Do you feel provoked?

When we destroy old or decaying buildings to build something new, it is not because we are having a temper tantrum—we want to make improvements. We have a constructive plan in view, but if the old buildings had feelings, they would not see it that way. Have you considered that the Lord does the same thing with us? It is impossible to provoke the temper of the Lord, because love does not get provoked into an illogical explosive response. The Pharisees were the worst at attempting to provoke Jesus, but it never worked and nothing could shake Jesus from His plan to kill sin on the cross. Even those who had been in defiant sin for years found grace in the presence of Jesus when they let go of th

Do you love so that you can receive?

Love is not… Ever feel like you are being used? The love that we see Jesus expressing in His stories is not so that He will be loved in return. Most of the time, Jesus is loving people who are in no position to give anything in return. As created beings of the Lord, there is nothing that we can give to Him that He hasn’t already created anyway. Everything we see the Lord doing in scripture is offered without an expectation of return, and usually in spite of it. He does chasten, but that is to rescue from foolishness. He does not manipulate by giving or by withholding so that we will praise Him, thank Him, give Him money (as if He needs it). He simply loves all the time, (He IS love) and noth

Are you unbecoming toward the Lord or others?

God’s love toward us is always proper and decent. He does not give huge emotional outbursts of love, nor does He withhold it. He never dishonors; it is sin that dishonors us and seeks to deliver us from it. When Jesus exposed the Pharisees’ sin publicly, it was in response to their attempts to tell lies about Him publicly. It was proper to set the record straight so that truth be revealed. He rarely did this kind of thing, because it is usually very inappropriate. Even in our sin, the Lord’s love toward us is always expressed in a proper and honorable manner. Jesus was never improper in His interactions with others. Thinking of your expression of love to Christ, is it always in this manner?

Is your love for Christ arrogant?

More of what love is NOT… God’s love is not puffed up or arrogant. In other words, the Lord never belittles you. Some might say that God is arrogant toward Job (Job 38-40:2), but at that point Job has made himself equal with God and implied that he would never do what he perceives God has done. Instead, God simply makes known to Job that his understanding is vastly incomplete and enlightens him. God does not seek to humiliate Job. God does not say, “Shut up, Job, you’re dirt and I’m awesome,” even though that would be a true statement. One example of God’s absence of arrogance is expressed when Jesus washes the feet of His disciples and instructs us to do the same. However, the best example

Is your love for the Lord boastful?

Love does not boast, “show off”… Jesus does not stand over the host of heaven and say, “Look what I made him/her do!” He is not seeking to use you so that He may brag about what He can get from you. He doesn’t use you to show off His supernatural power. He certainly doesn’t use you to elevate His status above others. He created the universe, He doesn’t need any of that. On the flip side, is your love for the Lord boastful? Have you ever felt proud when the Lord answered your prayer and wanted to brag about it to others? "Look what the Lord did for ME. Look at how God loves ME, look what i made Him do!" It’s great to declare the blessings that the Lord gives so long as it brings glory to Him,

Do you envy the Lord's blessings to others?

A good way to define something is to describe what it is NOT. Christ’s love for you is not envious or self-centered. True, He is a “jealous God”, but that means that He desires your full dedication—not that He stops loving you if you fail to give it. He allows you freedom to live however you wish; He is not overly-possessive or invasive. Even though we may dedicate ourselves to other people or issues or desires, He never stops loving us. On the flip side, have you been envious of God’s grace being given to others and “skipping” over you? Have you been demanding that the Lord meet your requests, while at the same time expecting God to prove He loves you by giving what you want? And what if He

Are you "usefully kind" to the Lord?

God’s love to you is in a state of being kind. The idea of “love is kind” from 1 Corinthians 13 is that of being “usefully kind”, in the manner that a really good butler is usefully kind, expecting nothing in return. Jesus shows this when He washes the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper. i'm not saying Jesus is our butler; He is still King, just that His love is in a state of kindness that unselfishly loves in that manner. Sometimes this kindness feels good to our soul, at other times His love may be expressed in confronting with truth or even silence. But God’s love is always “kindly useful” to you. How does your love toward the Lord measure up to His towards you? Are you “kindly usef

Does your love for God suffer long?

How does your love for God compare to His for you? Let’s look at the first word used to define love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. In the Greek, all these words describing love are verbs, not adjectives. Verse 4 begins telling us that love suffers long and extends a long way. Have there been reasons for God to be angry with you? Have there been reasons for God to simply say, “You know what? I’ve had it. I’m done with you.” If you are like me, then the answer is a resounding yes. However, He has loved you from before the foundation of the world and He will not stop loving you. He even loves His enemies! In other words, He is patient with you. How long-suffering have you been with God? How does your

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