1 Corinthians 13:1-13 💜 Be Loveable and Love Others

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1 Corinthians 13:`13 - But the Great of these is love. Surrounded by a heart of words that say: Hope, Love, Faith over and over

Known as the “love chapter,” we see here how God desires us to live. That has been our focus over the past week. What a powerful passage to bring this theme to a conclusion. We know we are to love God and love others. But what is love? These verses beautifully showcase what love is as well as what it is not.

Paul uses actions words to describe love; it’s patient and kind. Love is not merely a feeling at all. When we love someone else, we exhibit patience and kindness towards them. If you struggle at times, it might help to think about the patience and kindness God has extended to you. It’s hard to say we love someone if we’re mean to them. Our love will be tested by circumstance, but even in the hard times love will prevail in the ways described here.

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Acts 15:1-35 💚 Be Welcoming

Read Acts 15:1-35

group of people in a group hug

If you’ve ever been part of a business start-up or even a new church plant, then you know the importance of setting boundaries and expectations. Our reading today is about one of those early meetings of church leaders to discuss issues facing the people. After all, anytime people gather, it’s a given that issues will arise.

We’re in the midst of themed readings focusing on “Living as God Desires.” To see how these early church leaders handle a very sensitive issue gives us clues to how we should act when leading groups we’re in charge of. The leaders sought God’s intentions. They had respectful discussion. When a decision had been reached, they were quick and diligent in communicating it with any and all parties who needed to hear it.

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Matthew 5:17-48 💙 Jesus Fulfills the Law

Read Matthew 5:17-48

Painting of Jesus holding holy book

“Living as God Desires” can be hard for some people when they try to be legalistic about the laws laid out in the Old Testament. It helps to understand the laws were put in place to help guide and protect people while drawing them into an obedient relationship with God. Jesus tells us in this passage, near the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, that he fulfills the laws and writings of the prophets.

Can you imagine what people hearing those words the first time must have thought? That’s a bold claim. How does it work exactly? Jesus wanted us to know that God’s commandments are important, and we are not to forget them. It’s like Jesus “updates” them a bit here to make them more relevant to the people. He also spent a lot of time talking about a lot of other topics during his full sermon in Matthew Chapters 5-7.

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Micah 6:1-8 💛 Be Courageous

Read Micah 6:1-8

people kneeling at the cross in repentance with a sunset behind them

You will recall, Micah was used by God to warn the people about the coming judgment and the pardon available to all who repented. In today’s sermon at church, the pastor used a word in Spanish (arrepentimiento.) I hadn’t heard before. I thought it must be “repent,” and according to google translate it is “repentance!” The message was very timely for our theme of “Living as God Desires.”

Micah would have been a contemporary with Isaiah and Hosea, other men used by God to help the people see the errors of their ways. People might wonder if we have prophets today, walking around like these brave men, giving us some clarity. Whether we do or not, I believe these timeless Bible truths ring out to us as well!

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Amos 5:21-24 💗 Don’t Miss What’s Important

Read Amos 5:21-24

blue circle with a white dove sitting on a white judges gavel

Amos’ words to the people came after he had called them to repent. God had given Amos a vision of what was going to happen to the nation of Israel. This section is warning them of the coming judgment. Now, it speaks wisdom to us to as our new theme is “Living as God Desires.”

What speaks to you in today’s reading? While we’re not using burnt offerings and sacrifices much these days, there are plenty of examples of putting on a show with our worship. Anything from fog machines to high church ritualistic dirges can cloud our true allegiance.

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