LeRoy Eims on the importance of Scripture memory: "I think two of the master strokes of the devil have been to convince people he doesn't exist, and that Scripture memory is only for children. He remembers the humility of defeat when Jesus Christ, who was tempted in all points like as we are, met him with the Word of God." (What Every Christian Should Know About Growing; p. 26-27)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

1 Corinthians 13 Review

Spend the next several days reviewing 1 Corinthians 13.  We're going to make sure it's really solid before moving on to our next chapter.  You've memorized a chapter of the Bible - well done!  Allow His Word to soak into your heart and soul - meditate on it's promises and convictions, and let it transform your life.

13 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. 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. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
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. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:13

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Begin by reviewing the previous 12 verses.  Today is the last verse of 1 Corinthians 13 - congratulations on memorizing a chapter in God's Word!  We will review 1 Corinthians 13 on Wednesdays from now on, moving it from your short term memory into your long term memory so that you will never forget it.  As you review, really meditate on the verses and allow them to transform your life.

John MacArthur explains this verse this way....
[Love] is the greatest because it is that which is eternal. Faith will disappear when all is sight. Hope will disappear when all is fulfillment, love will never disappear. It is the one great thing that history doesn’t change and even death doesn’t change and even eternity can’t change....

 “And now faith,” you need that for salvation, right? And to trust, and hope, you need that for security. But faith and hope are temporary. There will come a time when you don’t need faith because you will have everything in your hand that you believed for. You don’t need hope because you will have all your hope realized. The greatest of these is love because love is the only thing that is forever. Faith will be replaced by sight. Hope will be replaced by reality. And love will never be replaced by anything.
Since this is true, all of that is set up, folks, all that is set up for the first two words in verse 1 of chapter 14, what are they? “Do...what?...pursue love...pursue love...pursue love.” It’s the only eternal thing. Your gifts, temporary. Your abilities, temporary. Your talents, temporary. Your relationships, temporary. Your ministries, your possessions, even your faith, even your hope, temporary. Love links you to eternity, so follow after love. 

We're not memorizing 1 Corinthians 14:1 but maybe we should add in those first few words - in the NIV it's "follow the way of love".  Pursue love.  Follow the way of love.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:12

Today is Tuesday so review the book of Titus.

1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Review the first 11 verses and then move on to today's verse.  It's a bit longer, but not too difficult.  Either way it's the same thing - repetition is the only way to memorize.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

MacArthurs explains....
the only mirrors that we know of in the ancient world were rather dim because they were made out of metal...made out of metal. And so they had rather dim impressions, vague shadowy reflections. So we look in a kind of a mirror that is not clear to us. We see in part. We see darkly. Or literally the word is the word for a riddle, we look in this mirror and there’s an indistinct vision, so we say that the best we can do in this life is to see a kind of representation that is not crystal clear. But one day, and I love this, we will see face to face. We won’t look in a mirror, we won’t be looking at a reflection, we’ll be looking at a face and it won’t be distorted....

As you gaze into the glory of Christ, you’re changed into His image, but even as we look into Scripture, it is not like seeing Him face to face. The ancient city, by the way, in Corinth was famous for its mirrors, made of polished metal. Even at their best they were dim and they were clouded because metal deteriorated and they had certain flaws. So our present knowledge is dim. It’s true knowledge. It’s a true representation. But some day, face to face, some day we will know as we are known, perfect vision, perfect sight, we won’t be singing, “Be Thou my vision,” because He will be.

Monday, June 11, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:11

Today is Monday so begin by reviewing all the Psalms you've learned.

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Review the first 10 verses before going on to today's verse.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I can't remember if I mentioned this already on a previous post, but I found a great time for scripture review - while mowing the lawn!

Today's verse is a continuation of the thoughts of the previous couple of verses.  The idea is that the knowledge that we have now compared to the knowledge we will have in heaven is like that which we have in childhood compared to that which we have in adulthood.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review Days

Just realized I forgot to post for today so we`ll make today and tomorrow review days and pick up at v11 on Monday.

Friday, June 8, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:10

1 Corinthians 13:10
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 

Yesterday`s verse makes a lot more sense once you add on today`s verse! (I wonder why they didn`t just make that all one verse anyway - no idea how they divided that up!).

So, begin the day by reviewing v 1-9 and then add on today`s verse.  It`s another short one, so another easier day for you.

The gift of languages ceased at the end of the apostolic age and is no longer mentioned after v8.  Prophecy and knowledge will be abolished when the perfection comes - when we see God face to face eternally.

MacArthur says this will be specifically after the Thousand Year Reign or Millennial Kingdom.  His explanation is rather lengthy (though good!), but I found a shorter one that said the same thing here....

The “perfect” is not the completion of Scripture, since there is still the operation of those two gifts and will be in the future kingdom (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17; Revelation 11:3). The Scriptures do not allow us to see “face to face” or have perfect knowledge as God does (v. 12). The “perfect” is not the rapture of the church or the second coming of Christ, since the kingdom to follow these events will have an abundance of preachers and teachers (Isaiah 29:18; 32:3, 4; Joel 2:28; Revelation 11:3). The perfect, therefore, must be the eternal state, when we in glory see God face to face (Revelation 22:4) and have full knowledge in the eternal new heavens and new earth. Just as a child grows to full understanding, believers will come to perfect knowledge and no such gifts will be necessary.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:9

1 Corinthians 13:9
 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 

Begin the day by reviewing the first 8 verses of 1 Corinthians 13.  Add on today's verse - it's a short one!

As rich as our revelation from God is - it is only in part.  There is no such thing as a "know it all" when it comes to our knowledge about God and His universe.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:8

1 Corinthians 13:8
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 

Begin by reviewing the first 7 verses, then add on today's verse.  Take it phrase by phrase if you need to.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Love never fails.  That doesn't mean that love always succeeds or is always victorious over evil or trouble.  It does not always triumph in human relationships.  Jesus treated everyone He met with undying love and we killed Him for it.  So love does fail in that respect. That's not what Paul's saying here.

What he is saying is that love is eternal, while gifts are just temporal.  The Corinthians were enamored over gifts, especially the prominent ones, and were abusing them and each other - displaying an incredible lack of love.  And here Paul reminds them (and us!) that all of those things, though important, are only temporal, but love is eternal.

MacArthur makes some interesting points about the meanings of the different Greek verbs used in this passage (if you want to read more of the details click on the link - it's quite interesting, but I'll just shorten it to the main point)....

Something will stop prophecy, something will stop this knowledge of all the mysteries, as it’s referred to early in the chapter, but tongues will cease by itself. 
So we have two very distinct points to make here. Prophecy and knowledge, they’ll be stopped by something acting upon them. Tongues will cease by itself... “Prophecy will be stopped, knowledge will be ended, tongues will cease by itself.”
So, knowledge, prophecy, tongues...temporary. That’s his main point. Something is going to come which he calls the perfect thing that will end knowledge and prophecy but before that, tongues will literally self-destruct, end on their own. So the gift of tongues will cease by itself. That’s what it says...
The gift of tongues, the ability to speak in language you didn’t know as a demonstration of the fact that a supernatural word from God was coming as a sign to Israel, because they wouldn’t listen when He spoke a language they could understand, as Isaiah prophesied, He will now speak in a language they couldn’t understand. It was both a judgment sign as well as a sign affirming those who spoke the true gospel, as on the day of Pentecost. But we know it ceased and it ceased in the apostolic era.

Gifts are temporary.  Love is eternal.  And gifts should be used in love - without love we are resounding gongs, clanging symbols, nothing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:7

Today is Tuesday so begin the day by reviewing the book of Titus before moving on to today's verse.

1 Corinthians 13:7
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Review the first 6 verses of 1 Corinthians 13 before adding on the new one.  Now repeat it over and over, phrase by phrase if necessary.

John MacArthur.....
This is the first of glorious positives. Love bears all things. It means to cover with silence, to cover with silence. Love suppresses. It doesn’t mean that love puts up with anything, we’ve already said that. It doesn’t mean that love won’t confront, love is truthful. But what it does mean is that out of genuine, passionate, honest, legitimate concern for the value of another person for the real worth of that other person, love will do everything it can to cover the weakness...cover the failing, to cover the sin.....

Love is not suspicious, it just believes the best. It is not suspicious. It is not always eager to pounce and denounce some offender, always suspicious, always assuming the worst. It doesn’t go through life with cynical suspicion, it goes through life believing the best because love seeks the best so strongly....

 love hopes all things. As long as the grace of God is operative in the person, you never give up.....And what is that hope in? Not in the person but in the Lord. As long as the grace of God is operative, human failure is never final.....

Love endures all things.... endures means to sustain. It’s a quality that sustains a soldier in the face of violent battle. This is not minor annoyance here. It’s not the word. This is a word for life and death, horrible opposition, violence, persecution, suffering. Love survives all that. It just doesn’t die, never really gives up. It endures through everything.....This is the crescendo of love. Love bears all hurts and wounds and disappointments, believing the best about others in spite of the wounds, gently throwing a mantle over their faults. And when the believing is betrayed, love still hopes because God is still God. And when hope seems lost, love still endures with triumphant confidence that the God who is still God is still sovereign and still able. Love just holds on. Love is never totally overwhelmed, never, no matter how many disappointments...It can be wounded to the bone, but it will endure... 

This is how we should be known. This is how we should live. How can I apply it in my life? Acknowledge it as a command, agree that you have the capacity from God to love this way. Understand that it’s not the unusual kind of Christian living but the norm. Realize that it is the Spirit’s work and go do it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:6

Today is Monday so begin the day by reviewing all the Psalms you have memorized. Then move on to today's verse - it's a short one today!

1 Corinthians 13:6
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Repeat this verse over and over again.

Now meditate on what it means for your life.

John MacArthur says....

Love controls your tongue. Love prevents you from a salacious way gloating over the iniquities of other people because you don’t like them anyway, because they did something to you, or because it makes you feel more virtuous because you have sins that fit into a different category all together. Love doesn’t do that. Never rejoices in iniquity.
Certainly it couldn’t, and here’s why, how could any Christian ever rejoice in any case over something that offends God? Get a perspective. Love finds no satisfaction in passing on somebody else’s iniquities, rehearsing somebody else’s iniquities, parading somebody else’s iniquities to further offend God....
Love tells the truth and it rejoices to tell the truth....Love is honest. It doesn’t lie to flatter. It doesn’t lie to falsely protect. It loves truth, it rejoices in truth. It will always speak the truth. It will celebrate the truthfulness, the honesty, the integrity of others....because telling the truth builds strong relationships, telling lies destroys relationships.....Sometimes the truth is painful but we speak the truth in love....Sometimes the truth is encouraging and comforting and winsome and brings a benediction. And sometimes the truth is convicting and painful and brings a condemnation. But loving people always speak the truth.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday - Review Day

Sundays are always review days - so review 1 Corinthians 13:1-5 today.

See you tomorrow for verse 6.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:5

1 Corinthians 13:5
 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Begin by reviewing 1 Corinthians 13:1-4.  Then move on to today's verse.

What part of today's verse pricks your conscience?  Where is the Holy Spirit convicting you of a lack of love?  What area do you need to work on?

John MacArthur.....
 Love does not act unbecomingly...Love does not behave dishonorably, inappropriately, ill-mannered. This is a big word, broad word, ill-mannered, rude...rude....Rudeness is disdained for someone else.... Love behaves graciously, not gracelessly. It treats all with a redeeming deference. There’s no thought of self but only of others. And the only thought is what is fitting, what is suitable, what is honorable, what is elevating, never demands satisfaction for self, is never rude or corrupt at the expense of others.
You could sum it up by saying, “Love yields all personal rights.” ...
True love is always unselfish.....Love always and only thinks of others. It is consumed with others and utterly indifferent to its own self.
love is not provoked. .....There’s a time for holy anger, for righteous wrath. ..... But apart from that, apart from having your soul stirred by ungodliness and what brings shame upon the name of Christ, and what attempts to diminish the glory of God and undermine the truth of Scripture, and those things that produce righteous anger, love is not made so anger...so angry over personal offenses....when it comes to personal things, love bears all injuries suffered at the hands of others without exasperation and without irritation.
[love] Does not take into account a wrong suffered...You don’t blow up when you’re injured. Love doesn’t do that. Love forgives. And you don’t hold a long-term grudge, this is a word that has to do with accounting. It’s an accountant’s word......Love doesn’t keep books. It doesn’t keep records. It doesn’t recite all the wrongs done. It doesn’t keep a mental record of all the offenses until the proverbial molehill becomes a mountain. And that molehill of resentment becomes a mountain of hostility.

Remember, we're not just memorizing for the sake of memorizing.  We're memorizing for many reasons - one of which is transformation and life application.  How does meditating on these verses affect the way you will live your life?

Friday, June 1, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:4

1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  

Begin the day by reviewing v1-3 once again.  Then move on to today's verse.  This one is one of the more well-known verses in this chapter so it'll probably be an easier one for you.  Same rules apply - repeat, repeat, repeat.

Matthew Henry's Commentary says....
Some of the effects of charity are stated, that we may know whether we have this grace; and that if we have not, we may not rest till we have it. This love is a clear proof of regeneration, and is a touchstone of our professed faith in Christ. In this beautiful description of the nature and effects of love, it is meant to show the Corinthians that their conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to it. Charity is an utter enemy to selfishness; it does not desire or seek its own praise, or honour, or profit, or pleasure. Not that charity destroys all regard to ourselves, or that the charitable man should neglect himself and all his interests. But charity never seeks its own to the hurt of others, or to neglect others. It ever prefers the welfare of others to its private advantage. How good-natured and amiable is Christian charity! How excellent would Christianity appear to the world, if those who profess it were more under this Divine principle, and paid due regard to the command on which its blessed Author laid the chief stress! Let us ask whether this Divine love dwells in our hearts. Has this principle guided us into becoming behaviour to all men? Are we willing to lay aside selfish objects and aims? Here is a call to watchfulness, diligence, and prayer.

Wesley's Notes:
The love of God, and of our neighbour for God's sake, is patient toward, all men. It, suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, and infirmities of the children of God; all the malice and wickedness of the children of the world: and all this, not only for a time, but to the end. And in every step toward overcoming evil with good, it is kind, soft, mild, benign. It inspires the sufferer at once with the most amiable sweetness, and the most fervent and tender affection. Love acteth not rashly - Does not hastily condemn any one; never passes a severe sentence on a slight or sudden view of things. Nor does it ever act or behave in a violent, headstrong, or precipitate manner. Is not puffed up - Yea, humbles the soul to the dust.

And, finally - from John MacArthur....

Love is patient, verse 4, patient with people is the Greek verb, emphasizing the fact that we’re talking here about relationships in the church. To say that you’re patient means that you’re slow to become angry, you’re slow to become frustrated when dealing with troublesome people, difficult people. You are long tempered would be another old word, or old phrase to describe this. Patient with people which embraces forgiveness, tolerance, understanding.
Secondly, love is kind to people. And the word actually means, as we pointed out last time, useful. You find ways to be useful. Kindness is not something superficial. Kindness is finding ways to render useful service to someone else maybe, it’s comfort. Maybe it’s encouragement. Maybe it’s knowledge. Maybe it’s wisdom. Maybe it’s companionship. Even with those who have wronged you, or those who are distant from you, or critical of you, love is useful, it finds ways to minister to people no matter who they are, even if they tax one’s patience.
Thirdly, love does not envy. It is not jealous of other people. This is the first of eight negatives. It doesn’t compete. It doesn’t resent. It doesn’t become bitter. It doesn’t hate other people, their success, their place in life, their looks, their possessions, their position. It rejoices in everything that others have, even if the one loving has very little. It is not jealous because if you love someone, you don’t wish that you had what they have and they didn’t have it. You don’t have those kind of thoughts toward people you love. People you love, you wish they had everything, every possible good things, blessed thing. And the more they have, the happier you are because that’s how love behaves.
Number four, love does not brag. And the word here is the word for a windbag. It’s not a blowhard. Outward bragging is designed to make people feel inferior. The reason you parade your accomplishments, your achievements, tell the stories that you tell so very often when you brag is because you want other people to feel inferior to you. You seek public accolades. You want to be the one who is one step above others. Jealousy wants what others have. Arrogant, boasting, bragging is calculated to cause others to want what you have. Say that again. Jealousy wants what others have; bragging wants to make others want to have what you have. Either of those is an attitude of love.
And then number five, we talked about love is not arrogant. Arrogant is the driving motivation behind the bragging. It’s a high opinion of oneself, conceit. And this is so foundational that I will put it in a positive sentence. Only humble people love...only humble people love. Arrogant people do not love, they’re not interested in other people’s issues, they’re not interested in other people’s lives. They do not desire to be patient with them. They don’t care about being useful to them. They’re more than happy to brag endlessly in front of them because they are consumed with themselves. Only humble people love.

This is such a hard verse to put into practice isn't it?  And yet it is the fruit, the proof, of our faith.  And only possible through submitting to the Holy Spirit's lordship in our lives.