Back Close

Continue
the Conversation

Sunday isn’t the only day God wants to grow you. Keep talking to Him and go deeper with this week’s guide.

Week of October 18

  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-3—If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

 

We often think about what we can DO for the Lord.  We read Scripture, pray, do nice things… all for Him.  But does He actually need us to do things for Him?  What do we help Him accomplish?  What does He actually need us for?  The true answer is nothing.  God will accomplish His purposes with or without us.  Why then should we do good works?  The answer is simple: love.  Love is the proper response to the greatness of God and the foundation that makes all our works meaningful.  We have the privilege of showing this lost world the goodness of God by showing this lost world His great love.  The above Scripture is crystal clear; no matter how many amazing thing we do, they are meaningless without love.  So let us love like Him.  

  • Matthew 15:8,9–These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. 

 

The above Scripture isn’t anything I ever want to  hear from Jesus.  Can you imagine coming face to face with the author of our faith…  the God/man who literally allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross for our sins an hearing Him say, “You worshipped me in vain.”  I would be devastated.  We need our worship to be more than lip service, more than a show for the outside world to see.  We need a heart that pursues Him.  The Palmist writes, “Give me an undivided heart that I am fear your name.”  Let that request be our prayer as well.  Lord, transform my mind and heart so that I love the way you love. 

Today, let’s simply re-watch the message from Sunday and marinate on His Word.

  • Matthew 22:34-40-Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

 

At the close of 1 Corinthians chapter 3, the Apostle Paul closes with the following line, “And the greatest of these is love.”  Jesus told His disciples that the world would know that they were His by the way that they love one another; thus it is easy to see that the defining characteristic of Christianity is love.  Taken as a concept, this means that whatever else we claim to be true or moral or necessary must be filtered through the lens of love.  As the greatest commandment, this cannot be emphasized enough.  Any action if not done in love is worthless.  Let us examine our thought process and motivations so all that we do is filtered through love.   

 

  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8—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. 

 

The above passage is perhaps the most famous of all of Scripture.  It is a favorite at weddings as two people pledge to love one another through good times and bad; however, this passage was not meant to be exclusively read at weddings. In fact, this passage is for all of us because it describes what worshipping God looks like.  We have been called to love Him, love others and love ourselves; and the above passage gives us specifically what that love looks like.  It shows us the appropriate reaction to the awesomeness of God.  Love is crazy and will make you do crazy things.  Love will make you reorient your priorities and pursue something with reckless abandon…It defies explanation and the kind of love described here is insane, and that it what makes it the right response to Jesus’ presence; and while this love is unattainable by our own power, the Holy Spirit works in us, transforming our hearts and minds so that we can love the way He loves. 

Ezekiel 36:26-27– I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 

 

Reading 1 Corinthians 13 can be very intimidating.  Who can love like that?!?!?! The answer is both simple and scary: no one.  So what are we to do when God asks us to do something that is impossible?  Remember that with God, “All things are possible” (Matt 19:26).  This passage in Ezekiel perfectly summarizes God’s role in transforming our hearts.  He is going to give us a new heart: a heart that desires Him and moves to follow His decrees.  And what is His greatest decree: to love Him.  God will literally transform our hearts and minds in such a way that we are motivated to love Him, so what is impossible for man is possible for God.