Monday, June 24, 2013

Achieving Godly Outcomes in Conflicts

Memorizing and Applying 1 Corinthians 13, One Verse per Week Series, Part 4

Photo by ChristopherCornelius (Flickr)

The first three verses of the Love Chapter express how important it is to love. Not only do we gain nothing of value, but these verses clearly state we are nothing (a “useless nobody”Amplified) whenever we do anything without love.

This week we begin to focus on how love behaves.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

“In our dealings with men, however refractory and however unkind and hurting they are, we must exercise the same patience as God exercises with us. Such patience is not the sign of weakness but the sign of strength; it is not defeatism but rather the only way to victory. (Emphasis added)

Do you desire a godly outcome in your relationships? Sometimes it is necessary to resist a knee-jerk reaction, which is almost always difficult. Isn't it?

Look at verse four in the Amplified:
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious norboils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily

Father, help me to overcome my sinful reactions when I feel mistreated or misunderstood. Fill me with Your love and patience. And please give me Your perspective when life feels unfair.

This week’s goal:
To respond in love and patience whenever I feel mistreated and when others are blessed (or succeed).

What about you?
  • What part(s) of this verse challenges you the most?
For me, each segment is a challenge! And I can prove it: Visit the archives (beginning August 2011) at the Memorizing Scripture Blog where we set goals to memorize and obey“segment-by-challenging-segment.”

  • Share with us how we can pray for you. (Feel free to use a pseudonym.)

Let me know if you would like a copy of any of these verses and what translation you prefer, by using the comment link below. I will email you these verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. (Be sure to subscribe to the blog, via email).

Monday, June 17, 2013

To Gain or Not to Gain?

Memorizing and Applying 1 Corinthians 13, One Verse per Week Series, Part 3

Photo by babasteve (Flickr)

This week let’s focus on the third verse:

1 Corinthians 13:3 (NIV)
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.

“If the motive which makes a man give his life for Christ is pride and self-display, then even martyrdom becomes valueless. It is not cynical to remember that many a deed which looks sacrificial has been the product of pride and not of devotion.”
The Letters to the Corinthians. Revised Edition. The Daily Study Bible Series by William Barclay(1975)

Let’s apply the above Bible verse and Mr. Barclay’s quote to our everyday lives.

Are you guilty of complaining about all the hard work you do for your family or employer while exclaiming the familiar, “What would they do without me?”  Let’s be even more honest: We almost associate our “sacrificial deeds” to martyrdom, don’t we?

Unfortunately, even if we give all we have to give, including all our energy and every hour of our life, there is no reward from God if we do these things with the wrong attitude.

However a great truth becomes evident when we begin to allow the love of God to be our motivator. Joy, peace – even a beautiful sense of purpose becomes ours.

And that’s a lot better than not gaining anything, isn’t it?

Photo by Cleavers (Flickr)

Father, help me serve others at home and at work with the same love You have for me.

This week’s goal:
To serve others at home and at work with the love God has in (and for) me.

What about you?

  • Have you noticed yourself paying more attention to actively loving others as you pursue memorizing 1 Corinthians 13?

  • What difference(s) have you noticed in the way you relate to people?
How are you doing with memorizing these verses? Are you making an SMC (Scripture Memory or Meditation Card)? Let me know (by leaving a comment below) if you want me to email you any of these verses, formatted to fit an index card.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Is God Impressed?

Photo by Logan Brumm (Flickr)
Thank you for joining me in our quest to memorize 1 Corinthians 13, one verse at a time. Don’t worry, the Memorizing Scripture Blog police will not be penalizing you if you can’t recite these verses perfectly. Our goal is to hide God’s Word in our hearts so that we can be more like Him in the way we love. I want us to enjoy this endeavor – and see how we are changed by doing it! Okay?

This week’s verse:
1 Corinthians 13:2 (NIV)
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.

While reading the following quote from Matthew Henry’s Commentary, observe what little value he believes God gives our acts of faith that are done without love. (Note: a dram is equal to about 1/16 of an ounce!!)
“Moving mountains is a great achievement in the account of men; but one dram of charity is, in God’s account, of much greater worth than all the faith of this sort in the world.”
How amazing would it be for a mountain to obey my command to move – even a fraction of an inch? I would feel very powerful and maybe become awesomely impressive to some.

But God wouldn’t be impressed at all. In fact He says if I “do not have love, I am nothing!”

Even if I could, as your beloved blogger, explain “all mysteries” and answer all your questions about life’s issues – if I did it without God’s love in me, I would be a useless nobody.

Father, remind me this week how important it is to demonstrate Your love.

This week’s goal:
While memorizing 1 Corinthians 13:2, examine my actions to see if I am doing things out of love.

What about you?
  • What does this verse mean to you? What words or section of words stand out for you?

  • How did you do with memorizing the first verse of 1 Corinthians 13? Did you make an SMC (Scripture Memory or Meditation Card)? Let me know if you want me to email you any of these verses, formatted to fit an index card.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Growing In Love!

Hello, again! It's been a while, but I have a special reason for returning. This afternoon, I began a new challenge on my newer blog, Coffee with Sheryl, that I thought would be very appropriate for this blog. I think you will agree!

Following is the post I just published on the CwS blog:

Growing In Love!

Photo by BigDrumThump (Flickr)

Want to begin something challenging with me? Let’s begin memorizing 1 Corinthians 13, one verse at a time. And while we’re memorizing, let’s ask God to make these verses real to us – as we strive to obey and live what we’re memorizing.

By the way, no one will be quizzing you! So as you attempt to memorize one verse per week, don’t worry if you can’t recite it perfectly. The purpose is to hide God’s Word in your heart – to fall in love with Him at a whole new level.

Let’s begin!

1 Corinthians 13:1 (NIV)
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.

Here's a nugget from F.B. Meyer's commentary about the word "love" found in I Cor. 13:1-13. I especially love his suggestion to substitute Jesus’ name for the word love:

"Jesus sits for His portrait in these glowing sentences, and of Him every clause is true. Substitute His name for love throughout the chapter, and say whether it is not an exact likeness."

Father, teach me how to really love. I pray as I begin memorizing this beautiful chapter that I grow in the knowledge of the true meaning of love. I want to recognize Your love for me (and Your love that dwells in me!) more and more.

This week’s goal:
To be intentional in actively loving others (even the unlovable), while memorizing 1 Corinthians 13:1.

Will you join me?
  • Are you a person who loves others with the love of God? Or do you resemble a clanging cymbal more?

  • If you would like a copy of this verse, please use the comment link below. I will email you this verse, formatted to fit a standard index card, in your favorite translation. (Be sure to subscribe to the blog, via email).
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