Posted in Exhort Pray Praise...

The God of Peace Be With You

 Phillipians4:4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Have you witnessed the peace that passes understanding? Those who have had husbands, wives, children die and they quote scripture and speak of the joy the loved one is experiencing, and the day of being reunited. The one with a terminal disease who is more hopeful and joyful than you, (whose only complaint today is too long a wait at the grocery store). Have you wondered on, or even criticized another for their lack of distress at the loss?  The world tells us we should wail, and beat our chests. We should stop eating, singing laughing, living, when we have trials. The world says we should be overcome by this world that comes against us. Yet God tells us to rejoice in the Lord.Always.

26 years ago between  September and December of 1989 my reasonableness was questioned.

September 23, our third son was born with Pierre Robin Sequence. In Midland they were clueless as to what to do with him choking on his tongue when he cried, so they decided to tie his tongue down. Turns out the surgeries they did in the first 2 days of his life actually did him more harm than the tongue in the way did.E with button

Our second son, who was 5 ,at this time was having what we called attacks, he had been having these since he was 2. He would go pale, his heart would race and pound so hard you could see it in his little chest. He would not be able to move for a few hours, for the pain. (5 years later found it was esophagus spasm aggravation from Celiac disease) Every 2 weeks we would race to the ER to meet the pediatrician who would scratch his head and send us home till the next time.   Scan 127

The Midland doctors insisted we gavage feed Evan, running a tube through his nose and pump in the milk.  Not being able to breast feed, I pumped, for about 5 weeks, until I realized the big boys needed mom time more than Evan needed breast milk.

Evans specialist/surgeon was in Dallas, a 5 hour drive from home. He was an excellent doctor, and probably reason Evan still here today, but ….. The instruction he gave us on the care of Evan,when he untied the unnecessary tongue adhesion.  Until his chin grew and he became strong enough for cleft surgery “ Lay him on his stomach, so he does not choke on that(tongue) and hope he keeps breathing.”

Keith worked graveyard shift at the Post office. Leaving me each night to put everyone to bed, and wake too often alone to see if the baby was still breathing.

Just after delivering the baby, while still in the hospital I had my tubes tied. The last trimester of the pregnancy I had a HORRIBLE chest cold and cough. The air they pumped in during surgery put too much pressure on my ribs that had been weakened from the coughing. I sneezed and cracked a rib, the week after I delivered.

Then, six weeks after Evan was born, on November 1, my brother, Kirk, fell in his driveway and hit his head. He died 2 days later. We dropped our older boys off at a friends house, and drove to Austin, sat in the waiting room of ICU for 2 days, with family and friends, and Evan laying on his stomach in a stroller.  We said goodbye, until we meet again,  to Kirk on November 3, drove home to get boys and drive to funeral ‘at home’ in Lubbock. Scan 13

We moved to a new home by Christmas and hosted that for all the family. Mom and Dad and brother Mike and Kirk’s fiance. Evan was not thriving well, he could not eat and breath at the same time, and burned everything he took in trying to breath. I stupidly agreed to his first immunizations, and he had a horrible reaction the the DPT and MMR-

Scan 128

A couple of days after Christmas, the boys were playing with a new friend across the street, Lee came running in the house screaming Brian was hurt, bad. A little Tikes car had fallen on him.He had a compound fracture of his arm- both bones. (he had weak bones from that damned undiagnosed celiac)

Sometime during this time of tribulation, I was in conversation with my still mourning mom, she voiced a concern my cousin had for me. My cousin herself had been through some stress, a divorce, a move, a job change, and per some counseling advice and a Readers Digest article, I was due a nervous breakdown  According to the experts having more than 3 major life changes, good or bad, you were in danger. I had at least 10, mostly bad, which got you more points.

I look back at this time, and about a year beyond of a bit more and remember the sadness, but not despair. I remember the loss of dreams, and even some hope, but not faith. I know I prayed for healing of my brother, and cried the healing was not for us to experience. I remember my concern for my children’s health even the fear of losing them, yet never afraid. I cried, I sobbed, I questioned why. I prayed.  Yet I never panicked. Never did I lose my mind, my heart, my strength. I was actually stronger then,than I think I ever was. I had THAT peace.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Evan has something about him that blesses those who know him. IMG_4723Celiac is EASY to fix, just don’t eat wheat and we are healthy. All of grandchildren who have Celiac have not had to endure the illness and damages from undiagnosed Celiac, as Brian did.  DSCF3431

Brian is a healthy strong brilliant godly husband and father. DSCF3418 Bones heal.DSCF3144Heck, all my boys are Godly Men!

Kirk’s daughter is a gorgeous successful mother of 2 daughtersimage_6.

Evan choked on food when he was  10 months,  and because I had gavage fed him I was able to assist the paramedics in finding his airway, when they could not. Scan 67

Evan was almost 9lbs when he was born, this weight sustained him during the time he could not eat well.

I am an expert on gluten free living, and have somewhat of an income from that.  i do

In all things, even the most heartbreaking, I can rejoiceDSCF3138. Tribulation is for a moment, and that peace that passes human understanding is eternal in Him.   DSCF3058

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”If you don’t have that peace, it is not hard to get– It is a gift.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,DSCF3014

 

Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 16 -DONE

I am getting er done!! Obviously I am the only one that enjoyed this study, since only I participated, it really was fun! 

This all began with Paul having to straighten out the WRONG WRONG WRONG thinking of the Corinthians, now he is closing the letter, taking care of the regular business as if they were not screwing up.  16 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem. 4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.   Take up offerings now so we don’t have to do it when I get there. 5 Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). 6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.  Travel plans 8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.11 Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.  Be nice to Timothy, don’t run him off. 12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time. Apollos won’t come visit, and I assume he does not want to associate with such a messed up group of people, his choice, and seems Paul agrees with him. 

13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.15 I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints— 16 that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.  I think Paul is telling them yet again BE NICE because they have a tendency not to be. 17 I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. Lacking on your part seems to be pointing out that where they are failing spiritually to build up and help these others did so. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.20 All the brethren greet you.Greet one another with a holy kiss.21 The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s.22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.O Lord, come! Pretty black and white. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Gods Word is alive today, it pertains to today.  Hebrews 4:1212 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.The Corinthians were full of pride and had changed the Word of God to meet their needs and to dismiss those they did not approve of. I do not know if all the Corinthians were believers. I don’t think so. I do not think all who ‘practice’ Christianity are believers.   Today is not different than the day Paul wrote the letter. Ecc. 1:19 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.   It would do us all well to abide to God’s Word, lest we be accursed. 

 
Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 15

This Bible ‘study’ has not progressed as I intended. I have not stuck with it weekly as I intended. I am sorry.  And I had  hoped there would be more (some)discussion between myself and my followers, but  nooooooooo. I have had a few likes and some follows, following each Corinthians post, so maybe my hopes don’t align with God’s plan.  After 15, there is just one more book of 1 Corinthians, so this will end this ‘study’.  I do have another in plan, but more on that when it comes! Thanks for hanging with me here!!

In 14 Paul was explaining to the ‘believers’ ‘church goers’ how to have productive services. The service is not about them and how much they know or think they know. Chapter 15 he seems to be telling specifically what the purpose of church meetings is. 

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  There is no need to discuss whose gift is better, if someone more important than another, when you have The Gospel of Christ to discuss.  Paul never runs out of ‘material to teach on, it is THE GOSPEL. That is what believing is about, that is why believers gather together . Christ. His life. His Death. His Resurrection. His purpose.  IF this is not why you gather, you believe then you missed the point, and possibly the boat 😉 T

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.  A quick Gospel, reminder of what it is they should be focusing on.  What they should be sharing with ALL others.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  Paul is not one of the 12 apostles that walked with Jesus in the flesh. Yet he does the work of the apostles and Jesus, bringing all the Good News, transforming lives. Paul admits he is not the same as one of the 12, that he actually has little right to call himself that because of his own persecution of Christians. (He held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen). Paul proclaims the miracle of God’s grace, the intervention that turned Paul into a possibly ‘louder’ voice than any of the 12 ever were for Christ. 

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  Some Sadducees must have infiltrated the Corinthians. 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.  15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. Paul is arguing that they can not have both beliefs, dead not resurrected and Christ resurrected because it is not logical. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Mans false doctrine is interfering with the Truth.  18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. Christ’s resurrection is a necessary of Gods plan for us

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, all man dies physically and spiritually because of sin. even so in Christ all shall be made alive. In the resurrection of Christ, His ‘making’ it happen, allows for those that believe in that to ‘BE’ that.

 

CONFUSING!!! : The ‘But’ belongs to all(believers) shall be made alive23 But each one in his own order:  I think this is a list of the ‘order’.

1)Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 

2) 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 

3 )2 For He must reign  till He has put all enemies under His feet. A5ll those that are against Him/God are enemies, unbelievers, demons, Satan.

4)  26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. Physical death and eternal separation from God

27 For “He has put all things under His feet.”But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself Jesus will also be subject to Him God who put all things under Him Jesus, that God may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? I think he is pointing out the inconsistency of their beliefs/doctrine. IF there is no resurrection, then Christ can’t be salvation. And if dead don’t resurrect why are you doing this ritual of being baptized for those who have died and were not baptized before death. If you believe no resurrection it does dead not good.   30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” This is a bit like my argument against the new(old) universalist thinking, IF everyone eventually believes and is reunited with God, even after physical death, what is the point of telling Gospel and living a righteous life? “Eat drink be merry, die and get a bit burned in hell but you get out so go for it”….

33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.  Don’t listen to the lies!! Don’t associate with those who are false teachers, elders included. You don’t become like those you don’t hang around with. 

35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” What if someone is cremated? 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. The seed of an apple is basically from a ‘dead’ fruit, and it produces a massive tree. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.  What I become after physical death will be what ever God makes me to be- I will be awesome!

39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.  Biology, spiritology, science. God created all, in their own form

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  Man is flawed by sin of this world, our ‘new’ selves will be glorious 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being Human/Man the top of the family tree.” The last Adam Christ became a life-giving spirit.

46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man Adam was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man Jesus is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Our sinful selves don’t get to ‘be’.  51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  Those who believe in Christ, His birth, His death His resurrection His purpose. Get to ‘BE” made new and continue with God. At the second coming those believers will not experience physical death

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Our spirits/souls exist forever. It is where that forever is spent that we must decide. Do we go our own way, choose our own path, ignore the truth or change it to fit our comfort zone? Deny Christ and His resurrection and be stung by Death and reside in Hades? Or do we choose God, His Way, His Light, knowing that Jesus’ victory over death is ours for eternity with Him. 

Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 14

Spiritual gifts are gifts from God. The exist and only through God. I have heard it said that we can possess only one gift, or that God gives one specific, and then will bless with other gifts in times of need.  I am not sure why those teaching on gifts need to set man made rules and interpretation on the gifts from God, I personally do not read God’s Word to say one gift per believer.  In 14:1 it says to desire giftS, especially prophesy. This sounds like it is for us to only ask and want and God will give.  I think the most important thing to know is God does gift us with spiritual gifts, to do HIS work, for HIM. Once a believer, we are given the tools by our Father to walk our walk well. 

14 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. The ‘tongue’ here does lean to being a language for God. IF in this circumstance it is, it is obvious it is not meant to be a bunch of mumbo jumbo BABBLE in front of a bunch of men. It is praying, speaking conversing with God, and I still think in OUR own native language.   But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. To have a gift, such as prophesy, that allows one to tell of God, His Word, the meaning of His Word, is a gift to everyone.  I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.  Paul wants everyone to converse with God, but more so to speak God’s Word to others. 

But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.  First remember the attitude of these people, many think they are ‘better’ than others, because of their prestige, and possibly because they can MAKE themselves speak mumbo jumbo and claim it is ‘God’ speaking through them.  SECOND: IF tongues is ‘God’ speaking, how is that of use to anyone if no one can understand.  So instead of getting attention for yourself by babbeling, speak the TRUE words of God, to explain God’s wants of man. 12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.  Addressing the attitude again, don’t make up a gift blessing that is useless, ask for one that is for others. 

13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.  If you speak in tongues, you need MORE, or you are useless.  Obviously saying there is more than one gift per person. 

18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

 

20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.

21 In the law it is written:

“With men of other tongues and other lips
I will speak to this people;
And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,”[b]

says the Lord.

22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.   It seems Paul is saying that tongues is a different language not mumbo jumbo. Seems he has found a nice way of saying you that brag about tongues are faking it. Like a bunch of kids pretending to speak a different language23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?  If the Corinthians all stand around and speak mumbo jumbo, and unbeleivers come, they will not hear of God.  If a church denomination gets caught up in their own legalist rules of don’t do this or wear that, instead of just living out God’s true Word, then unbelievers will never hear the Truth.  24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.  Hearing the Truth and nothing but the Truth from those who live the Truth, one can not help but believe in the one true God

26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anythingis revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.   Don’t compete to  be HEARD and seen. This is about GOD not you.  Let ‘new’ interpretations, and ideas be studied between other believers, don’t spout out every worldly thought, this only confuses those who are seeking the truth. 

34 Let your  women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. I HATE this.  I want to believe this is about these Corinthian women being over bearing and needing to find their place.  These Corinthians are messing up EVERYTHING in their church. BUT women, especially ‘church’ women over step their bounds more often than not, I think this pertains today, to all of us. 😦  Just think how much different things would be if Eve had just asked Adam, or if Sarai had discussed her fear of never getting pregnant with Abram, instead of giving him her servant 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.  Shameful? REally Paul?

36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? Don’t know if he is addressing women still.  I think this could be teaching for anyone who has tendency to interpret the Word to fit their agenda. AND to point out to ALL that God speaks the Word, not any MAN, EVER.  37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.  Remember ignorant is to be uneducated, not knowledgable of, it is not being an idiot. 

39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues40 Let all things be done decently and in order.  

Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 13 -Love love love…..

1 Corinthians 12 :27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. …….. 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

The greater gifts- faith, hope LOVE.  To be had, to be achieved. To be used. To be only through God

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.  First ,Paul IS NOT saying he does speak in language of angels, nor understand all mysteries or have all knowledge or is able to move mountains with his faith. He has sacrificed his needs for his ministry, but that is not the point.  What Paul is saying is if he was the clone of Jesus Christ all he ‘did’ would be worthless if he did not have ‘love’. Love is God. God is love. Then to the ‘works’ of ministry it is all for naught, if it does not come from the Spirit of Love- Christ.  

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.    1John 4:16  God is love, and he who abides in love abides inGod, and God in him.  1John 4:8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.   1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.   Man on his own is incapable of having, doing, living, knowing ‘Love’ unless he is possessed with ‘Love’ – God,Jesus Christ-Holy Spirit. We can not be without envy. We are prideful. We are rude. We seek to serve ourselves before others, we are selfish. We react with anger, defensively. We contemplate murder and thievery. We are drawn to the muck of the world, Vegas Baby!.  Without Love/God we are incapable of withstanding the death and hurt and illness and attacks from this world. There is no hope, with out God/Love. With Love/God we do endure, beyond human ability. 

Love never fails.  God NEVER fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part.  Everything MAN does even if the man be a prophet of God, it will eventually fail, or end, because it is at least ‘tainted’ by man.  1But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.  Christ has come and someday, all the ‘man’ mistakes will be gone

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  We have no idea how little we know, how far we have to go.As a believer we learn more, get better vision of what we are to be everyday.  When we are with God, we will have all understanding.  We don’t need to MAKE it happen now, because we can not.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  Abide: stay,continue, dwell, be present, remain, stand- with faith,and hope love– A choice to have. 

We read chapter 13 at weddings, this is the LOVE chapter.  The perfect recipe on loving each other. People use this Love ‘is’ patient, forgiving,not rude, not proud and say rebuking and confronting, disagreeing with others, especially fellows in church is being unloving. Many use these verses to say the only way to be ‘loving is to accept anything and everything others do, turn the other cheek, always. Many say love God, love others, meaning be ‘accepting’ of everything from everyone to show your love for God.   I think we miss the point Paul was trying to make about ‘love’. 
Remember how Paul started this letter, the reprimand, the revealing of the sins, the misconduct, the pious attitude these ‘believers’ at Corinth have.  Paul spoke earlier in this same letter of their removing a man or members from their fellowship for not abiding, for being WRONG with God. Where is the ‘love’ in that? Or what WE define love to be?
I say we can not love others without the LOVE/ God in us. We cannot love with out God.  
What we define as ‘love’ is NOT the love of God. God’s love is truth. God’s love hates evil. Psalm 97:10 you who love the Lord, hate evil!God’s love condemns evil eternally away from Him. God’s love has no fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind  God’s love does not compromise. God’s love is unconditional. God is love.  The love Paul is speaking that we must have is God. We do rebuke, confront, exhort, chastise, minister,give, judge,disagree, oppose evil/wrong all in the name of God/Love. 2 Timothy 2:24 And ca servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 fin humility correcting those who are in opposition, gif God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. To tell someone they are wrong, they are going the wrong way is love. God tells us that all through His word God loved David and let him suffer the consequence of his disobedience to God, David’s child died because of his disobedience. God loved Moses and Moses did not enter the promised land a consequence of letting his anger trump God’s commands.
God’s love is NOT in every person  John 5:39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.  Paul warns to disassociate with false teachers with those in fellowship who are actually not believers but have come to destroy. These are people within the ‘church’ . It is NOT loving, it is NOT of God to associate with evil.  2 Thessalonians 3:14 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.
Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 11:17-32

Paul is moving on to another issue–But the main issue is still, their NOT BEING OF ONE CORD, they are not a unified body.

17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.  After all the other he has spoken of, yeah these Corinthians have divisions, issues. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.   20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.  22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.  The Lord’s supper is not dinner with friends! Eat at home, worship and respect the Lord in his home.23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat;[b] this is My body which is broken[c] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.  27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[d] of the Lord. .  28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner[e] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s[f] body.   30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.  31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.  32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Communion has been turned into an interesting ritual by the different churches. Catholics and Baptist have communion only exclusive to ‘their own’. Methodist and Bible Church’s open communion, to all who believe. Some use wafers some use baked bread. Some use communal cups others little individual cups. Some must go to the ‘land’ of Holy of Holies to receive others sit in their seats and it is passed to them. Some insist on baptism as a prerequisite. Some do it weekly, others monthly, some just at Passover/Easter, some at weddings.

There are a lot of man-made rules attached to communion today. Must be of this religion or that. Must have no sin. Must be baptized in this church or that. Must kneel. Must have a clean heart. Must not hold any anger towards a brother in Christ. Must have no unforgiveness. Must be forgiven. Must be wine. Must not have ever had wine.

I have heard the scripture  1 Corinthians 11:27 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner[e] eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s[f] body. with  Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  used at communion to ‘tell’ the partakers to make sure they have the ‘right heart’ to receive the elements.  Some will say Paul was talking about ‘examine yourself’ as to if you have divisions amongst yourselves, then throw in Matthew 5:23, which is totally different speaker and time and context, to prove you have to be all hunky dory with you fellow church goers before you have communion.  I disagree with this interpretation by man, to dissuade communion of man and their Father.  

In 17-19 Paul does reprimand for the discord in the church. The Corinthians are a dysfunctional group of people. There are those that think they are better than others, powerful because of their education and social status. The are pointing fingers and condemning the actions of the lowly and holding themselves and their cronies at different standards. Paul is disgusted by them. We have to imagine what was told him about the Lord’s supper mayhem. Remember Paul has a list of ‘problems’ and questions from these people and reports about these people. The church is NOT one. He is saying you are coming together for communion, for what? It shows their hearts are not for ‘the body’ in the way they conduct the communion it is a literally a drunken brawl. It is like a church picnic where people bring food only for themselves and don’t share. Or worse, like bringing breakfast burritos into church service and eating it and washing it down with the communion wine. This church has no respect for others nor God.  After pointing out they have no reason to have communion, he starts to explain how to have communion. If they dare. 😉

Communion is for the believer to remind themselves of the price paid for them. Jesus’ life. To remember His body, the bread of life, was given to us, so we might ingest it and have life eternally. The literal body of Christ was broken so the Holy Spirit can dwell in us. The blood of Christ was spilled, he died yet conquered death, so that we too can have the opportunity to escape death, eternally. To have communion for any reason other than recognizing the price Christ paid for the believers eternal life is disrespectful, to say the least. 

I venture to say, it also wrong for a man to interfere with the communion of a believer and God, based on man’s judgement of man. We are to judge our own hearts. We judge to know we,ourselves, are realizing the sacrifice made for us, each time we take communion.  If we are not ‘perfect’ if we are angry, unforgiving, unforgiven, accused, fearful, doubting, in sin, have adversity in our lives, wouldn’t this be the time we most need to commune with God?

Posted in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 8

8 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.  My thought is Paul is going through the letter from the Corinthians, asking him what to do about these things happening with us…We don’t know what they said, nor the context, but it looks like from Paul’s response and reprimands previously those asking are trying to find fault in others within their body. They are using their ‘knowledge’ their prestige, what they are proud of in themselves as the reason to point out what others are doing wrong. Paul, I believe, begins this way, “Knowledge puffs up, love edifies’ because of this. This is a reprimand to their attitude behind the question.  Paul is letting them know if you are sure you know it all, above the others, then you are not doing for God, out of love. God knows who loves him, God knows what is truly the desires of the heart. 

Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, Paul continues to answer the question, because it deserves a response even though they were asking for the wrong reason. we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. An idol is nothing, even if a man says it is, it still is nothing.  For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), man has made up a lot of things to worship wood ones and pretend Zeus, etc.  yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. For US, Paul and those he answers the question to KNOW there is only one God.

However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; some who are now believers for some, with consciousness of the idol, Those who in the past believed in this idol, who thought it to be important. Maybe like a catholic today who rubs their beads? until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. Some may not know any better, they are caught up in the past misconception.We do know that eating something or not, rubbing the beads or not, has nothing to do with our belief in God, nor his acceptance of us. 

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? You who ‘young’ believers look up to know that idol food is not a bad thing, but they still do. If they see you it causes them to wonder, to question your walk, your integrity, then theirs.  11 And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?12 But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. You know this causes those younger, confusion, that they think idol offered food is evil, yet you do eat in front of them, maybe to taunt them? 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Paul then says, go the extra mile basically, instead of causing turmoil for and with the weaker brother. 

If a friend is a recovered alcoholic you should not ask them to a wine tasting party, he could abstain, but how much fun will he have watching everyone else? . If your sister is gluten intolerant you would not plan her birthday at Johnny Corinos, even though they do have a couple of gluten free meals to offer, the bread will still be there. How is that a special treat for her, take her to Outback who even has a GF dessert to offer. If your neighbor believes that her prayers are heard by her praying with her prayer beads in her hands, or if she wears red shoes on her hands, you should not tell her differently, this could be how she ready’s her heart and mind for God,.  WE know he hears either way, but she needs know too!

Paul, I, all of us that believe;there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live, are WE. We believe that God’s word, the Bible from Genesis 1:1 through Revelations 22:21 is the Truth, every word, today, yesterday and tomorrow. If WE deviate from the Truth ANY at all, we cause someone to stumble. If we change the gospel to exclude anyone or to include everyone, we cause someone to stumble. If WE decide our interpretation of the word is more loving and more accepting, and fits this world better, than what God really said, we cause someone to stumble. If WE decide punishment/consequences/ for sins and disobedience is just to harsh, we cause someone to stumble. If WE decide we have more knowledge than God, we cause someone to stumble, and WE ALL FALL DOWN