Archive for March, 2015

Psalm Saturday, 9a

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 reading the first verse of this passage, the thing that stood out the most to me was the question it raised. The Psalmist says that he is going to praise the Lord with his whole heart and that he is going to show forth his wonderful works.  The question I have is this – am I doing either of those things?  Do I praise Him with my whole heart?  Or do I just praise Him a little?  Also, am I really showing others just how good He is, or am I walking around seeming miserable, and complaining about everything?  Do others see Him and hear Him in me?  That is a good question for all of us!

Charity, Pt. 18

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 journey through this passage on charity, we have come to the fact that charity “Beareth all things.”  Charity is patient and charity is able to handle whatever comes into its life.  Charity is not weak.  Charity is very strong in the Lord.  Sometimes the things that we need to deal with in life are difficult.  Sometimes they can be very heavy.  Sometimes they seem like they can almost overwhelm us.  But charity knows the Lord.  Charity is able to bear “all things.”  No matter what it is or how hard it may be, charity finds strength in the Lord.

Bearing all things sometimes means that we need to help others bear their burdens, in addition to bearing our own burdens.  That is going to take more strength than we have on our own.  That is going to take the strength of the Lord.

But that is exactly what charity does.  Charity is a sacrificial, Christ-like love for others.  That love sometimes manifests itself in helping to bear the burdens of others.  Charity does not live in isolation.  Charity doesn’t just talk about and think about love.  Charity is love.  Charity goes out and demonstrates love.  Charity shows love by helping others.

How are we doing today at “bearing all things?”  Do we trust in the Lord to help us?  Or do we crumble under the load of our own problems?  Charity is able to bear all things.  Are we?

 

 

 

 

Charity, Pt. 17

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 looking at this passage dealing with characteristics of charity, we have come to the fact that charity “…rejoiceth in the truth.”  The first part of that phrase is “Rejoiceth not in iniquity…”  Charity doesn’t rejoice in sin and it does rejoice in the truth.  Those are two opposite things and they are two things that we get backward all too often.  They are opposite things that are mutually exclusive, that is, they cannot happen at the same time.  If we rejoice in iniquity, we can’t be rejoicing in the truth.  If we rejoice in the truth, we cannot rejoice in iniquity.

The question is this – what are we rejoicing in today?  Where is our pleasure?  What do we enjoy?  What do we seek after?  What do we allow into our lives?

Charity knows the answer to all of those questions.  Charity rejoices in the truth and avoids sin in all forms.  What is the truth that we should be rejoicing in?  Philippians 4 gives us a good list describing things about which we should be thinking.  We need to filter all of our thinking through the Word of God.  We need to allow the Bible to guide us in our thinking.  And the Bible will always guide us in the right path.  It will never lead us astray and I will never lead us to sin.

What are we rejoicing in today?  Sin or truth?  If we have charity, we will rejoice in the truth!

Charity, Pt. 16

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 apologize for not having any posts during the last few days.  My computer died after a short illness, and it took a few days to replace it.  Modern conveniences are wonderful, but they sure aren’t convenient when they aren’t working.

In our series on this passage about charity, we have come to the fact that charity “rejoiceth not in iniquity.”  Charity finds no pleasure in sin.  Charity abhors sin and tries desperately to avoid it.  Charity does not take pleasure in its own sin and it does not vicariously take pleasure in the sins of others.

It is an interesting thing, this matter of rejoicing not in iniquity.  As Christians, we know that we should not sin.  But sometimes we look very longingly at sin.  We might not be actually committing the sin, but in the back of our minds, we can start to feel almost envious of those who are committing a particular sin.  We might watch others committing sin on television.  And we might find ourselves “rejoicing” in that iniquity.  There are so many facets to keeping ourselves pure.  Our bodies might be pure, but how are our minds?

We might not be out in the world committing all kinds of sins, but what does our heart look like?  How do we respond when we see blatant sin?  Do we attempt to avoid it, or do we allow our minds to revel in it a little, even if we would never do “something like that” ourselves?  There are many levels to “rejoiceth not in iniquity.”  We need to avoid iniquity all together!

Charity, Pt. 15

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 study of the characteristics of charity, we have come to the fact that charity “…thinketh no evil.”  Charity has a pure heart and a pure mind.  Charity does think evil.  That can mean many things.  It can mean that charity doesn’t think evil toward others.  It can mean that charity doesn’t about evil things.  It can mean many things, all of which are true.

Charity doesn’t think evil toward others.  It can be very tempting to wish evil on those who have wronged us.  It is human nature to wish evil on those who have wronged us.  Jesus Christ Himself tells us to “turn the other cheek.”  We are not to wish evil on others, even if we do not agree with them.  We are not to wish evil on others, even if we do not like them.  We are not to wish evil on others, even if they hate us.

Charity doesn’t think about evil things.  Charity thinks good and pure thoughts.  Charity brings all of it’s thoughts in line with the scriptures.  Charity heeds the warning of II Corinthians 10:5, “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  That is how charity lives and that is how charity thinks.

How good are we today at controlling our thoughts?  How often do we allow those evil thoughts to take root in our minds?  Do we truly bring every thought into captivity?  Do we filter every thought through the Word of God?  We should.  That is what charity does.

Charity, Pt. 14

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 list of the characteristics of charity, we have come to this fact:  charity “…is not easily provoked.”  Charity doesn’t have a bad temper.  Charity doesn’t constantly “fly off the handle.”  Charity doesn’t get angry at the drop of a hat.  Charity doesn’t want to fight and argue about everything in the world.  Charity is calm and even tempered.

Charity is a sacrificial Christ-like love that demonstrates itself in many ways.  One way is in its ability to remain calm when a situation is not good.  Charity can remain calm and Christ-like even if a situation is bad.  When the average person starts yelling and fills with rage, charity understands that this is not the Christ-like way.

There are some situations that a person should get angry about.  Jesus Himself (our perfect example) was angry several times during His earthly ministry.  He drove the money changers out of the temple.  He was never pleased with the Pharisees and rebuked them many times.   He even had to rebuke His own disciples a few times.  But, in all of that, His anger was a righteous anger and was not “easily provoked.”  Jesus did not go around losing His temper.  Charity understands the difference.  There are things worth fighting for, but not everything is worth fighting for.

How is our temper today?  Some people have more trouble with their tempers than others, but we all have work to do in that area.  We need to have an even temper that is “not easily provoked!”

 

Charity, Pt. 13

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 discussion of this list of things that characterize charity, we have come to the fact that charity “seeketh not her own.”  Charity forces us and enables us to put the needs and wants of others above our own needs and wants.  Charity is not selfish.  Charity is selfless.

Philippians 2 gives us a glimpse into the character of Jesus Himself.  Of course, He is our perfect example in all things.  “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”  (Philippians 2:3-4)

We are to look at others before we look at ourselves.  We are supposed to consider others before we consider ourselves.  We are even supposed to think about the things of others before we think about our own things.  That is, according to Philippians 2:5, the mind which is in Christ Jesus.

Charity truly cares about others.  Charity truly puts others before itself.  That is a rare quality in this world.  This world is full of selfishness and full of pride.  It is short on compassion and love for its fellow man.  Charity is a sacrificial love.  That sacrificial love sacrifices it’s own desires for the desires of others.

How are we doing today?  Do we have that kind of sacrificial love?  Do we have that kind of selflessness in our lives?  Or do we “seek our own?”

 

Charity, Pt. 12

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

As we continue to go through this list of the characteristics of charity, we come today to the fact that charity “Doth not behave itself unseemly…”  The word unseemly is an old word that simply means “not proper or appropriate.”  Charity does not behave itself in an improper or inappropriate manner.

There are many, many things that, while they are not necessarily sins, they are not proper and they are not appropriate.  There are some things that are appropriate for some situations and not appropriate for other situation.  Charity has the wisdom to understand the difference and know how to deal with different situations.

In short, charity knows how to behave.  Charity knows how to act in various situations.  Charity knows how to behave at church.  It knows how to behave at work.  It knows how to behave at home.  Charity does not behave itself unseemly.  It is always appropriate.

There is something to be said for not being obnoxious.  Too often, people today just don’t care about others.  They just aren’t concerned with behaving properly.  But, the person with charity behaves himself or herself properly.  The person with charity does this because he realizes that there is something to life other than himself and bigger than himself.  There is the testimony of the Lord Jesus.  There are the lives of others.  There is influence on future generations.  We need to behave ourselves properly and appropriately because that is what charity does.

 

Charity, Pt. 11

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 looking at this list of things that define charity, we have come to this: charity “…is not puffed up.”  “Puffed up” simply means filled with pride.  Charity is not filled with pride.  Charity does not have an inflated ego.  Charity is a Christ-like, sacrificial, giving love.  There is no room in that kind of love for pride.

Pride is the sin that caused the fall of Lucifer, and, by extension, the human race.  We have always had a problem with pride.  There is something appealing to our flesh about the Devil’s offer “…you shall be like gods.”  Being like gods appeals to our pride.  It appeals to our flesh.  It is also wrong and sinful.

Charity is not puffed up.  Charity does not have a problem with ego and arrogance.  Charity is a sacrificial and giving love.  If we are giving sacrificially and loving others and loving the Lord as we should, we will not have a problem with pride.  Pride comes in when we start to put ourselves on a pedestal. We start to put ourselves and our opinions over the Lord Jesus and His truth.  We start to put our own wants and desires above the wants and desires of others.  We start to get things backward when we get full of ourselves.  And that is really what it comes down to – we are full of ourselves.  We need to be full of the Spirit and full of charity.  But instead, we are often full of ourselves.  That is not charity.  Do we have true charity in our hearts today?  Or are we puffed up with pride?

Trusting Jesus (Hymn)

Trusting Jesus
Edgar Stites (1876)

Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly does His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While He leads I cannot fall;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain

Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger for Him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain

Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past;
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain

We should always trust Jesus.  No matter what the situation and no matter what the problem, we should trust Him.  “Singing if my way is clear, Praying if the path be drear.”  That is exactly what we should do as Christians.  Trusting Jesus, that is all.  Amen to that.