February 14, 2011 – Stanley

Biblical Love 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

In today’s passage, Paul talks about love and its preeminence over speech, knowledge, generosity, and self-sacrifice (vv. 1-3). The apostle then describes the nature of biblical love, which is patient, kind, humble, and slow to anger (vv. 4-7).

However, we often struggle as we try to practice this model of unselfish affection. One reason is that the godly expression of caring doesn’t come naturally to us. Pure Christian love puts the other person ahead of our own interests, even when our human inclinations clamor to place self first (v. 5).

A second challenge is the temptation to withhold affection until others apologize or change their behavior. We remember their offense long after it has occurred. That’s not what our Lord did—He loved us while we were still sinners and forgave us for everything (Rom. 5:8; Luke 23:34).

Furthermore, it is easier to point out someone else’s unkindness toward us than to see where we have fallen short. Perhaps a close friend has spoken impatiently to us and we responded with angry words. How easily we can use Scripture to point out her mistake, but how hard to admit our own.

We are called to be loving towards God as well as those around us (Mark 12:30-31). We’ve received the Holy Spirit, who will help us learn how to care deeply for others.

Experiencing God’s affection and demonstrating it to others are to be two of our greatest joys. Take time to memorize the attributes of biblical love, and look for ways to practice them in your relationships. In times of stress, think about the list, and let the power of love transform your response.

February 14, 2011 – Begg

All We Need for Today

And for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived.

2 Kings 25:30

Jehoiachin was not sent away from the king’s palace with provision to last him for months, but it was given to him as a daily supply. In this He provides us with a picture of the happy position of all the Lord’s people. A daily portion is all that a man really wants.

We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; that day has not yet dawned, and its wants are as yet unborn. The experience that we may suffer in the month of June does not need to be quenched in February, for we do not feel it yet; if we have enough for each day as the days arrive, we shall never know want. Sufficient for the day is all that we can enjoy. We cannot eat or drink or wear more than the day’s supply of food and clothing; the more we have, the more we have to store, and we worry about it being stolen. One cane helps a traveler, but a bundle of sticks is a heavy burden. Enough is not only as good as a feast, but it is all that the greediest glutton can truly enjoy.

This is all that we should expect; a craving for more than this is ungrateful. When our Father does not give us more, we should be content with his daily allowance. Jehoiachin’s case is ours; we have a sure portion, a portion given to us by the king, a gracious portion, and a perpetual portion. Here is surely ground for thankfulness.

Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of strength. Day by day you must seek help from above. It is a very happy assurance that you are provided with a regular allowance. In the Word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God you will receive renewed strength. In Jesus everything you need is provided for you. So enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy.