Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Greatest Gift Is Love

   Sunday School Lesson                                            

 

Lesson: I Corinthians  13:1-13

                                                                                                  

Golden  Text: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but  the greatest of these is  charity (I  Corinthians  13:13).

I.   INTRODUCTION.   If the gifts of the Spirit were the only criterion for  success in church life, the church at Corinth would have been effective.   By Paul’s testimony, these saints were enriched in Christ and not lacking  in any gift (see I Corinthians 1:5-7).  Yet they were wracked by  doctrinal error.  Their case reminds us that being gifted by the  Spirit is not the same as being filled with the Spirit.  His gifts  are not the same as His fruit, and we need to be reminded that all is in vain  without love.  Demonstrating genuine love is not an easy  task.  Our culture promotes the idea that love is defined more by  feelings than by responsibility and commitment.  However, this  week’s lesson reveals that God’s perspective on love demands selflessness and  hard work.

II.  BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON.  Chapters 12 through 14 of I Corinthians were  written by the Apostle Paul in response to questions the Corinthians had  “concerning spiritual gifts” (see I Corinthians 12:1).  In I  Corinthians 12:31, Paul exhorted the Corinthian believers to “covet earnestly  the best spiritual gifts.”  The Greek term for “covet earnestly”  means to be “zealous.”  In other words, the spiritual gifts that  contributed most to the edification of the church were the ones to be most  desired (see I Corinthians 14:1, 3-5).  However, instead the  Corinthians coveted the gifts that were the most popular or spectacular, but  were the least useful.  The Greek term for “best” means  greater.  The best or greater gifts were the ones Paul placed  higher on his lists (see Romans 12:6-8; I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians  4:11).  For example, the apostle placed tongues last in his list in  I Corinthians 12:10, 28-30.  Although he didn’t discount the value  of speaking in tongues meaning other known languages, nevertheless he appears to  have considered it to be a lesser gift.  After outlining the  various spiritual gifts and how they were to be used in the body of Christ, Paul  paused to give an exposition on the “more excellent way” (see I Corinthians  12:31).  This is where our lesson begins.  As we shall  see, this “more excellent way” was the way of Christian love.   Using spiritual gifts without love is unprofitable.  These  gifts must be exercised in the context of Christian love.

III. THE  ABSENCE OF LOVE (I Corinthians  13:1-3).   Paul began his exposition with some hypothetical  examples.  Throughout chapter 13 he wrote in the first person,  making his arguments personal and powerful.  He included himself  with his readers.

A. Using spiritual gifts without  love (I Corinthians 13:1-2).

1. (vs. 1).  The Apostle Paul begins in  this verse saying Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling  cymbal.”  To  illustrate how useless spiritual gifts are without love, Paul began with the  gift that the Corinthians desired most—tongues or languages.   Using himself hypothetically, he said  Though I speak  with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity.”   The “tongues of men  and of angels” that Paul spoke of are apparently to be equated with the  gift of tongues.  This special ability to speak in a known language  that was unknown to the one speaking is compared to the practice of love.   We don’t know what language angels speak, but we do know that they communicated in human language with the people in both Testaments (see  Daniel 9:21-27; Luke 1:26-38).  Paul had this gift in abundance  (see I Corinthians 14:18), but he acknowledged that even if he could speak the  language of angels, and have not charity”  it would be useless.  The word  “charity” is ordinarily rendered “love” in the New  Testament.  It is the Greek word “agape” and speaks of an active,  self-sacrificing concern for others that expresses itself in charitable actions  and attitudes.  The same Greek word is used for God’s love for us  (see I John 4:10) and our love for one another (see I John 3:14).   In today’s usage, the word “charity” often refers to  helping the needy.  However, this is only one aspect of Christian  love (see I John 3:17).  To show how useless it was for him to be  able to speak in languages of men and angels without love, Paul said  I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling  cymbal.”  In other words, without being used in love, the  gift of tongues was just a lot of noise.  “Sounding  brass” refers to a bronze gong and “a tinkling cymbal” is a clanging cymbal that produces only a loud sound.  Noise is  produced by both of these instruments, but no musical melody.  So  it is with language used without love—it serves no  purpose.

2. (vs. 2).  Paul continues his  hypothetical situations saying “And though I have the gift of prophecy,  and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am  nothing.”  The “gift of prophecy” is the  ability to proclaim God’s Word, for the prophets were God’s spokesmen.   This was one of the best gifts because of its great value in  edifying the church (see I Corinthians 14:1, 3-5).  Paul ranked it  second behind the gift of apostles (see I Corinthians 12:28).   Note:  Paul himself spoke in tongues or different languages  (see I Corinthians 14:18) and didn’t forbid its use (see I Corinthians 14:39),  but the “gift of prophecy” was used to edify, exhort, and comfort God’s people  (see I Corinthians 14:3).  As a result, Paul declared in I  Corinthians 14:19 “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words  with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten  thousand words in an unknown tongue.”  A “mystery” in the New  Testament refers to God’s revelation that was once hidden but is now revealed  (see Romans 16:25; I Corinthians 15:51; Ephesians 1:9).   “Knowledge” here also called the “word of  knowledge” (see I Corinthians 12:8), could  be understood as Spirit-led insight into the meaning of Scripture (see Acts  18:25-28).  “Faith” here is the ability to trust  God to work in seemingly impossible situations (see Matthew 8:5-13; James  5:15).  The idea of “removing mountains” appears to be a proverbial way of referring to the great power of faith (see  Matthew 17:20; 21:21).  In essence Paul was saying that even if he  had prophetic insights into all the mysteries of God, the knowledge to teach His  truths, and even faith to remove mountains, it all would be useless without  love.  As important as these gifts were to the Corinthian church,  they still needed to be used with a generous dose of Christian love.   As an apostle of Christ, Paul probably had all of these gifts mentioned  in this verse (see II Corinthians 12:11-12).  However, if he failed  to use them with the guiding principle of Christian love, Paul said that  I am nothing.”     

B. Self-sacrifice without love (I Corinthians  13:3).  Paul  goes on to say in this verse And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and  though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me  nothing.”  The  apostle now turns his attention to deeds of mercy and devotion.   Paul stated that even if he took everything he owned and gave it all to  the poor, or sacrificed his body by being burned to death to become a martyr,  and “have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”   One would naturally think that doing such drastic things might  indicate a deep devotion to the Lord and His people, but other motives could  inspire a person to do these same things.  These deeds may come  from the selfish desire for praise and immortality in the eyes of men.   Giving all one’s goods to the poor and sacrificing one’s life are deeds  that must be judged by the motive or reason behind them.  What we  may perceive as love for Christ and mankind may simply be a show of  pride.  If the motive for doing these things is not love, then our  actions are worthless.

IV. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF LOVE (I Corinthians  13:4-7)

A.  Love’s behavior (I Corinthians  13:4-6).  The apostle now begins to  describe how Christian love acts or in some cases does not  act.

1. (vs. 4).  In this verse Paul says  Charity suffereth long,  and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed  up.”   First he said  that Charity (love) suffereth long”  meaning that love is  patient.  A person characterized by love is slow to become angry,  and puts up with other people’s unpleasant character traits and actions toward  us.  Note:  While most of us if not all of us, would admit that we  need more patience, we are not willing to wait for it or do the necessary work  to achieve it.  Patience comes through experiencing tribulations  (see Romans 5:3).  And if the truth be told, none of us want to  face adversity in order to gain patience.  But nevertheless,  patience grows out of love.  Love is also  “kind.”  A person characterized by love will show  kindness or will do good to others and is not self-centered.  This  includes responding with good words and acts to those who would  mistreat us.  Ephesians 4:32 says “And be ye  kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for  Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Paul also said that  charity (love) envieth not.”  In other  words, love is not envious or  jealous.  This was certainly a problem in Corinth because they  envied others for their gifts and made a show of their own (see I Corinthians  3:3).  The person who loves accepts the place that God has  appointed to them without desiring or taking credit for someone else’s  accomplishments.  The one who loves is willing to rejoice with  those who rejoice in their blessings and successes (see Romans 12:15).   “Charity vaunteth not itself” means that love does  not boast about itself and is not arrogant.  But the Corinthian  believers were arrogant (see I Corinthians 4:18-19).  The person  who loves does not show off or boast in an attempt to make others jealous of  what they own or have accomplished.  In  addition, charity or love is not puffed up.”   In other words, love is not  filled with pride.  The person who loves is humble and behaves  Christlike (see Philippians 2:3-8).

2. (vs.  5).  Paul continued to  say in this verse that charity or love Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,  is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.”  The Greek term for “behave itself  unseemly” means to act in a rude manner.  It refers to any  action that would be disgraceful or dishonorable.  The one who  loves always conducts themselves in a becoming manner around others.   They are always concerned about how others feel.  Love  “seeketh not her own” means that the person who loves does not  insist on having their own way at the expense of others.  Love is  not self-centered.  The interests of others are placed before any  of its own interests.  Self-centeredness is sin, for it replaces  God with self.  Self-centeredness pushed mankind into sin (see  Genesis 3:6; I John 2:16).  Paul also said that charity or love  “is not easily provoked.” This means that the person who loves  is not easily angered.  The Greek term for  “provoked” means to arouse to anger.  The person  who exhibits Christian love does not have a short fuse.  Since many  in Corinth were easy to become angry, it led them to take one another to court  to decide issues they could’ve resolved on their own (see I Corinthians  6:1-8).  Finally, here Paul said that love “thinketh no  evil.”  The Greek term for “thinketh” means to reckon.  It was used for the keeping of accounts.   Thus the phrase “thinketh no evil” means that love  doesn’t keep a mental record of wrongdoing.  Unfortunately, we keep  a record of wrongs done to us in order to hold it against the wrongdoer.   The person who loves does not harbor resentment against those who have  wronged them, nor do they look for an opportunity to get even when they have  been offended.

3. (vs. 6).  This verse says charity or  love “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the  truth.”  The word “iniquity” means sin.   Paul stated that the one who loves does not rejoice in sin or  gloat over evil.  Love doesn’t find pleasure in any kind of evil;  love does not condone it, nor is love entertained by it.  Although  the Corinthians may not have been rejoicing in iniquity or sin, they were  condoning it (see I Corinthians 5:1-13).  But what love does is  “rejoiceth in the truth” or with the truth.  We  are often too quick to listen to bad reports about other people and seem  thrilled when we do.  But when we hear a good report, we may  quickly dismiss or pay no attention to it instead of rejoicing as we  should.  

B.  Love’s beliefs (I Corinthians 13:7).  In this verse,  Paul summed up his description of Christian love saying that charity or love  “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”  The Greek word translated  “beareth” mans to protect.  Love protects others  from contempt.  If another believer has sinned, love attempts to  restore the erring brother.  Love does not condone sin, but it  seeks to protect the offender.  Yet, the Corinthians were putting  stumbling blocks in the way of the less mature believers (see I Corinthians  8:9).  However, in the context of our lesson, “beareth all  things” could also mean to restrain oneself when being wronged and not  venting our frustration.  “Believeth all things”  means that the person who loves is always ready to believe the best in  others.  It does not mean that we are gullible, but that we are  willing to give others the benefit of the doubt in all situations.   The one who loves is not quick to be suspicious of the motives and  actions of others, nor are they poised to think of the worst-case  scenario.  The one who loves “hopeth all  things.”  This means that love is  convinced that God’s purpose for His people  will ultimately be fulfilled (see Philippians 1:6).  In addition,  love does not see failure in the life of a believer as God’s purpose being  thwarted.  Paul then said that love “endureth all  things.”  The word “endureth” here refers  to an active perseverance.  The one who loves perseveres in the  midst of adversity.  Love endures whatever difficulties the  believer encounters.  In the Greek world during Paul’s time the  word “endureth” was used for soldiers who held a military  position at all costs.

V. THE DURATION OF LOVE (I Corinthians 13:8-13)

A. The temporary nature of gifts (I Corinthians  13:8-10).  At  this point in his discussion of Christian love, Paul now returns to the topic of  spiritual gifts, which by their very nature are only  temporary.

1.  (vs. 8).  In this verse, the apostle declared that  Charity never  faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be  tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish  away.”  Paul began  here by stating that “Charity (love) never faileth.”   In other words, love never fails, for it is permanent and  eternal.  Paul then contrasted the permanence of love with the  cessation of the spiritual gifts.  Spiritual gifts have been given  to believers to edify or build up the Christian church and their duration is  limited to the time when the church needs them.  The three gifts  Paul mentioned here are called sign gifts because they were often signs that  accompanied the revelation of God’s will.  Paul said that love was  permanent, but “whether there be prophecies, they shall fail.”   The word “prophecies” refers to the gift of  prophecy demonstrated by prophets.   Note:  Before the Scriptures were completed, the gift of  “prophecy” was especially valuable to the church and was the ability to declare  God’s revelation or message to His people.  The New Testament  prophets were inspired by God to foretell some future events (see Acts 11:27-28;  21:10-11).  At other times New Testament prophets expressed general  exhortation to the church (see Acts 13:1-2; 15:32).   Paul next said that “prophecies…shall fail” or be done  away with.  The Greek word translated  “fail” means to render something inoperative.  In  this case, “prophecies” will be made inoperative by using  something outside of themselves.  This something would be the  coming of “that which is perfect” (see verse 10).  Paul also said  that “whether there be tongues, they shall cease.”   The gift of tongues would cease to function as well.   Speaking in tongues was one of the signs intended primarily for  unbelievers (see I Corinthians 14:21-22) and confirmed the teaching of the  apostles (see Hebrews 2:3-4).  As a result, many believe that when  the apostles passed off the scene of history, this sign gift ended.   Others of course will argue that the gift of tongues is still operative,  though there is no evidence of this.  Paul then mentions a third  spiritual gift stating that “whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish  away.”  The gift of knowledge will also be done away  with.  The apostle was not referring to  “knowledge” in general or to what can be gained in an  educational setting.  Instead, Paul was thinking of the  “knowledge” that came by divine revelation, such as Paul  himself received (see Galatians 1:12).  The Greek word for  “vanish away” is the same word translated  “faileth” earlier in this verse.  Therefore, like  “prophecies,” the gift of “knowledge” will  become inoperative with the coming of “that which is perfect” (see verse  10).  Since these three gifts are going to “fail,”  “cease” and “vanish away,” it’s clear that they were  only temporary, or would last only as long as God saw their usefulness in the  church.  In contrast to these temporary gifts, love “never  faileth” but will last forever.

2. (vs. 9).  Now Paul says in this verse  “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.”   The spiritual gifts of knowledge and prophecy are by nature  limited.  Both knowledge and prophecy are partial and incomplete,  but are needed in our imperfect existence.  No apostle or prophet  had absolute and complete knowledge, only God has that (see I Peter  1:10-11).  Even Paul’s knowledge was partial and his prophecy was  partial as well.  He warned the Corinthian believers about those  who claimed to know everything (see I Corinthians  8:2).

3. (vs. 10).  Paul continued to say in this  verse “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in  part shall be done away.”  Bible scholars debate the  meaning of the phrase “when that which is perfect is come.”   The Greek word for “perfect” is the adjective  teleion and it can be rendered “mature” or “complete.”   Some think “that which is perfect” refers to the  completed New Testament Scriptures.  However, others see this as a  reference to the second coming of Christ.  Which explanation a  person believes will imply when these gifts of knowledge and prophecies will no  longer be needed by the church.  Each bit of knowledge or prophecy  reveals a small portion of God’s plan, so we are left with an incomplete  picture.  Even now, with the completion of the New Testament  revelation we cannot begin to comprehend the fullness of God’s Person and plan  (see I Corinthians 2:9).  We will not know that until the church  itself is transformed into His image.  The full revelation of God’s  truth will come “when that which is perfect is come.”    The word “perfect” most likely refers to the moment  believers’ are transformed and glorified (see I Corinthians 15:51-54;  Philippians 3:20-21).  This will take place at the rapture of the  church (see I Thessalonians 4:15-17).   Note:  The idea of perfection here in this verse refers to  what is complete, lacking nothing.  Therefore, when gifts are no  longer needed, the church will not suffer any loss because the partial will be  replaced by the complete.  So the longest any gifts will be needed  will be until the return of Christ.  But since God sovereignly gave  the gifts, it’s also His prerogative to decide when to remove or modify them  even before the return of Christ.  Many scholars believe that this  has happened to the gifts of prophecy and tongues, being no longer needed by the  church.  We may not know  when “that which is perfect is come,” but we do know  that the spiritual gifts are incomplete or “in part,” and  therefore one day “shall be done away.”   Note:  We shouldn’t spend our  time debating whether this spiritual gift or that one has been or will be  discontinued.  Paul’s point is that one day all gifts, both the  greatest and the least, will no longer be needed by the church.   However, love is different.  Love is God’s own nature and  therefore will last forever (see I John 4:7-8).  This is why love  is above all the gifts.

B. The expectation of perfection (I  Corinthians 13:11-12).  In these verses, Paul gave two illustrations to show the  contrast between our present partial knowledge and the complete knowledge that  we will one day have.

1. (vs. 11).  In this verse, Paul says  When I was a  child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”   Since all of his readers  (then and now) were once children, we can quickly see the contrast being made  between childhood and adulthood or maturity.  Paul pointed out from  his own childhood that as a child he communicated on the level of a  child.  He also understood and thought like a child.   Of course this was only natural.  But when he grew older or  reached adulthood, he stopped doing childish things.  The temporary  spiritual gifts were “childish things” compared to God’s  completed revelation.  Note:   The application of this illustration to  the gifts is evident.  The Corinthian believers were part of the  formative years of the Christian church.  The spiritual gifts were  to be used to bring the church from a state of infancy to adulthood.   While childhood is an important part of human growth and development,  it’s not where we want to remain.  There comes a time when we need  to “put away childish things.”  In the same sense, Paul wanted to  impress upon the Corinthian Christians that the spiritual gifts they cherished  so much were not a part of God’s permanent plan for His people.   Their childish attitudes toward the gifts had to be “put away.”   When we enter the perfect state reaching spiritual maturity when  Christ returns, these spiritual gifts of tongues, knowledge and prophecy will be  done away with forever.  Our knowledge of God is presently partial  when contrasted to the complete, perfect knowledge we will one day have (see  Philippians  3:9-12).

2. (vs. 12).   In this verse Paul goes on  to say “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”   The “glass” that Paul refers to was a first  century mirror which was usually made of polished bronze, not glass.   The image reflected in them was often blurred and not very clear.   In fact, the Greek word for “darkly” means indistinct or  indistinguishable.  This seems to describe the gift of prophecy  which through revelation only gave a partial or dim image of God’s character and  will.  The gift of prophecy was like seeing “through a  glass (mirror), darkly (dimly).”  It’s as if we are  looking at a hazy image in a mirror.  Therefore,  the gifts of prophecy, knowledge and tongues couldn’t replace seeing the Lord  “face to face” (see Numbers 12:6-8; Deuteronomy 34:10).   This will take place only when the church is perfected and glorified (see  I John 3:2).  Even though we have the complete text of Scripture,  our knowledge is still incomplete.  However, the temporary things  of this world, including spiritual gifts, will one day give way to the permanent  realities of heaven (see II Corinthians 4:18).  Paul then concluded  that “now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am  known.”  The phrase “now I know in part”  means that right now our knowledge or spiritual understanding of God’s  truth is only limited or incomplete.  But Paul also envisioned a  time when our spiritual understanding will be complete as he said “but  then shall I know even as also I am known.”  In the final  state of redemption when we see the Lord face to face, we will have a complete  knowledge of everything.  In heaven all doubts will be removed, all  questions answered, all fears eliminated and all hopes realized.   Paul said at that time he would know “even as also I am  known.”  In other words, we will have complete knowledge  similar to the knowledge God has of us.  God’s knowledge of us is  beyond our full understanding as finite creatures (see Psalms 139:6; Romans  11:33).  However, our knowledge will never be as complete and  perfect as God’s knowledge, but we will know the full measure of what we were  designed for.

C.  The virtues that  endure (I Corinthians 13:13).  In our  final verse Paul declared And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”   In contrast to the spiritual gifts which are temporary, there  are three virtues produced by the Holy Spirit that “abideth” or  are permanent and will remain eternally.  They are “faith,  hope, charity.”  Both “faith” and  “hope” are human responses to God.  But God is  never said to believe or hope.  Therefore, the apostle can say that  “charity” or love is “the greatest of these”  three virtues because God is love (see I John 4:8,  16), and love is His motivation for everything He does.  God places  His love in believers (see Romans 5:5) and it’s also the mark that identifies us  as disciples of Christ (see John 13:34-35).  Note:   Christian love is God’s love.   It’s Calvary love.  Love that moved  God to send Christ to be the Saviour of this sinful world (see John 3:16).   It’s the love that God sheds abroad in the believer’s heart when  he accepts Christ as Saviour (see Romans 5:5).  The believer can  now love like Christ as he obeys the Holy Spirit living in him.   Like a spiritual gift, this kind of love is the work of the Holy  Spirit in the life of the believer.  It’s not something that comes  naturally, because we are naturally selfish human beings.  Love is  only possible if God supernaturally helps us not to be selfish.   It’s the kind of love that’s shown in caring for a stranger who is  in need or suffering.  We need to love others, expecting nothing in  return (see Luke 10:30-35).  This love is  demonstrated by the substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus who was made sin  for us so that we might be made the righteous before God (see II Corinthians  5:21).  Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts  exercised in the church body.  Great faith, acts of dedication or  sacrifice, and miracle-working power mean very little without love.   Love makes our actions and gifts useful.  Although people  have different gifts, love is available to everyone.  We should always thank God for this precious  gift!        

            

VI.  Conclusion.  Our  lesson passage has taught us the overwhelming importance of loving  others.  God has given us fantastic gifts with which to serve Him and the body of Christ.  Unless we exercise those gifts in love they will amount to nothing.  Let’s not waste our time (or God’s)  filling our lives with useless ministry.  He does not want us to be  busy for Him just for the sake of being busy.  Instead, let’s  determine to allow God’s love to flow through everything we do.   The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian believers that love is the most  important quality that Christians should strive for.  It’s even  more important than spiritual gifts (see I Corinthians 12:31).   Paul not only illustrated the more excellent way of God’s love, but also  provided a detailed picture of its scope and breadth.  He closed by  reminding the Corinthians that love is the most enduring gift one can give to  others.

 

 

 

Hungry Man – Angry Man

John 21:15 “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, Lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee, He saith unto him, Feed my lambs”.
Feed my lambs! these are the instructions given to us by our Savior. Those of us who have been blessed to have received the bread of heaven, are now instructed by the Savior to feed his lambs. Jesus has revealed himself to us that he is the Christ, the son of the living God, and we are now to feed this truth to a lost and dying world. This is the design of his precious Gospel, it wasn’t written for a pastime, nor was it published for a profit, but it was written and published so that lost man could be brought to Christ.  We don’t need to dress it up or add anything to it, the gospel will do what it was designed to do. It was not designed to feed the flesh of man, but to give life to the spirit of man.
Jesus ask Peter if he loved him more than he loved these, and he is asking us the same question? Do you love me more than you love these things, and these people who occupy your life. Do you love me more than your friends, family, and even yourself. Jesus wanted to know the extent of Peters love for him, he wants to know the extent of our love for him. He already knows but he wants to know if we know, are we willing to lose our life to save it. So he says “If you love me feed my lambs.” If we truly love God we should be willing to lay aside our will and petty differences and feed those he died for. Someone shared the good news to us, and we should be willing to share it with someone else. The same gospel which lead us to Christ, will lead someone else to Christ. Feed them with the word of God that they might be wise unto salvation.

 

The world is hungry for the truth of the gospel, and this is evident by all the hatred we see. We might not be able to feed everybody we want, but let us feed all that we can, that a lost world might come to know the love of God and the joy of His salvation.

Give It To Jesus

2 Corinthians 9:7 every man according as he puroseth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: For God loveth a cheerful giver”.

This Christian life we have been called to live is one of total surrender. God has called us from the darkness into His marvelous light, and one cannot be the light and live in darkness at the same time; no one will cancel out the other. This is a all or nothing way of life.

God doesn’t force His will, word, or way on any of us. Man has the free will to make a choice as to whom he will serve. But man doesn’t have the choice of how he will serve. Jesus said you are either for Him or against Him. The word of God says He will spit the lukewarm out of His mouth. God wants us to give to Him willingly and cheerfully. He wants us to give Him our all, and to give Him our everything. We must trust that God can do more with that which we have than we can. No it is not about money, God don’t need your money the silver and gold is His, no He wants your life and for you to be willing to give it to Him cheerfully. Give it to Him because He paid for it, give it to Him because He knows what is best for you. Give it to Him because he loves you so much that He gave His life for you.

God wants us to give to Him cheerfully and not sparingly. Surrender to Him your whole life that He might be your God and we His people. He said He would withhold no good thing from us , so let us not withhold nothing from Him. Give Him everything and give it cheerfully that you might be blessed abundantly..

Answer Your Own Call

Mark 16:1-2 ” And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came to the sepulcher at the rising of the sun”.
We have all been called to service for the Lord. We all have a calling and no one calling is more important than another, yet every calling must be fulfilled for the building of the kingdom and the strengthening of the body. We can’t let anything interfere with that which God has called us to do, we must just go forth trusting that God will provide us with everything we need to complete the task He has placed before us.
In our text today, Jesus had been crucified and buried in a borrowed tomb. There were women who got together some spices to anoint His body. Now they got up early in the morning to go do what it was that they were led by the spirit of God to do. They didn’t let the fact that there were guards at the tomb, or the fact that a large stone blocked the tombs entrance cause them to wonder worry or waver in what it was they wanted to do for the Lord. We too must not let anything cause use to waver or hinder us in our duty for the Lord. When they had arrived at the tomb a angel had removed the stone and taken care of the guards. Even though Jesus wasn’t there when they arrived they did there part, and were the first witnesses to the truth that He has risen and were instructed to go share the good news.
When God calls us to a duty we must remember He is the author and the finisher of our faith. If He call you to it , He will see you through it. We must just do our part and trust God to do His part. His word tells us He will supply our every need. We must realize that our needs are not always going to be material things. He also provides us with all we need to do that which He has called us to. Let us just do our part.