Wow, life is busy! But I suppose I needn’t tell you all that because you are all busy too. I was grieved by the lack of posts for awhile; there was nothing new and exciting to read. Then, alas! VBS was over and everyone found time to post. Hooray! Of course, I haven’t the reasons that you have had for not posting. My excuse is that I treat Xanga the same way I treat my journal. I’ll write consistently for a short period of time then I get busy and won’t write for 3 months. Though I have not stooped to that level yet, I realize that it could happen. Wouldn’t that be sad?
Okay, now on a more serious note. Sunday School class has been so great the past few weeks. We’ve been studying 1 Corinthians 13. Each week we’ve taken a word or phrase and studied it. Last week we studied the phrase, “Is not puffed up.” It was really neat to see that Paul used that phrase quite a few times in 1 Cor. The Corinthian church was struggling with pride and Paul wanted to show them that love wasn’t prideful. It was also pointed out that Paul, in that verse listed three things that love isn’t that are related. Love isn’t prideful, it doesn’t show off what it has, and it doesn’t envy. We also talked about the natural, carnal, and spiritual man. The natural man is the unsaved and he is self-focused. The carnal man is saved, but has forgotten that he doesn’t have to live the old way, but that he has a new life. Under pressure he gives in. It made think how often I live self-focused (even though I don’t have to) instead of letting God’s love pour through me. It shouldn’t be so. God wants to use me as a vessel to give His love to others.
Today we covered most of verse five in 1 Cor. 13. We talked about the fact that love doesn’t behave itself unseemly (it acts in a ladylike/gentlemanly way), seeks not her own, and isn’t easily provoked. Did you realize that if you read the verse in the original Greek that the word easily isn’t in there? It should be rendered that love isn’t provoked. How that thought really changed my perspective. When I think that love isn’t easily provoked I think, “Oh, I guess that means as long as I don’t get mad right away I’m okay.” How wrong that thinking is. Love is NOT provoked. It further convinces me that this love cannot be humanly produced. No matter how much I may love someone, I do get irritated/provoked. Only by the Spirit can I demonstrate this love.
As we were talking in the class I happened to think about the phrase right before not being provoked. It is that love seeks not her own. When we are seeking our own we have “rights” that get violated and that provokes us. If we are seeking the good of others first we won’t get provoked because we want what is best for them even if it isn’t the “best” for us. Isn’t it interesting how that one phrase leads to another in that passage?
Living for God is so amazing. He asks us to do seemingly impossible things such as loving him with all our heart and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. Yet he doesn’t just tell us to do these things, he empowers us to do them. It is only through him that we can accomplish what he asks us to do. He is so awesome. He has created us for his glory and I love the phrase that John Piper always says. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”