February 15, 2011 – Stanley

Love’s Hidden Enemy 1 Corinthians 13:9-13

The apostle Paul wrote that he once reasoned like a child, but he had now put childish ways behind him (1 Cor. 13:11). He was referring to the spiritual maturity process, whereby a believer’s self-centered ideas are replaced by a healthier perspective.

But maturation is just that—a process—so some immature thinking may linger with the Christian. Based on our childhood experiences, we may wrongly believe . . .

• Lie #1—God’s love for us depends on how good we are. We act as if our behavior can positively or negatively impact His affection for us. But Scripture tells us that the Lord’s love is constant; it never varies.

• Lie #2—Acceptance by others has to do with performance, not who we are. With this mindset, we constantly try to please other people. But we can rest in the truth that God has adopted every believer into His family; we are fully accepted.

• Lie #3—Our security rests in social status, material things, or some other worldly prize.
This leads to anxiety and manipulation as we attempt to acquire what we lack. The truth is, we’ll experience peace when we realize Christ is our true source of security.

These erroneous ideas represent a “hidden enemy of love,” because godly affection can’t flourish with immature attitudes. We must replace such beliefs with biblical truth.

Paul calls us to move toward maturity in our thinking and behavior. Clinging to immature ways can interfere with our sense of peace, security, and joy. But knowing the truth about God’s acceptance and recognizing that our security is in Him alone will lead to relationships characterized by His love.

February 15, 2011 – Begg

To Him Be the Glory

To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.

2 Peter 3:18

Heaven will be full of the ceaseless praises of Jesus. Eternity! Your unnumbered years shall run their everlasting course, but forever and forever; “to him be the glory.” Is He not a “priest forever after the order of Melchizedek”? “To him be the glory.” Is He not king forever–King of kings and Lord of lords, the everlasting Father? “To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” His praises shall never end.

That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The glory of the cross must never be eclipsed; the luster of the grave and of the resurrection must never be dimmed. O Jesus, You will be praised forever. So long as immortal spirits live–as long as the Father’s throne endures–forever, forever, unto You shall be glory.

Believer, you are anticipating the time when you will join the saints above in ascribing all glory to Jesus; but are you glorifying Him now? The apostle’s words are, “To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” Will you not today make it your prayer? Lord, help me to glorify You. I am poor; help me to glorify You by contentment. I am sick; help me to give You honor by patience. I have talents; help me to extol You by spending them for You. I have time, Lord; help me to redeem it, that I may serve You. I have a heart to feel; Lord, let that heart feel no love but Yours, and glow with no flame but affection for You. I have a mind to think, Lord; help me to think of You and for You. You have put me in this world for something. Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life-purpose. I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two copper coins, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into Your treasury. I am all Yours; take me, and enable me to glorify You now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.