Great Verses of the Bible: 1John 4:8

god-is-love

https://thepreachersword.com/2018/02/14/great-verses-of-the-bible-1john-48/

Advertisements

Three important differences between flattery and encouragement

Hannah Ploegstra

There’s a fine line between words that flatter and words that encourage—so fine, in fact, that the words used might be identical. “You are so beautiful” could qualify as rank fawning; it could also, given the right circumstances, tone of voice, and context of relationship, serve as a genuine statement of appreciation, gently spurring a weary or discouraged person back into the game. It’s important to know the difference, because we are prone to getting it wrong.

Some people avoid encouraging others verbally, in fear of sounding like they’re flatterers. Other people flatter, thinking they’re encouraging, then wonder why people around them are proud and self-centred when it comes time to return the favour. Those in need of encouragement resort to soliciting mere compliments, but it doesn’t seem to help their discouragement. And when sincere encouragement does come our way, many of us get embarrassed and quickly push it off as if it’s flattery, not letting it sink in, fearing it will make us proud.

Here are some ways to tell the difference next time a compliment is paid.

1. Flattery is selfishly motivated; encouragement is humble.

By definition, flattering comes with an ulterior motive. Flattery, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is “the act of praising someone, often in a way that is not sincere, because you want something from them”. Someone who flatters wants to make a purchase using counterfeit cash in the form of sweet talk (Rom 16:18). Sometimes compliment-paying customers just want reciprocal admiration; other times the stakes are higher and they’re after money, sex, power, or any number of other self-serving commodities. But whatever the case, we learn to use the currency of flattery early on as little children. Flattery is the oldest trick in the book, an unabashed misuse of power (Prov 29:5).

On the other hand, encouragement is motivated by humility. My own personal working definition for humility (a notoriously difficult trait to define) is “the earnest desire and intentional effort to make another person strong”. Real humility is so unselfconscious that it finds no reason to blush or hold back when saying something nice about another person to their face. Sometimes the reason we can’t speak encouragement to another person is that, deep down inside, we are jealous or fearful of puffing them up. But encouragement, which is humble, desires to build strength—and that’s altogether the opposite of puff. Encouragement, rather than misusing power, gives it away for the sake of empowering someone else (1 Thess 2:5-8).

Now go to: http://gotherefor.com/offer.php?intid=29730

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

And did the Holy and the Just,
The Sovereign of the skies,
Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
That guilty worms might rise?

Yes, the Redeemer left His throne,
His radiant throne on high,
(Surprising mercy! love unknown!)
To suffer, bleed, and die!

He took the dying traitor’s place,
And suffered in his stead;
For man (O miracle of grace!)
For man the Savior bled!

Dear Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
In Your atoning blood!
By this are sinners snatched from Hell,
And rebels brought to God!

What glad return can I impart
For favors so divine?
O take my all, this worthless heart,
And make it wholly Thine!

~ Anne Steele, 1859

Do we understand what love is?

By Steve Rebus 

(J.R. Miller, “Help for the Day”)

Do we understand what love is? We like to be loved, that is, to have other people love us, and live for us, and do things for us. We like the gratifications of love. But that is only miserable selfishness, if it goes no further. It is a desecration of the sacred name, to think that love, at its heart, means getting, receiving. Nay, love gives.

That is what God’s love does — it finds its blessedness in giving. “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.” That is what Christ’s love does — it pours out its very lifeblood, to the last drop!

The essential meaning of loving must always be giving, not receiving.

“Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25

Comment at: https://steverebus.com/2018/02/13/do-we-understand-what-love-is/

From such love — may I ever be delivered!

(J.C. Ryle, “Christian Love” 1878)

Christian love does not consist in approving everybody’s religious opinions. Here is another most serious and growing delusion. There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others mistaken — whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor may be an Atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Roman Catholic, or a Mormonite, a Deist, or a Skeptic, a mere Formalist, or a thorough Antinomian. But the “love” of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! “If he is sincere — then it is uncharitable to think unfavorably of his spiritual condition!”

From such love — may I ever be delivered!

At this rate, the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the Gentiles!

At this rate, there is no use in missions!

At this rate, we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches!

At this rate, everybody is right — and nobody is wrong!

At this rate, everybody is going to Heaven — and nobody is going to Hell!

Such love is a monstrous caricature! To say that all are equally right in their opinions — though their opinions flatly contradict one another; to say that all are equally in the way to Heaven — though their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and white — this is not Scriptural love. Love like this pours contempt on the Bible, and talks as if God had not given us a written standard of truth. Love like this, confuses all our notions of Heaven, and would fill it with a discordant inharmonious rabble.

True love does not think everybody right in doctrine. True love cries, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world!” 1 John 4:1. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching — do not take him into your house or welcome him!” 2 John 1:10

Love Your Enemies – Sproul

https://us2.campaign-archive.com/?e=10e1a68c17&u=32a41d449a635dc91898c8337&id=f30b570501

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

This is a very important reminder, so I copy it all here:

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Actions speak louder than words! Have we all heard that phrase? Husbands and wives say it to one another – young people dating say it to one another – parents use it with their children. Have you ever used it? We want the person we are speaking with to understand that mere words are not enough – we want to see actions as well. Actions speak louder than the words we use. We can say we love someone – we can say we will do something – but words are merely words unless we back them up with actions.

Politicians are infamous for saying anything to get elected and when elected doing whatever they wish (although some are starting to do what they say of late). If we could find a number of leaders that would do what they say – we might just turn our nation around!

Doing what we say we will do is part of being responsible – part of growing up – part of being faithful. We should also not merely listen to God’s words. We should hear God’s words and follow them – act upon them. James puts it this way –

James 1:22–25 – 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Words are important – but actions speak louder than words. James says we should not merely be people of faith – but of action. James 2:14, 26 – What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Let us remember that words have meaning. And the meaning is enhanced when we follow through on our words. Actions speak louder than words. 1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. Let our love for one another be sincere and real – not merely words!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

Comment at: Ray McDonald’s site: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/actions-speak-louder-than-words-3/