We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
I remember a time when I was very concentrated and focused on those who had supposedly wronged me. I say supposedly because many times hurts are PERCEIVED instead of being a real truth. We are, in essence, like a receiver that receives transmissions from a radio satellite. If the receiver has anything malfunctioning in it, the message will be scrambled or the message may not be received at all. When a traffic controller sends out a message to the pilot of a plane, if the transmitter or the receiver is malfunctioning, the message may only partially transmit causing a misunderstanding which could lead to dangerous chaos. Was it because the traffic controller said or did something wrong? No! Their message may have been perfect. The chaos took place due to malfunctioning equipment. It is the same with us. According to our hearts and minds (the receiver), the message sent by the one communicating can become confused and completely misinterpreted!
According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, when our hearts are in line with the Word of God and with God, Himself who is love, we don’t even notice a truly suffered wrong, therefore we certainly we don’t remember it against someone later! That is selfless love. “Selflessness”, which is the opposite of “selfishness”, never considers anyone but others. You may be thinking, “But that is just impossible!” but according to Romans 15 it is not only possible, it should be our goal. This is considered a great achievement by our heavenly Father!
If satan can keep your mind on what others have said or done toward you, what you could have said and done in return, if he can keep you focused on past hurts and the current dissatisfaction you have with life, you have no time or even the realization of what you are supposed to be doing for others which is God’s purpose for your life! We miss so many ministry opportunities, hearing God’s voice, and walking in the spirit because we can’t stop thinking about how hard life has been on us. We line up at the altar every time the preacher calls for people who want give God all they have so God can use them in a mighty way, then walk away and wonder why God never does. I was one of those people at one time! God finally was able to show to me the reason He couldn’t do anything with me was because I was too busy focusing on my disappointments to be of any good to anyone, including myself!
You can’t change the past! No amount of thinking, concentrating, wishing, or getting angry is going to do one thing to make up for what has happened in your life. But, if we will praise God for what we DO have, for what has gone right (even if you can only think of one thing) you can change your future!! Your attitude determines your altitude! How far and high you go is literally determined by your attitude, and God tells us exactly how to think to better our health, our minds, and our position in life!
Have you ever heard someone say, “I am so sorry. I was so concentrated in thought I didn’t hear what you said.” That is how we become when we think too much about “stuff”. God is talking, but we are so concentrated on other things we fail to hear Him. Begin to make the majority of your time in prayer about others. Pray for your co-workers who may be having needs, your supervisor, pastor, family members, those on the mission field, and those who may be on your churches prayer list that are sick. You’ve just stepped into a vital ministry, and are now walking in the spirit! I love that about God! He is quick to promote and slow in anger to “demote”! It doesn’t take long to climb to higher heights and greater realms in Jesus!
Do you have needs? Does the worry of them seem to consume you? Give to others! I don’t care if it is a candy bar at break time! Find ways to give and do good to others no matter how small it may seem. What is small in your eyes may be huge to the one you are giving to!! God sees your heart and it is your motive He rewards!
Blessings in abundance to you, dear reader! Give yourself the best gift you could ever receive…a literal change of heart! I promise you, it is worth it…take it from someone who knows!! Simply, Juliana
This scripture has run through my mind for three days. The word that strikes me more than any is “amid”. Amid…in the midst of, while the war is raging, during the trial, not after…AMID, ALL these things we are MORE than conquerors….
As I pondered this scripture, I thought of the author of Romans and what had to be happening to him as he wrote it. Paul was not imprisoned at this time but had been imprisoned earlier for the cause of Christ. I don’t know of anyone who went through more persecution than Jesus other than Paul!
Paul suffered so many things. Paul suffered shipwreck, snake bite, stoning, being beaten, locked in stocks where his legs were held out straight and his back was bent and his hands locked into place at his feet for hours, possibly days at a time! Yet, Paul could write when he wasn’t in stocks, in the midst of it all, he and the church were more than conquerors! Amazing!
The prison systems we have today are no picnic but they are governed and have set regulations so they are not considered inhumane, but still carry a definite punishment. In Paul’s day there were no regulations. Prisons were a horror. You can imagine the living conditions. No formal plumbing, stench and bacteria surrounded the prisoners. There was no health department to make sure the bacteria didn’t make it into the food they were served. Disease and death were all around because the conditions were so deplorable. If the absolute filth didn’t get you, the prisoners would. During the time of Nero when arenas were filled with people excited to see Christians slaughtered and literally eaten alive by lions while Nero played his fiddle and as the crowds cheered, can you only imagine what they thought should be punishable by imprisonment. It had to be horrendous.
Romans was not written while Paul was in prison but at the end of his third missionary journey. Paul had known persecution and prison before he wrote this letter to the Romans, and as we know, would face death for teaching and proclaiming the gospel. Yet Paul still wrote “amid all these things….” Many of us get upset over such small and trivial things such as when we get home and realize we forgot a grocery item and have to turn around and go back and get it! Or when someone says something we don’t like or care to hear.
As I thought of this scripture and all that Paul had gone through with such a good attitude, I was headed to the city. This particular day had been a hard one for me. I began to compare my “hard day” with Paul’s life of “hard days”. Still, nonetheless, it was a day I was ready to put behind me!
I was crossing a bridge that brings me to another town before I get to the city and something caught my eye. I looked up and the sky was particularly cloudy. A cold front was heading our way and rain clouds had rolled in, but in the MIDST of those clouds there was a hole in the middle of the clouds. It was ever so slight but through that hole came literal beams of light!! God spoke to my heart and said, “No matter how dark it seems, the sun is still shining just as brightly as ever behind the darkness and there will be a break in the clouds!”
I went about another ten miles and looked up again. In the midst of all the storm clouds, in one place, they had totally broken and the sun was visible with all of its light! In that particular spot, instead of dreariness there was utter radiance as though it were spring instead of fall.
That is how it is in our lives. When our health seems to be faltering, when a loved one leaves and our world seems to be crashing all around us, when Christmas is fast approaching and the company hands out pink slips, when you feel as though you are facing the world alone and have no idea where help will come from this time, the SON is still shining and a break will come in the clouds of your life! You and I are MORE than conquerors in the great big middle of it all! How? Through Christ Jesus Who gives us a SURPASSING victory! We don’t barely make it through! We make it through and gain ground because of Jesus and what HE has done!
The fight is not ours, but the rest from battling is. The victory is not ours to be won, but to be taken hold of and received! How do we do this? By resting in faith in God’s word and His integrity to keep it! By knowing what HE says about our situations and the promise He has made to ALWAYS deliver us out of them to a higher and blessed place! Just as it says in our scripture, we are “conquerors THROUGH” Christ Jesus who loves us!
Love always wins…always! No matter what the situation you are facing, this time is no different! God has made a covenant (a binding contract) with us that cannot be broken by Him. He tells us in His Word, when the sun fails to shine and the moon fails to appear, when night no longer turns to day and day to night, only then can that covenant be broken. That is a stout and remaining promise! Did the sun shine today? Did night come? If the answer is yes, and we know it is, then the promise holds! You hold to the promise, too!
Blessings to you, precious reader! I will see you soon!
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors [a]and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.