Series: Love Is ...
August 30, 2020 | George Clash
Now more than ever we need to be aware of the forces that seek to shape our lives. Its God's intention that we live our lives according to His word and Spirit being shaped by His love.
How are you being intentional in your formation of the image of Christ?
We are meant to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (Js. 1:27).
God has called us out and up so we can be lights to a corrupt and darkened world. It is in escaping the corruption in the world that we become partakers of the divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4)
And because lawlessness (sin) will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12 NKJV
The two major signs of the last days that will increase according to scripture are lawlessness and lovelessness.
As lawlessness increases many will grow cold in their affection and love for others. Its God's will for us to increase in compassion and love, enduring until the end.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
How do we often measure spiritual maturity? How do we know if we or someone else is spiritually mature?
God's love is action-oriented. It's not about what we say or feel but what we do.
Examples from 1 Corinthians where love did not demand its own way:
6:1-8 Lawsuits. Paul says it's better to suffer injustice rather than embarrass God’s church
8:1-13- eating meat vs. vegetables
9:1-23- working for free though he could demand payment for his work.
As Christians, our concern should be with our own interests but the interests of others.
He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
We are meant to imitate Christ and in all places we are meant to do it in the way we love one another (church) and others (lost).
1 Corinthians 10:24
Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Every day Read through 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Ask Holy Spirit where He wants to grow you up in love.
Are there any areas of lovelessness that you need to repent of?
How can you intentionally put others first this week?