Charity, Pt. 24

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

I Corinthians 13:4-8

We have been looking at these characteristics of charity for several weeks.  And can now look at verse 8 : “…whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”  All of those things are going to “fail,” but charity is eternal.  Charity never fails.

When I was thinking about this verse, I started thinking about these things as they apply to our everyday lives.

When you think about the people that you have known throughout your life, there are things that we remember and things that we don’t remember.

We usually don’t remember who was right all of the time.  We don’t remember who was a good speaker.  We don’t remember the smartest guys.  We don’t remember those things.  We remember the people who really cared about us.  We remember the people who loved us.

That is one more example of charity never failing.  That is one more example of charity lasting forever.  We don’t want to be known for our speaking ability, or for our intelligence.  We want to be known for our love of others.  We want to be known for caring about people.

Those are the things that are going to help people and change their lives.  Those are the things that w want in our lives.  Those are the things that characterize charity.

Since I Have Been Redeemed (Hymn)

Since I Have Been Redeemed
Edwin Excell (1884)

I have a song I love to sing,
Since I have been redeemed,
Of my Redeemer, Savior King,
Since I have been redeemed.

Refrain
Since I have been redeemed,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in His Name,
Since I have been redeemed,
I will glory in the Savior’s Name.

I have a Christ Who satisfies
Since I have been redeemed,
To do His will my highest prize,
Since I have been redeemed.

Refrain

I have a witness bright and clear,
Since I have been redeemed,
Dispelling every doubt and fear,
Since I have been redeemed.

Refrain

I have a home prepared for me,
Since I have been redeemed,
Where I shall dwell eternally,
Since I have been redeemed.

Refrain

I have a joy I can’t express,
Since I have been redeemed,
All through His blood and righteousness,
Since I have been redeemed.

Refrain

When you just want a hymn that helps you praise the Lord, this is a good one.  We do need to glory in the Saviour’s name.  We should do that every day of our lives.  I like the last verse: “I have a joy I can’t express, Since I have been redeemed.”  That joy should fill all of our hearts every day!

Saturday Pslam 9b

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.  When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.  For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.  Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetualend: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.  But the LORD shall endure forever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.  And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.  The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalm 9:1-10

In this Psalm, the Psalmist tells us that he is going to be glad and rejoice in the Lord.  He is going to sing praises to His name.

That is what many of the Psalms are about – being glad, rejoicing in the Lord, and singing praises to Him.  Those are three components of praising the Lord.  First, we need to make a conscious decision to be glad.  Happiness is a decision, not a “feeling.”  Second, we need to understand that our happiness and gladness is possible only because of the Lord.  That will cause us to rejoice in Him.  And, we need to let that rejoicing out by singing praises to Him.

How are we doing?

Charity, Pt. 23

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

I Corinthians 13:4-8

 

Christ like, sacrificial love does not fail because Christ does not fail.  Look at the characteristics of charity.  Those are things that never fail. Doing right.  Being humble and longsuffering. Having faith and living with hope.  Those are things that don’t fail.  Those are things that will last for an eternity.  They will never fail.

Charity never fails.  There are many things that will fail.  There are things that will not last forever.  In fact, most things are like that.  Very few things are eternal.  Charity is eternal.  In part, it never fails because of it’s impact on others. Charity is not selfish.  Charity lives and sacrifices for others.  Charity never fails because it impacts others.

Charity never fails because it is the very nature of Christ Himself.  Jesus never fails.

Charity is something eternal that we can have.  It is something that the Lord can help us with and can give us that will last beyond even this life.  The question for us today is this – do we have charity?  Do we want to have charity?  If we want it, we need to go to the Lord Jesus and ask Him for help in obtaining and having it.  Charity never fails.  Jesus never fails!

Charity, Pt. 22

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not: charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

I was planning to finish this series yesterday, but a comment (thank you, Joseph Elon Lillie) on that post made me start to think.  And now we will have one more post.  This whole list of things relating to charity is a complete package.  Yes, all of us are better at some things than at others.  But charity is charity.  And charity is not something we can buy at the store.  It’s not something that we can “fix” in ourselves like we can fix a flat tire.  We can’t just work on having charity like we can work on being generous or being a better employee at work.  Charity is a heart matter.  All of these things in this list are things that we have inside.  They are not outward things.

They contain such ideas as “suffering, kindness, envy, pride, temper, thoughts, joy, faith, and strength.”  All of these things are part of the inner man.  And they can be helped and improved only through the Lord Jesus Christ.  We can’t improve these things on our own.  We need His help.

And He has promised to help us.  He has promised to give these things liberally to those that ask.  We need to have charity, which is a sacrificial, giving, Christ-like love.  But the way to get this charity is to become more like Christ Jesus Himself.  And that is done by drawing close to Him and loving Him and allowing Him to work freely in our lives.

Charity, Pt. 21

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not: charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

In this passage on the subject of charity, we have come to the final characteristic: charity “endure all things.”  Sometimes life is difficult.  We have never been promised a bed of roses.  We have never been promised a nice, comfortable, easy life.  In fact, in many cases, we have promised just the opposite.  People are going to hate us (not because they hate us, but because they hate the One we serve – Jesus Christ).  People are going to misunderstand us.  People are going to mock us and make fun of us.  As Christians, we are going to have to “endure” some things.  Charity enables us to “endure all things.”

Charity enables us to endure all things because charity is a Christ-like love.  A sacrificial, giving, caring love like that helps us to understand that there is something greater in our lives than us.  Charity enable us to endure all things for the hope of the gospel.  It enables us to endure all things for others.  It enables us to endure all things for the name of Jesus Christ.  Charity gives us strength to deal with whatever may come our way.

There are many characteristics of charity.  No person is perfect and no person has perfect charity (except, of course, the Lord Jesus).  But we can look at these things and see what we should be.  We can look at this list and maybe see some areas in which we need work.  We all need charity.  We all need to have more charity.

 

Charity, Pt. 20

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not: charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

In our list of the characteristics of charity, we have come to the fact that charity “hopeth all things.”  Charity has hope.  Charity is not negative and is not bitter.  Charity is positive because charity has hope.  Charity has hope because charity knows the Lord, knows the Bible, and knows the end of things.  Charity has faith that the Bible is right.  And that faith allows charity to have a true and confident hope in the future.

It is sad when Christians live as if they have no hope.  It is sad when Christians act like they are living in defeat all of the time.  A Christian should be the most hopeful person in the world.  A Christian, after all, has the greatest source of hope in the history of the world.  A Christian has a sure foundation for hope.  A Christian’s hope is not simply wishful thinking.  It is something far greater.  It is a hope rooted in the Bible.  It is a hope rooted in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  No matter how bad things might look in a Christian’s life, they should still have hope.

Charity is characterized by hope.  Are we characterized by hope?  Does the world see hope in us, or does it see negativity?  Is the world able to see a confidence in us that is rooted in the Word of God, or does it just confusion and fear?  Charity has hope and it has hope in the correct object.  Do we?

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