Monday, June 29, 2009

How Do I Gain Wisdom?

John Woodall hosts Part 3 ("Ask and Search") of Northpoint's "Solomon Says" series. John opens with a story about the best Father's Day gift he almost received several years ago...

In May of 2005, Debbie, his wife, and he had a son who lived in San Diego and worked at a Real Estate Investment Trust. John's son called and said, "Dad, are you sitting down?...I just won a 2005 Porshe Carrera!" Saying he didn't believe his son, John reminded him that Father's Day was coming up. Funny... "How did you win the Porsche?" was John's question and he found out that his son had randomly dropped a card into a drawing at a huge convention that he wasn't even really attending but rather sent in afterwards to clean up.

"I knew my son was smart, but I didn't know if he was smart enough to know what to do with a brand new Porsche Carrera." In his lifetime, John said he has watched many very smart people make really unwise decisions. High IQ's don't equate to wise decision making. High achievers and ivy league school graduates have demonstrated poor, poor judgment. The most classic example was probably Enron. The founders grew the company to $65 Billion. They actually had a club called "The Smartest Guys in the Room"!! Jeffrey Skilling IS probably one of the smartest guys in the room, but his room right now is a prison cell.

So, John's objective in the message is to address the differences between wisdom and intelligence. This leaves us with three questions:

1. What is wisdom?
2. How do we gain wisdom?
3. What are the benefits of wisdom?

Question one can be summarized as the ability to properly discern and apply knowledge to any situation. "Knowing what to do with what I know."

In the book of wisdom, Proverbs 2, authored by Solomon, he says,

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding..." Solomon is basically saying, "First of all, ASK for wisdom!" Whether it be generally or specifically, are we really asking God for wisdom?

Today is John's 34th anniversary. "In 34 years, you really have no idea how many times I have had to ask God for wisdom...constantly..." God loves it when we ask for wisdom. In the book of James, it says, "If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God and He gives generously."

Last year, John gave a message about a "prodigal son" situation that came up in his family years ago. He had three sons and a daughter and they didn't know whether to put his son in a detention center, keep him on probation, kick him out of the house or take away his car. It was a constant challenge to make wise decisions.

This is where many of us are now in business or in our own families. We are in situations where we need wisdom. God will readily give us wisdom if we would but ask.

Secondly, Solomon suggests we look for wisdom fervently by saying, "and if you look for (wisdom) as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure.." He says it's not a casual pursuit, but an intense, deep-thinking and deliberate search. Scriptures are an amazing book. There are many things we can find if we just look. "...then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." Fear of the Lord simply acknowledges God for who He is; the Creator of the Universe. We live in awe and honor of him. God should be the center of our lives.

So, ask for wisdom. Search for wisdom. But what are the benefits of wisdom? Let's look further at Solomon's words;

"For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you."

Men and women were made in the image of God. We have a body, a spirit and a soul. We know about our body. Our spirit is what we have that makes us aware of a God and our soul is our inner person; our mind, our will and our emotions. So, when scriptures say wisdom will enter our hearts, it changes us and our reactions to life.

John deals with a lot of people, as a pastor, who are troubled in their souls. Studying scripture can give peace and rest to us. It is truly pleasant to the soul. It protects and it guards us. It exalts us and watches over us.

Referring back to his son, Mike and his newly won car, John had advised his son to keep the car in the family. Well, at the same time, Mike had been listening to Andy Stanley and a question Andy called "The Best Question Ever". This question was, "In light of my past, where I've been and from where I've come, in light of my current reality and in light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wisest thing to do?" Mike was really tempted to keep the car, but he had to make a decision based on Andy's question. He chose to sell the car. "Man, can you believe that?" kids John. The sale price was $95,000. What's more, Mike was wise enough to know that if he put one mile on the car, it would be worth significantly less. But the irony of the situation was, the guy who bought it asked Mike to drive it up the coast to deliver it! So, Mike was able to pay off a wedding, a wedding ring, his school loans, the associated taxes and get a new set of tires for his existing Honda. It was wise to make this decision!

For the next 5 days, John asks us to think about whatever challenge we are currently facing which requires us to make a wise decision. He suggests we first ask God for wisdom. Then, for the days following, to read a chapter a day out of Proverbs as part of our pursuit of it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Is There Unexplainable Suffering?

Continuing his series "Unexplainable" with "Jesus' Power Over Suffering", Erwin McManus talks about unexplainable suffering which often leaves us with more questions than answers. Sometimes people draw the conclusion that there couldn't be a good God if there is so much suffering. Others describe suffering as false realities of life which only need to be seen from another heavenly dimension. Still others explain away suffering as something that happens because of a lack of faith or obedience to God. But these views don't help when we are personally suffering. Why do things happen to us?

Several years ago, Erwin was asked to take part in an experiment sponsored by the TED community. He was asked to spit into a cup which would be sent to a DNA lab. Once this was done, the lab processed it and then began tracing Erwin's ancestral background. Additionally, the lab could determine Erwin's genetic predisposition to conditions or diseases. Erwin received a set of grids which each summarized his personality. One particular icon had a "lock" over it which meant that he might not want to know what it was, but he clicked on it nonetheless and found that he had a natural proclivity to Parkinson's disease.

"When I saw that, I had this sort of rush of anxiety..." Erwin went out on the back porch and sat down alone thinking about what he just learned which might be a part of his future down the road. "I looked at the lock and I thought about it...I reflected on 'did I really want to know?' .....and I knew right away that I did." There was quite a bit of information that showed all the summaries and charts about Parkinson's. It showed summaries of Erwin's current status of Parkinson's which fell in the green zone telling him he had almost no chance of having the disease. Breathing a sigh of relief and thanking His heavenly Father, Erwin then had a second thought; someone in the world had clicked on the lock and found that they were in the red zone. Someone else had actually gone through this same exercise, had taken a deep breath, fearfully looked over the charts and found out that they did have Parkinson's disease. And if they believed in God, they had probably not thanked Him, but likely asked "Why Me, God?"

That's the problem with suffering. We live in this complexity of suffering, celebration, tragedy, triumph, sorrow and beauty. There is almost this arbitrary displacement of them all. Sometimes we are the beneficiaries and sometimes we are not. We can't explain why an innocent child would suffer and die from leukemia, but yet why a terrorist would live a long life doing violence and evil.

In John 9:1-12, Jesus is traveling with his disciples and this dilemma of suffering comes up in the conversation. In the end of John 8, Jesus lays out the gauntlet and says that He is God. Anger and resistance likely rose from His comments as the people were trying to decide if He was who He said He was. This is where the story then picks up:

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Right away we see something that should cause a sense of stress. The disciples have immediately moved into the theological argument of blame. Remember that they had seen Jesus perform many miracles, but it didn't seem to occur to them to ask Jesus to heal the man. Sometimes, this is what we do. We try to ascertain and judge why things have happened rather than choosing action.

Neither this man nor his parents sinned." Jesus, straightaway says that they are going in the wrong direction. He says that the parents did nothing and it has nothing to do with this anyway. We have a tendency to look at cause and effect rather than at what can we do. You hear people who supposedly represent Jesus talking about famines, diseases, tsunamis, droughts and plagues as if they are God's punishment on society. No wonder people are so confused about who God is!

Jesus continues with "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." He is saying that the complete opposite is happening! We are looking for an explanation of why this has happened to the man, but Jesus says God has chosen this man! This man is in this condition because God longs to do something in him and through him. "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." Here, it is as if Jesus is pushing into the disciples and saying, "What are you doing?" There is coming a time when they will be able to do NOTHING. We have to do the work of the God while we can. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Then Jesus does something very curious. "Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. 'Go,' he told him, 'wash in the Pool of Siloam' (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed." If you know the story of Jesus, you know this is kind of unorthodoxed with the way He did things. In fact, there was a conversation in the Bible between Jesus and a centurion who understood Jesus' power. His daughter was sick and, rather than asking Jesus to go to his home to heal, he asks Jesus to simply speak the words of life and it would be so. So, why does Jesus take mud and put it on the blind man's eyes? Was He just trying to add some panache?

"I don't think So...I think that Jesus understood how they saw this man. They had come to this horrific conclusion that he was disposable...that somehow God had branded him by his blindness...they felt this strange spiritual justification for arrogance and condemnation...they had been accepted by Jesus and this man clearly had been rejected by God...there's a subtlety there that people feel when we have this righteous arrogance. Jesus, I'm convinced, wanted to show them the kind of material He can work with to do the unexplainable. So He took two common...base ingredients: dirt and spit and made mud....maybe this was His way of saying, 'There is no one with whom I cannot do extraordinary things.'"

Two thousand years ago, if you spit on someone, it was considered the greatest insult. Jesus takes mud and then adds some spit. Well, this had to be a LOT of spit to make it muddy. The man was blind, but he wasn't deaf. Can you imagine him hearing about Jesus and standing before the man who he has been told can heal him? Can you then imagine hearing the words of the disciples asking why you are blind and why God has cursed him? Wouldn't words of care and concern have meant more rather than words of disdain? Then this blind man would have heard Jesus spitting profusely over the dirt. The man would have heard Jesus walking towards him and then he would have felt the warm spit-mud balls pressing up against his face.

The conversations during this time must have been interesting. Some people might have been thinking that Jesus was in the process of humiliating the man with His spit. But it was a moment of healing. After He heals the man, Jesus simply says, "Go and wash." That's all He gives the man! He presses the mud on the man's face and says "go" like He is just done with him. Jesus doesn't offer to take the man to the pool. He doesn't reassure the man or tell him that he will be able to see.

"If I'm the blind guy, I'm not going to the Pool of Siloam...I'm grabbing Jesus' leg...saying 'I'm not going anywhere until you heal's one thing to ignore me, but it's a different thing to humiliate me...and to leave me and to tell me to go...How's this blind guy with mud on his face supposed to get to the pool?...See, I'm convinced this is where most of us live in our life with God...we've had an encounter with Jesus and we've had this unexplainable sense that we've been touched by God, but we're sort of in this blind state with mud caked on our eyes...we're a little confused...and we've heard this voice that told us to do something with our lives...but we're not really sure how to get there and it's confusing. The natural thing to to NOT go...and to argue with God...this (blind man) would have been justified to just curl the fetal position and weep in despair that God would be to him like this...I think that that place in between the moment we have an encounter with God and we hear His voice and He calls us to another where we are trapped."

In verse 7, John writes a parenthetical thought. He says that Saloam means "Sent". There is a poetic narrative here. When Jesus says to go to the pool, He is telling the man to go to "Sent" as if He wants us all to go in obedience to "Sent" with the confidence that He is for us. He wants us to trust in His character and to trust His voice. But we want God to fix us, to heal us and to free us from our suffering and our fears first. Strange enough, God doesn't do this. While we want God to come and hold us in our fetal position, He wants us to go to the pool of Saloam. We might feel stupid going to "Sent" or trusting in a God who doesn't do what we think we want Him to do. But it is in those moments when we are blind that we must go, for this is where the unexplainable is waiting for us.

We can't know why God does some of the things He does. God created us with freedom and free will. But God meets us in our pain, not to console us, but to call us out. Jesus did more than just heal the blind man that day. He called out of the man his courage and his dignity; things the man probably felt he lost many years ago. But when the man got to the place of "Sent", he was brand new. He had come, he had obeyed and he experienced the extraordinary. Sometimes, we forget that God has moved us to certain places because He wants us to be a part of this work. Jesus has brought light and life to the world.

A few days ago, Erwin flew out to Orlando and New York to shoot a project. While he was on the set, he realized that he was going to miss the whole Laker series. But then he realized that he was going to be in Orlando when they were going to play the Magic. So, he called a friend to see if he could get tickets. He was able to go to the game and, when he went, he wore a bright yellow shirt in a sea of blue. At first, blue was winning, but then the yellow team started to come back. Erwin felt a sort of sense of isolation with the crowd. Sometimes, when we have mud caked on our eyes, it's like we are wearing yellow and the world is wearing blue and we feel like we are going out of our minds.

Erwin went across the street after the game and it was there that he remembered an incident a few years ago when he was in Orlando. He was going to be speaking at this big event and his family was going to all gather there. But a hurricane came through Orlando and the event was cancelled although his family was stuck in a hotel. "It was insanity" and chaotic with all the evacuations and the hubbub when he arrived in Orlando. So many people were in lobby who were displaced and when Erwin asked the front desk if there were any rooms for the people, he was told it was against the hotel's policy to give any rooms away! So, Erwin and Kim talked about this and decided to buy up all the empty rooms in the hotel for the families that were there. Up until now, Erwin had not told anyone, but it was a neat memory for Erwin. It was like God wanted Erwin and Kim to be there to be the light for these people. It seemed more important to help the people than to speak to them.

Unemployment in the U.S. is out of control. People are losing money and marriage. People are losing hope. But no matter how bad things are, this is not God's way of punishing us. Erwin challenges us to get in front of people and to bless them with something tangible and meaningful. It is still day and there is work to be done and we are the ones who are supposed to be doing the work. Trust God. Don't use energy to get help. Use energy to help. We can turn to Jesus and ask what He would have us do.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Do I Handle My Anger?

When was the last time you were angry? What is it an emotional response in the face of wrongdoing. When many of us think of anger, we don't think of gain, we think of pain. But God created us in His image. He gets angry. We saw Jesus get angry in the New Testament.

We live in the age of rage. Have you run into any of the road rage? Ed Young was flipped off by a woman on the road who was angered by something Ed wasn't even aware he did. What are our faces of anger? Have we faced our anger? "We have to feel our anger and know that it is anger." Do we feel our anger? In John 2, Jesus had just performed His first miracle; "turning H2O into Merlot". Afterwards, He went out to the temple and got angry because people had turned the temple courtyard into a casino. He got angry and look what He did. John 2:15 says Jesus made a whip!! When Jesus saw what was unfolding, He drove everyone from the temple. He scattered their money and overturned their tables. Jesus didn't whip the people. He whipped the animals to drive them out of the temple area. But Jesus didn't just flare up and react, He took time to construct a whip. As He was making the whip, don't you think He was thinking about what He was about to do? Don't you think that He was focusing on what He was going to do?

When we get angry, we should stop and "make a whip". Pray, as we are stewing. Ask the deep questions. What and how should we react to glorify God? Let's ask our selves what emotion is so powerful and potent that causes us to swing (Ed swings on a rope out over the crowd for a visual effect) from fear, insecurity, envy, or something else over to anger?

Think about Jacob. He had twelve sons and did something kind of stupid. He showed favoritism towards the youngest, Joseph. This led the brothers to swing over to anger and to react by selling Joseph into slavery.

Consider the causes of anger. What or who causes anger? The other night, Ed and his family were out in a restaurant and the waitress was just plain rude and angry. Even thought he had just spoken about anger at his church, Ed himself was beginning to get angry. Tempted to fire back at the lady, Ed sat back and began to ask himself some questions and came to the realization that the waitress was angry because of something that was happening in her life. He also remembered that the Bible says to "be angry and do not sin", so he sat back and said a "microwave prayer" for the lady. The check finally came and because Ed is a "slow pay artist" (It's funny here when Ed demonstrates his slow motion speech "Heeerrrreeee, IIII' lllll paaayyyy ffffoooorrrrr tttthhhiissss"), so Ed's friend grabbed the check. "My friend paid in cash and he must have given her this transcendant tip" because the waitress responded with shock and thankfulness. She was taken back by the generosity of Ed's friend. It probably made her day and the last thing she heard from him was "God bless you". God showed Ed the power of responding God's way. When we are angry, explore God's methodology.
A couple of weeks ago, Lisa (his wife) and Ed were in San Jose, CA and they were at the airport. The lady at the counter was short with them and speaking in a very loud voice, "That bag is 3 pounds overweight and that is going to be another $25 dollars!" Seeing that the lady just wasn't having a very good day, Lisa and Ed responded calmly. There was no telling what travelers had said or done to her. Over the next few minutes, the lady gradually calmed down and then cordially directed Lisa and Ed over to the luggage handlers. "The guy that received the luggage goes 'Ed, Lisa! I go to Fellowship Church! It's great to see you!" Ed realized, too, that if they had gotten angry, it would have reflected on the Body of Christ. We, as individuals, have to realize how we hurt the Body when we respond incorrectly when we get angry.

But how should we respond when we are angry? One incorrect way to handle anger is what Ed calls "garage anger". We stack box after box after box after box in the garage and, at some point, we can't get the car in the garage! Then there are those of us who have "volcano anger". We hold it in and then erupt on our family, our kids or our golf partners. So, how do we express, as we need to do, our anger? Well the Bible says we are to sit down and first affirm our relationships. "Honey, I am so glad to be married to you and I am dedicated to you" is an affirmation of the relationship. Once we have affirmed our relationship with the person, negotiate with "I feel" statements. Be sure to GUARD THE VOLUME LEVEL.

Proverbs 29:22 says "An angry man stirs up dissension and a hot-tempered one commits many sins." Hebrews 12:14 says "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." This is a supernatural thing from the inside out. We can't do this on our own, but with God and the Holy Spirit, we can. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Establish resolve. Is this a scheduling problem? Is this a financial situation? Is it a time management problem? Is it a misunderstanding? Release the person. Ed did a series recently on "The Real F Word" referring to "Forgiveness". He built the whole series around a guy who was walking his Doberman one day while Ed was at a gas station. The guy tied his dog up to a park bench while getting something to drink inside a store. A few minutes later, the Doberman was startled and began running towards a busy intersection, dragging the park bench with him. "Oh, no! What is going to happen?...A cataclysmic collision is going to take place before my very eyes" thought Ed. But many of us are like this Doberman. There is a big chain tied to some people and we are dragging them around with us. We are dragging our spouse, our kids, an old boss etc. and we wonder why there is so much wreckage in our lives. "Well, after this park bench had smashed several cars... the owner ran out, grabbed the dog and led him to safety." This is what our Master wants to do with us. He wants to release us and take us to safety. So, where are we?

We during this message, Ed has spelled "Face Anger":

  1. Feel it
  2. Ask some deep questions
  3. Consider the cause
  4. Explore God's Methodology
  5. Affirm the relationship
  6. Negotiate with "I feel" statements
  7. Guard the volume level
  8. Establish resolve
  9. Release the person
Remember this as we face our anger. Make a whip. It will work. God never asks us to do something without giving us some practical steps on how to do it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where is the Love?

In the fourth night of his series, "The Call", Johnson Bowie reviews our highest calling as Christians Matt 28:19-20

Week 1: Becoming a Disciple
Week 2: GO and make Disciples
Week 3: Making a Disciple through other Disciples

"The thing that's going to enable you to do this on a day to day love." Yesterday, Johnson had a Beef'N Cheddar at Arby's and, on his way out of the restaurant, a guy pulls his car over in the parking lot and looks under the hood. So, Johnson went over to help out. Even though Johnson "is the worst person to ask about cars", it just so happened that Johnson had experienced a leak in his radiator the year before and knew how to advise him on his problem.

"He said something that froze me in my tracks...he said, 'you know, there just aren't people like you anymore.'" Johnson recalls, "It wasn't like I saved his daughter or anything...Why don't people like that exist anymore?....People who just do nice things?...I think we have this wrong idea of Jesus...Jesus made water into wine...doesn't this say something about Him?...He's about loving people."

In John 13:34 Jesus says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Why did He say "a new command"? This wasn't new!! Look in Leviticus 19:18 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."

Remember the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he needed to do to get into heaven? Jesus told him to love his neighbor. The ruler said that he already did that.

The reason this was a NEW command was because Jesus was telling us to love as He has loved us. He was commanding us to love the world with Agape love or love that is self sacrificing. But we just don't do this, do we? We don't allow our love for others to push us to do something like sharing His love and His service. We have to choose to love.

"How many of you know people who just don't deserve to be loved?...But the truth is that, many times, it is us who don't deserve to be loved." Our love for people is a true reflection of how much we love God. An atheist can say they love God. But Jesus says the way we love people is the way we love God. "I get the impression that Jesus wouldn't pull up in His apartment complex, say 'Yo, what's up' and then go inside and play video games." Jesus would get involved in the lives of and interact with His neighbors. He would love them.

The other reason this was a new command is because it is a badge of discipleship. Jesus basically said that others would know we are disciples by the way we love others. "Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love...that's a song, but it's true!" We're not Christians because we go to church twice a week or because we take part in Community Groups. These things are supposed to do something in us that compels us to go out into the world and to love others.

In Luke 6:27-36, Jesus knew what he was about to say, but He also knew that no one would like what they heard. He knew He was about to rock their world. He said that this is what it means to love others as He has loved us:

Love your enemies.
Do good to those who hate you.

Pray for those who hurt you.

Bless those who curse us.

If someone slaps you on one cheek offer the other cheek also.

If someone demands your coat, offer him your shirt also.

Give to anyone who asks.

When things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back.

"What? Jesus obviously didn't have anything valuable!" jokes Johnson. Scriptures are kind of like a flashlight that shines on the darkest part of our lives. This is an area that is absolutely necessary to demonstrate our Christian walk.

Jesus didn't really standout. There was nothing that told people he was the King of the Universe. People knew who He was because of how He loved people. "It's not that we don't know what we are supposed to do...the problem is, we know exactly what we are supposed to do, we just don't do we fill up our schedules so we don't have to do it..."

"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. 'Oh my God', you will say, 'if I do that, my whole life will be ruined. How would I get on in the world? Yes, it is dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.'" Svorin Turkegarde

If we sit down and really start reading the words of Jesus, it would truly change our lives. But we find so many excuses to avoid what it is we know to do. We have to start loving each other.

Johnson has kids and, when he puts his son Jeremiah down to bed, he'll rub his head, then Jeremiah will start rubbing Johnson's head. Johnson will grab his son's hand and his son will then rub his. If Johnson spikes his hair, his son will spike his too. If Johnson says something over and over again, his son will too.

"We went on an "adventure" in our neighborhood...I put on some old ratty camo pants to go down there...he went and put on his Cammie's too...On Monday we were playing tee ball in the neighborhood...I took off my flip flops and when my son noticed I wasn't wearing mine...he ran over to take off his flip flops too...when I hug him, I rub his back and I noticed that when he hugs his friends, he rubs their backs.'" Johnson has simply shown Jeremiah how to love. Jeremiah then imitates him.

This is the same kind of way our Heavenly Father has shown us to love others. If we read the scriptures and learn to accept His love, we can then love others.

"With the guy in the Arby's parking lot, why did I do that?...was it because I have a God who will leave the other 99 to look for the 1...and I know that many times, I have been that 1?...I have held up a sign that says, 'Stay away from me' just so I won't ...I've been the 1 who He came and brought back to restore me..If I can play that role in someone else's life, it would be worth it...That's why I walk around the Home Depot parking lot putting up carts...nobody does that anymore." But Jesus loves us so much more than this! If the love inside of us never finds a way out, then it is useless. What good is our faith, then, in this world?

There's two types of people: 1) Those who say they love people. 2) Those who say they love people and do something about it. We have this idea that Jesus' love for people is just about serving.

1 Corinthians 13 defines love for us: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This scripture says we have to love with the love of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inside of Jesus connected with people as He loved them. If we don't have the Holy Spirit inside of us, we will just sit back.

Acts 1:8 says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." The Holy Spirit gave the disciples power, but it also gave them courage to act out the love that was already inside them. The Holy Spirit will cause us to do things we never thought we could do.