Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Application On Your Knees

On Sunday we considered 1 Corinthian 13. It's not just (or even mainly) for wedding day readings and homilies. It's for the church. And it's convicting. If you want your love to grow like the Apostle Paul describes it in that chapter, what do you do?

Two follow up thoughts:
  1. Focus on God's great love for us in Christ. Spend a lot of time reading about and thinking about and meditating on and reminding yourself of the love of God for us, his people. "In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). Spend less time focusing on how others have failed to love you. Spend less time focusing on how you have failed or succeeded in loving others. Drink deeply at the well. You'll be well-watered and full to overflowing, ready to share his love whenever the opportunity arises.
  2. Pray that love down into your soul. When you want to grow in heart-level affection-love that overflows into ground-level action-love, you can't just flip a switch. Only God can give us that kind of love. No wonder there are prayers like this in the Bible (may I suggest that you memorize these and make them a regular part of your prayers for yourself and your family and our church?): 
Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 1:9-11
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
If we're going to get busy living out the love described in 1 Corinthians 13, we need to start by looking up and kneeling down. 

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