All We Need is Love

In Chapter eight, of I Corinthians, Paul is addressing the concerns brought before him regarding whether or not people should eat certain things.  This particular passage is pointing to food that has been sacrificed to idols, yet it can be applied to numerous things within our Christian walk that may be permissible for some, yet a stumbling block for others.

Paul’s response was: “Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge.  Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.  But the man who loves God is known by God.” – (I Corinthians 8:1-3) The Message words it this way: “The question keeps coming up regarding meat that has been offered up to an idol: Should you attend meals where such meat is served, or not?  We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions – but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds.  We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows all.”

It appears that in these areas of gray, where God has not given specific instructions across the board for all people, it is not a matter of worldly wisdom, but rather of wisdom provided by God, as we seek Him for answers.  He will direct our steps and lead us in what is and is not permissible for us individually, and will heed warning if our freedom in an area may be a stumbling block around another believer.  Our job is to love God and love people.  If we are loving God with all that we are, we will listen to Him, and will seek to safeguard the hearts of those around us, even if it means not participating or partaking in something for a time, to encourage those whom it may hinder.

Knowledge puffs up,Dew and Dandilion

pride leads to a fall;

yet love, builds up,

it overcomes all.

Those who seek God,

find wisdom and grace;

and learn to give,

the Lord proper place.

Answers will come,

if love is our goal;

to reflect Christ,

and actions extol.

Let not freedom,

be what matters most;

but rather, love,

to the Lord, draw close.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that true wisdom comes from You.  Thank You that though many things are permissible, not all things are beneficial.  Thank You that You provide guidance to help us know the difference, if we are willing to seek You.  Thank You that Your love made way for us to enter into a personal relationship with You.  Forgive us for our foolish pride, and help us to seek all wisdom from You.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we are ever aware of what Your Spirit is whispering to our heart.  May we love with all that we are, and may many lives be touched as a result.  Let hearts be transformed and families filled with faith in You.  Be glorified through all that we say and do.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

For the Lord your God will bless you, … and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

To Choose Love

True wisdom is found

image by Green Monkey Tales

image by Green Monkey Tales

not by man’s own accord,

but rather through time,

spent loving the Lord.

For knowledge puffs up,

points only to man;

but love, it builds up,

showing God’s perfect plan.

Though we have freedom,

we must be aware,

will our choice throw off,

and become a snare?

For those who are weak

or new in their walk,

might they go astray,

by our actions or talk?

Far better to fast,

things which we consume,

than to make a choice,

that sways someone to doom.

(Responding to I Corinthians 8)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You choose love.  When You created, You loved.  When You sent Your Son to bear the burden of our brokenness, You loved.  Thank You that each new day that You cause the sun to rise again, You love.  Forgive us for our selfishness that keeps us from making decisions based on anything other than love.  Lead us Lord, so that we might love and care for one another as You love and care for us.  May many hearts hear of Your heavenly hope as we move in Your love today.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Build Up, Not Puff Up

“We know that we all possess knowledge.  Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.  But the man who loves God is known by God.” – I Corinthians 8:1b-2

“We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions – but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds.  We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all.” – (The Message)

Though this particular passage was written with regard to whether or not, and when, it was acceptable to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols, I find that it is a wonderful reminder that all wisdom is His, and seeking Him for answers in the grey areas is far wiser than attempting to speak out based on our own intellect or prior experience.

Another verse that comes to mind is “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything.” – I Corinthians 6:12  Each of us are required to rely on our Redeemer for our own answers, regardless of what is acceptable for another.  When we climb on a soapbox and deem something “unclean” for all when it has only been determined a “no” for us personally, we tend to tear down rather than build up in love.

Yes, there are biblical absolutes.  What I am speaking of are those things that are not specifically addressed, and are actually determined right or wrong by God for us individually.  What might be acceptable for another, may not be okay for me, and vice versa.  This is yet another reminder of how desperately we need guidance by God, so that we might walk wisely in Him.

If we love God and seek to know Him, we are known by Him, and granted wisdom and understanding by His Spirit.  A humble heart hears and receives that which the Spirit is speaking.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are the source of all wisdom, knowledge and understanding.  Please forgive us for the times that we try to take Your place, and somehow think that we know what ought to be done in and by others, rather than relying on You to retain the reigns.  Teach us to seek You, so that we may listen and learn.  May our own walks in obedience lead others to be built up in love and guided to Your goodness and grace.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present