Sunday, February 28, 2010

Launch out into the Deep

I found these to be the perfects words to meditate on at the close of February.

Streams in the Desert - February 27 entry
"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day."(Gen. 32:24.)
LEFT alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray."

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes─"men (aye, and women too!) wondered at" (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1.) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29.) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5.) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2.) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9.) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:80), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9.)
Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be "they saw no man save Jesus only."

Streams in the Desert - February 29 entry
"Launch out into the deep." (Luke 5:4.)
HOW deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore, and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilites. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water.

So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God. We are to launch out into the deep of God's Word, which the Spirit can open up to us in such crystal fathomless meaning that the same words we have accepted in times past will have an ocean meaning in them, which renders their first meaning to us very shallow.

Into the deep of the Atonement, until Christ's precious blood is so illuminated by the Spirit that it becomes an omnipotent balm, and food and medicine for the soul and body.

Into the deep of the Father's will, until we apprehend it in its infinite minuteness and goodness, and its far-sweeping provision and care for us.

Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright dazzling, sweet, fathomless summer sea, in which we bathe and bask and breathe, and lose ourselves and our sorrows in the calmness and peace of His everlasting presence.

Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright, marvelous answer to prayer, the most careful and tender guidance, the most thoughtful anticipation of our needs, the most accourate and supernatural shaping of our events.

Into the deep of God's purposes and coming kingdom, until the Lord's coming and His millennial reign are opened up to us; and beyond these the bright entrancing ages on ages unfold themselves, until the mental eye is dazed with light, and the heart flutters with inexpressible anticipations of its joy with Jesus and the glory to be revealed.

Into all these things, Jesus bids us launch. He made us and He made the deep, and to its fathomless depths He has fitted our longings and capabilities.           ─Soul Food.

"Its streams the whole creation reach, So plenteous is the store; Enough for all, enough for each; Enough forevermore."

The deep waters of the Holy Spirit are always accessible, because they are always proceeding. Will you not this day claim afresh to be immersed and drenched in these waters of life? The waters in Ezekiel's vision first of all oozed from under the doors of the temple. Then the man with the measuring line measured and found the waters to the ankles. Still further measurement, and they were waters to the knees. Once again they were measured and the waters were to the loins. Then they became waters to swim in─a river that could not be passed over. (Read Ezekiel 47.) How far have we advanced into this river of life? The Holy Spirit would have a complete self effacement. Not merely ankle-deep, knee-deep, loin-deep, but self-deep. We ourselves hidden out of sight and bathed in this life-giving stream. Let go the shore-lines and launch out into the deep. Never forget, the Man with the measuring line is with us today.
--- John G. Machen

Friday, February 26, 2010

Living Waters

I've been meaning to post this very wise, Biblical blog post by author and teacher Steve Gallagher. Ever since I was accepted into Ellerslie School of Honor (missionary Bible discipleship school led by Eric and Leslie Ludy), this has been a daily, challenging word to me. Being an introvert, it has transformed the way I spend my alone time into a way that is much more God-focused and Christ-centered. It really brought me to meditate on what the set-apart life in Christ is all about and how best to use my energy and time to draw living waters from the deep well. I highly recommend the read! The link is attached:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"While the seasons undo your soul..."

February has been an exhausting month. I'm afraid I must take a break from my post-study on Love. I had desired to continue on it with more depth, but I simply cannot believe how much college is demanding from me this semester. So, I'm afraid, for the present, all my readers will get are my various snippets of ramblings. :-/
I applied for graduation today. By mid-May, I'll have completed and graduated with my AA in Audio Production Technology. Just getting your AA is difficult enough....I cannot imagine going on to obtain a BA or MA. The mere thought of it is exhausting in itself! Anyway...I digress...
It's been one of those weeks that you cannot quite describe. It's been filled with such delight - a Jane Austen tea party, my 21st b-day spending a special evening out with the family - so many events - interning for a recording company - much valuable learning - my audio and music studies at community college - and, yet, there's something missing. The source of ultimate Life. O how I need it at the start of my day - a fresh outpouring of His divine Spirit within this vessel! But so often my flesh denies being humbled before the Lord at dawn, before the day begins and I am swept away by the tide of busyness. My heart longs desperately for a simple life - a complete, set-apart life. None of this going to college stuff. I confess (much to my independent-get-out-the-house-17 year old self's shame, haha), my heart is so deeply rooted in home life. Not idle, self-indulgent home life, but real, productive, edifying, rich home-life that is now merely looked upon as an old fable. Old-fashioned, simple living is not valued in this modern age and it's quite impossible, particularly for us city-folks (*tear*). However, at the same time, my heart is drawn to (no matter the physical circumstances) a Spirit-founded, Spirit-led, set-apart, rock-solid life of deep prayer and intercession. O how I long to be a poured out vessel for my Lord upon those He calls me to! And yet, how can I be lest His life be within me daily, my soul immersed in Him?
I cannot help but think of a song by Irish worship leader, Robin Mark, whenever I ponder how the indwelling of the Spirit within us.

There's a house on a hill and it hasn't
Been lived in for a long long time.
And the windows are all broken,
And the paint has lost its shine.
And there's nothing ever heard there,
For there's nothing ever said.
For the life of the house left a long time ago
And the heart of the house is dead.

O House of the Lord, can't you feel it
How our heart is growing cold
For when the Spirit comes He quickens
But when the Spirit leaves, life goes.

There's a room at the top and the door
Has been locked and it will never open up
For no matter who will knock there,
Well it always stays tight shut
And there's no-one ever answered,
So now there's no-one ever goes
For the room in the house shut a long time ago
And the mind of the house is closed.

There's a room in the house where the fire
Used to burn and the children used to play
And the family would gather,
To hear the words the Father would say
But now the room is cold and empty,
And the embers glow faint red
For the fire of the house failed a long time ago
And the heart of the house is dead.
~ House of the Lord, Robin Mark

I don't want to be dead! I don't want to grow cold! Some days I just don't know how to pray. All I can cry is, "Lord, help me! I need your Life! I only want You!"
I've been collecting verses on the house of the Lord, the place where His glory dwells, during my devotional time. His Words are such an abundance of glorious Life!

O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. ~ Psalm 26:8

"Let us go to his dwelling place;let us worship at his footstool!"
~ Psalm 132:7

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
~ Psalm 91:1-2, 9-10

My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."
- Ezekiel 37:27-28

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise!

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!

Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!

For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love: Full of Candor, the Chief of All Graces

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - 1 Cor 13:7

I leave this study-post to the words of Matthew Henry and Amy Carmichael.

X. It beareth all things, it endureth all things, panta stegei, panta hypomenei. Some read the first, covers all things. So the original also signifies. Charity will cover a multitude of sins, 1 Pet. iv. 8. It will draw a veil over them, as far as it can consistently with duty. It is not for blazing nor publishing the faults of a brother, till duty manifestly demands it. Necessity only can extort this from the charitable mind. Though such a man be free to tell his brother his faults in private, he is very unwilling to expose him by making them public. Thus we do by our own faults, and thus charity would teach us to do by the faults of others; not publish them to their shame and reproach, but cover them from public notice as long as we can, and be faithful to God and to others. Or, it beareth all things,--will pass by and put up with injuries, without indulging anger or cherishing revenge, will be patient upon provocation, and long patient, panta hypomenei--holds firm, though it be much shocked, and borne hard upon; sustains all manner of injury and ill usage, and bears up under it, such as curses, contumacies, slanders, prison, exile, bonds, torments, and death itself, for the sake of the injurious, and of others; and perseveres in this firmness. Note, What a fortitude and firmness fervent love will give the mind! What cannot a lover endure for the beloved and for his sake! How many slights and injuries will he put up with! How many hazards will he run and how many difficulties encounter!

XI. Charity believes and hopes well of others: Believeth all things; hopeth all things. Indeed charity does by no means destroy prudence, and, out of mere simplicity and silliness, believe every word, Prov. xiv. 15. Wisdom may dwell with love, and charity be cautious. But it is apt to believe well of all, to entertain a good opinion of them when there is no appearance to the contrary; nay, to believe well when there may be some dark appearances, if the evidence of ill be not clear. All charity is full of candour, apt to make the best of every thing, and put on it the best face and appearance? it will judge well, and believe well, as far as it can with any reason, and will rather stretch its faith beyond appearances for the support of a kind opinion; but it will go into a bad one with the upmost reluctance, and fence against it as much as it fairly and honestly can. And when, in spite of inclination, it cannot believe well of others, it will yet hope well, and continue to hope as long as there is any ground for it. It will not presently conclude a case desperate, but wishes the amendment of the worst of men, and is very apt to hope for what it wishes. How well-natured and amiable a thing is Christian charity? How lovely a mind is that which is tinctured throughout with such benevolence, and has it diffused over its whole frame! Happy the man who has this heavenly fire glowing in his heart, flowing out of his mouth, and diffusing its warmth over all with whom he has to do! How lovely a thing would Christianity appear to the world, if those who profess it were more actuated and animated by this divine principle, and paid a due regard to a command on which its blessed author laid a chief stress! A new commandment give I to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another, John xiii. 34. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, v. 35. Blessed Jesus! how few of thy professed disciples are to be distinguished and marked out by this characteristic!

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

~ 1 Cor 13:8-13

Here the apostle goes on to commend charity, and show how much it is preferable to the gifts on which the Corinthians were so apt to pride themselves, to the utter neglect, and almost extinction, of charity. This he makes out,

I. From its longer continuance and duration: Charity never faileth. It is a permanent and perpetual grace, lasting as eternity; whereas the extraordinary gifts on which the Corinthians valued themselves were of short continuance. They were only to edify the church on earth, and that but for a time, not during its whole continuance in this world; but in heaven would be all superseded, which yet is the very seat and element of love. Prophecy must fail, that is, either the prediction of things to come (which is its most common sense) or the interpretation of scripture by immediate inspiration. Tongues will cease, that is, the miraculous power of speaking languages without learning them. There will be but one language in heaven. There is no confusion of tongues in the region of perfect tranquility. And knowledge will vanish away. Not that, in the perfect state above, holy and happy souls shall be unknowing, ignorant: it is a very poor happiness that can consist with utter ignorance. The apostle is plainly speaking of miraculous gifts, and therefore of knowledge to be had out of the common way (see ch. xiv. 6), a knowledge of mysteries supernaturally communicated. Such knowledge was to vanish away. Some indeed understand it of common knowledge acquired by instruction, taught and learnt. This way of knowing is to vanish away, though the knowledge itself, once acquired, will not be lost. But it is plain that the apostle is here setting the grace of charity in opposition to supernatural gifts. And it is more valuable, because more durable; it shall last, when they shall be no more; it shall enter into heaven, where they will have no place, because they will be of no use, though, in a sense, even our common knowledge may be said to cease in heaven, by reason of the improvement that will then be made in it. The light of a candle is perfectly obscured by the sun shining in its strength.

II. He hints that these gifts are adapted only to a state of imperfection: We know in part, and we prophesy in part, v. 9. Our best knowledge and our greatest abilities are at present like our condition, narrow and temporary. Even the knowledge they had by inspiration was but in part. How little a portion of God, and the unseen world, was heard even by apostles and inspired men! How much short do others come of them! But these gifts were fitted to the present imperfect state of the church, valuable in themselves, but not to be compared with charity, because they were to vanish with the imperfections of the church, nay, and long before, whereas charity was to last for ever.

III. He takes occasion hence to show how much better it will be with the church hereafter than it can be here. A state of perfection is in view (v. 10): When that which is perfect shall come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When the end is once attained, the means will of course be abolished. There will be no need of tongues, and prophecy, and inspired knowledge, in a future life, because then the church will be in a state of perfection, complete both in knowledge and holiness. God will be known then clearly, and in a manner by intuition, and as perfectly as the capacity of glorified minds will allow; not by such transient glimpses, and little portions, as here. The difference between these two states is here pointed at in two particulars: 1. The present state is a state of childhood, the future that of manhood: When I was a child, I spoke as a child (that is, as some think, spoke with tongues), I understood as a child; ephronoun--sapiebam (that is, "I prophesied, I was taught the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, in such an extraordinary way as manifested I was not out of my childish state"), I thought, or reasoned, elogizomen, as a child; but, when I became a man, I put away childish things. Such is the difference between earth and heaven. What narrow views, what confused and indistinct notions of things, have children, in comparison of grown men! And how naturally do men, when reason is ripened and matured, despise and relinquish their infant thoughts, put them away, reject them, esteem as nothing! Thus shall we think of our most valued gifts and acquisitions in this world, when we come to heaven. We shall despise our childish folly, in priding ourselves in such things when we are grown up to men in Christ. 2. Things are all dark and confused now, in comparison of what they will be hereafter: Now we see through a glass darkly (en ainigmati, in a riddle), then face to face; now we know in part, but then we shall know as we are known. Now we can only discern things at a great distance, as through a telescope, and that involved in clouds and obscurity; but hereafter the things to be known will be near and obvious, open to our eyes; and our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error. God is to be seen face to face; and we are to know him as we are known by him; not indeed as perfectly, but in some sense in the same manner. We are known to him by mere inspection; he turns his eye towards us, and sees and searches us throughout. We shall then fix our eye on him, and see him as he is, 1 John iii. 2. We shall know how we are known, enter into all the mysteries of divine love and grace. O glorious change! To pass from darkness to light, from clouds to the clear sunshine of our Saviour's face, and in God's own light to see light! Ps. xxxvi. 9. Note, It is the light of heaven only that will remove all clouds and darkness from the face of God. It is at best but twilight while we are in this world; there it will be perfect and eternal day.

IV. To sum up the excellences of charity, he prefers it not only to gifts, but to other graces, to faith and hope (v. 13): And now abide faith, hope, and charity; but the greatest of these is charity. True grace is much more excellent than any spiritual gifts whatever. And faith, hope, and love, are the three principal graces, of which charity is the chief, being the end to which the other two are but means. This is the divine nature, the soul's felicity, or its complacent rest in God, and holy delight in all his saints. And it is everlasting work, when faith and hope shall be no more. Faith fixes on the divine revelation, and assents to that: hope fastens on future felicity, and waits for that: and in heaven faith well be swallowed up in vision, and hope in fruition. There is no room to believe and hope, when we see and enjoy. But love fastens on the divine perfections themselves, and the divine image on the creatures, and our mutual relation both to God and them. These will all shine forth in the most glorious splendours in another world, and there will love be made perfect; there we shall perfectly love God, because he will appear amiable for ever, and our hearts will kindle at the sight, and glow with perpetual devotion. And there shall we perfectly love one another, when all the saints meet there, when none but saints are there, and saints made perfect. O blessed state! How much surpassing the best below! O amiable and excellent grace of charity! How much does it exceed the most valuable gift, when it outshines every grace, and is the everlasting consummation of them! When faith and hope are at an end, true charity will burn for ever with the brightest flame. Note, Those border most upon the heavenly state and perfection whose hearts are fullest of this divine principle, and burn with the most fervent charity. It is the surest offspring of God, and bears his fairest impression. For God is love, 1 John iv. 8, 16. And where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face, there charity is in its greatest height--there, and there only, will it be perfected.

What will it be to see Him whom I have known so long but never seen before? To adore His beauty, to worship Him in holiness; to see Him crowned with glory and honour who was wounded, bruised, oppressed, afflicted, who showed them His hands and His side and said unto them, Behold My hands and My feet that it is I Myself - what will it be to see Him and not another, not a stranger?
What will it be to serve in perfect purity and in untiring vigor? To see no more through a glass darkly, to grope no more on the edge of knowledge, but to press on into that kingdom to which no frontier is set? To see with new eyes, to hear with new ears, to know no more in part but even as also we are known?
~ Matthew Henry, from his commentary on 1 Cor 13.

What will it be when Faith and Hope fade out of sight and only Love is left?
What will it be? We cannot tell. We do not know.
Only this we know:
the travail of the journey is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed to usward, even to usward, though we be the least of the redeemed.

- Amy Carmichael

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love: Building on Truth

Love...does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth... - 1 Cor 13:6

IX. The matter of its joy and pleasure is here suggested: 1. Negatively: It rejoiceth not in iniquity. It takes no pleasure in doing injury or hurt to any. It thinks not evil of any, without very clear proof. It wishes ill to none, much less will it hurt or wrong any, and least of all make this matter of its delight, rejoice in doing harm and mischief. Nor will it rejoice at the faults and failings of others, and triumph over them, either out of pride or ill-will, because it will set off its own excellences or gratify its spite. The sins of others are rather the grief of a charitable spirit than its sport or delight; they will touch it to the quick, and stir all its compassion, but give it no entertainment. It is the very height of malice to take pleasure in the misery of a fellow-creature. And is not falling into sin the greatest calamity that can befal one? How inconsistent is it with Christian charity, to rejoice at such fall! 2. Affirmatively: It rejoiceth in the truth, is glad of the success of the gospel, commonly called the truth, by way of emphasis, in the New Testament; and rejoices to see men moulded into an evangelical temper by it, and made good. It takes no pleasure in their sins, but is highly delighted to see them do well, to approve themselves men of probity and integrity. It gives it much satisfaction to see truth and justice prevail among men, innocency cleared, and mutual faith and trust established, and to see piety and true religion flourish.
- Matthew Henry

This verse needs to be stressed. It's one of the hardest aspects of love because truth is painful. It's the steel rod that keeps love unwavering. Far too many times I have witnessed Christians compromising in this area, particularly in young believers who have not been counseled correctly by leaders or pastors (or they are simply too rebellious and prideful to accept correction). I, too, have compromised in this area and can personally testify to the sharp sting of trying to love without truth. A meaningless, fruitless, selfish, hedonistic lifestyle follows when, in trying to love, we abandon the truth.
Time and again, I have witnessed a reoccurring reaction(s) whenever sin has taken hold and made itself known: the Christian feels ashamed and sorry for the deed done - the Christian apologizes - the Christian points fingers of blame and hides it underneath their tears and vocalizing self-pity - the Christian quotes Scripture or some holy word about God and His love and grace to feel or make known some sense of change or justification - the Christian brushes the sin under the rug - the Christian continues on in the sin, but does so in such a way (after “dealing with it” and giving themselves a little “bad-boy” slap on their own hand) so that it does not appear as sin to human sight - in doing so, the Christian takes upon certain responsibilities, commitments, or any number of outward changes to ensure others and themselves that they’ll never mess up like that again. Unfortunately, it is the usual case that Christian will reward himself/herself by continuing after the passions and lusts of their flesh. They justify themselves and, when they have “redeemed” themselves in their own eyes, they reward themselves. Let me tell you, sin is very deceitful. If we don’t have a mind and heart that is constantly and daily refreshed, disciplined, and washed in the Spirit and the Word, we cannot see these things. This is why, when sin messes up our lives, we are caught utterly by surprised. If our hearts and mind aren’t guarded by the Word, taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ, sin can very subtly cause total devastation in our lives.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” - 1 John 1:8

And then there is the Christian who witnesses the sin of a brother or sister and refuses to speak the truth to them. They feel so sad for them, so moved by their tears, shame, and voice of self-pity. In desiring to extend grace and love to them, they overlook the seriousness of the brother’s sin. Instead of guiding that brother to the Gospel, to the repentance that Christ spoke of in Scripture (becoming a humbled, broken-hearted, and self-denying child of God - who turns away from sin and learns to deal with it at its source - their very heart - before the throne room of God day and night), they further the sin of the brother by encouraging them. They encourage them with words and actions that sound helpful, loving, and wise on the surface, but, in essence, they are merely drawing the focus to “self” - therefore, furthering the brother’s sin. They don’t deal with the problem at its root (which is our hearts - it’s always our hearts - it’s always unholy desires and beliefs that we have gone ignored, un-named, and un-examined by the light of the Word); they’re merely interested in helping their brother clean themselves up OUTWARDLY (key word) and to feel better about themselves.
This is why most modern Christian ministries have become vain, futile, and fruitless in the light of eternity. We never want to deal with sin at its root because the process of doing that is painful. It requires repentance and growing in that repentance. If we ourselves don’t want to deal with sin at its root, why would we counsel others in doing so? Repentance has never been a favorite of humanity. But so it is with love that, if we seek to love as Christ does, there needs to be a meek and humble willingness to build on Truth - the Word - Scripture - Christ Himself. And this is a hard word because our very nature (even after being led to Christ), still fleshly and self-serving, is averse to such things.

"Think with me for a moment about education and relationships. Some of you care deeply that…{we do} not ignore or marginalize relationships of love. They are essential in real, lasting, life-changing education. Amen.
So I turn to the Bible. I find in place of the words, "education" and "relationship," the words, "truth" and "love." So what does the Bible say about how truth and love relate to each other? There are at least four ways of talking about this relationship.
1. Truth aims at love. "The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Timothy 1:5). Note: instruction is not the goal, love is. Instruction is the means. It is subordinate. Truth serves love. Education serves relationships - mainly the relationship between us and God, but also between Christian and Christian, and between us and unbelievers. The "goal" of all our education is love. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider one another how to stir up to love and good deeds, . . . encouraging one another" (Hebrews 10:23-25, literal translation). The aim of our "considering one another" and "encouraging one another" is that we stir up love. We mingle insight into "the confession of our hope" with insight into "each other," and the effect is stirring each other to love. The truth of doctrine and truth of people-watching unite to aim at love.
2. Love aims at truth. "Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth" (1 Corinthians 13:6). Love is glad when truth is spoken. Therefore love aims at truth. It supports truth. "Out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you" (2 Corinthians 2:4). Here is an example of how love aims at truth. Paul is filled with love and it compels him to write a letter that was hard, and caused sorrow in him and in the Corinthians. But it needed to be said. So love said it. Love speaks the truth personally and doctrinally.
3. Love shapes how to speak the truth. "Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:15). There is an unloving way to speak the truth. That kind of truth-speaking we should repudiate. But there is a way to speak the truth in love, and that we should seek. It is not always a soft way to speak, or Jesus would have to be accused of lack of love in dealing with some folks in the Gospels. But it does ask about what is the most helpful thing to say when everything is considered. Sometimes what would have been a hard word to one group is a needed act of love to another group, and not a wrong to the group addressed. But in general, love shapes truth into words and ways that are patient and gentle (2 Timothy 2:24-25).
4. Truth shapes how to show love. "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:2). It is not always obvious which acts are loving. So John tells us some truth will help us know if our acts are loving. One truth test for our love is whether we are keeping the commandments of God toward people, In other words, love cannot be cut loose from the truth of God's will. Truth shapes how to show love. Let us pray that God will cause his love and truth to abound and mingle in us in all these ways for the glory of his truth-filled love and love-filled truth."
- John Piper

"My prayer…is that we put truth and love (orthodoxy and unity, facts and feelings, reality and relationships) in biblical order. For example, Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:5, “the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Notice the order: “instruction” is the foundation and leads to “love” through purity and faith. Or again consider the order in 1 Peter 1:22, “You have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren.” Again, truth precedes and transforms the soul for the sake of love. Even in the spectacular revelation of 1 John 4:8 that “God is love,” “God is” provides the foundation for “God is love.” For the sake of love, let’s cherish the truth. Then it may be said of us, “The church of the living God [is] the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15)."

- John Piper

Holy Father, root us in Your divine truth. Make us to love as You do. Get SELF out of the picture and put our feelings and subjective mindset in its place! Purify us to love in obedience to Your righteous, holy Truth. Don't let us compromise anymore in the way that we love and desire to show Your love. For your Holy namesake, teach us how to love like this - that Your majestic glory may be seen and known and praised!

Matthew Henry's Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13

Truth and Love

Cherishing Truth for the Sake of Love