Epistle of James
But it can be defined as a sacrificial, giving, absorbing kind of love. The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another. We can read this chapter and think that Paul is saying that if we are unfriendly, then our lives mean nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor , and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Bestow all my goods to feed the poor : This is what Jesus told the rich young ruler to do Matthew , and he refused. But even if the rich young ruler had done what Jesus said, yet had not love , it would have been of no profit. Though I give my body to be burned : Even if I lay my life down in dramatic martyrdom, apart from love, it is of no profit.
Normally, no one would doubt the spiritual credentials of someone who gave away everything they had, and gave up their life in dramatic martyrdom. Love is the best measure. There were some early Christians so arrogant as to think that the blood of martyrdom would wash away any sin.
Henry Hammond: A Paraphrase and Annotations upon all the Books of the New Testament (1653)
They were so proud about their ability to endure suffering for Jesus, they thought it was the most important thing in the Christian life. It is important, but not the most important. Without love, it profits me nothing. Some believe the burning referred to here is not execution, but branding as a criminal or as a slave for the sake of the gospel. The more likely sense is execution, but it really matters little, because the essential meaning is the same — great personal sacrifice. As well, some ancient Greek manuscripts have if I give up my body that I may glory instead of though I give my body to be burned.
Again, the meaning is the same, and the difference is really minor. Many Christians believe the Christian life is all about sacrifice — sacrificing your money, your life, for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Sacrifice is important, but without love it is useless, it profits me nothing. Each thing described in 1 Corinthians is a good thing. Tongues are good, prophecy and knowledge and faith are good, sacrifice is good. But love is so valuable, so important, that apart from it, every other good thing is useless. Sometimes we make the great mistake of letting go of what is best for something else that is good, but not the best.
Or how shall we know if we have it? The apostle here gives thirteen notes of a charitable person. Love : At the beginning, we see love is described by action words, not by lofty concepts. Paul is not writing about how love feels, he is writing about how it can be seen in action. True love is always demonstrated by action. Love suffers long : Love will endure a long time. It is the heart shown in God when it is said of the Lord, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance 2 Peter The ancient preacher John Chrysostom said this is the word used of the man who is wronged, and who easily has the power to avenge himself, but will not do it out of mercy and patience.
Do you avenge yourself as soon as you have the opportunity? A wonderful measure of kindness is to see how children receive us. Love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love does not envy : Envy is one of the least productive and most damaging of all sins. It accomplishes nothing, except to hurt. Love keeps its distance from envy, and does not resent it when someone else is promoted or blessed.
Is envy a small sin? Envy murdered Abel Genesis Envy enslaved Joseph Genesis , Envy put Jesus on the cross: For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy Matthew These destroy more souls by tithing mint and cummin, than others do by neglecting the weightier matters of the law. Such persons have what is termed, and very properly too, sour godliness.
Love does not parade itself : Love in action can work anonymously. It does not have to have the limelight or the attention to do a good job, or to be satisfied with the result. Love gives because it loves to give, not out of the sense of praise it can have from showing itself off. Sometimes the people who seem to work the hardest at love are the ones the furthest from it.
They do things many would perceive as loving, yet they do them in a manner that would parade itself. Love… is not puffed up : To be puffed up is to be arrogant and self-focused. Both to parade itself and to be puffed up are simply rooted in pride. Among Christians, the worst pride is spiritual pride. Pride of face is obnoxious, pride of race is vulgar, but the worst pride is pride of grace!
William Carey is thought by many to be the founder of the modern missionary movement. Today, Christians all over the world know who he was and honor him. He came from a humble place; he was a shoe repairman when God called him to reach the world. Carey, I hear you once were a shoemaker! His love showed itself in not having a big head about himself. Love… does not behave rudely : Where there is love, there will be kindness and good manners. Love… does not seek its own : Paul communicates the same idea in Romans in honor giving preference to one another.
Also, Philippians carries the same thought: Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. This is being like Jesus in a most basic way, being an others-centered person instead of a self-centered person. That man is no Christian who is solicitous for his own happiness alone; and cares not how the world goes, so that himself be comfortable.
Love… is not provoked : We all find it easy to be provoked or to become irritated with those who are just plain annoying. Moses was kept from the Promised Land because he became provoked at the people of Israel Numbers One writer tells of a tribe in Polynesia where it was customary for each man to keep some reminders of his hatred for others. These reminders were suspended from the roofs of their huts to keep alive the memory of the wrongs, real or imagined. Most of us do the same. Love… does not rejoice in iniquity : It is willing to want the best for others, and refuses to color things against others.
Instead, love rejoices in the truth. Love can always stand with and on truth, because love is pure and good like truth. All things : We might have hoped Paul would have chosen any phrase but this! All things covers everything! We can all bear some things , we can all believe some things , we can all hope some things , and we can all endure some things. But God calls us farther and deeper into love for Him, for one another, and for a perishing world. Love denies herself, sacrifices herself, that she may win victories for God, and hers shall be no tinsel crown.
John Diodati’s Annotations on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel | Reformed Books Online
Love… bears all things : The word for bears can also be translated covers. The story of how Jesus fed five thousand men were there no women or children there, or did they just not get anything to eat? Here we have another popular and visual story of Jesus, this time with him walking on water.
It is common for artists to portray Jesus on the water, stilling the storm as he did in chapter 4. Eventually, Jesus and his disciples make it across the Sea of Galilee and arrive at Gennesaret, a town believed to have been located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Everyone sees in him a miraculous healer, and everyone who is sick is brought to him so that they can be healed. Share Flipboard Email. Bounds on Prayer Practics Everything by Bounds good for exhortation.
Not very well structured or academic in nature but very encouraging to prayer. Baker Bradshaw Paul F. Daily prayer in the early Church : a study of the origin and early development of the divine office - Brandt R. Very valuable resource. We Believe in Prayer Brown Steve Approaching God: How to Pray - Brown explores the practical side of praying - the amount of time we give to it, the time of day, even the most helpful posture.
And he helps us understand the 'deeper' side of prayer - the awe and wonder of relating to a great God. Widely used in churches and missions organizations. Praying Hyde Carroll B. Messages on prayer: comprising pungent and penetrating sermons on a subject perennially vital to every Christian - Carson D. Covers biblical teaching, prayer and spirituality, lessons from the world-wide church, and a challenge to pray. Rather light reading, but has some valuable insights. A study guide is also available. Crichton J. How Are You Praying? Bounds, Man of Prayer Doughty W. Mighty Prevailing Prayer - A resource for a study of prayer.
A valuable resource for victorious prayer, including prayer for victory over Satan. Touch the World through Prayer Praying for Missionaries Inspirational book on personal prayer, especially in the context of evangelism and missions. Challenges believers to devote one hour per day to prayer and presents a twelve step plan for filling that hour. Well organized. I hope his successor revises and reprints. Quite Talks on Prayer Gordon A. Prayer: The Cry for the Kingdom corporate From the model of the early church, Grenz argues that the church must become a praying church if it wants to experience renewal.
Analysis and Commentary
Sproul commented: This book is written by a man on prayer. We can all learn from it. Solid instruction A classic on strengthening the prayer life. True happiness from God will result. Hopwood P. The Transforming Power of Prayer: Deepening Your Friendship with God - Closely examines the true nature of prayer and helps us view prayer not as a dreary exercise or a skill to be mastered, but as a valuable chance to deepen our friendship with God.
The Doctrine of Prayer teaching Hunt T. Its 13 sessions offer practical experiences that strengthens and deepens prayer lives and helps churches develop an intercessory prayer ministry Hunt Art Praying With the One You Love - A practical, step-by-step guide to praying as a couple.
Assists couples in developing a strong and intimate relationship that is based on shared spiritual growth through prayer. Great research and footnotes. Is understanding of the hurts people experience but does not minimize sin and personal responsibility. Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer - Filled with insightful comments on prayer. MacArthur Jr. John F. Bergin ; with concluding chapter by Arthur T. Mystical in a good way.
An index of Bible verses is also included in the back of the book. Charles G.
Graham Method in Prayer - c] Scroggie W. Graham How to Pray - A competent exposition of the five parts of prayer as found in the Lord's Prayer: adoration, confession, petition, intercession and thanksgiving. Only A Prayer Meeting corporate Has a good introduction the importance of the prayer meeting. Short , extempory talks given to the 1, people gathered on Monday evening for prayer. Spurgeon C. Twelve Sermons on Prayer - Spurgeon C.