a part of our human nature. But, Jesus wants us to transcend this and move into the “Agape” or brotherly/selfless love that will sustain us in our relationships.

So, for real love to last, somebodies gotta die!

Hands in form of heart

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for_____________!

You fill in the blank. Maybe you gotta die for your husband, maybe for your wife, maybe for your child or maybe even your parents. What might this death look like? Glad you asked! Maybe you have to swallow your pride at work rather than telling the Boss off and loosing your job which would harm your whole family. Maybe, you have to not insist on proving your point to your spouse so as avoid a stupid fight over nothing. Maybe it’s as simple as trusting your child with your car even though your afraid they might get it scratched and thereby build them up.

Prioritizing the needs of another is the action which spells love!

The “Die-to-self” kinda Love that Jesus exemplified

There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—

and the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13 LB

Why does this world over use the word “Love“? Who knows? Who cares?

We are not of this World and we can show that in the way we truly love others. 1John 4

Thanks for stopping by. Be Blessed, Al

Also consider –

Last Years Post on Unforgivenesshttps://trinitystudiospicsblog.com/2014/03/19/but-if-you-dont-forgive/

Last Years Post on Love in Actionhttps://trinitystudiospicsblog.com/2014/04/15/the-basin-and-the-towel/

 

 

 

The Same..Only Different

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 11:29 NKJV

We all have gifts. They are as much a part of us as our hair color or fingerprints. They have been given to us by God long before we knew him. Whether we misused these gifts or tried to hide them, they are in us and make up who we are. Saul of Tarsus was a man who had a gift. His gift was a true love for God. A zeal for God that was unwavering and unquenchable. He considered himself to be a true follower of God. His impressive resume is clearly shown in Philippians 3:4-6 –

although I once also had confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.”

Very impressive. Today we would say that Saul is the right man for the job. Fully qualified. From the best family and educated at the best school. An Ivy League, well breed man. Except….

Except, he was kicking against the thorns. He was fighting the wrong fight. This man with a righteous upbringing and a vast knowledge of God was going in the wrong direction and actually fighting against the God whom he loved. That’s why God knocked him off his horse and blinded him long enough to show him his error.

Saul became the Apostle Paul. The same Paul who went on to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the known world, wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, considered the afflictions suffered for Christ’s sake as minor, saw a glimpse of heaven and lived to tell us about it.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come

2 Corinthians 5:17 HCSB

So, I want to ask you a question. Did Saul become a new man named Paul? Or, was he still the same?

I see in Paul a man with a great personal knowledge of God and zeal that carried him all over the world telling people about Jesus. Kinda sounds like something didn’t change.

So, he was the same…only different!

That’s my point exactly. Paul had gifts inside him that made him who he was. Smart, well read, passionate, bold, courageous. These gifts didn’t disappear when he was converted. No, they were re-directed. He was turned around and set in the right direction by the hand of God to the glory of God and for the fulfillment of his calling. The “newness” of Paul (besides his name change) was that he no longer opposed God and was now working with God. But his gift remained in him.

So, by now, if you are still reading, you are asking – “What does this have to do with me?” – Clearly, EVERYTHING!!

God created all of us with gifts. Gifts, abilities, passions, aptitudes, talents, call them what you will, they are in you and are you. If you don’t know Jesus right now those gifts might be being misused or hijacked but they can be redirected. Call out to Jesus and He will answer you and direct you.

If you do know Jesus but think you have no talent – you’re wrong. What you need to do is stop looking around at others and seeing their gifts and look inside yourself. Quietly, thoughtfully, prayerfully and patiently look for the passion within you and ask God to use it for His glory.

It does not matter what level of education or position in society. It doesn’t matter where you live or how you were raised. It doesn’t matter who old you are or how physically fit you may be.

You are unique! You are Special and you are GIFTED! There is a place in this world for you and your gift – it’s waiting for you. Like an empty space in Gods Kingdom that’s ready for you to fill.

Don’t worry, you’ll still be you – the same…only different!!

Be Blessed, Al

PS – The Apostle Peter is also a wonderful example of a gifted man who was redirected to the glory of god – look for him in an up coming post. Al