Day 23 – Cardio Training

Scripture Reading

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (MSG)
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

In this section of our Disciple’s Heart primer we have been talking about getting dressed in the armor of God so that we can stand against evil. As we have looked at the armor of God piece by piece, we have said that the belt of Truth and the breastplate of Righteousness give us integrity and allow us to stand alongside the broken. The shoes of Peace and the shield of Faith give us courage and allow us to stand against fear. The helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit give us real life now and forever as we stand with Jesus. Today we are looking at Ephesians 6:18 and we are talking about Standing in Love.

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

I’ve got all this armor on and I am ready for battle and yet I have to be alert on all occasions to be aware of the attacks of the evil one or I have a tendency to go after flesh and blood. I forget about integrity and I become self-righteous. I forget about courage and I become discouraged and selfish. I forget about real life and get complacent just going along with the flow of the world around me. So I have to pray. In particular I need to pray in the Spirit and I need to keep praying throughout the day.

1. Pray in the Spirit

What does that mean? Who is the Holy Spirit? What does He do?

Jesus introduces Him in John 16 and Acts 1

John 16:7 (NIV)
7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:13 (NIV)
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The Apostle Paul adds this about the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NIV)
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

The Holy Spirit is our Counselor. He guides us into all truth. He empowers us for ministry by giving us gifts for the common good. What does this have to do with Standing in Love?

2. Love has to be the motivation of our lives

We can be dressed in the armor of God and equipped with the amazing gifts of the Spirit, and yet if the motivation of our lives is not LOVE, then we miss the mark.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

3. Everything has to be passed through the filter of love

It is so easy to get distracted, it is so easy to think that our way is the right way, it is so easy to get self-focused that we can miss God. This is what happened to the Pharisees. They stopped processing through the filter of love. What is the filter of love? It is found in:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

Praying in the Spirit is about staying connected to the heart of God, which is a heart of love. It keeps us from getting arrogant, self-righteous, self-centered and rebellious. It keeps us from using religion as a cover for evil. We need to do everything to stand and then we need to pray in the Spirit, realizing that our motivation for life must be love and that we need to process everything through the filter of love!

Next week we will continue our Disciple’s Heart journey by digging into the filter of love verses as we talk about Getting Encouraging.

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