LOVE IS...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

We’ve all heard this portion of passage so many times, I’m afraid they have grown tired and overly familiar. I’ve got another challenge for you, take the phrase “Love is patient” and substitute your name for the word “Love”. Then do it for every statement of “Love” listed in this portion of passage. In other words, I would say, “Wayne suffers long and is kind; wayne does not envy; Wayne does not parade himself, is not puffed up...”

Now that you’ve done this, don’t you feel like a liar? If we are meant to represent what love is, then we often fail to love people well.
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GOOD INGREDIENTS

I was going through my mothers kitchen the other day and saw a bottle of V8 Splash sitting in storage. I was thinking this was the V8 that had high-fructose corn syrup in it: a sweetener with mercury, and has been shown to cause substantial weight gain over that of sugar. When I saw the front label, it said “Diet”. I picked up the container just to find that it contained an artificial “diet” sweetener which has been proven to shut down the bodies metabolism.

We see this all the time in our advertising culture. I see candy with “No Fat” labels, and chips with “no trans-fat”. Often, when you look at the ingredients, the healthiness they are trying to portray on the label is not what is actually in it - it’s usually full of sugary chemicals, preservatives, colorings, etc.

Christians go around flashing their “Diet” label, trying to convince everyone they are healthy and good. Yet, they have little healthful elements to their faith. It’s like the Laodiceans, who thought they had everything until Christ told them they were poor and wretched. They were all about declaring, “Look, we are diet. We have nice things, we have good families, we go to church every week.” Obviously, it’s not what you advertise that counts, it’s what your really made of.
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FETCH

When I read Scripture, not associating anything with religion, but read Scripture as if I’ve never read it before, I read that God wants all or nothing, He want’s our first, and He wants our best. If you think it does not matter, if you think you can give Him the leftovers of your time and money, your fooling yourself. Recall why Cain killed Able (Gen 4:5), recall Malachi 1:8, and if that doesn’t do enough, stop watching TV and recall the gospels.

It’s easy to fill ourselves up with the things of this world and give God what is left. Hosea 13:6 says, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” If we are honest with ourselves, we stay so busy in the worldly things we usually forget God. We throw Him a scrap or two, but only really because we feel guilty if we gave Him absolutely nothing. A mumbled three-minute prayer over a meal, or at the end of the day, when we are already half asleep. Two crumpled-up dollar bills thrown as an after-thought into the church’s fund - Fetch, God!!!

From God's perspective (which is the only that matters), leftovers are not merely inadequate - they are evil. Let's stop calling it a "busy schedule" or "bills" or "forgetfulness" - it's called evil.

Have you continued with the challenge from 11/12/13? Did you even try? How did you do? If you stopped, why? If your not sure what I'm talking about, please review "WHAT DO YOU ALLOW TO DICTATE YOUR TIME?" from November 12.
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LIFE ON THE EDGE

When I read Scripture that tells me not to store up (Luke 12:16-21) and I read not to store up things here on earth but to store up riches in heaven (Matt 6:20), isn't it pretty crazy to be scrambling so hard for things of this world when, at any moment, your life can stop without notice? Isn't it absolutely nuts, to covet the things your neighbor has, forsaking God's instruction, and buying those things which will fall apart within a few years? When I look back at my life, I can only think of a couple items that I'm glad I bought (the bedroom suit we've had for almost 20 years, etc). But, and think about this, look at how many things that we've spent money on, that we can say, "that was a waste of money" - because that item is either dead and gone or collecting dust with no use what-so-ever. Are we really willing to trade Heaven for these things?

Comforting thought with the holiday of greed and coveting just around the corner. Yet, will we be hearers or doers? Will we take the words seriously? (Refer to Friday's post "DO YOU TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY?"
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