The Other Six
Scripture Reading for 02/09/20 Ephesians 6:5-9, Matthew 5:13-16
Monday – Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. What's the greatest thing you have ever accomplished? The Beatles said all you need is love. They were kind of right. In 1 Cor 13:1-3 we see that without love, it doesn't matter what amazing things you do. They don't mean much without love. In fact, love is so great, that God describes Himself as love. He created us out of love and Jesus died for us because of love. I hope you do great things in life, but even more, I hope you show love and know love, especially the love of Jesus. After all, it's God's love that enables us to love others. What does it mean to show love as you try to do great things?
Tuesday – Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. How would you describe love? We're getting close to Valentine's Day and love is in the air, but there are different kinds of love. When God talks about love, what does He mean? Thankfully, He describes love in 1 Corinthians 13. I've always found it interesting that He doesn't describe an emotion. God describes love as a bunch of actions and characteristics, being humble, content, patient, kind, and forgiving. This Valentine's Day, how can you do more than say you love someone? How can you show them you love them, according to 1 Cor 13?
Wednesday - 1 Corinthians 13:6-7. Have you ever experienced schadenfreude? Webster defines schadenfreude as "enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others." For example, somebody cuts you off in traffic and then speeds off. Then a half-mile down the road you see them pulled off the road with a flat tire. "Ha!" you say, "They deserve it." Love doesn't delight in evil. Sure a flat tire isn't evil, but how would love respond in that situation? Would it taunt them or pull over and help? Sure, there's more to delighting in evil than celebrating someone's trouble, but that's a part of it and probably something we are more familiar with. Where might you struggle with schadenfreude and how can you change that?
Thursday – Read John 3:16. Why did Jesus die for you? Is it because you are so awesome at stuff? Is it because you are better than other people? Nope. It's because He loves you. It's that simple. What do you need to do to be saved? Do you need to do awesome stuff? Do you need to stop doing so many bad things? Nope. Just believe in Jesus. It's that simple. Jesus saves you because He wants to...because He loves you. You can't earn it. Rather, you can rest in His love.
Friday – Read John 13:34-35. Why do you love your spouse or parents or siblings? Jesus commanded us to love them, but He bases it not on what they have done for you or can do for you. He bases it on the love He has already shown you. Jesus loves you, so you can love them...or anyone else. That's not always easy. Sometimes you don't want to love them. Remember, however, from day 2 that God primarily describes love as actions and characteristics. Even when you don't "feel" the love, you can show love by your actions. How can you show love when you are angry at someone?
Saturday – Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-11. Have you ever found yourself struggling to understand why something happened? Why did God do this or allow that? We all do it. In the end, though, we must remember that God isn't us and He doesn't think like us. Often, we get in trouble when we try to explain God or, worse yet, defend Him. When we start speaking where God has stayed silent, we are on unstable ground. Yet, He has revealed Himself to us in His Word so we can understand some of what He has done and why, especially that He has saved us by the death and resurrection of His Son. Worldly wisdom won't get that, but by the power of His Spirit, we can believe it. May we stay silent where God is silent. May we speak where God speaks. May we hear Him and believe. Amen.