Love Is Kind

χρηστεύεται ἡ ἀγάπη (I Corinthians 13:4)

“Love is kind.” (I Corinthians 13:4)

ἀγάπη is translated as “love.”

χρηστεύεται is translated as “kind.”

χρηστεύεται is an interesting word. In the Bible, its translation as “kind” is based on context. The word means “useful,” or “useable.” And, to be more specific, this isn’t “useful” in the sense of, “He’s useful – he can be manipulated.” It’s the word “useful” in the sense of “beneficial.” When you’re making a pot of soup, a spoon to stir it with would be useful and beneficial. So, Paul describes love as useful and beneficial. You may wonder, “How did the English translators get “love is kind” out of the word for “useful?”

Highlighted excerpt of I Corinthians 13:4

This is where we must consider context. Context can completely change meaning. For example, if a woman is running at ten miles per hour, we say, “She is running fast.” On the other hand, if a man is driving a car at ten miles per hour, we say, “He is driving slow.” Before we can say whether ten miles per hour is fast or slow, we must be clear about the context.

When Paul says that love is χρηστεύεται, “kind,” we must understand useful and beneficial in the context of love.

Paul is telling us that love isn’t some intangible concept, like “hot” or “cold.”

It isn’t just some philosophical concept, like “virtue” or “honesty.”

Love actually has an effect – it changes things. Love is useful; it’s beneficial.

Paul is explaining that, if you love your neighbor, you don’t just feel some warm, fuzzy emotion toward him or her. Love causes you to do things for that person (or group of people) that are genuinely useful in the beneficial sense.

The Apostle James, speaking about faith, explained the idea this way:  “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

James’ example of faith in action is Paul’s definition of love being kind.

Your faith in God, and your love for the people God created, are closely tied together.

–Bob Young
6/18/2017

Books by Bob Young
http://www.amazon.com/author/bobyoung

Books by Bob Young

Bob Young 20150612 001eToday a friend asked me about the books I’ve written, so here’s a summary for him, and anyone else who may be interested. There are three books.

(1) ASK BOB: THE QUESTION JAR
This book contains many of the first 50 questions and answers from the “Ask Bob” series. Some of the questions are:
“Can I remarry?”
“Can you lose your salvation?”
“Why does God let bad things happen?”
“Can Satan read our minds?”
“Why do sinners prosper while saints are poor?”

(2) ABOUT JESUS: AND OTHER STUFF
The chapters in this book are each designed to show a different facet of Christian life. They’re a series of very practical articles, like how to forgive, how to engage someone in a tough (but necessary) conversation, how to be less self-focused, and how to choose a church. It also contains the complete series, “Three Steps to Handling Disagreements and Blow-ups.” The core theme of the book – “About Jesus” – is that if we’re going to follow him, it will affect how we act and react. But it’s not a book of do’s and don’ts. It’s a book about relationships: with God, others, and even ourselves.

(3) FAITH AND THE SEVEN SUPPLEMENTS
I still think this is the most important thing I’ve written (so far). It’s a very short book. It’s a study of one little passage in the New Testament: I Peter 1:5-8. I’ll give it to you free as a PDF book. That’s how important I think it is. I don’t want anyone to be stopped by not being willing to pay 99 cents. Still, it’s available on Kindle, and if you want to pay the 99 cents you get all the Kindle features, like adjustable font size. (Hey – I’m an old guy – I like being able to set books to big print!)

All of these books are in Kindle format only – not available in paperback. Why? C’mon. It’s the 21st century! But it’s no problem, because the Kindle Reader app is available from Amazon as a free download for every format: PC, tablet, smartphone.

Here’s the link to all three books:
http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Young/e/B00E6Z8PKW

Jonah Sermon In Moby Dick

Moby-Dick 02In Junior High School I got an “F” for my book report on Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I don’t know if I got more than ten pages into it before I quit reading it, so I made up the book report. I said that the whale lived happily ever after. According to my English teacher, that was proof that I hadn’t read the book. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve decided to try reading it again, and after the first eleven chapters I can say that I’m enjoying it very much.

In chapter 9, I got a pleasant surprise. It was a Sunday morning, and Ishmael walked to church. Inside, he heard a sermon by Father Mapple. Herman Melville, as part of the story, wrote the entire sermon as delivered by the fictitious preacher. And… it is one fine sermon!

I found five key points in the sermon. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all five points will be there if you read chapter 9. These are the five things that struck me when I read it. So, here is my summary of the sermon’s key points, as I interpret them.

(1) The command to Jonah.
God’s business is often urgent, and of such importance that He is more prone to order than to persuade. Don’t mistake God’s command for a recommendation.

(2) Jonah paid the fare.
This one surprised me. I had never noticed this idea before. Jonah paid the fare to disobey God. He was unsuspecting and unprepared for how much his disobedience would cost. I looked to see if the Bible actually says that Jonah paid the fare, and it’s in 1:3. You cannot easily purchase an escape from what God has called you to.

(3) The destination.
Just as Jonah didn’t know the true cost of his disobedience, he also didn’t know the true destination. Disobeying God may take you to places you didn’t want to go. You may be trapped, drowning, and in darkness.

(4) Unbelievers are not fooled.
First, the Captain confronted Jonah for ignoring God when he should be crying out to Him. Then, the crew confronted Jonah and demanded an explanation for his rebellion against God. These sailors had different religions, and didn’t serve our God. You can’t fool God, but what’s more, you can’t fool anyone. If you lie about your service to God, everyone, of any other faith, sees through your disguise.

(5) The lesson for the preacher.
Finally, in addition to the lesson for the disobedient, there is a special lesson for the preacher, which the preacher in the book tells with some fear and trembling. The preacher must not consider either the hazard or the reward. but must proclaim the message he is ordered by God to deliver. He must give no thought to his reputation, and whether the message might bring him status or ridicule. The preacher must only be concerned that he faithfully and accurately deliver the message God has charged him with, and deliver it to the people whose very souls have been entrusted to his shepherding, whether those souls be agreeable or disagreeable.

–Bob Young
[1/4/2016]

Revenge!

Bible Harrie Young Aug 10 1957b Revenge!
Presented to Beaverton Christian Singles
March 22, 1994

Prime Text: Romans 12:17-21

Introduction: a situation that made you want to take revenge.

Q. What are some of the things that happen to singles that make you want to take revenge?

Q. What are some of the things that may happen to anybody that make us want to take revenge?

Q. What are some of the ways that we take revenge? (Refer to specific problem examples above).

Q. What does revenge gain us?

Q. What does revenge cost us?

Q. How does God want us to respond, since He doesn’t want us to respond with vengeance?

Q. What are the advantages of responding God’s way?

Q. What are some of the ways we might respond (to the specific problems above)?

Related scriptures:
I Cor. 13:4-7
Gal. 5:19-21 (for a contrast; shows that revenge and anger are wrong)
Gal. 5:22-26

Note:
If this article seems like it’s little rough, it’s because it is. I’m gradually publishing my older Bible study notes with only the most basic editing – and sometimes no editing at all. (For the readers with a technical background: these messages were originally typed in ASCII text format.) For more information, see the tab at the top of the blog called “Bible Study Notes.”

Books by Bob Young

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Young/e/B00E6Z8PKW

A New Command

Bible Harrie Young Aug 10 1957b A New Command
Presented to Beaverton Christian Singles
March 16, 1993

Prime Text: John 13:34 & 35

Introduction: I was having trouble getting my men to turn in their weekly schedules. Then one day I didn’t get mine turned in, either. My boss said, “Lead by example, Bob.” Let’s read John 13:34 & 35. We are going to focus on the phrase, “As I have loved you, (so you must love one another)”. Let’s look at Jesus’ example.
(Rhetorical Q) Just how does Jesus love us?
(A) Eph.5:2, Eph. 5:25, I John 3:16, Phil. 2:5-11.

Illustration: There was a file clerk at work. We’ll call her Linda (not her real name). Very unattractive, not very smart or well educated, very quiet, a slow worker who made a lot of mistakes. No one talked to her. She usually didn’t even look up when you walked past. One day I realized that I was ignoring her just like everyone else. I started making an effort to smile, greet her by name, and to ask how her week-end was, etc. Soon she was conversational with me. Once she told me how her weekend was: had to go pick up her drunk boyfriend at 2:00 a.m., and was still tired. I said, “Sounds like it’s time to find a new boyfriend.” “Oh, no, he’s a good man!” I know why she felt that way: he paid attention to her! Rare thing in her life. She needed more people like Jesus who would accept her just as she was.
(Q) Are you playing favorites? Are there people around you that are starved for love?

Illustration:
Part 1: Girl, 18, Freshman year at college. Pregnant. Describe mixed feelings, decision to get an abortion. Two years later, desires to find out more about God. Describe her mixed feelings again. Visits conservative church the day the pastor preaches against abortion. “Baby killers. Seared consciences. Selfish.”
(Q) What will be her attitude toward God?

Part 2: Go back in a time machine. See Jesus in the temple courtyard. They bring the woman caught in adultery before Him. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Bring Jesus back to the present in your time machine. Say to the girl, “I want you to meet someone,” and introduce her to Jesus.
(Q) What will be Jesus’ attitude toward her?
(Q) Will He accept her just the way she is?
(Q) Now what will be her attitude toward God?

* * *

(Q) How much does Jesus’ love you? (Let them give the traditional answers first: “…enough to die for me”, etc.)
Okay, those are the answers we usually hear. But now, I want you to try a little exercise with me: To answer the question, I want you to bow your heads and think about something in your life that makes you “unlovable.” Something that you’ve done, or some personality trait, or some secret sin. Now, forget I’m here. Forget everyone and everything, and make the question a prayer: “Jesus, how much do you love me?”

Isn’t it great to feel the love of Jesus like that? You can help others feel that good!
Read to them John 13:34b–“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Prayer: Father, thank you for loving us so much. Thank you for sending us Jesus to show us an example of your love. Help us to love those around us the way that you love us, Father. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Note:
If this article seems like it’s little rough, it’s because it is. I’m gradually publishing my older Bible study notes with only the most basic editing – and sometimes no editing at all. (For the readers with a technical background: these messages were originally typed in ASCII text format.) For more information, see the tab at the top of the blog called “Bible Study Notes.”

Books by Bob Young

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Young/e/B00E6Z8PKW

“I Did Not Laugh!”

Bible Harrie Young Aug 10 1957b “I Did Not Laugh!”
Presented to Beaverton Christian Singles
February 8, 1994

Prime Text: Genesis 18:15
(Part 4 of a 4 part series: Beginning Again With God)

I. Sometimes, we lie to our family.
Illus.– My brother Rich college; a girl who smoked but her parents didn’t know. Then, her parents visited the stage during drama rehearsals. Someone walked up and asked her, “Can I bum a cigarette?”

(Q) Why do we lie to family members?
(A) We think they will be angry or hurt if they know the truth; or to get our way.

II. Sometimes we lie to our friends.
Illus.– The lady at the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting who told us she always lied. “If you ask where I’ve been, and I went to the grocery store, I’ll say I went to get gas.”

(Q) Why do we lie to friends?
(A) We think they will be angry or hurt if they know the truth; or to get our way.

III. Sometimes we lie to God.
Illus.– Read about Sarah in Genesis 18:1-15.

(Q) Was God angry with Sarah?
(A) From the text, we know that He didn’t punish her–He just demanded honesty.

(Q) You give me some examples: what are some of the things that we lie to God about?
(A) Ex.– Mt. 6:9-15– We read it so easily and we say, “Oh Lord, I’ve forgiven her. Forgive me the same way I’ve forgiven her!”

(Q) Why do we lie to God? (Let them answer).
(A) We think He will be angry or hurt if He knows the truth; or to get our way.
In other words, for the same reasons we lie to everyone else!

Perhaps we lie to God most often by saying, “Your will be done!” when we don’t mean it in our hearts.

Ex.– Jesus was honest with His Father about His feelings: Mt. 26:36-39.

Ex.– Paul was honest with God about his feelings in I Cor. 16:5-7: “I hope…if the Lord permits.” He was very open about the fact that what he wanted might not be what God wanted.

But we sometimes don’t really want His will, and we lie to Him about it.
Ex.– “Father, I wish you wouldn’t let my ex-wife marry that jerk!”

Conclusion: As with Sarah–God won’t be angry with you; He just wants you to be honest with Him. God can do so much more for you if you’re honest with Him than He ever can if you lie to Him. Tell Him what’s on your heart, right now. Let’s pray.

Give them time for silent prayer, then close.

Note:
If this article seems like it’s little rough, it’s because it is. I’m gradually publishing my older Bible study notes with only the most basic editing – and sometimes no editing at all. (For the readers with a technical background: these messages were originally typed in ASCII text format.) For more information, see the tab at the top of the blog called “Bible Study Notes.”

Books by Bob Young

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Young/e/B00E6Z8PKW

Trusting Too Little – Trusting Too Much

Bible Harrie Young Aug 10 1957b TRUSTING TOO LITTLE, TRUSTING TOO MUCH
Finding the Balance
February 2, 1993

Prime Text: Exodus 19:9, 31:18-32:8, 32:19-24

Introduction: Several years ago, a private investigator on TV would say, “Trust me…I know what I’m doing.” Then he would shoot his gun, and it would look like he had shot out the glass in the front of your TV set. (Who was that guy, anyway?) Some people just can’t be trusted. The difficulty is in figuring out who.

(Q) If your doctor says you should have your gall bladder removed, should you trust him or her? (Q) Ladies: if he says, “I’ll love you forever,” should you trust him?
(Q) Guys: if she says, “I’ll love you forever,” should you trust her?

Yeah, some people can’t be trusted…but the other side of that statement is, some people just can’t trust.

(Q) How many of you would say that you have trouble trusting people?

(Q) Okay, how many of you would say that sometimes you want a relationship so badly that you place too much trust in someone too early?

Let’s look at a case in the Bible where someone trusted too much, and someone else didn’t trust enough, and see if we can draw any conclusions that we can learn from.

Read the prime texts.

Who trusted too much? (Moses).
Who trusted too little? (Israelites).

What can we learn?

1. Trust involves risk. Jn. 13:21-30
2. Trust will sometimes bring pain. Romans 5:8
3. Trust builds a reputation over time. Colossians 1:3 & 4
4. Knowing who to trust takes time and relationship. Jn. 14:8-11
5. Trust takes time. You must know someone before you can trust them. Jn. 10:1-6

Conclusion:
Jesus was not above trusting people, even though it caused Him a lot of pain. Don’t be afraid to trust. But look for the balance: trust comes after you know something about the person, and after you know how they will respond to God.

Note:
If this article seems like it’s little rough, it’s because it is. I’m gradually publishing my older Bible study notes with only the most basic editing – and sometimes no editing at all. (For the readers with a technical background: these messages were originally typed in ASCII text format.) For more information, see the tab at the top of the blog called “Bible Study Notes.”

Books by Bob Young

http://www.amazon.com/Bob-Young/e/B00E6Z8PKW

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