A Christian Journey

Archive for December, 2015

A Soft Answer

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 Amplified

As we enter the Christmas season we are looking at the verses that speak of love and giving. How much more giving and loving is it then to be gentle and kind when someone is being harsh and hard.

Yesterday we looked at the first verse in 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, and I said we would look more into what God says love should be. I had a situation come up last night, though, that made me think of today’s verse. Angry words were spoken to me and my carnal nature responded with angry words. Prior to this incident I’d been praying for God to help me respond to harsh words with a soft answer, so I suppose last night was a test. I failed. That’s ok though, in a way. Of course I asked God to forgive me, but it showed me rather quickly what I should have done and how I should have handled it. The trick is to learn and not repeat. You know in school you had to keep taking the test or class over until you passed it. Speaking of which, if you keep having the same problems with other people you may need to have a counseling session with the Teacher so He can help you pass those tests. Don’t be like the Israelites who kept going around the same mountain for 40 years!

Our verse today says a soft answer turns away wrath, and grievous words, those spoken in anger back, stir up anger. Though it’s usually very hard to not respond to someone in the same way they speak to us,  God wants us to be gentle. Being gentle is what’s best for us and the other person. Have you ever seen a heated argument end in hugs and kisses, not usually. Usually the two parties get mad and don’t speak for a while.

So the real question is, how do we respond gently. The truth is I can’t do it, but if I stop and ask God to help me to do it, then I can. So the key is to stop! When angry words come our way, whether from a stranger or the closest person to you, don’t respond immediately, stop and ask God for help.  It’s something I will likely have to do over and over again until it starts to become a part of my response mechanism, but I believe God wants me to do it and He will help me to do it, and He will help you too if you will only say those three little words – God help me.

Let’s follow what Proverbs 25:15 says – “soft speech breaks down the most bonelike resistance. “

Love Is Not A Requirement

“If I can speak in the tongues of men and even of angels, but have not love; that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us, I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1  Amplified

Today we are taking a closer look at love as we approach the greatest Love given this month of Christ’s birth.

The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians is often referred to as the love chapter because that is its primary topic. Appropriately so it starts out in the first verse with a definition of what love is not. The first four verses state that no matter what I do for others if I do it out of requirement or duty and not out of my love and caring for them, then it is worthless. There are a lot of things in life that we are required to do, but loving shouldn’t be one of them. Our love for others comes from God and how much He loves us. He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. That’s how you know if you are being religious or a Christian. Religion makes requirements, God inspires us to love.

We will stay in 1 Corinthians for a little while longer so we can take a closer look at what real, God like, love is.

Love

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only begotten, unique Son, so that whoever believes in, trusts in, clings to, relies on, Him shall not perish, come to destruction and be lost, but have eternal, everlasting life.”  John 3:16 Amplified

As we move into the Christmas season I feel led to focus on love, that’s what Christmas is all about. The best place to start is to look at why we celebrate Christmas – God’s great love for us, that’s why He sent His son to earth.

“For God so loved the world that He gave….” That’s how love starts, giving.

Some people have suffered in relationships where they gave and gave and gave, but received nothing in return. Some even vowed that they would never love again because of that. True loving, the agape or God love is giving with wanting nothing in return. Love gives because it wants to give, not to receive anything in return. This is the love of Christmas, the unselfish love that gives just to give.

As we go through this month we will look at verses that encourage us to love with a God like love.