Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

A Call to Action
Steve McConnell
In a general statement, we have a hard time loving people that don’t fit into our social standing or social behavior guidelines. If they aren’t like me then I find it hard to love them. We have to find a connection point with a person, and usually that connection point is set by me/you. You could call it a non-communicated grading scale. Unbeknownst to the other person they are being evaluated and interviewed. Accepted or rejected are the only two options.

Now, it is easy to love the homeless and the destitute, even the sick. When you love the destitute and the sick you have empathy. These tend to be the feelings that Christians seek to feel. Almost anyone can do that!

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
   Love doesn’t strut,
   Doesn’t have a swelled head,
   Doesn’t force itself on others,
   Isn’t always “me first,”
   Doesn’t fly off the handle,
   Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Love is a choice, and because of our flesh it is contrary to our nature. We are “me” focused and look at our lives as my life. We forget that we are all on the same team. It’s not my life but our lives together…

Why is it hard to love like Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13?
Because I’m selfish…
Because I’m stubborn and un-submitted
Because I’m entitled to be happy
Because I’m faithless…

We must love others enough to forgive and seek forgiveness. Without seeking forgiveness or forgiving we allow our relationship to be divided and broken (Mt 18:21-22).

Is love neat and pretty (happily ever after comes to mind)? Real love is messy!

So how do we cultivate this love?
1) Pray & Obey
Pray and allow the Lord to first cultivate love in your own heart. We must also be willing to obey God when He calls us to action in loving others.

2) We are to keep short accounts
Having an accountability partner is a great way (LTG). We must allow people into the deep areas of our lives (Ro 12:9-13).

3) Confess our sins to each other.
We need to be honest with one another and allow God to heal our hearts (Jas 5:16).

4) Don’t judge
Make a choice not to place others in the worst-case scenario (Jas 5:9).

5) Communicate your relationship expectations
Don’t assume that they know your expectation when you haven’t clearly communicated your needs.

Be quick to forgive
Don’t carry offenses
Be quick to seek forgiveness from others

At the moment it’s not always easy to see our part. Take some time to be with the Lord and allow Him to show you your part and what He wants you to own. We all have our part.

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