Love is the Support Structure for our Faith in Jesus
1 Corinthians 13
(Esp. vv. 1-3)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Three Consequences for Living without Love.
- Without Love our TALENTS are USELESS.
- Without love our FAITH is MEANINGLESS.
- Without love our SERVICE is POINTLESS.
Five Ways God’s Love Affects our lives.
- God’s love CLARIFIES the way we THINK.
- God’s love TRANSFORMS the way we LIVE.
- God’s love CHANGES the way we SEE.
- God’s love CONSTRAINS the way we BEHAVE.
- God’s love ALTERS the way we HEAR.
“…the world was not worthy of them.
They wandered in deserts and mountains,
living in caves and in holes in the ground.”
Hebrews 11 has been called the “Hall of Fame” of the faithful. It is an interesting collection of names and stories. For some only a name is given. For others various facts and events are related. Then at the end of passage we find the writer essentially give up on trying to record all those who had given so much. The writer of Hebrews reveals it would be impossible to capture or highlight the lives of so many. Rather, there is an attempt to help us, the readers, understand what has taken place.
Verse thirty-eight serves as the epilogue for the string of lives that are woven together to help future believers. The tapestry of faith is both majestic and common. And yet, we are told that these saints of the past were of a different sort. They were not cut from the same cloth as we might want to believe. It is interesting how they are described, isn’t it?
“…the world was not worthy of them.”
The question that this raises in my mind is this: Am I living a life that would be described not worthy of this world? Maybe this should be the driving motivation of our lives. We should strive to live counter-culturally, living out those realities that others would consider odd, strange or even crazy.
Would we even want it to be said of us that the world is not worthy of our labors? Do our lives reflect such piety of life, humility of heart and sincerity of service as to be deemed “too good for earth” (in a good way).
The persecution of the faithful has been a part of the life of the church from the beginning. Christians rounded up and thrown into the pit with lions for the sport of it was so common as to be expected. The church in the West has grown accustomed to being accommodated and it believes the lion has been tamed. The lions of culture, society and the world can not be tamed. We might be able to train them and give ourselves a sense of comfort. The truth of the matter is that given the opportunity a lion will only do what lions do.
We should not allow ourselves to believe that “we have things under control.” The second we do we have failed to stay alert and vigilant. We will have been mauled before we know it.
In Memory of
Jacob Carlyle Davis
August 20, 1986 – December 28, 2010
Two years ago my family experienced one of the most devastating events we had ever faced. Two years ago my brother-in-law died in a car accident. The “facts” of what happened simply do not have the ability to communicate the emotions that I feel this morning as I remember him and how much I miss him. His mom and sister (my wife) feel a different kind of pain. Their knowledge of him was intimate, personal and began from before Jacob entered into the world. When I met him, Jacob didn’t even know who he wanted to be. He didn’t know that he was supposed to become anything. He was a chubby kid struggling to make sense of the inhumanity of middle schoolers. I knew Jacob for more than half of his life. I think that’s what hurts the most. There is no more time for us.
I know what I believe about death. As a follower of Jesus I know Jacob is with our Savior. I know. I know Jacob loved Jesus and never missed an opportunity to share this with those around him. I know he loved helping others get over what ailed them. He was good at that. But, he is no here to help me! He is gone and I miss him.
All of the cute things that we say sometimes really don’t help. “He lives on in our memories.” Yeah, well memories have a tendency to fade. “His love will carry you through.” OK, thanks but, I’d rather feel the warm embrace rather than the cold recollection of a time gone by.
I woke up this morning and saw some of the comments of those who loved Jacob as they remembered him. I was overwhelmed by the flood of emotion that I felt as I read them. I have heard that the depth of our pain is a reflection of the love we had/have for those now gone. I guess I loved/love him more than I realized. This is the realization I didn’t expect.
Two years, and I still feel the lingering effect of death’s assault on my heart. Jacob may not have been my flesh and blood, but we were family. I have come to realize that I still miss him and that will be OK. There is no expiration date on love. For this I am grateful.
A couple of months ago I came across this video. It is what it says. It’s four minutes of a man you can not see laying blocks in a smooth and steady rhythm. I have watched it several times because there is a beauty in it I can’t describe. There is just something about watching an individual who has honed and perfected a trade or craft.
This is what I have asked myself as I have watched this video, “Am I as good at anything as this block layer is at laying block?”
I would have to say no. But, I would like to be. Striving for perfection may never yield the desired result. In the journey what we find is the refinement of skill and satisfaction. We all have to ask ourselves why we do what we do. Is to “get ahead” or make more money? Or, could the simple act becoming “good” at something bring its own spiritual reward? I’m not sure, but I would like to find out. Enjoy!
You can follow the link to the video. Laying cinder blocks like a pro..