And..we’re back! Love notes–finale!

Happy New Year BCU Fam!

We are back and GLAD about it! 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!

Last time we were together, we talked about the seven things love is. Let’s follow up that post with the EIGHT things love is/does not:

  1. Envy: 

“Envy” defined is a feeling of discontent or resentment because someone has something you desire or feel like you deserve–perhaps because you feel like you are more “holy”, fit, pretty, handsome, qualified—-that’s envy. That’s not love.

A prime biblical example of the sin of envy are Joseph’s brothers. Acts 7:9 says they were “moved with envy” to the point that they sold Joseph to Egypt. You can read the entire account it in Genesis 37. 

Furthermore, if we practice envy, we will  be disqualified from Heaven. Romans 1:28-32 reminds us:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2. Vaunt itself up

Vaunting means to self-promote; someone who exaggerates his own virtues–many times to the point of lying. The only things they do count and they have little to no interest, understanding or empathy for anyone but themselves. Sigh.  🙄

In contrast, the agape love God gives will always consider the other person’s feelings, thoughts, situations before speaking or acting.  And even if you have exceeded someone in a particular area, agape love will NEVER expose that person’s shortcomings to make themselves look good.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). 

3. Puffed up.

These words are based on the Greek word phusio, which means to be haughty, snobbish, swollen, or to be inflated. In other words, love is not prideful. Agape love is never haughty or snobbish when dealing with people.

Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). 

4. Behave itself unseemly. 

This word means to act improperly, selfish or out of order. Love doesn’t get cold when it doesn’t get her way. Love never plots, plans schemes, pouts, punishes, withholds, uses bad language or entertains the wrong thoughts about someone.  Love stays in formation.

A friend loves at all times…. (Proverbs 17:17a). 

5. Seeks not her own.

This meaning behind this phrase depicts a person who is so bent on getting their way, they will twist facts, search for loopholes, and/or use any means necessary to “make” the situation work for themselves–including sue in court! This is low-key manipulation and should never be named in the Body of Christ.

 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Philippians 2:4). 

6. Is not easily provoked:

This means love does not readily anger or be irritated behind every little thing. Now, we will get angry about things, but reaction should have a little thought behind it, so the agape love comes through.

 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

At the same time, we also should not be the ones who behave unseemly or speak words incite an angry response out of others–rather than lash out in anger, we should seek to understand the other person.

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men (I Corinthians 14:20). 

7. Thinks no evil

I LOVE this one, BCU Family! This phrase means to reconcile, calculate or keep a record of something so you do not forget. I read somewhere that in one country village, the residents spend much of their time fighting one another. When you spend a lot of time warring, it can be hard to remember what you are angry about, so the natives  keep a tangible object visible in their home in order to remember what the other person did to offend them. We may not keep physical objects, but often keep a mental ledger in our minds–and we replay it often to keep the hurt alive.

 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). 

8. Rejoices not in iniquity

Agape love does not rejoice in things that are wrong,  sinful, unjust, or even in the guilt or vices of others. Rather, true love rejoices in things that are true.

[Love] rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth..(I Corinthians 13:6).

Bonus–Love never fails:

Agape love does not run out, decay, decline or diminish over time, run out on dry seasons, behavior or circumstances. Jesus is a perfect example of love never failing–and if we have Jesus on the inside, our love will stand the test of time. Amen? Amen!


BCU Fam, I don’t know about you, but this study reminded me I have SO much more to come up to in the love area! What about you? What are your thoughts here? 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!

Love,
BCU

How does your love sound?

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

  • As of this posting, we are doing a love series on the BCU Periscope channel. I felt led to share a few thoughts on what God taught us about this first-fruit according to 1 Corinthians 13.
  • We often learn about love through what we see and experience, versus studying the Word of God.
  • God has specifically outlined how we are to love EVERYONE.
  • Our love should never be “sometimey”, obligatory, noisy or hollow.
  • There is no Scripture that supports love merit or fluctuation.
  • Showing agape love is not always easy, but is required part of our walk with Christ.

Scripture references:

Matthew 5:43-58

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I Corinthians 13:1-2

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling 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, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.



So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What resonated with you about love?  How do you keep the love flowing consistently? Is it a challenge? I know the Lord showed me some areas I have to do better in. What about you?  Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

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!

Love,

BCU

4 types of love every Christian should know.

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

    • We use the term “love” very generally, but the definitions are very specific.
    • There are more types of love to define, but our focus is on the four below.
    • Regardless of the love type or (lack of) love reciprocity, God expects us to exhibit love in all interactions.
    • Loving the hard-to-love can be a challenge, but God is able if we are willing.

BCU Love types 4

When we lay this out, BCU Fam, we see what our responsibility is in terms of loving people the way God requires—especially the unconditional, forgiving agape love that is threaded through all these love types, AND a requirement in this walk with Christ. I have to say the flesh would have us to stifle our love and save it for those who deserve it or show us love, but Matthew 5:43-48 reminds us that there is no reward in that behavior, rather we are to love our enemies. And that show-love struggle can be REAL, but not impossible—with the help and total surrender to the word and will of God. Amen? Amen!

So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? How can we ensure that we show love in all of our interactions? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

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!

Love,

BCU

BCU Q&A: Effective ministering in tough situations.

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!

So BCU Fam, a wonderful listener sent in a question this week, that I was led to post about this week. Here it is:

Q. “How to you minister to someone who has been Holy Ghost filled, yet they don’t feel free after walking in the Lord a while?”

How do you help them, when the scripture, if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36), does not help them or somehow they find it hard to rest on that scripture?

  • Do we put them down and call them faithless?
  • Do we tell them they don’t believe God [take Him at] His word?
  • Do we make them feel less than?
  • Do we avoid them all together and say “I’ll leave them to God!”
  • All these things [knowing they need to do what God says], the person may be well aware of.. so, how do they really get help?
  • Or is there any help for them?

Wow, I thank God for the individual who sent this question in! First, let’s deal with the person who is ministering.

In any situation Holy-Ghost filled believers encounter with believer or non-believers, we should be walking in the Spirit versus walking in the flesh (Galatians 5:25). As we walk the way Christ is directing, we’ll remember that all we come in contact with is our neighbor (see Luke 10:27-37),  and we are to love them as ourselves (Galatians 5:14).

That said, in this case, love may come in a loving rebuke/correction as God directs us,  but operating in the love God gives will never set out to intentionally make someone feel badly,  ignore them or self-righteously say, “God will deal with them!” Those attitudes and treatments are rooted in pride.

Pride tells us to manipulate people by name-calling, avoiding, side-eyeing or half-hugs thereby “punishing” the individual who isn’t behaving how we would like. What that does is discourage the individual, besmirch your Christian witness and sets you up for chastening for mishandling someone made in God’s own image (see Genesis 1:27 and James 3:9).  Let’s be prayerful and ask God to help us to react the HE wants us to, versus spouting off cutting remarks and behaving unscripturally.

Next, let’s understand the individual we’re ministering to more and look at the Scripture referenced by the listener in a bit more context. In John 8, Jesus was talking with the Jewish people, of whom some believed, but many did not–and they were questioning Him. Take a look at the conversation.

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.
35  And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever.
36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

We see here that Jesus came to set the servants of sin (all of us) free from sin. So as we look at the question posed, it sounds like this Holy Ghost filled person may not be continuing in the Word of God (verse 31) and choosing truth (verse 32). Rather this individual is choosing to be in bondage and enslaved to sin (verses 33 and 34), and voiding abiding in the Son and the freedom Jesus provides.  ‘

Did you notice the emphasis on the word “choosing?” Does it sound harsh? Or maybe you’re thinking, “He can’t help it” or “But, she’s been through so much already”. I agree, he can’t help it. She sure has been through some serious tests. That’s why we need Jesus down on the inside (the Holy Ghost) to help us help it, and to comfort and  guide us as we go through.  This, along with good biblical teaching, study, prayer, fasting and Christian fellowship, helps us we to hear and recognize the voice of the Lord and continue in (hearing and doing) His Word.

Please note, having the Holy Ghost does not automatically stop us from sinning, we will always have free-will to make whatever choices we desire. God wants us to love Him more than the sin, so we should choose to obey Him. In this case, either the person is willfully and actively choosing to walk in bondage to sin, or passively allowing the sin to take over and yielding to it. Either way, it’s a fleshly choice contrary to the will of God and there is a consequence (verse 35a). Now that we understand that better, let’s look into ministering effectively.

Really, we can loop back to the first paragraph where we should be prayerful, listen and respond with exactly God is telling us to say at the time (walking the the Spirit and on kairos mode). This is done without expressing your opinion, being puffed up, or being guided by your emotions. If the person doesn’t respond immediately to what was said, or turns back to the bondage, we still want to LOVE them. Love doesn’t mean you agree, condone or support what the person is doing/ not doing, yet love continues to treat the individual with long-suffering and kindness (I Corinthians 13), as we pray until the Lord works on the heart of the person in His way and on His timing.

Bottom line: God’s love and mercy was and is still continuously extended to us in so many areas, as His disciples, we are admonished to show that love and mercy to others, along with correction, as prescribed by God. This way, God is glorified, the person is edified, the enemy is horrified and you, BCU Family member, gratified to continue in the Word of God as a good and faithful disciple and servant of our King. Amen?! Amen!

Let’s talk: What’s your reaction to our reader’s question? What advice would you give? Please drop us a line in the comments section below and we’ll continue the conversation!

As a reminder, 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 now YouTube! 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!

Love,

BCU