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Self-Improvement

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. Proverbs 31:15

Over a year ago, my Bible study group embarked on a 90 day adventure into the world of the famed Proverbs 31 woman.  Each week we studied a verse which described a woman who took care of her husband, made sure her household was up to snuff, bought and planted land, and even had her own business.  Throughout the study we were challenged to look at our own lives and see where we needed to improve.

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Proverbs 31:17

If you go into any bookstore or do a simple search on Amazon you’ll find 1,000s of book titles which focus on self-improvement.  We seemed to be always looking for ways to get slim, have better skin, increase our muscles, learn more, and take on new hobbies.  I find it so fascinating that God placed in all of us this self-improvement desire.  And while we may not act on any of those desires, we certainly dream about them!  Isn’t that what we do every New Year’s Eve?  Making our mental lists of how we plan to improve our lives.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

As Christians we know this self-improvement nugget God has placed in us is really His desire to have us grow closer to Him.  To seek His will for us.  To turn our bodies and minds over to Him.  I’m so thankful for that Proverbs 31 study He sent our way and all the ones since.  His gift of self-improvement helps me become the woman He wants me to be.

Bible, bible study, Christian, Christian Church, christian encouragement, christian men, christian parenting, christian podcast, Christian women, Faith, Jesus, Jesus Follower, podcast, Uncategorized

Love

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have 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 do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

The word “love” is found over 300 times in the King James Bible.  And if we were to study each mention, we’d probably find quite a lot of different uses of that word.  In our lives we use “love” in reference to friends, food, hobbies, God, spouses and more.  Each having a different meaning.  

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The current great lie about love is the statement “love is love.”  It’s use in this phrase is to convince us that all worldly love is good.  But as anyone who has taken a hard look at the idols we place in our lives we know that isn’t true.  We, as Christians, also know that deep, interpersonal love like the love between spouses, is reserved for specific relationships.  Love, as God has gifted us, is not just a feeling or a yearning.  It’s to be a mirror of the love God shows us.

God asks us to show love for our neighbors through kindness.  He asks us to show love to sinners with forgiveness and compassion.  He gives us families to express deep connections.  And He reserves a special love between a man and a woman.

Love is one of the many gifts from God that cannot be fully explained.  It’s not just our brain firing off electrical impulses when we see an attractive person.  If that were the case it wouldn’t explain loving people who hate us.  I thank God for this big, mysterious gift of love.  And I thank Him for how much He loves us.  His love is so unexplainable yet simple.  We don’t deserve it and He will never take it away.

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