Christ commands us to love one another. But he is speaking of a much different love than the world exhibits. The Greek word agape’ (ag-ah´pay) describes God’s unconditional and sacrificial love that He has for us and expects us to show to one another. What does agape’ love look like?
1 Corinthians 13:4–8 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.”
The word agape’
is translated into the word “charity” in this chapter of the King James Bible. This is the perfect English word to describe God’s selfless & unconditional love. Learn why God’s love is the Greatest here
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
Our Lord not only gave us a command that we should love one another but also how to love one another. The Greek word agape’ is used here for the quality of love that we should display. Ask yourself the following questions. Are you exhibiting God’s agape’ love?
1. Suffereth Long
Are you patient with others or are you quickly frustrated with them?
2. Is Kind
Are you kind or harsh in your actions and attitudes?
3. Envieth Not
Do you take pleasure the blessings and accomplishments of others or are you jealous of them?
4. Vaunteth Not Itself
Do you notice and fulfill others needs or do you promote yourself and your needs above theirs?
You don’t want to rob God, but you’re not sure how to handle your tax return. What does the Bible say?
Proverbs 3:9–10 “Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
Dedicated Christians tithe. We tithe by returning 10% of our increase to the Lord through our local church. This is a straightforward calculation for your regular paycheck. As a pastor, I have been asked many times how to tithe off of a tax return. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
Tithe off of Net Pay
If you have been tithing off of your net pay (this is the amount you receive with taxes removed), you have not tithed from all your income. Even though the government takes tax out before it gets to you, it is still part of your increase. You must tithe off of your entire tax refund.
Tithe off of Gross Pay
I recommend tithing off of your gross pay from each paycheck. This is the amount you are paid before taxes are taken out. Furthermore, I urge that you tithe off of your entire (more…)
You are spending your time, talent and treasure toward something. Don’t waste your investment. Make sure the end is worth the effort. Here are ten things worth striving for.
1. To make efforts; to use exertions; to endeavor with earnestness; to labor hard; applicable to exertions of body or mind. A workman strives to perform his task before another; a student strives to excel his fellows in improvement.
Strive with me in your prayers to God for me. Rom. 15.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Luke 13.
2. To contend; to contest; to struggle in opposition to another; to be in contention or dispute; followed by against or with before the person or thing opposed; as, strive against temptation; strive for the truth.
My spirit shall not always strive with man. Gen. 6.
3. To oppose by contrariety of qualities.
Now private pity strove with public hate,
4. To vie; to be comparable to; to emulate; to contend in excellence.
Each of us is striving towards something. We get up in the morning to do it. We spend our time and money towards it. We think about it in our spare time. We go without preferences and sometimes necessities to attain it. What is “it” for you? What are you striving towards?
Some people are striving to survive. Working day to day to pay the bills, keep a roof over their heads, and feed the family. Others strive to be rich. They have enough for their basic needs and most of their wants, yet they hope to reach some financial number that will bring them freedom from the rat race. Many strive to be the best in their profession or sport to attain fame and fortune.
Have you ever thought about what would happen if (more…)
Temperance is more than moderation. It is the power of God to do what you know you should do. Learn how to get it here.
We live in an interesting day. We have many more conveniences and comforts than any generation in the history of the world, yet people are more unhappy and unfulfilled than they have ever been.
We have come to expect instant gratification in every area of life. Need a meal? Fast food or a microwave oven will have it for you in a flash. Need a friend? Create an account and start collecting them. Have a thought? Post it online and watch the likes and comments roll in. Someone make you angry? Give them a piece of your mind. Then tell anyone who will listen what they did to you. Want something you can’t afford? Swipe the credit card. The problem is that any joy from instant gratification is short-lived usually followed by lingering guilt and hardship.
Modern comforts have given us an insatiable craving for pleasure. No need to wait, to work, to hope, to save, to dream, to strive. Many believe happiness and comfort are a birthright. Pleasure at any cost is the cry of the masses. “If it feels good, do it; if it’s not fun, don’t” is the motto of this generation.
We are blessed to live in this era of time with its conveniences and comforts. We should thank the Lord for all the tools and opportunities that are available. However, if we are to serve God and follow Christ, we must be able to sort through the noise cutting out what will hinder our divine relationships and service. Not every opportunity is (more…)
Winter can be tough on a church if the pastor and people are not prepared. Make the most out of your ministry during this Winter!
One of the benefits of serving God in New England is that we get to experience all four seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter all have their pros and cons. New Englanders usually have strong feelings about which ones they like and dislike. Nevertheless, we are privileged to experience them in all of their glory. Each season presents its own challenges to ministry. We won’t list them all here. In this article, we will focus on ministry in the Winter.
If you want to have a fruitful ministry in New England, you must make peace with Winter. That’s easier for some people than others. If you grew up in the northern United States, you are probably accustomed to cold weather, snow accumulation, and winter storms. Some people even enjoy Winter! However, if you have never lived or ministered up North, you are in for a treat. Many well-intentioned preachers have moved to New England believing that God wanted them to serve here, only to quit because of the Winter. Either God never called them to New England, or they left God’s will because they didn’t consider how to serve God successfully during the cold winter months. I don’t make that statement as a criticism but as a fact.
I grew (more…)