10 life imperatives

  1. Stay grounded in the goodness and power of God, and grateful for his blessing. You know: “God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food.”
  2. Don’t say, do, or buy anything stupid. Three things to stay zipped up: your mouth, your pants, and your purse.
  3. Don’t be extreme about anything, except putting God first in your life and following the Lord Jesus to the letter.
  4. Do first things first. Prayer and the Bible before facing the world. Work before play. Sowing liberally before expecting a harvest.
  5. Bide your time. Oaks require years to mature. Weeds pop up overnight.
  6. There’s something to learn every day and from every person you meet.
  7. Share the best you have, which is the fullness of God in Jesus Christ.
  8. Never underestimate the power of the gospel and the power of your word on behalf of Christ. Speak up!
  9. Be motivated by love, and let that motivation be always in evidence.
  10. Pay the price of preparation, share the pain of suffering for the gospel, revel in the grace of salvation.

#imperatives, #love, #principles, #rules, #wisdom

Have love: John 13.35 VOTD

“Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.”

John 13.35

Jesus established the badge of discipleship to the world as mutual love. God’s great distinguishing characteristic is love.

Love is how spiritual relationships are developed and deepened. It is the essence of what the Way is all about. How does love act?

#discipleship #love #VOTD

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6-22-2017 Must We Hate Our Family

Jesus said: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26 NKJV). “Hate” father and mother? Surely Jesus did not mean we must “detest” our parents! He said: “God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death’” (Matthew 15:4 NKJV). We cannot “detest” and “honor” them at the same time. “Hate” may sometimes be used to mean “love less,” that is by comparison. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37 NKJV). To follow Jesus, we must love our family less than Jesus.
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#hate, #love

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6-16-2017 Missing Fathers Days

“Father’s Day” began with memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907. According to the website timeanddate.com, “Father’s Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life.” “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?” (Hebrews 12:9 NKJV). One of the major problems in our society are all the children who don’t know their “human father” and have not learned to respect someone who loves them and cares about their behavior. Respect and obedience are learned from a father—unless he’s not there!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#fathers-day, #love

Two masters: Luke 16.13 VOTD

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Luke 16.13

Loving God will cause a disciple to be faithful in the use of money, vv. 10-12. But those who love money will scoff at Jesus’ words and justify themselves, vv. 14-15.

How do people try to serve two masters at once?

#love #money #service #VOTD

Love rejoices: 1 Corinthians 13.6 VOTD

“Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.”

1 Corinthians 13.6 CSB

Paul’s chapter on love centers the discussion of the need for each member of the body (chapter 12) and the use of gifts for edification (chapter 14).

How does rejoicing in the truth manifest itself?

#love #truth #joy #VOTD

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5-3-2017 Unconditional Love

Moses told Israelites: “the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face” (Deuteronomy 7:9-10 NKJV). God’s love to man is conditional because He requires faithful obedience in return. It is false to claim that God loves you, but expects little or nothing in return! Unconditional love coming from “Mama and Me” is popular in song, but God cannot truthfully be added to that list! We must “consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:22 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#mama-and-me, #love, #unconditional

Only true state of brotherhood

On this day in 1888 Princess Isabel freed all slaves in Brazil. The process occurred in relative peace—at least, there was no war over it. In 1961 Catholics began commemoration of it as the Day of Brazilian Fraternity (or Brotherhood).

Whenever the world speaks of #brotherhood, we cannot but remember that the only true state of equality and fraternal treatment is in Christ. In the family of God there is #love and acceptance and #forgiveness.

Brotherly affection and unselfish love are a part of the Christian’s faith, 2 Pet 1.5-8.

Let us make our congregations into true families of faith, where God rules as Father, where Christ provides the proper example as older brother, and where every saint is a precious spiritual sibling whose soul is valued and whose presence brings joy in our midst.

VOTD: Galatians 5.22-23 ‘Fruit of the Spirit’

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ”

Galatians 5.22-23

The “but” makes a contrast with what other list?

How do we let the Spirit produce this fruit?

#HolySpirit #VOTD #love

VOTD: 2 Corinthians 8.24

“Therefore show them openly before the churches the proof of your love and of our pride in you.”

2 Corinthians 8.24

Love is to proved and openly demonstrated.

What was the context of this statement, in chapters 8 and 9?

#love, #openness, #votd

Mallet vs. sun: Love more effective than logic

This from the Bible Illustrator, on 1 Cor 16.14:

As means towards the attainment of the best ends there is no comparison between these. The latter [logic] may convince the understanding and leave the heart unchanged, but the former [love] will win the heart, and with that gained, the understanding will usually soon succumb.

The difference between them is similar to that between a mallet and the sun in reducing ice to water. The mallet may break the ice into small particles, but each particle will remain ice still, while the sun’s heat falling upon the ice will melt it into a fluid, and so impregnate the fluid with its warmth that while that warmth is continued the water cannot assume again its icy condition.

So in changing opinions and reforming habits. Arguments will be of little avail without a loving disposition behind them. The opinions, after all cold pure arguments, will remain generally unchanged, or probably assume another false complexion, and the habits, if broken up for a little, will soon resume their wonted round.

But if love prevails, the eyes looking it, the face beaming it, the words expressing it, the whole demeanour demonstrating it, the citadel of opinion will melt before the loving assault, and the heart will become ablaze with the sacred glow.

Love and logic should at least go hand in hand in seeking the regeneration of the world.

#evangelism, #logic, #love

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2-14-2017 Love Is Not A Valentine

The idol gods Lupercus and Faunus – the Roman God of Agriculture, and fictional Romulus and Remus, were celebrated with the “Feast of Lupercalia. The Roman Catholic Church simply added this to their other adopted idolatry by giving it some association to their church! Valentine’s Day is that celebration. Love has been reduced to a day of gifts, cards, candy, and jewelry, but the Bible concept has been entirely lost to the public. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NKJV). “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13 NKJV). Love is that voluntary choice to see that good is done for others, because “Love does no harm to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10 NKJV). Not for a day, but for a life.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#love, #roman-catholic-church-idolatry, #valentines-day

Key verse of 1 Corinthians?

Yesterday, I posted Nelson Smith’s comment on 1 Cor 16.14: “Everything you do should be done in love.” After reading again the conclusion of the letter, with its emphasis on love, it makes a body wonder if this verse might not serve well as the key verse to the entire letter.

As we wrote some years back for the 21st Century Christian Adult Bible Quarterly, the problem behind the problems in Corinth was arrogance. It was almost as if the word of God had originated with them, 1 Cor 14.36, so free did they feel to modify it. Chapter 13, that towering declaration on love, is central to the discussion on gifts. Paul puts love forward as the solution.

So, in a way, doing all in love serves as an excellent summary statement of what the apostle has been writing throughout his letter. It is the ultimate arrogance killer, 1 Cor 8.2, and the path to being known by God, 1 Cor 8.3. So we must “pursue love” 1 Cor 14.1.

Love is not love until it motivates and permeates everything we do.

#1-corinthians, #love

Nelson Smith comments on 1 Corinthians 16.14

“Let all your things be done with charity (agape-love).”

” Short verse — short comment. Do your own thinking on this and see what you make of it. It tells me that love is the very thread with which the fabric of the universe is woven. God is ‘above all, through all and in all.’ (Eph. 4:6) But to the Corinthian Christians this would be a tender rebuke for as Paul’s epistles to them show, many (if not most) of the things they had done and were doing had not been done with love. It is also meant for us for we (especially Christians) too are obligated to do all our things with love. There are no exceptions if we are to do God’s will. A self-examination with respect to motivation for the things we do and the attitude with which we do them may be surprising and even profitable to us. Think on this and you will be surprised how much ‘COMMENT’ will grow out of your thinking.”

—Nelson M. Smith, Agape Study Manual, p. 211

#love

My Search

Simple faith, the goal of searching,
Life with center and circumference,
That single word of fullest meaning,
Limitless love for one and all.

—JRMatheny http://randalmatheny.com

#faith, #love, #poetry