Thursday, September 29, 2011

Love Does Not Insist On Its Own Rights

Part 6 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:5b (speaking about Love)
it does not seek its own, (NASB)

Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

A highway sign tells me to merge into the next lane because my lane is ending. Within a short time, I merge. Then close to where the lane ends, several drivers are still in the closing lane. I see their blinkers, but I refuse to let them in. I merge on time; therefore, I have the right to ignore them (and in a way, punish them) for waiting until the last minute. They should have merged sooner – behind me. Then I justify my selfish attitude by believing my need to get home is more urgent then theirs.

Many times, my attitudes are driven by the way I want to be treated. I can be a great person to hang out with, especially when I get my way.

But  isn’t it true that when we put the needs of others ahead of our own – or even better – when we seek to  protect  another’s rights (such as the preborn, or victims of bullying), we are demonstrating God’s love that is in us?

So as we continue memorizing bit-by-bit the love chapter in 1 Corinthians, let’s strive toward putting the needs of others ahead of our own. And I mean literally, when we catch ourselves about to put our rights ahead of another, let’s recall “love does not seek its own (way)” and behave differently: yielding our rights to be more like Jesus. He, of course, is our best model. He never exerted His rights while living on earth, when He had every right to do so.

Discussion Points for 1 Corinthians 13:5b: (Love) does not seek its own:

• What would it cost you to give up your rights just once this week? How much would you gain?
• How many times a day do you look for ways to protect your rights?
• How many times in a week do you defend or protect someone else’s rights?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Love Is Not Rude

Part 5 of a Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series on 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:5a
(Love) does not act unbecomingly (NASB)

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.  (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

 “... I truly despise you. …You're a hater and you're just unattractive inside...”

It’s likely you saw the video clip played on the news and internet, showing a U.S. Open women’s tennis finalist ranting against the umpire because the umpire awarded her opponent a point for violating the “hindrance rule.” The competitor screamed during the point and distracted her opponent, which led to the penalty.  The actual tirade lasted quite a bit longer than the quote above, to the point where I felt embarrassment for her. Maybe because I couldn’t help but remember the times I ranted and behaved unbecomingly myself.

As we return to our 1 Corinthians 13 segment-by-challenging-segment series, we focus on the first concept in verse five: love does not act unbecomingly (unmannerly) and is not rude.

In its entirety, verse five reads (speaking about love):
Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

And in the Amplified:
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

We will be breaking verse five into three segments: this week we’ll concentrate on not behaving rudely. The next week, we’ll work on not seeking our own way or rights. And the third week will center on not reacting to unfair treatment. Wow! Read verse five in the Amplified again. This is a powerfully challenging verse for me. What about you?

Are you benefiting by breaking these verses into segments? Because remember, the goal is not to only memorize these verses, but to actually be changed by our application of them. Let me and the other readers know how these verses are changing you by clicking on the comment link below.
Also, how has your life – or least a situation you were in – been changed by a Bible verse?

Discussion Points for 1 Corinthians 13:5a: (Love) does not act unbecomingly.

• Who can you be accountable to who will help you act more becomingly?
• If you heard a tape recording of your words in a typical day, how embarrassing would it be? How many people would you have to make amends to?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remember Ten Years Ago

In honor of those we lost and their families, I’m sharing something my pastor, Mark Wilbanks, (Bradfordville First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida) wrote and shared in a recent service:

A Different World

Ten years ago our world changed. The events of 9/11 are seared into our minds and hearts. Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing when those planes struck the Twin Towers. The emotions were raw and intense – shock, outrage, fear, uncertainty … the list is long.

We live in a different world for more reasons than the way the terrorist attacks altered our attitudes and actions. Economic indicators, political issues, cultural shifts, catastrophic weather events, and other factors tell us we live in a new day – one that can cause more despair than hope, more confusion than certainty.

How are we to respond as people of faith? How are we to see the world as it really is rather than the way we might want it to be? Where is God in all of this? What message do Christians have in a world that doesn’t like to listen to us very often or at all? How do we speak the truth in love to people who like having their “ears tickled” (2 Tim. 4:1-4)?

Could there be great opportunity in these uncertain times? Could our faith become a beacon of hope? Peter Gomes, pastor and writer, penned these words after 9/11: “The whole record of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and the whole experience of the people of God from Good Friday down to and beyond September 11, suggest that faith is forged on the anvil of human adversity. No adversity, no faith.”

REMEMBER 10 Years Ago:

How will we hand the story of 9/11 to the next generation?

What lessons have we learned?

Is there evidence that our Christian beliefs have become stronger?

Is there evidence that our Christian witness has grown stronger?

How has 9/11 changed you?

Let us pray …
• For spiritual awakening in our country, our community, our church
• For boldness and wisdom in our witness in our community and beyond
• For comfort and peace for those whose heartache and grief will be revisited
• For those who serve and live in countries and among people groups who have no relationship with Christ
• For wisdom and courage for those who lead us in all levels of government

Invite someone, or better yet, bring someone with you to worship this coming Sunday. During the next three weeks, we will explore how people of faith live in this different world. We will commemorate 9/11 in our services that day On Sunday, September 18, special guest, Dr. Freddy Davis, will preach on the subject, “Facing the Fear of the Call” from Ephesians 4.

On Wednesday nights (Sept. 21, 28 and Oct. 5), Dr. Davis will be teaching us about developing a Christian worldview. On the 25th, our worship theme will feature a passage from Romans 14 to encourage us to live out our faith to please God.

For those who are able to attend, Bradfordville First Baptist Church is located at 6494 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, Florida, 32312. 850-893-0893. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

A September 5, 2011 Interview with Scott Beigle, president of the Faith Radio Network which broadcasts from Tallahassee, Florida.

Do you memorize Scripture on a regular basis?

I don’t memorize Scripture now as much as I did when I was younger. I don’t know why except maybe we think we are too busy. But having this question asked me makes me realize it doesn’t matter how old you are or how busy you are - we all need to memorize more and more scripture.

What is your favorite verse or verses?

 My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13

What method do you use when memorizing Scripture?

The method I use is repetition – repetition – repetition. I also like the idea of teaching children and grandchildren; and by teaching them, we learn as well.

How has memorizing God’s Word changed you?

Memorizing Scripture for sure has changed me. When many times I need a word from God, I think back to a scripture that I learned and I apply it to the situation. Also, I realize more and more that I can’t make it day to day without the Lord and learning the scriptures. I would love to have more scriptures memorized, and it’s up to me to do it. We have time for what is really important to us and God’s Word should be a top priority.

This week, we are focusing on the middle part of 1Corinthians 13:4 “… love does not brag and is not arrogant …” In light of your success with the Faith Radio network, how do you keep yourself from appearing arrogant or boastful?

I pray that I never appear arrogant or boastful about Faith Radio because I know God gets all the glory for what has been done or will be done in the future. I could fail today and I know that. That’s why I asked our listeners to pray for us every day that God will help me and the staff to be used as clean vessels for him.

Is there anything else you would like to add regarding memorizing or meditating on Scripture?

 I like the idea of having a “quiet time.” I am the type of person who usually has “noise” going on. But, when it is quiet I seem to be focused more on what God has for me for that day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Love Does Not Brag and Is Not Arrogant

Part 4 of the Segment-by-Challenging-Segment Series

1 Corinthians 13:4d

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, (NASB)

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. (Amplified)

Beginning the discussion:

“Well, I’m president of my firm, of course. And the only way I could get away to be here was to have my partner service my million-dollar-plus clients until I return. I just hope he doesn’t mess things up….” No, I have never heard anybody actually say these exact words, but we’ve probably all heard a braggart make a similar remark at a class reunion.
In this post, we’re finally completing 1 Corinthians 13:4 by adding “love does not brag and is not arrogant.” 

Personally, I refrain from bragging. Indeed, I’m quite proud of the level of humility I’ve achieved over the years. Of course I’m being a bit facetious, but I have to purposely guard against sounding boastful about my accomplishments.

Boasting is never attractive. I get so embarrassed when I hear myself sounding haughty, that I immediately try to redeem myself by attempting to say something humble-sounding: “I have the whitest teeth in the family! But, then again my teeth are so big, maybe they just look whiter.”

Seriously, it’s no fun being around someone who’s constantly bragging, is it? It not only displays a lack of love (and respect) for others, but it reveals a lack of self-love, too, when one feels the necessity to prove his worth.

Perhaps we can minimize our temptation to brag by understanding God’s love for us. I want to be so secure in His love that I don’t have to reach for validation from others. Furthermore, I want to love others with that same kind of love, thus helping to remove their need for boasting, also.

Are those your desires, too?

This week let’s meditate, memorize and practice the entire fourth verse of 1 Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.

Let me know how you’re doing with this very challenging verse.

Discussion Points for 1 Corinthians 13:4b: Love … love does not brag and is not arrogant.

• When are you most likely to brag?
• How do you feel when you blow your own horn?
• What have been the consequences of your arrogance?
• Would knowing how much God loves you just as you are decrease your need to boast?
To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful. OR subscribe to this blog to receive regular emails with a copy of the current memory verse in the translation of your choice. No charge to subscribe to the blog or to receive the verses.
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