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Goal!

Christianity

Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.
1 Corinthians 14:1 NLT

And the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church.
1 Corinthians 14:12 NLT

In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul tells how if we do anything without love,  we are failing. Here he is saying again that love is the most important thing. It should be our highest goal and therefore our driving force. All the spiritual gifts are useful only when they are used with love. In fact, love should be the determinant in how we use them.

Any gifts which I have are not for my benefit. I am given them for one reason alone – to help and benefit others. That is how I should and must use them.

Re Action

Christianity

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

One of the things I love about God’s forgiveness is that it is not just a matter of,  “OK, I’ll let you off this time.” It’s much more than that. He forgives me, and that’s the whole matter closed, gone forever. He doesn’t keep a spreadsheet with all the dates, times and sins. He doesn’t keep any record of it at all.

God is love, and the passage above is a description is what he is like. I am made in his image and the passage should therefore be a description of what I am like.

To my shame it’s not.

Just as I was thinking about this, the phone rang. Someone wanting to make me aware of a new government scheme which would help me to buy something that they just happen to be selling. Did I show love by not being irritable, not being rude? Nope. It’s things like this that make me give up being nice.

Ooops, love doesn’t give up either.

I really have to get a grip. I really need to overcome and destroy the bad guy inside me and let love be my automatic reaction, not anger. 

Spread it around

Christianity

Libby and I are very alike in a lot of ways, but in some we are totally different. Spreading butter is one of the things in which we are different. Libby spreads very carefully and makes sure that she covers every bit of the bread, right up to the edges. She perhaps has this feeling that if she misses a bit then it won’t taste the same. Not me – I go for speed. Get as much on, over as large an area as you can, then take a huge bite, on the assumption that there will be the right amount of butter and bread in the gob, and just mix it all up as you chew. Fast food.

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Heartbreak Hotel

Christianity

We all have times of heartache in our lives. If we haven’t, then it’s one of those “not yet” things – sooner or later, heartache will probably come.
It’s part of life, part of growing up. We get emotionally attached to someone, then it all goes wrong. Everything falls apart, our lives crumble into sadness, and we find ourselves, as Elvis Presley sang, in Heartbreak Hotel.
It hurts, deep inside it hurts. “That’s it – no more relationships! I’m not going through that again! Never again! I’m finished with love!” (I can’t remember what age I was when it happened to me, but I’m glad that I changed my mind about being finished with love!)

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A sign of things to come

Christianity

For most of my life IT has been a very prominent feature. Information Technology has improved exponentially during the last few years, and we can get the information we are looking for at the touch of a few buttons. But we get loads of information without pressing buttons. Just look around you – it’s everywhere! I don’t know how many signs there are in the UK. It must be a huge number. Everywhere you look there is one in front of you, probably more than one.
During World War 2, the UK Government removed all the road signs so that if the Germans invaded they would get lost – or it would at the least slow down their advance. Can you imagine the chaos that would happen if they did that now? If every sign suddenly disappeared, there would be total disaster. Think about it – all the road signs, street signs gone in an instant! It would be OK for the locals, but others would get lost in no time. There would be jams as cars go the wrong way up one-way streets, accidents as drivers go straight across without giving way. Just imagine the house numbers being removed from people’s homes – how would you find anyone?

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