1 Corinthians 13: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become a sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal.
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. 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.
Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vauneth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up (arrogant).
Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no record of wrong);
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity (love) never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (cease) whether there be tongues they shall cease; whether there shall be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophecy in part.
But when that which is perfect (complete) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was as a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass (mirror) darkly (dimly); but then face to face; now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.
And now abideth (remains) faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).”
LOVE CONQUERS ALL Jesus taught us this.
John 15:10-13: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I have loved you: continue (abide) in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Jesus desires us to grow into that same level of love that He has, of course, being human that is a pretty tough assignment.
But when you really look at all Jesus went through and all that He dealt with, it really isn’t that much different, that is why he is our High Priest, who can understand and sympathize with what it is like to reach out and reach out to someone only to be cursed and rejected by them.
They laughed him to scorn when he announced that Jarius daughter wasn’t dead but only asleep.
When freeing people from the demons who were controlling them, he was accused of using the power of satan to cast out satan.
When he healed on the sabbath, he was accused of breaking Mosaic law. His healing of the man whom had been blind from birth so enraged those of the temple that they put not only the man but even his parents through an inquisition under the threat of excommunication, A interesting way to rejoice with one who had just receiveth sight!
His own people rejected him because they knew his family and had watched him grow up and refused to believe that “that the boy next door” could possibly be the Messiah. The more kindness he showed them, the more most wanted to kill him.
Just as he said, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin (relatives) , and in his own house.
And we know that even at his arrest, in the face of those who hated him, and would beat him, torture him, spit in his face, and eventually crucify him, he still displayed perfect love.
Matthew chapter twenty-six tells that Peter, thinking that he was defending Jesus against arrest, cut the ear of a solider and Jesus restored the mans ear, and Jesus said this in verse fifty-three: “Thinketh thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me (provide me with) more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
EVERYTHING had to happen exactly as it had been prophesied. Luke 24:44: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”
Jesus could have aborted the mission, he could have called down over seventy two thousand angels and he could have destroyed this entire planet and he could have left ALL of mankind never to be reconciled back to God and eternally lost and separated from the very one who created them.
But he didn’t and he didn’t because Jesus IS perfect love and he loved us enough to hold our souls in higher value than his life.
And that love comes just what Paul was describing to the Corinthians.
When we are not yet matured in Christ or when we are yet in the world, we react with what is considered a “normal” reaction. A response kinda like,” If you hate me, I’ll hate you, you strike me and I’ll strike you harder” and think of some of our worldly “advice”, such as the quote, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” everything we are taught by this world is contrary and backward to the word of God.
So we must mature in love, we all start out with Christ the same way, we all are on “the milk” of the word and are gradually graduated to that “solid meat” and that “food” does get pretty hard to chew sometimes but we must grow in Christ, and as Paul stated it, when he matured in Christ, he put away those reactions and that enabled him to do the will and work of God in the face of those who hated him.
We have to mature into that love so that we can be the lights he called us to be because his word, again has to be fulfilled and this is what he said concerning that.
Matthew 6:43-48: ” Ye have heard that it hath been said, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, AND HATE THINE ENEMY.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be called the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the the just and the unjust.
For it ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same?
And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than the others? do not even the publicans so?
Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven IS PERFECT.”
Keep your mind on PERFECT for a bit. And REMEMBER this reference to PERFECT MEANS COMPLETE.
I do want to point out that I do NOT think that Jesus meant for us to live in the same house with batterer and those who physically hurt us because again, he TOOK those stripes and being beat beyond recognition for us, so we would NOT suffer that.
Pray for those people WHEN your heart is healed enough to allow for that but don’t let anyone twist this scripture on you, to make you think God wants you to stay in abusive situations.
I tell ya, I have struggled so much in this area, even as recently as the passing of my mother, I had so much static to work through and I think once we understand why and just trust God we have won at least half the battle.
But I think the best advice I ever received was from my husband, I had been hurt so bad by someone and it was just so illogical and never was I given any kind of reasoning, even to this day. I was so devastated, I could not figure out what I had done to make them just absolutely reject me, really to the point of shunning that I may as well have not ever existed to them and it damaged my ministry and honestly it damaged what little self-confidence I had at the time to the point of almost shutting me completely down, and I look back now and I can see just how much that my reaction to that cost and how much it still costs.
But my husband told me that had that “testing” came through anyone else it would not have been effective, if a random stranger is cruel to us we can blow it off, still hurts but not like someone whose opinion matters can hurt us, BUT that is how we grow, we grow through forgiveness and we grow through depending on the love Jesus has for us being greater than the need we have for the approval of any person, and being made painfully aware that you do NOT have that approval makes the lesson of dependency on God’s approval that much easier to learn, didn’t say not a painful, but definitely easier.
And that is what Jesus was teaching us with his words, followed by his reaction to those others would have hated.
Now WHY do we need that?
We need that to effectively touch others for Christ and sometimes the grouchiest, meanest, orneriest of the bunch could be the very God has sent you to.
Remember the story from Acts 9:10-20 concerning the conversion of Saul to Paul, Ananias actually had to have a little extra assurance from God before he would go pray for Paul, because he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to tangle with who Paul had been until God convinced him that who Paul had been was gone and that now Paul was in the process of becoming a chosen vessel.
Love has to be shown and taught, and Jesus required it of us to show others what he is about, what his kingdom is about.
People are often hateful and contrary because they have bitterness, for whatever reason, and eventually it just takes over and it can happen to anyone.
Galatians 6:1,2: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also been tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so FULFIL the law of Christ.“
We have to have that meekness, that humility of love to effectively help another as we would want someone to help us.
1 Peter 4:8: “And ABOVE ALL things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves; for CHARITY (love) COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS.”
And that love is not the earthly love, that is the love that only comes from a relationship with Jesus and the love that he loves us with and that he commanded us to love others with, even those who make it extremely hard, because they have been hurt, wounded, and are AFRAID of letting anyone or anything in, especially God because often people become convinced that God could not possibly love them or that their sins are unforgivable, or they feel that god has abandoned them and this is why we are commanded to RESTORE, bring them back to the sheepfold, remind them of that love, and shine that light.
Because if something can be RESTORED that means it is ALREADY there and had been active at one time.
REMEMBER perfect, the PERFECT love, the complete love Jesus spoke of, and that Paul told us would change everything when it became active?
And this the power of that love. 1 John 4:18:”…but perfect (complete) love casteth out fear”
Perfect love, the complete love that only comes to us and through us for God himself, restores, heals, delivers, makes all things new, conquers all, can not and will not ever fail.
Have a wonderful evening! God bless you till next time.
φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2018