Day 24 – Cardio Training

Today we are going to start discussing our next section in the Disciples Heart Primer, Get Encouraging. As we finished up our last section on the Armor of God, we saw that Paul was exhorting us to pass everything through what I call the filter of love which is found in 1 Corinthians 13 4-8.

Scripture Reading

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.

This filter helps us to check out our motivations for the things we do. People often equate this passage with the fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

As disciples who are filled with the Spirit, these qualities should be being developed in our lives.

Right out of the gate, we are told that love is patient.

1. Love is Patient

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
4 Love is patient,

Patience is the bearing of difficult problems, people, or situations, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

We are not patient. We live in a hurry up, I want it now world. I want my food fast, I want my computer fast, I want one day shipping. However, God is not in a hurry. I cannot find an instance in the Bible of Jesus running anywhere. He lived by waiting on and watching for what the Father was doing. Remember that Jesus is our model for life and ministry, so we all need to work on being patient and not being is such a hurry.

The second half of verse four gives us some tips for being patiently loving or lovingly patient

1 Corinthians 13:4b (NIV)
4 … It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

We are going to look at these today, and then next week we will see how verse 5 describes what love being kind looks like.

OK. So patient …

2.) Love does not envy

1 Corinthians 13:4b (NIV)
4 … It does not envy,

Envy is not exactly jealousy. Jealousy is the desire to keep what is yours already. Envy, on the other hand, is the desire for the attributes or the possessions of another.

In some ways, the Bible is a collection of stories about envy. Cain envied Abel, Joseph’s brothers envied him, and Saul envied David. The events of the fall in Genesis 3 are another picture of Envy. Adam and Eve not satisfied with all they had been given and enjoyed and wanted even more, they wanted to be like God.

C.S. Lewis said this in a discussion of the fall in Genesis 3, “They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives”.

I think this is a great discussion of our struggles in life. We want to be nouns, but we were created to be adjectives. I often talk about being a part of His story, but in His story, He is the noun. We are adjectives. For a little grammar update, check out the definition below:

Adjective – words that describe or modify another person or thing in the sentence.

Life works best when we are living like adjectives with our lives describing the Big Noun.

3.) Love does not boast

1 Corinthians 13:4b (NIV)
4 … it does not boast,

to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, esp. about oneself.

We live in a culture of self-promotion. But check out this verse about boasting.

2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (NIV)
17 But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

4.) Love is not proud

1 Corinthians 13:4b (NIV)
4 … it is not proud.

(puffed up or full of wind (I think this is a great description))
having a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.

James 4:6 (NIV)
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humility – A personal quality in which an individual shows dependence on God and respect for other persons.

Romans 12:10 (MSG)
10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

The big problem, the big question, “But if I don’t look out for #1, who will?” Who will? He will. Once you accept that you can trust Him to look out for you, then you can love well and take your part as an adjective in His story.

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