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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Jonathan Edwards on 1 Corinthians 13:8, “love never fails.” He reflects on what awaits us in heaven:

Oh, what joy there will be springing up in our hearts when, after our weary pilgrimage, we are brought to a paradise like this! Here is joy unspeakable, full of glory. Here is joy that is humble, holy, captivating, and divine in its perfection!

Love is always a sweet thing, especially divine love. Even on earth, love is a spring of sweetness. But in heaven it will become a stream, a river, an ocean! All shall stand around the God of glory, who is the great fountain of love. We will open our very souls to be filled with the love that pours out from his fullness.

We will be like flowers in the bright and joyous days of spring, opening their petals to be filled with the light and warmth of the sun, flourishing in beauty and fragrance under its cheering rays. Every saint in heaven is like a flower in the garden of God. And holy love is the sweet fragrance they all send forth, filling paradise with its scent.

Every soul there is like a note in some concert of delightful music, beautifully harmonizing with every other note, so that together they blend into the most rapturous song, praising God and the Lamb forever.

And so everyone helps each other to express to their fullest capacity the love of the whole community to its glorious Father and Head. Together they pour back love into the great fountain of love from which they are supplied and filled with love, and blessing, and glory.

And so they will love, and reign in love, and share the godlike joy that is its fruit in a way that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has ever imagined. In the full sunlight of the throne, captivated with joys that are forever increasing and yet forever full, they shall live and reign with God and Christ forever and ever! [Rephrased in more contemporary English from Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, pp. 352– 353.]

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Barnabas Piper on how many people misunderstand a well-known command from Jesus

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus gave us this as the second of the two greatest commandments. Paul described it as the summation or fulfillment of the whole law. No complicated explanations, lists of caveats, or endless parsing – just “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

And we westerners have taken it to heart. Sort of. It’s more accurate to say that we have taken it and fit it to our hearts.

It has morphed from “Love your neighbor as yourself” to “Love your neighbor because you love yourself” to “Love yourself so you can love your neighbor.” Instead of reflecting the one who gave the command it has been, to create a term, Gollum-ized into a twisted, nasty, self-focused, inverted mantra. We have made ourselves the focus of the love. . . .

The claim of increasing one’s self-love in order to love others more is rubbish. Increased self-love impedes love of others; it is an obstacle. It’s not even real love, more like idolatry. And it is not what Jesus intended and it is not the kind love about which Paul wrote.

Keep reading What “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” Does Not Mean

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Control, Coping, and Preparing for Holiday Stress:   “List several circumstances or situations in your life that trigger a stress response. Put them in one of the following categories: uncontrollable, controllable, and partly controllable.After you identify the sources of stress and determine which ones you can control—even partially—jot down specifically what you can do about them. Make your plan, schedule the time to do it, then follow through and implement the necessary changes. While there is much we can’t control, we can always follow God’s formula for dealing with stress by praying. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, ESV). Sometimes we desperately want to take control when we cannot. But we know and trust the One who is in control and that’s where we rest.”–Randy Alcorn

The Waiting Game:  “Who likes to wait? Whether it’s for something trivial like a seat at a restaurant, or something more serious like the examples above, waiting is never an easy process. Yet life does bid us to wait. Sometimes it forces us, in fact, to wait for things that seem unbearable to wait for.”–Haley Satrom, Biblical Counseling Coaltion

Love One Another:  “Each night when I pray before I sleep, one of my first prayers is that the love of Jesus may shine through me each day. The reason for this prayer is because this is a difficult task. Without the Lord’s help, it is impossible. I encourage you to examine your life, to consider, are you striving to love others as Jesus loves us? It is a daily struggle, but a daily necessity. May the love of Jesus shine through you each and every day.”–R. C. Sproul

Effective Personal Evangelism:  Jeremy Walker over at Reformation21 is doing a series of posts on effective personal evangelism which includes love, tenacity, and boldness.

A Prayer of Praise for the “Gift” of Affliction: Based on Psalm 119:71, Scotty Smith prays, “Dear heavenly Father, only a humble certainty about your love, and a robust passion for your glory, could’ve moved King David to praise you for the “gift” of affliction. Such a notion contradicts much of the prevailing theology of our day, and the basic instinct of my own heart. Oh, how the gospel turns everything upside down, and then, right side up!”

Some Quick Tips on Spiritual Growth:  Erik Raymond shares a lesson he learned at the gym.  (And what he shares aren’t necessarily “quick” tips).  “Don’t try to microwave your growth or take some magic spiritual pill. There is no such thing. There is a plan. The plan takes discipline and time. I guarantee that if you faithfully get after it and adopt something like is outlined above you will grow. God the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God in the Child of God to make him strong in the grace of God. It’s just how it works.”

If God Loves Me Why Am I Not Married?:  “As a single adult I looked good on the outside. But deep down I felt since God wasn’t giving me my greatest desire He didn’t notice me, He didn’t hear me, He didn’t love me. It was a message straight from the father of lies, and I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.”

12 Reasons Why a Pastor Quit Attending Sports Events:  A touch of irony here.

A Theology of Works: What’s the connection between grace and good works?

Enable Us to Always Open Our Mouth with Wisdom:  “Enable us to always open our mouth with wisdom. Let the law of kindness be under our tongue. Let us know what is acceptable in your hearing for us to say, that our tongue may be as choice silver, and our lips may feed many. (Prov 31:26; 10:32; 10:20-21).”–part of a prayer by Matthew Henry

Voddie Baucham Jr.’s new book is Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors: Reading an Old Story in a New Way (Crossway, 2013). For more information, including an excerpt go here.

 

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Here’s a first step:

“We shall never love our neighbours with sincerity, according to our Lord’s intention, till we have corrected the love of ourselves. The two affections are opposite and contradictory; for the love of ourselves leads us to neglect and despise others,—produces cruelty, covetousness, violence, deceit, and all kindred vices,—drives us to impatience, and arms us with the desire of revenge.”–John Calvin. Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians (p. 161). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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C. S. Lewis:

There is no safe investment.

To love at all is to be vulnerable.

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.

If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.

Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change.

It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.
The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

—C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1960), 169-170

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Love is not irritable

Irritability isn’t that big a deal, is it?

Although we’re prone to believe it’s a lesser sin, Phil Ryken explains that irritability is actually a way of hating because it is “a way of non-loving.”

Watch this brief clip here.   The question is asked in the context of ministry but can easily be applied to all relationships. Convicting for me for sure.

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Sometimes it helps to show the opposite side of the teaching of Scripture to really get a clear grasp of what it is teaching.  Consider this from Kevin DeYoung who is responding to the “but I don’t hate that person” response offered up when we are aren’t exactly loving someone like we should. [WARNING: This is pretty convicting].

“But if hate is the opposite of everything love is, where does that leave us?

Hate is impatient and unkind; hate is jealous and proud; hate is arrogant and rude.  Hate always insists on doing things its way; hate gets upset over every offense and keeps a close record of every wrong.  Hate does not delight to see good things, but rejoices when people screw up or get what’s coming to them.  Hate complains about anything, is cynical about everything, has no hope for anyone, and puts up with nothing.

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