Saturday, January 26, 2013

February 3, 2013

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for February 3rd – Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30; theme : the power of love in our mission; Song: Here I am Lord UMH 593 1 Corinthians : If you go to 10 weddings this year, you will hear this verse read at 9 ½ of them – Chapter 13 – the chapter where Paul talks about the importance of true love. Paul’s original purpose, is not really the love between people, his purpose is the love that God has for his people, and the love that we use in our lives to express our love for God. In chapter 12 Paul has been talking about spiritual gifts and unity. He is trying to help us to understand what it means to be a church. In chapter 12 Paul invites us to find the more excellent way – that way is the love of God. It is not so much what we have- it is the spirit in which we use it. Spiritual gifts are just tools. It is true love for God that helps us to use those gifts. We only see the fruits of our gifts when we have love for God that is expressed in the way we treat others. Unity can only be achieved when you look beyond faults and differences and show true love. Where there is faith there is hope, where there is hope there is love. And when we have love, we have all that we need to build the kingdom of God. Luke: When Jesus has completed his time of preparing to fulfill his mission, the first thing that he does is go to synagogue in Nazareth. Any male is allowed to read from the scroll. He reads for them Isaiah 61 – he tells them that the spirit of the Lord is indeed upon him. These are the words that they have been waiting for all of this life – could this be the one that God has sent to rescue them? No, because Jesus explains that he is not talking about them – he is talking about the poor, the outcasts, the people who were not present. He is talking about what they must do for others, not what they must receive for themselves. They get so mad at him, they lead him to a cliff with the intention of throwing his off. But Jesus has already told that the Holy Spirit is with him, and he is unharmed and able to go out into the world to do what God has called him to do. As long as he have the spirit with us, no weapon that they make against us can prosper! Let us go and do what God as asked us to do! Questions: Does God’s love make a difference in your life? When have you experienced love from someone that truly made a difference in your life? Have you encountered someone who felt they were gifted, but who had a terrible attitude? How do you set the captives free? How is scripture fulfilled today in our lives?

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