Love notes…

Hey there BCU Fam,

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 


I was having a conversation with my bestie  Kenya about life and some of the trials we have to endure as soldiers of Christ—especially our battles with PEOPLE! It’s actually the spirit of iniquity that works through people, but nonetheless, it can be challenging to maintain your salvation to the standard that God has called us to, right? (Ask me how I know!) Yet, if Jesus dwells down on the inside of us, it is a requirement to follow the pattern of Christ in all our interactions. And the pattern starts and ends with one word, BCU Fam.

Love.

Jesus said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40). Love is not just a conditional, sometimey feeling–it is a sacrificial lifestyle that Jesus modeled by dying for our sins, as well as leaving us His Word as a blueprint for us to follow. I recently did a “love study” and in re-reading my notes, with the help of God, I know I need ensure my love-meter is in high gear on a consistent basis. Let’s take a look at what agape love is and/or does based on I Corinthians 13.

Love…..

1) Suffers long—The word longsuffering in the Bible is made up of two Greek words meaning “long” and “temper”; literally, “long-tempered.” A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate in anger or punish, but is patient.

2)Is kindMeaning a kind love shows tenderness or goodness; doing good or being gracious. Our We operate without harshness or cruelty in word, thought or deed.

3) Rejoices in truth: The Greek word for truth is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” This means that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing obscured. Love rejoices in what is right and good, rather than hiding things.

4) Bears all things: This comes from the Greek word, “stego” meaning to cover, as in a roof, or a covering that offers protection from the elements. In a commentary from W. E. Vine, he explained that a stego or covering either supports what is placed upon it, or covers what is placed underneath it.

For example, a love that bears all things would cover/protect an individual by prayerfully approaching/talking/counseling them in a private setting. And of course, following the Lord’s leading while prayerfully considering the person’s situation, circumstances and reply throughout and after the conversation. The opposite of covering and protecting would be to berate or belittle the person, expose the situation publicly, and/or to other people unnecessarily.

5) Believes all things:
The word believes is actually the word “pisteuei,” which is the Greek word meaning to put one’s faith or trust in something or someone.  Of course, we need to trust God first and above any and everyone and remember the arms of flesh (people) will ultimately fail. (See Jeremiah 17:5). Matthew 18 reminds us that offenses will come. James 3 reminds us that we will offend many. In other words, this flesh we reside in is bound to mess up sometime! In this life, there will be challenges and situations to contend with, but we with the help and hope of the Lord, we are believing for the best in a person. To this end, believing all things means we overlook and forgive offenses quickly.

6) Hopes all things

The Greek word for hopes the word “elpidzo”, which means to anticipate and expect  good things from someone. Even if things look bleak, we won’t be negative or critical, rather we will continue praying and encouraging the person until we see the change come. And many times, if the change does not happen in the person straightaway, our heart, attitude and mind toward the situation or person often changes. Either way,  the love of hope is fulfilled.

7) Endures all things:The word endures is the Greek word “hupomeno” a compound word meaning under and abide.  In challenging situations, it can be tempting to “gather up all your toys and go home”— aka run away! And sometimes we do—not physically, but sometimes mentally, emotionally and even spiritually, we retreat and give up. The thought here is that while the love is under a load, it will not take off or give up in defeat, but rather will stick and stay through thick and thin. 

WHEW, BCU Fam—I have to admit, looking at love through the lens of how Christ expects us to love is a spiritual gut check for me. Of course, there are situations where it may be best to end the relationship (i.e. abusiveness), but by and large, our love should contain all seven of these elements.

So what are your thoughts on the love notes presented here today? Are any of these love elements a struggle? Is it easy to love? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below this post!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

When the inside shows up on the outside

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

As a youngster, I developed a love for mysteries, drama and psychological thrillers–think Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock and of course,  The Twilight Zone.

[Spoiler alerts] There is an episode of The Twilight Zone entitiled “The Masks”, where a cantankerous, wealthy elderly man, Jason, receives a visit from beautiful family, his daughter (a constant complainer and hypochondriac), son-in-law (who is greedy and loves money), granddaughter (who is vain and always in the mirror), and grandson (a sadistic bully). Jason knows his family and who they really are, despite the outward show they display.

The Masks | Photo: CBS

Jason is dying and figures his family is just hanging around for the money, so he tells them in order to inherit, they have to wear these speciality and very ugly masks –that are supposed to be the opposite of their “true” (what the family portrays to others) personality. After a small protest, the family dons their new temporary faces to be worn until midnight. Daughter gets a worried coward-looking mask, son-in-law gets a miserable-looking miser one, granddaughter gets a hideous-self centered face mask and grandson gets a twisted buffoon face.  Jason also gets in on it and wears a skull mask.

As midnight approaches, Jason passes away and his family is excited that the money they wanted was finally theirs! As they remove the masks, they realize, in horror, their actual faces have PERMANENTLY conformed to the grotesque shape of the masks! The only one not effected was Jason, whose face looks peaceful and serene.

Now of course, the story is fictional and has no scriptual basis–it got me to thinking, though.

In our very virtual, social media intense, “scripted reality” show of a world we live in, on the outside we can appear to be whoever we want. What if God turned us inside out and made our faces into who we really are on the inside? Who or what would we resemble?

Would it be the face of a bully, a tyrant? Would your face show hatred or scorn? Would it be worried, fearful or anxious face? Would your face be gossipy, cantankerous? Lazy and uncaring? Or would it be wearing a favorite TV show, music, or the social media site where the most time is spent? Or the face of practiced (willful, repeated and intentional) sin?

Or would it show the fruit of the spirit–love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? (Galatians 5:22), as we yield to God and walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. Would there be evidence on your face of spending time with God in prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17), fasting (Matthew 17:21), and study? (Psalm 1 and 2 Timothy 2:15). Would it reflect the joy of the Lord being your strength? (Nehemiah 8:10). Would it be a face that read, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1), or I love God and keep His commandments (I John 5:3).

Let me be clear, I am all for keeping the temple beautiful and maintained properly–in fact, I Corinthians 6:20 reminds us to glorify God (versus ourselves) in our purchased bodies. We also must remember that as the outer man perishes, the inward man is renewed day by day (I Corinthians 4:16). As we yield to God, He tranforms us into His glorious image.

That’s who we want to be inside. Just like Jesus.

Jesus is coming back for the inward man, BCU Family. With His help, let’s fervently and consistently strive for perfection (maturity in Christ) on the inside, so Jesus fervently and consistently shows on the outside.  Amen? Amen!

If you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU