I see athletes do it all the time. Strutting their stuff when they do something cool.
Subtly we are learning in our culture that taking credit is a good thing. Tooting our own horn is supposed to make sense. Not strutting can be seen as a weakness.
God is love. He doesn’t strut and neither should we.
Love doesn’t strut. 1 Corinthians 13 (The Message Bible)
God is love. He is always looking for the best in us. He doesn’t see our foibles and quirks. He is not keeping a list of all of our failings. He sees us as fully redeemed sons and daughters.
How many times do we have the image of a God who is like us or people we know. Critical. Judgemental. Harsh.
God is not like that at all.
May I love like my Father and always look for the best.
Love always looks for the best. 1 Corinthians 13
Sometimes we keep a list of other peoples wrongs. We can recite it chapter and verse. It can actually be quite long. My heavenly Father does not have a list of my sins. He doesn’t keep one. He is love and love doesn’t keep a list. That is the truth. Anything else is a lie.
May I love the way He loves.
Love doesn’t keep a list of the sins of others. 1 Corinthians 13
My heavenly Father never gives up on me. He loves me even when I haven’t wanted to know Him. He loves me even when I wander off. He NEVER gives up no matter what.
May I love like Him. May I never give up. May I have His heart.
Love never gives up. 1 Corinthians 13
“The Message that points to Messiah on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction.” ~~Apostle Paul
The way God works seems silly to those who don’t know Him. For many, “Why” is the big barrier to a true relationship with God. “Why did this happen?” “Why would God work that way?”
Of course, this is the way children think as well. “I don’t get it” they say. “Why can’t I do X?” they ask. “I don’t understand why you want let me” they protest after we have explained it 10 times. Our decisons seem silly to them.
That what God is doing makes sense to me is a sign that I am on the way to salvation. I am on the road. I must stay focused on what He is doing and not get diverted by what He isn’t. If I stay focused on His wisdom, I will be more than happy.
The Message that points to Messiah on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—proclaiming the Message, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21
What is it about persistence in love? It must be something like the Energizer Bunny. It just keeps going and going. But how often has my love stopped? Some offense. Some bad circumstance. Some care of this world. That is not how my Father loves. His love just keeps going.
May my love be like His. May it just keep going. Going and going with to the end.
But love keeps going to the end. 1 Corinthians 13
Today’s scripture blew me away. What is important? Not what the economy is doing. Not what I give away. Not what I get. I am bankrupt without love.
That is the focus. Everything needs to come down to this.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Sometimes I am stunned by the simplicity of how God speaks to us. Through Paul He gave it to us pretty straight. He didn’t say, a few things or occasionally or if I feel like it. Nope.
Do everything in love. May I live this daily.
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
There is love and then there is extravagant love. My Father loves me extravagantly. I should love the same way. He isn’t reserved and holding back. Not at all. He sees me from afar and comes running. When I ran from Him he watched everyday waiting for me to return.
On seeing me a long way off, He came running for me. His heart was pounding. He embraced me. He kissed me. He brought me clean clothes, the best He has. He put His ring on my finger; the family ring He has been saving for a special time. He prepared an amazing feast for me. We celebrated. I was lost but He never stopped loving.
May I love like that!!! May I love extravagantly!!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Paul wasn’t afraid to admit that he was inadequate. Now that is something. In fact, he was scared to death.
So where did that lead him? Straight to God. He is able. Nothing is impossible with Him. The Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead was in Paul and is in me.
I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5
As I seek to mature in the Lord, one of the big three things to focus on is trusting Him more and more. I need to be steady in my trust. Not trusting one day and then not the next. Maturity is what I need to strive for. It is so easy to slide into trusting anything but God. That is so immature.
So it is focus and consistency. That is the key. Focus on Him who will complete everything. He is leading us toward that consummation. It is His heart’s desire.
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. 1 Corinthians 13
Different cultures and religions have unique views of God. There is only one message though. That is the message of Jesus. He is everything wrapped up in something that doesn’t make sense to our puny minds. The message actually seems absurd to us. It doesn’t make sense to us at our human level.
God is absulute perfection and completely set apart from what we naturally know. Jesus came and has given us the key to enter into His presence. Jesus is everything we need.
While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
We know what we are thinking. We do it every minute of our waking hours. A steady stream of thoughts. Most of the time no one else has a clue what we are thinking. We are mystery to others including those we are closest to.
That is the same with God. He knows what He is thinking BUT He lets us in on it. He doesn’t hide what He is thinking from us. We have Good News from Him all the time if we listen. He has a plan. He is revealing it to us every day.
“Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it.” ~~Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2)
Do I have my feet on firm spiritual ground? Am I seeking popular wisdom? God has plenty of wisdom to share with me. It doesn’t go out of date. His word is good forever.
I have sat through lots of seminars over the years. Some of it I am sure is high priced. I have noticed that it gets out of date pretty soon. Then another “hot shot” comes on the scene. God’s wisdom is not that way.
We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. ~~Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:6)
“‘For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.’
1 Cor. 4:20 NKJV
“It is abnormal for a Christian not to have an appetite for the impossible. It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus.
The lack of miracles isn’t because it is not in God’s will for us. The problem exists between our ears. As a result, a transformation, a renewing of the mind, is needed, and it’s only possible through a work of the Holy Spirit that typically comes upon desperate people.
Stories of the impossible are becoming the norm, and the company of people who have joined this quest for an authentic gospel, the gospel of the Kingdom, is increasing. Loving God and His people is an honor. We will no longer make up excuses for powerlessness because powerlessness is inexcusable. Our mandate is simple: raise up a generation that can openly display the raw power of God.”
Excerpts from When Heaven Invades Earth chapter 1
by Bill Johnson
We don’t own Jesus. No church owns Jesus. He hasn’t be chopped up into little pieces called Baptist, Catholics or Pentacostals. We have all been baptized in the name of Jesus.
We belong to Him. We ought to reflect that in what we say and do.
I ask you, “Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Has Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul’s name?” I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I’m sure glad I wasn’t. At least no one can go around saying he was baptized in my name. (Come to think of it, I also baptized Stephanas’s family, but as far as I can recall, that’s it.) 1 Corinthians 13-16
May I belong to Jesus. May all see that is true.
Jesus was pretty clear that it’s mandatory. “A New Command,” He said. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
The best thing about love is not just what it does to others. They will react as they can within their own limits. I think that Love’s most powerful aspect is what it does to the Lover. Loving others as God loves you will turn you inside out from the toes up! It leads to personal transformation. It changes you. It leads to Freedom. It leads to Joy. This is really powerful stuff! It is the real deal!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. 1 Corinthians 13 4-7
Oh how we value the articulate and charismatic preachers. The powerful of this world. The smart ones. The bright ones. The good looking ones. That is not God’s way.
There is a simplicity in telling others the good news about Jesus. God’s power and the Holy Spirit is in the simplicity of that message. When we step into His way we won’t struggle with how good we sound. We don’t have to. He will use our simple words to convict and bring others to Him.
You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:1-2
What type of thing would seriously and urgently concern the Apostle Paul about Christians? The inability to get along. That is it. It is still a challenge today. He would be “shocked” at the condition of the the faithful today.
May I get along with my fellow believers. May I promote consideration of my brothers and sisters.
I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common. I bring this up because some from Chloe’s family brought a most disturbing report to my attention—that you’re fighting among yourselves! I’ll tell you exactly what I was told: You’re all picking sides, going around saying, “I’m on Paul’s side,” or “I’m for Apollos,” or “Peter is my man,” or “I’m in the Messiah group.” 1 Corinthians 1:10-12
I am not what I think I am some times. In fact, Paul reminds us that we are, in fact, the temple of God.
This is rather statling and amazing. God is present in me. Do I always act that way? Clearly not. If I always believed that I wouldn’t vandalize what is His.
Simple. Straightforward. Clear.
You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
May I believe, think and act knowing that God himself is present in me.
God didn’t choose the brightest and the best. God chooses those who will follow Him. That is it. The brightest and best sometimes think they can do it without God.
There is no pretension with God. He isn’t impressed by what we know or what we have. He knows it all. He has it all. There is nothing we have achieved that He wants.
There is absolutely no horn blowing with God. Everything comes from God.
May I blow God’s trumpet. He ROCKS, not me. May I take advantage of His right thinking.
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31