Monthly archive

August 2019

Posted on in Devotional

Martyrdom Without Love

So far in his denunciation of loveless ministries, Paul has addressed what we say, what we know, what we believe, and how we give. Now he comes to the apex of his argument—how we die. Many Christians have made the ultimate sacrifice of martyrdom, but even that is useless without love. Keep Reading

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Benevolence Without Love

If you’ve ever donated to your church or another charitable organization out of obligation, peer pressure, legalism, guilt, a desire for recognition, or simply to earn a tax deduction, you know what it means to give without love. In our society it’s easy to fall prey to that kind of giving because the needs are so great and fund-raisers appeal to every conceivable motive Keep Reading

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Faith Without Love

In Matthew 17:19 the disciples came to Jesus wanting to know why they couldn’t cast a demonic spirit from a child. Jesus responded, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you” (v. 20). He repeated the same principle in Matthew 21:21—“Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall . . . say to this mountain [the Mount of Olives], ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ [and] it shall happen.” Keep Reading

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Balancing Knowledge and Love

Christians should never take knowledge for granted. The ability to learn about Christ and to grow in His truth is a blessing beyond measure. Paul prayed that we would be “filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). That’s what enables us to live in a way that pleases God (v. 10). Keep Reading

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Speaking the Truth in Love

I have the privilege of spending time each week with hundreds of young people who attend The Master’s College. As I observe their progress, I see the impact godly teachers have had on their lives, and I’m convinced that students learn best when they know that their teachers genuinely care about them. Keep Reading

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Prophecy Without Love

The word prophecy as used in 1 Corinthians 13:2 is the ability to publicly proclaim God’s truth accurately and authoritatively. It’s a greater gift than tongues because tongues were given as a sign to unbelieving Israel in the first century (1 Cor. 14:21-22), whereas prophecy instructs and edifies believers throughout the centuries. Paul said, “One who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation [and] edifies the church” (1 Cor. 14:3-4). Keep Reading

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Languages Without Love

Paul begins his discourse on love by stating the futility of languages without love. The Corinthians were enamored with the showy spiritual gifts, apparently to the neglect of those they deemed less spectacular (see 1 Cor. 12:12-31). One of the gifts they prized most highly was tongues, which was the Spirit-given ability to declare God’s truth in a language unknown to the speaker but known to others who heard. Keep Reading

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The Source of True Love

Scripture often makes seemingly impossible demands of us. For example, Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). That’s easy to say, but how is it possible? Our natural tendency is to love our friends and hate our enemies. But Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (vv. 46-47). Keep Reading

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Filling Up an Empty Word

In our society, love is a common word but an uncommon experience. Often those who use the word most understand it least. Many who think they’ve found love have really settled for something far less than God intended for them. Keep Reading

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A Hymn of Love

First Corinthians 13 has been called a hymn of love, or a lyrical interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount—the Beatitudes set to music. It’s a beautiful portion of Scripture that comes as a breath of fresh air in a book dealing with one problem after another. Keep Reading

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