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Ring of Truth provides 366 daily ‘proofs’ that the Bible is consistent throughout from Genesis to Revelation, and relevant for our lives today!
14 December 2018
1 Peter 4:8-11
As John tells us, “We love because He [Jesus] first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It’s a ‘Ring of Truth’!
“Love” should be the hallmark of the Christian life. Perhaps I should say love is the hallmark of the Christian’s lifestyle. If it isn’t there, am I really right to call myself a Christian?
This isn’t soppy love, but neither does it make demands or set conditions. This is strong love that is the result of a fundamental choice and the decision to give it unconditionally regardless of the response. It is the love which comes from God alone, through knowing that you are accepted just as you are and forgiven. It is the love that is then able to forgive without manipulation, bitterness, regret or envy. That is how it “covers a multitude of sins.” (Read again 1 Corinthians 13 for an even fuller picture.)
Don’t be hospitable out of duty, says Peter. Do it out of love. Jesus encourages us to be hospitable to those who can’t return it (see Luke 14:12-14). Maybe it’s good to start with those who can so that we learn how to do it and then extend it to those who can’t.
The gifts God gives us through His Holy Spirit are not for us to keep to ourselves. They are for the benefit of others. For the whole Body of the Church. Don’t hold or hoard them, use them for the benefit of others, and they will develop and God may entrust you with even more. We should seek the Giver more than the gifts. But when we recognise them, use them with confidence and authority.
Yes, it is a learning curve, so practise them in the Cell or Small Group setting first. Don’t try and use them only in the big congregation all the time. They are not given to boost our ego or standing in the minds of the people but for us to serve and bless others. To glorify God and edify others.
God, not us, is to be praised through their use.
We should always use them so that God is praised through Jesus Christ. God will not give His glory to another human being (see Isaiah 48:11).
When did you last use your gift(s)? Isn’t it time to release it (them) again?
The Body is waiting.
(Oh yes, we will be blessed by using them, but that should not be our motivation. And remember – always use them within the context of unconditional love.)
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daily devotionals by John White