Love Is Indispensable

1 Corinthians 13.pngIf I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountain, but do not have love, I am nothing. 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.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always preservers.

Love never fails. But when there are prophecies, they will cease, where there are tongues, they will be stilled, where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.                                                        1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The Apostle Paul wrote this very practical book to address the problems of the tumultuous church in Corinth, and to give instructions on marriages, disputes, immorality, public worship and lawsuits. These practical lessons are appropriate words of wisdom for Christians still today. I choose this chapter for Valentine’s Day because it speaks to me on the kind of love Christ has for us. The very name Jesus use to address you and me is beloved, it tell us us how dearly that He loves us.  Jesus showed you and me the full extent of his love by enduring humiliation, torture, and even death for us on a cross. No greater love that this is possible, or even conceivable. We may have tucked into our memory many experiences of his unparalleled love. Jesus wants us to dwell on those memories. Enjoy them over and over again! This practice will help convince your doubting heart that Jesus extraordinary love is really yours, every nanosecond of this life and throughout eternity. When you abide in Jesus, you also abide in his love, for God is love. As you live close to him, communing with him more and more. Jesus living presence permeates your entire being. This empowers you to trust in his unfailing love, secure in the salvation that He won for us.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Comfort One Another

2 Corinthians 1.pngPraise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in your patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so we also share in our comfort.                            2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Often, shortly after we have been through a difficult situation in our own life, we have found comfort, we meet someone who has to handle a similar situation. It is God who leads us to these people because the comfort that we offer is sincere and they know that we have wrestled with a similar experience ourselves.

In this letter in Corinthians from the Apostle Paul, Paul praises God for using the church of Corinth to “give the same comfort God has given us” What would it take for you to proclaim God as your helper and Deliverer? What would it take for you to look to God alone for the solution to your problems? When you find yourselves or an acquaintance in a difficult situation, approach God’s throne of grace in prayer. Declare boldly to God that you trust in Him alone to deliver you.

In prayer and with gratitude, consider all the ways in which God has comforted you in times of affliction and tell God that you are willing to let Him use you to bring comfort to others.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the comfort you have given me in the past as well as the comfort you will give to me in the future, help me to comfort others in return.

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friend

Hope

Romans 12.pngLove must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Hope at times we humans have when trouble comes our way, but God wants us to stay hopefully and always in prayer even in the difficult times. When painful circumstances are weighing you down, God wants us to continue to Rejoice in him, “The Great I Am”, to exalt in hope, to leap joyously upward. Although physical jumping is sometimes impossible or inappropriate, your soul can leap upward at any time. As you life your soul up to God in hopeful anticipation. God showers of joy falls upon and within you. The longer and more expectantly you wait in his presence, the more abundantly he can bless you. One way to enhance this transaction is to lift your wide open arms up towards God, as if you were celebrating a triumphant moment in your life. This posture expresses great joy, and God respond by filling your soul with more joy. This puts you on an upward spiral of rejoicing. If you want to verbalize your jubilation, one of the best ways is to speak, sing, or shout, for me I rejoice in singing Praises the Father in Heaven for who he is and for all he has done for me, because everyday is a blessing that comes from him. When some days become difficult for me to move forward I continue to praise him and be in prayer, and the Spirit will speak on my behalf when I cannot find the words.

Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Psalm 86:4

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Comfort One Another

2 Corinthians 1a.jpgThe Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians the following letter to the church in Corinth to tell them how pleased he was that the people were sorry for the way they had acted and that they were now trying to live the way God wanted them to. He also defended himself against the accusations, being made by false teachers. Paul tells us in Chapter 1-3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. It we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in your patient endurance of the same suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

For the last many days we have watch on our TV, laptop, phone about the hurricane victims, as well as some having families in that area. As we watch it all unfold we see how many people are helping, neighbor helping neighbor, a stranger helping another stranger, it doesn’t matter who it is to help them, all are willing to except the help, it doesn’t matter, their race, skin color, religion or anything else just the help. Isn’t this the way God always expect his children to act and not with all the hatred that some many people seem to have. All of us are created by the same God, who is the Father of compassion and the God who comforts all of his children. It would be a beautiful sight to see if that all of his children can act this way all the time, and not just during a crisis.  One of the best thing any of us can do is to pray for others, pray for their strength to endure all of this, also pray for peace, Jesus tells us Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27) You maybe thinking to yourself, that is easy to say, and I know how hard that it can be for us at times, this is why we need to have a closer walk with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Because during theses difficult times in our lives we can depend on him as well as our scripture reading and more important our prayer life with God. Going thru my own valleys in life the different scriptures comes to my mind to give me the peace I need at that moment, and I also cried out to God, are you listening to me, and the words to the poem:       Footprint in the Sand,

One night I dreamed…
I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, Other times there was one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed That during the low periods of my life, When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, That if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life There has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen Only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”
—Mary Stevenson

During this time God is carrying His children

Grace and Peace to You My Friends