Consider one another with love…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

I Corinthians   8:1-13

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

This is love in action, when I consider my brother above my own desires.  We may find some actions are not an offense to us, but they are to another.  And that offense can cause the other to turn away from a relationship with God.  Paul is saying; out of love for one another, we would choose, then, to avoid that action.  This is not putting a burden upon us to follow some code written by mankind, but rather asking that we consider one another with love.

Follow your gifting…act driven by love…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

I Corinthians 7

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.  For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.  I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

When we enter into an intimate relationship with another, we give ourselves to them.  Just as it is when we enter into a relationship with the Lord, we give ourselves to Him.  It is not to be taken lightly.  Two shall become one.  When there is separation there is pain.  If we hold to the command to love our God and love our neighbor, we would avoid causing harm or pain to another.  So above all love God and love our neighbor; love covers a multitude of sins, love looks to the best for the other, love is not selfish, love is driven by the Spirit of God.  Love is God and God is love.  Love should be the driving force in our lives; seen by those closest to us and all who cross our paths.

To whom do we belong?…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

I Corinthians 6:12-20

  “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”  But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.  Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Verse 12 – our freedom is never a reason to hinder another’s walk with the Lord.  If we find ourselves in a place where we are leading, looked up to, discipling, in any way responsible to encourage and edify others in Christ then we are to temper our freedom with the building of the kingdom of God.  Our life is outwardly focused on Christ and others, not inwardly focused on ourselves.  This is what makes us stand out from the rest of mankind; this is a type of caring, concern for one another and love that is not seen in the world of the unbeliever.

To whom do we belong?  With acceptance of the teachings of Christ, with acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ comes a joining to Christ and the beginning of a relationship not unlike the relationship between two in love.  Acceptance of Christ’s teachings means turning from others much like when entering a marriage contract one turns from all others, promising to be true to the one loved.  So now our view of ownership of our own bodies and self changes.  We do not belong to our self; we belong to God.  We do not do as we want; we do as he wants.  We do not live by our flesh; we live by our spirit joined with Him.  This shows up in our actions, speech and thought.  We now would not do anything that brings harm either to another or ourselves.  For now we live in love and caring, one for another.  Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A study of Proverbs continued…The Issue of Life part 3 reblogged…

THE ISSUE OF LIFE–part 3

July 23, 2013 — Dale Hill

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Pondering the Principles of Proverbs

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Pro. 4:23 NLT)

In Part 1 we learned that your heart determines your life, which basically means that YOU determine your life. I say that, because it is up to you to guard your heart.

In Part 2, we  learned that evil actions are preceded by evil thoughts. If that is the case, then it is necessary to learn how to control our thoughts.

How is that possible? Thoughts just seem to zip in and out of my head with complete randomness. I can be going along minding my own business, not thinking about anything in particular, and BAM! Out of nowhere a thought pops up—sometimes good; sometimes not so good.

Read more…

A study of Proverbs – The Issue of Life part 2 reblogged…

A link to the original post: http://practicalbibleteaching.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/the-issue-of-life-part-2/

THE ISSUE OF LIFE–part 2

July 21, 2013 — Dale Hill

Pondering the Principles of Proverbs

FALLING ASLEEP ON DUTY

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Pro. 4:23 NLT)

In Part 1 we learned that your heart determines your life, which basically means that YOU determine your life. I say that, because it is up to you to guard your heart.

If you guard it, you have control.

If you do not guard it, you do not have control over your life, but are at the effect of anything and every thing that comes along.

Read more…

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Correcting our allegiance…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

I Corinthians 6:1-11

  When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Essentially what is asked here is where do we place our trust and allegiance?  We are given guidelines that set before us the way in which we shall live.  Do we get the impression that we are in training for what is yet to come?  Where do we go to be trained as an electrician?  To electricians or those who know about electricity?  So where do we go to be trained as believers set apart from the rest of mankind?  To other believers who have the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, to the Word of God, and to the Lord we follow?  Can we begin to see that upon receiving Christ and his message of deliverance we have only begun to embark on an adventure that encompasses eternity?  From our spiritual birth we must continue to grow and develop in him.  So the focus is away from this world in matters dealing with one another.  We bring our differences among ourselves to those who are believers, who understand the changes we are going through.  We bring them to those who can act in love and compassion first, drawn from the understanding given through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

Who do we judge?…and when?…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

I Corinthians 5:1-21

 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,  you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

“…God judges those outside….” How many of us when reading this passage skipped this part and went straight to purging the evil one…?  That is what we hear from among Christian brethren,  a clamor to purge the evil from the land meaning of course the heathen, not anyone in our number.  (yes, that was meant to be sarcastic)  The question is: at what point did the Christian world begin to judge those outside the fellowship?  There is much accusation of Christian believers sharing in this guilt.  Paul holds  a believing fellowship to high standards citing the spread of anti-God actions to others in the fellowship is much like yeast that will cause the whole loaf to rise.  But it stops there.  This holding one another to the standards set forth in the Word does not extend beyond the fellowship for that is the jurisdiction of God.  The Holy Spirit convicts and judges those outside a believing fellowship.  We are not set up as God’s policemen.  We are to protect and build up one another, however.  We do not adopt the standards of the world around us; when this is done the salt has lost its flavor.  We are to encourage one another in love and when those among us cannot rise to the standards set in the Scripture(note: not set by members of the fellowship) then and only then are we to “Purge the evil person from among you.”