Friday, July 31, 2015

August 1, 2015

"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.…" Isaiah 53:5-6

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? I cry out by day but you do not answer me, by night, I find no rest. You are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors out their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”  Psalm 22:1-7

Love protects! You always protect what you love, there's no denying that!

We have established that God's affection is your protection! His love puts a covering of Divine protection over everything and everyone He loves!

I referenced the story of Adam and Eve and how God protected them from themselves and their own rebellious spirit. I showed you examples of God's protection of His people in Egypt during the plagues. I referenced how God delivered His people in the Passover through the blood of a lamb on the door posts. And I showed you how He protected His people from Pharaoh's army at the Red Sea! What threatened to destroy them God used to deliver them!

Today I want to show you one heart-breaking example of one time God did not protect someone He loved. That was the time God allowed His beloved Son, Jesus to suffer a cruel persecution and death in order to cover you and me from our sins! The Father turned His back on His own Son and stayed His protective hand to allow His Son to become the Lamb of God Who took away the sins of the world.

God's love for you caused Him to lift His protection from His own Son! God left His Son uncovered in order to cover your sin.

Now do you see what I mean when I say, "His affection is your protection?"

July 31, 2015

The third example of God’s great protection is the dramatic story of the Red Sea. Let me again illustrate God’s protection from a few selected verses:

“Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt. ”Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” Exodus 14:19-31

Let me highlight several phrases from this amazing story:

1) “The pillar of cloud (and fire) moved from before them to behind them……”

God literally had their back!

2) “Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side…”

For their protection God covered His people with light and kept the Egyptians in the darkness.

3) “During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion…..”

The last watch of the night was the hours from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. That was generally considered the time of heightened activity by demonic spirits. But during those hours God had them covered!

4) “God turned their destruction into their deliverance – His affection was their protection!”

When His people were sure Moses had led them into a vulnerable place and God had forsaken them to be destroyed by the Egyptians, God proved His love and faithful by miraculously turning their destruction into their deliverance! They learned what you and I must remember, God’s protection is as sure as His love!

This thought reminds me of a precious promise from another portion of I Corinthians, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” I Corinthians 10:13

His affection IS your protection!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 30, 2015

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household.  And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it.  Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:1-13

“It (love) always protects…..” I Corinthians 13:7

Here is another stirring example of how God protected His people!

He covered them with the blood of a first-born unblemished lamb and the angel of death passed over them while all the first-born of the Egyptians died.

As you know, this event is celebrated today as the Feast of the Passover or simply, Passover.

It is a big deal! It is remembered with great solemnity and celebration every year since this ancient event first happened as recorded above.

Also, it is a big deal because it foreshadowed the time when God’s Lamb would shed His blood to cover our sins and protect us from His wrath.

The plague of the death angel was the tenth of a series of miraculous but devastating plagues God visited upon the Egyptians in support of Moses’ demand that Pharaoh let God’s people go. During each of these plagues that God sent upon Egypt He protected the Hebrews!

God’s affection is His protection!

God has you covered!

God has your back!

The Passover proved it!

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 28, 2015

"It (love) always protects...." I Corinthians 13:7

You know better than to mess around with baby bear cubs if the mama Bear is around. She will protect her cubs and separate you from your body parts.

God built that instinct into the nature of mothers whether they be mother bears, mother birds or FredWes moms! You protect what you love! Husbands protect their wives, parents protect their kids, and brothers protect their sisters and they all do it because of their love for for each other. Quite simply, you protect what you love!

That truth is obvious in the story of the two mothers who came to Solomon to settle a dispute over a child. Solomon wisely asked for a sword to slice the child in half so he could be shared between them. In His God-given wisdom He knew the true mother would want to protect the child and offer to give him to the other woman. That is precisely what happened and the one who was the child's mom offered to give up the. Solomon ordered the child to be given to her.

The word used for "protect" literally means "to cover".

Isn't that a great description of how you protect the people or possessions you love?

You protect your children by covering them with prayer, supervision, rules, and safety equipment.

To protect your family and the possessions in your home you cover it with a roof.

When you want to protect your vehicle you pull it under the cover of a garage or a car port.

Anything you want to protect you cover up to keep it from the elements or from being stolen.

You buy insurance coverage to protect you against the risk of significant financial loss if your car is wrecked or your house is destroyed by fire.

Love protects!

You will demonstrate what you love by what you spend in time, money and energy to protect!

One of the wonderful aspects of God's love is how He protects you!

In the next several posts I will share some specific and inspiring ways God has protected His people!

But in the meantime be encouraged, HE HAS YOUR BACK!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 27, 2015

"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." Romans 12:16

This section of Romans 12 mentions three aspects of this peace:

Giving grace not holding grudges, V. 14
Empathizing with other's emotions, V. 15
Humility helps with harmony, V. 16

These spiritual characteristics are significant be cause they promote peace and unity within a church fellowship. But even more so because they show evidence that you have found spiritual peace within.

The fact that you can extend grace to someone who has hurt you shows a spiritual maturity that comes only from the Holy Spirit.

And being able to celebrate the joys of others as sincerely as you celebrate your own and being able to bear the pain of others is a sure sign of spiritual maturity.

Unless you have arrived at a point of peace and contentment in the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to live like this.

Humility is the third quality of a spiritual person. For the next several posts we are going to think about humility and come to a better understanding of why it is so important within a fellowship of believers.

My favorite definition of humility comes from Dr. Elton Trueblood, the great Quaker scholar and theologian. He wrote, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, humility is not thinking of yourself at all."

If humility is anything, it is certainly removing your self interest from the spiritual equations of your life. It is being delivered from the natural human inclination to ask, "What's in it for me?" Humility is "seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness". Humility is factoring how you can benefit your brother or your sister.

Humility is a clear indication that your "flesh" has been crucified and that His love rules in your heart.

How do you measure on the humility scale?

Have you removed your self interest to the perimeter of your life?

Are your actions showing evidence that you "love God with all your heart and all your soul and your neighbor as yourself?"

Will you humbly assess your heart today?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 26, 2015

"Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord." Psalm 27:14 (Amplified Bible)

This one summary verse captures the essence of being free from fear - have faith in the Lord! When life doesn't make sense and you are tempted to fear just wait courageously. Yes, that's right - just wait!

In thinking of this I wonder if one of the reasons so many Christians struggle with fearfulness is because so many struggle with waiting on the Lord. Could that be?

Waiting seems so passive. You want to do something active and make something happen. While there are times that is necessary, waiting on the Lord is not one of the them. While you are waiting you are praying to God and hoping in Him. And you are watching to see how He will work.

When you wait on God you are saying, "I trust in you, Father and I have placed my hopes in you. I know you are at work in this circumstance and I will wait to see what you are doing and let You show me what I need to do."

Does that make sense?

Another way to say it is, "Waiting on the Lord conquers fear."

Let's talk about why that is:

One thing that causes fear is the need for control. The truth is, life is beyond your ability to control it. It is too complex and too unpredictable for any mortal to control it. So, feeling a need to be in control while knowing that there are things beyond your control is frightening!

But as you patiently wait upon God you are, in effect, saying to Him, "God I know I am not in control of my life so I will allow you to be in control and I will watch to see what You do!" That will relieve your fear.

Another common cause of fear is a lack of confidence. When you do not have confidence in yourself you feel powerless and overwhelmed by life, which induces fear. A lack of confidence causes you to doubt your ability to be successful and contributes to the fear of failure.

By waiting on the Lord you say to Him, "I am placing my confidence in You! I trust You to do what is best for me and enable me to do what You want me to do."

That confession of faith in God removes fear!

One more common cause of fear is a lack of courage. When you feel afraid to speak up or take a stand for yourself, for others, or for your beliefs you live in fear of others who seem more courageous.

Often a lack of courage is really a lack of commitment. Fully committed people have strong convictions and those convictions inspire courage. Courage arises from true convictions and faith in those convictions overcomes the fear of not defending them.

For example, a conviction that freedom is worth defending is what gives a man the courage to become a soldier and go into battle. He isn't courageous by nature, but he is committed to remaining free.

Waiting on the Lord demonstrates the courage of your convictions. Believing that He will do what His Word says He will do gives you courage to overcome your fears!

Do you often struggle with fear?

Is fear the dominant emotion of your life?

Does fear keep you from realizing your dreams?

Could your fear be a result of control issues? Could it be a lack of confidence or do you lack courage?

Take it to the Lord and wait before Him.

July 25, 2015

"There is a way that appears to be right but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 16:25

"In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Judges 21:25

If it was easy to do the right thing everyone would be doing it.

These verses emphasize the importance of understanding what is right and what is wrong.

If you do what seems right to you, you will do wrong every time because your moral compass is corrupted.

When you have everyone doing what is right in his own eyes you have chaos and chaos can easily degenerate into anarchy.

That is pretty much how it was in the days of Noah before God destroyed the evil doers with the flood.

We are perilously close to that today.

What can we do to turn the tide?

The answers are found in I Corinthians 13:4-8, the Scripture we have been studying this summer.

We need to live in the love of Jesus and love people to life.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” I Corinthians 13:6

It’s quite clear. If you don’t have the love of God operating in your life, you will delight in evil and find it a struggle to do what it right.

Let’s face it we live in a culture that DOES delight in evil. In fact, it glorifies evil and ridicules what is right and good. This explains how an abortion doctor can casually much on a salad and swill wine while she explains how she can kill an innocent child in the womb in such a way as to preserve its organs to be sold. And then people in their movement actually try to defend these actions.

But since we are honoring truth it is important to recognize evil dwells in our hearts and if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to deal with it and fill us with His power and purity, we will also delight in evil.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 24, 2015

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." I Corinthians 13:6

Okay, I shared a couple of big ideas - truth defines what is right and truth defines what is real, but what do those mean to you in every day living?

That's a GREAT question!

The answer - it means good decision-making! It means having strong weapons for resisting temptation!

In the final mention of things love isn't we see love does not delight in evil. That means you must know what is evil and what is good. How can you know that?

You know that by knowing what is true!

Love commits to what is true. When tempted emotionally or physically or morally people who love God and who love truth ask, "Is this right?" Then they ask, "Is this real or is it temporary?"

This is another way of asking, "Is this the wise thing to do?"

Take a moment and reflect back on some of the tragic decisions you have made. How different would you life be today if you would have paused to ask these two questions before you made a decision?

If you love God and if you love life you must love truth more that you love evil. If the love of God is present and active in your life you will love truth more than evil. And when you love truth more than evil you will make decisions based on what is right and what is real!

To see how this works, study Matthew 4:1-11.

How did Jesus determine what was right?

How did He decide what was real?

Jesus asked delighted in the truth to make it possible for you to delight in His love!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 23, 2015

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." I Corinthians 13:6

Truth defines what's right and it also defines what's real.

You and I were born into this world with a warped sense of reality. We arrived upon planet earth believing it was all about us. 

That reality worked for awhile until you ran into others operating under a similar reality. Then you discovered the reality of conflict. 

The tendency of the sinful human nature is to construct it's own reality, a world where I am in charge and answer to no one. Ask Lucifer or Adam and Eve about that.

Knowing what is right is a major first step toward knowing what is real but it doesn't guarantee you will get there. Lucifer lived in the glorious presence of God and still lost his grip on reality. Adam walked with God and talked to Him face to face and yet he lost touch with reality.

When being right doesn't keep you in touch with reality sometimes getting it wrong can clarify so things for you. Just ask the foolish son in the parable of the Prodigal about it. I imagine Lucifer and Adam each got a quick reality check as well.

Eventually, everyone will have a clear and simultaneous moment of reality when "every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord". Unfortunately, that will be a moment too late for many.

So how do you stay connected to truth, centered in what's right and certain of what's real?

The answer is at the end of this Chapter:

"Now remain these three, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:13

Faith keeps you in touch with reality because, "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe He is and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

Reality is eternity. What you see, hear, touch, taste or smell is NOT real it is only temporary. What is more real, something that lasts for a moment or something that lasts forever?Eternity trumps the momentary every time! Faith understands that! Faith connects with the eternal God!

Hope facilitates faith in your life because "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Hope is the will to believe! Hope is the desire to believe beyond the limits of your comprehension. Hope is elevating the spiritual part of your being above the rational part because you are focused on eternity.

Love is the greatest reality because it is the one thing that will endure forever since it is at the very essence of God's nature! Faith is a powerful thing but there is a day when it will be rendered unnecessary. Hope gives strength to endure difficult days but when you enter into you eternal home you will not longer need to hope! 

Love is right and love is real and that's the truth!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 22, 2015

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." I Corinthians 13:6

Truth defines two important things:

The first thing it defines is what is right.

Were you born into this world knowing right from wrong?

Me neither. I had to be taught what is right and what is wrong. There was a considerable amount of punishment required to accomplish the task.

The same was true of my children and from what I hear, their children required some training as well.

Since training in right and is necessary who should be the one to do it? 

It needs to be someone who loves you and someone who already knows what is right. Who fits that description better than parents? And really good parents teach their children God's truth as recorded in God's Word. 

As Moses was preparing to lead God's people into the Promises Land, God commanded him to give these instructions to His People:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

What better way to learn to love the truth and to learn the truth from someone we love?

And no wonder Paul admonishes the Church at Ephesus to "speak the truth in love" !  If you learn the truth from parents and pastors and Sunday School teachers and church family who love enough to courageously speak truth in love  you have a MUCH greater chance of rejoicing in the truth.

"Loving you to LIFE" became the passion of my ministry because it has been the joy of my life to learn right and wrong from people who loved me to life, people who rejoiced with the truth!

I hope that's true of you as well!

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 21, 2015

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. I Corinthians 13:6

Godly love loves what God loves!

Godly love also despises what God despises!

This is further evidence that God’s love is operating in you!

What God loves is truth and what He despises is anything that opposes truth.

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?”

He made the assumption that truth is a creed or a concept. Truth is a Person!

Jesus said, “I am the way, the TRUTH and the life.”

Whenever you walk in truth you walk in fellowship with Christ.

Truth is also revealed through God’s written Word, the Bible. Rejoicing in truth means rejoicing in the Word.

Do you do that?

Do you rejoice in God’s Word?

In John 1, Jesus is presented as the Word of God that became flesh. So the written Word of God is the Bible and the Living Word of God is Jesus.

No wonder love rejoices in the Truth! How could God’s love NOT rejoice in His Son!

If you don’t rejoice in truth you will delight in evil which is the rejection or denial of truth. As we have already established, rejecting truth or denying it is to reject or deny Jesus. That never ends well.

The truth is you are not truthful by nature. You are born with a sinful nature and a deceitful heart. So, if you suddenly find yourself loving God’s Word and God’s Son you will know you have been changed by His truth!

So, what is true about your love?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 20, 2015

"The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident."  Psalm 27:1-3

You were wired for faith not for fear.

Like faith, fear is a decision. You can choose to be afraid or you can choose to believe.

Here in this Psalm, David declares his decision to not give in to fear. That decision is based upon His knowledge that God is his light and his salvation. He chose to believe that a God who is able to do that for him is also able to deliver him from fear.

This does not mean that you may not have feelings of fear, but it does mean you do not have to give in to those feelings or act upon them. Rather, you speak faith to those fears just as David does in the first verse of this Psalm.

When he writes, "The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?", who do you think he is addressing? He is refocusing his mind by focusing on his faith not his fears. AND he is speaking to his fear.

That decision is best made ahead of time rather than when you are under attack by a fierce enemy. In fact, every day you should remind yourself that God is your Light and your salvation. Rejoice in that truth. Reinforce it in your mind. Saturate you spirit with it. Such a daily confess of faith will remove your fear. Speak it aloud so you can hear yourself declare it. Acknowledge His presence and power in your life.

When the day of trouble comes and the enemy is breathing his threats, you will find that faith has become your default setting. You will be able to choose faith over fear.

You can choose to live in faith and not by fear. 

Will you?

You can declare your faith every day! 

Do you?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 19, 2015

"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 in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." I Corinthians 13:4-8

Love and the need for love are some of the most powerful human emotions. You've heard it said, "You do for love what you wouldn't do for money."

The Captain and Tennille sang, "Love will keep you together."

Thousands of songs have been inspired by love.

During the Summer we are studying this significant section of Scripture for four important reasons:

It describes the supernatural love God has for each of us!
It demonstrates how God desires us to love others!
It dares us to open our lives to receiving this love!
It details how we can know that we have received this love!

Paul called this love "the most excellent way".

John Wesley would call it "perfect love" which is another word for holiness. This description of love provides an excellent definition of holiness. Watch what happens when I substitute the world "holiness" for the word "love".

"Holiness is patient, holiness is kind. Holiness does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Holiness does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angers, it does not keep a record of wrongs. Holiness does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. Holiness always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Holiness never fails." 

How do holy Christians love?

How do holy Christians live?

See the description above.......

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 18, 2015

"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 in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." I Corinthians 13:4-8

Wow! What a powerful and beautiful portion of Scripture! There is no more beautiful or instructive description of love than this!

Even if you aren't a Christian or a spiritual person you have heard this read at a wedding or two.

Love tops everyone's list because we are wired to need love. Each of us were created for relationships. For relationships to work well we must be adept at giving love and receiving it.
During the Summer we are studying this significant section of Scripture for several important reasons:
  • It describes the supernatural love God has for each of us!
  • It demonstrates how God desires us to love others!
  • It dares us to open our lives to receiving this love!
  • It details how we can know that we have received this love!
This Scripture not only describes the nature of God and godly love, it paints a picture of spiritual maturity. In fact, to make this point let me substitute the word "maturity" for the word "love".

"Maturity is patient, maturity is kind. Maturity does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Maturity does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angers, it does not keep a record of wrongs. Maturity does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. Maturity always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Maturity never fails." 

How do mature Christians love?

How do mature Christians live?

See the description above.......

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 17, 2015

"And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39

"Love is not self-seeking..." I Corinthians 13:5

Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself.

Paul said, "love is not self-seeking."

Those two sound contradictory. How do we reconcile these two statements? How can you love your neighbor as your self and not be self-seeking?

You must understand the true nature of love and then it will become very clear to you! In the Great Commandment Jesus offers the pattern for His people to love and in I Corinthians 13 Paul shares the particulars of this love.

It is important to realize you cannot fulfill the Great Commandment until you have been filled with the "agape" love detailed in I Corinthians 13.

God isn't calling you to conjure up warm fuzzy feelings of fondness in God's direction. Feelings have very little to do with the love referred to in the Great Commandment or in the "more excellent way". Faith and obedience have a LOT to do with them.

Only God can supply the love required to meet the requirements of His command. You provide the cleansed and consecrated will and God provides the grace to love Him. As you receive His love you find the grace to love others as He has loved you!

God doesn't call you to reproduce God's love in your own effort, He calls you to receive His love into your spirit.

That's how amazing God's grace is! It provides the means to complete everything He commands!

So, love is not self-seeking it is self-surrendering!