16 Characteristics of God’s Agape’ Love

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?

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Should I Tithe on My Tax Return?

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…)

The Baptist Distinctives

8 Bible Truths That Make All The Difference

We live in a time when people reject labels of all kinds. Why is it important to be a Baptist? Why not drop the name and be a non-denominational church? Why does it matter what Christian group with which you identify?

Labels are useful. Imagine how foolish it would be if you went to the canned food aisle at the grocery store and there were no labels. Perhaps there were hundreds of cans marked “Beans.” Are they green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, or lentils? Are the beans seasoned or unseasoned? No one would know unless they bought the can, took it home and opened it.

Furthermore, how foolish would it be if every restaurant in the world was generically named? Before you enter a restaurant, you want to know if they serve Italian, Mexican, American, Indian, or Chinese. Labels help us see at a glance what kind of food we can expect to find inside the restaurant.

We rely on labels daily to tell us what to expect. They are necessary when it comes to churches as well. Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Universalist Unitarian, Nazarene, Charismatic, etc. are more than archaic labels. Each one signals a body of doctrine and philosophy that is vastly different from one another. Furthermore, a non-denominational church can be any one of these! How confusing! These various churches can’t all be right.

Do you know (more…)

3 Reasons I’m Glad I’m a Baptist

You become a Christian by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You become a Baptist by believing the rest of Bible. Here are three reasons I’m glad to be a Baptist.

1. Baptists were never part of the Roman Catholic church.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Reformation lately. I’m glad that men stood up against the doctrinal and moral corruption of the Roman Catholic church. Many groups came out from among the Catholic church and eventually become Christian denominations. I’m for anyone who believes and proclaims the saving power of faith in Christ alone. However, every denomination that left the Catholic church also retained some of its false teaching and unscriptural philosophy. Baptistic believers have never been part of the Catholic church. We are not “Protestants.” We did not come out of the Catholic church. There have been believers holding to the Baptist Distinctives since the time of Christ that has run parallel to every other Christian group. They have been called by many different names throughout history, but their fundamental beliefs have been very similar.

Catholic History teaches (more…)

34 Activities of the Holy Spirit

Includes Free Study Guide Download

The Believer’s most powerful ally is the Holy Spirit Who dwells within.  Do you know what He is trying to accomplish in your life? Do you know what He wants to do to help you?  Are you allowing Him to do His job?

Before our Lord Jesus Christ returned to Heaven, He comforted the Disciples with the revelation that He would leave them the Holy Spirit as their Helper and Comforter.

Wow!  God placed a Member of the Trinity within His children!  He is in you right now.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He wants to supercharge your life.  There is divine power, wisdom, insight, and more available to you through the Holy Ghost!  Yet, most Christians are unaware of His ministry.

The Holy Spirit is the least understood Member of the Godhead, yet He is the One we interact with most intimately in this life.  I encourage you to begin the journey of getting to know Him and experiencing all He has to offer.

What is He trying to do in your life today?  How can He help you?  Are you filled with Him?  What limits His work in your life? (more…)