Nathan Tune

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalms 118:24 (KJV)

What Is Love?

Jun
03

Guest Post By:  Sarah Grosjean

In our day and age it’s hard to determine what love is because our society has blurred the line between obsession, attraction, lust and love.

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I looked up the definition of love in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and here was the definition they gave me:

love Noun
:a feeling of strong or constant affection for someone
:attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
:a person you love in a romantic way

Now, I don’t know about you, but that does not satisfy me.  They’ve clearly defined love as a feeling.  But I would like to argue that love is not a feeling, but rather an action.

Let’s look at what God says love is.  1st Corinthians 13 is often called ‘The Love Chapter’, so I thought we might look at that first.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8King James Version (KJV)
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

There’s the Biblical definition.  Let’s look at it a little bit closer, and break it down a little bit.

vs. 4 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind…” The word Charity in this passage is love.  Love is long-suffering, and is kind.
“…charity envieth not…” Love does not envy.

“…charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up…” Love is not prideful. Love is humble.

vs. 5 “Doth not behave itself unseemly…” Love acts in standards of decency.
“…seeketh not her own…” Love is selfless, and thinks of others first.
“…is not easily provoked…” Love is slow to anger.
“…thinketh no evil…” Love does not think evil of others.

vs. 6 “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” Love is not happy when something bad happens, but rejoices in the truth.

vs. 7 “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
Love bears burdens, love believes in people and hopes the best in people, and edures until the end.

vs. 8 “Charity never faileth…” Love does not fail, or fall out.

As shown, love is not felt, but rather shown, and does. We are given the perfect example of love when we look at Jesus Christ.
Look at John 3:16, which is perhaps one of the most well-known verses in the Bible.

“For God so loved the world that He GAVE his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

You see how it says He loved, and so He gave.  It doesn’t say He loved, and so He had butterflies in His stomach.
I see so many people, young and old, who confuse attraction, obsession or lust with love.

But there is a world of difference between those.  Maybe the reason why so many marriages and relationships end in failure is because people have forgotten the true meaning of love. And when the initial attraction fizzles out, the “fall out of love”.   But that’s simply not how real love works. Loving is making a choice to do something without thinking of ones self, or what we’ll get in return.  It is not an emotion, even though sometimes when we love we have emotions.

Jesus demonstrated that perfectly.  He came to live a life on earth so He could die so that we might have forgiveness, and reconciliation with Him in Heaven.

“Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friend.” (John 15:13)

That’s exactly what He did.

In conclusion, we are given an example of love.  Now examine your heart, do you love like you’re supposed to?  I think if you are completely honest, all of us can say we’ve come short of loving fully, without thinking of ourselves.  I know I’ve fallen short of perfect love many times.

But with this example, we can strive to be more like Jesus, and love others every day the way God does for us.  But remember, it’s only by God’s grace that we can do it.

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Danger and the Heart of God

May
06

Guest Post By: Gabriel Perry –

Think back to when you were a kid: If you were a boy, you had dreams of being a soldier, a cowboy, a Jedi knight; you wanted to Bring honor to your nation, justice to your small town, or peace to the galaxy. If you were a girl, you dreamed of being saved by some handsome stud, and of getting whisked away in the adventures of a young man. So my question is…

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What happened?

Look around your world today: At your job, at your church, throughout your town or city. You’ll notice that most people are… Bored. Unfulfilled. They’ve giving up on the dreams they’ve had as a kid to settle for complacency. Why? Well, because it’s too risky to try to go outside of the box, to shoot for the stars; it may not make as much money, or be very well-accepted… You can go on. We’ve gotten comfortable with how things are, because everything is OK just the way it is… Why change it? What we’ve forgotten is that the dangerous things of life are often what make us come alive… and also that God himself is dangerous. Yes, I said it: God is dangerous at heart.

Consider these things: When God made creation, he didn’t simply lock everything up in a little box where nothing happened. No, he let his creation be free to romp through the wilderness, and he set Adam and Eve in a lush garden. Now, God knew about the opportunity to sin for both Adam and Eve, but rather then contain them in a little boring box where nothing bad could happen, he decided that it was worth the risk to let Adam and Eve be free in a lush, beautiful garden paradise, and to have a free will. And after we receive salvation, why does God even bother to leave them on this Earth? They could backslide, or make God look bad, or screw things up in some other way. So why are we here? God thought it was worth the risk of letting us screw things up to give us the amazing opportunity to show people who God is!

It’s far easier to get caught up in simple fantasies than it is to actually live out your dreams, to make a difference, to allow God’s power to run through you and let you live life to the full. People will feel that if they try something different, that they will die. Throwing away your security is scary, because it’s dangerous. But these are our chances to come alive:

“Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33)

Just think about where maybe you’re missing out on an opportunity to live life to the fullest, to reach your God-given potential. Just stop and think for a moment (after you read the rest of this post of course); you may feel prompted to try something new: exercising more, giving more, blowing the dust off your Bible and opening it up and reading it for once, spending more time with those you love, or maybe even just taking time to rest… The list can go on. Or Maybe you’ll feel prompted to dump something or do or less of something: Television, alcohol, cigarettes, or that goofy Flappy Bird app. The point I’m getting at is, try something that you wouldn’t normally do, or that you’ve never done before… Something that makes you feel vulnerable… Something dangerous. People won’t often do that because, God forbid, something might go wrong. And it could go wrong; there’s not always a guarantee that everything will go perfectly as planned. You might even fail, but that’s just a part of life, and it’s worth the risk. Author and comedian Ken Davis has said “You are going to fail… Do it quickly!” In other words, get it over with, and if you can, go at it again.

Too scared of failure? Let me ask: What else are you going to do? The same old thing? There’s no life there. We’ll often think that we’re saving ourselves by holding on to valueless things, but really, more often than not, we’re missing out on God’s best: Maybe it’s more time to spend with God or family or friends, more opportunities to do what you love, or maybe a better financial situation.

I’m not saying that we need to become super-buff, super-athletic ninja warriors that travel around the world and enjoy every cheap thrill imaginable. What I am saying is that we’d enjoy life more if we lived up to our true potential, in the ways that we’re gifted… Life to the full. That’s part of why Jesus came, after all:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

I challenge you to challenge yourself.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

Have a great day… Or night… Whenever you’re reading this.

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Guest Post from the U.K.!

Mar
06

Hey, everybody! This is my second guest post – and it’s coming from a very awesome Christian all the way from the U.K.! That’s right. Welcome, Sam, from Christian Teens!

 

christian teens

 

Guidance

By Sam Donaldson

 

The way that we go in life is something that many of us think about all the time. What will tomorrow have in store for us? What will my future job be? The answer is much simpler that you think, and as much as we love to try and plan our lives ahead of us it never seems to go to plan! If you were asked to plan our your last year, would you have predicted everything that happened? I definitely couldn’t have!

 

God is the way

Yes God is the way! How often do we actually ask God where we should go or maybe what he would like us to do? Now there may be some of you who are actually amazing at this. I for one am not, but that doesn’t mean we can’t always ask God more! I am a firm believer that God has more of input on our lives than we know, but often God wants us to do things and we can turn away through the hard it may bring or because it may not be so convenient. But God sees the bigger picture, and we should remember that! God knows what will happen tomorrow – and the day after – so we should really start to trust him a lot more than what we do!

 

Guidance through prayer

As Christians, we often pray for our forgiveness (something good to do) and many other things but when we view our own lives and see all of these problems we often never even think to include God, yet alone talk to him about them! If we daily pray to God, asking him to show us the way, funnily enough he will! I think we often underestimate God and what he will do, but ask anyone who has asked God for guidance and they will have a story about how God showed them the way.

 

Things pop into your mind

I hate to mention myself but I have an example of how God has guided me in my life. Over Christmas I was really praying God would show me the way and what I have to do in life, and he immediately gave me the idea to create a website for Christian teens! At first I thought I couldn’t be bothered and that other people would have already done what I wanted to, but I was wrong! A gap was there, and so was the need! So here I am today. That’s one example of how God has really moved in my life, and one that I’m really excited about also. It could lead to my job, or just be something I learn from. It’s a real blessing to me to see how we can impact young lives and how close I have become with the others helping me out!

God has plans bigger than you. He wants more for you than you want for you! Look at Proverbs 3: 5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

So what does this tell us? To go for it anyway and make things better ourselves? No! It says to trust in God with ALL YOUR HEART. Not just when you feel like it but in ALL YOUR WAYS. Everything you do!

Guidance is a real blessing from God, and something we shouldn’t ignore! Pray, ask God, and he will answer!

 

I hope this helps!

Sam Donaldson

Find more about us at www.forchristianteens.com  or check out our twitter:  @ChristTeens UK

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