What is Love?!

Quotes and highlights from Chapel, August 28, 2018.

heart hands

What is love?  That’s a great question.  That’s a really difficult question to answer.  The biblical definition is…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a  NIV                                                                                                       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.  Love never fails.

We know love is important because without it everything is worthless!

1 Corinthians 13:1-3  NIV                                                                                                                   1 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.

If love is not involved, it’s worthless!  If love is not a part of what you do, there’s no point to doing it.

Some are thinking… What about Homework?  There’s no love in Homework!  Homework helps develop who you are becoming.  As you develop and learn, my hope is that you will love more fully, love more maturely, and love more completely than you are capable of doing right now.  You ever hear the the phrase “Learn, Love, Lead “.  Do your homework!

Here’s another point about love, you cannot define it completely without bringing in God.

1 John 4:8  NIV                                                                                                                      Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

If you want to resemble God, if you want to know God, you must love.  Love is his nature.  When he designed us, he chose love as the framework of our being.  All of his commandments revolve around love, all of his actions are based out of love, God’s love is unconditional; He doesn’t love us because we please him. He loves us simply because He is love.  That is who he is.  The only reason we even know about love is because he first loved us.

The best way I know to describe the love God has for us is with the image of Jesus on the cross.  That’s how much he loved you.  That’s his unconditional love for you in action.

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Half Baked Pancake… YUCK!

Quotes and highlights from Chapel, August 20, 2018.

Pancakes and syrup

Hosea 7:5-10  NLT                                                                                                                           On royal holidays, the princes get drunk with wine, carousing with those who mock them. Their hearts are like an oven blazing with intrigue. Their plot smolders through the night, and in the morning it breaks out like a raging fire. Burning like an oven, they consume their leaders. They kill their kings one after another, and no one cries to me for help.

“The people of Israel mingle with godless strangers, making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake! Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t even know it. Their hair is gray, but they don’t realize they’re old and weak. 10 Their arrogance testifies against them, yet they don’t return to the Lord their God or even try to find him.

Hosea, who wrote these things, was a prophet during the 8th Century BCE (750 years before Christ).  What he was describing here was how Israel, God’s people, had forgotten God and just did what they wanted to do.  It was bad!  It was so bad that the people routinely assassinated their Kings if they did not agree with them.  When Hosea wrote this, 4 of the last 6 kings had been assassinated.

Israel had even allowed strangers to influence them negatively and so in the second part of this passage, Hosea described the people of Israel as a half-baked cake.  I don’t make cakes, but I do make pancakes, so think of the people of Israel as a pancake that never gets flipped over!  Imagine it… burnt on the bottom and raw on the top.

Would you want to eat that pancake?  No, it’s worthless, it’s yucky… no one is going to eat it.  Hosea was telling the people of Israel that what they were doing made them yucky to God.

The great thing is that Hosea told Israel how to become delicious again in verse 10.  Israel is tanking, things are not going well for them.  Hosea basically tells them you need to make a change, you need to do the opposite of what you are currently doing, because right now you are not even looking for God.

When something is not working for you try doing the opposite of what you are doing, maybe that will work.  Most times, we’re not trying to find God either and so life seems to be harder, more struggle than we can handle.  Hosea’s advice is to do the opposite in those moments, “Seek God Out!”

When you are hurting or stressed or don’t know what else to do… cry out to God!  Seek him out!  Do the opposite!  (of this world).  Go from yucky to delicious!

Love Magnet!

Quotes and highlights from Chapel, August 9, 2018.

Horseshoe_magnet_by_Zureks

I think being a good friend means that we make ourselves available to our friends 24/7 when they’re facing something real and huge.  If your friend’s parents are getting a divorce, that’s real and huge, you should be there for them.  If your friend did not get 50 likes on her Instagram post, that’s not huge!

Here’s the big message… friends support each other!  Friends are there for each other (when it’s real and huge).

Just like a friend who looks out for their friend, Jesus is looking out for you.  Jesus is on your side, He’s pulling for you to succeed and to live life that is extraordinary.

Romans 8:31-35a  The Message                                                                                                      31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…

Two things about this passage I want to point out:

1)Jesus is sticking up for you!  When Jesus died on the cross he was sticking up for you, he was making a way to have all your mistakes erased before God.  And right now, he is in God’s presence as a visual reminder of how tough this life can be and that his love is greater than our sins/mistakes.  Jesus is sticking up for you.

2) Nothing can get in the way of Christ loving you!  I thought the best way to illustrate Jesus’ constant love for you was to think about it like a powerful magnet.  Did you know that there are magnets out there so powerful that if your hand was caught in between two of them, your hand would be crushed?  The most powerful magnetic object in the universe is a Magnetar, which is a neutron star known as Soft Gamma Repeater 1806-20.  Its magnetic force is powerful enough to slow a locomotive from a quarter-million miles away – the distance of the Earth from the moon.

When we think of a Magnetar that’s the realm of how strong Jesus’ love is for you.

The love Jesus has for you is powerful and nothing can get in the way of him loving you.

Let Jesus be our example of how we treat one another.  Love one another powerfully, stick up and support one another.

Your have Worth!

Quotes and highlights from Chapel, May 22, 2018.

Gold bars are seen at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna

We can show the worth of things in a thousand different ways.  One way to calculate the worth of something is to see how much someone is willing to pay for it.

Worth can sometimes be determined by a rating system, but that can lead to other issues. as the Harvard Mens’ Soccer team discovered (google it).

Worth can be determined by being chosen.  When we are picked for a team in sports we see our worth on the court or the field.  Those picked generally first have more worth for that game, while those picked near the end… well, it just doesn’t make you feel so good to be picked last.

Worth can be determined by the actual price of something… What are you worth?  Literally, how much is the human body worth?  If we equate your worth to stuff that your body consists of, you are worth about USD$160 or about KRW173,000.

Worth can be determined by what someone is willing to do for you.

Worth is also determined by how much money you have.  Who was the richest person ever?  The richest man in history, according to Money magazine, was Mansa Musa, the king of Timbuktu, who lived between 1280 and 1337 CE.  This guy was so rich that historians struggle to describe or calculate how much he had.  Just to give you a comparison, the next richest historical figure had an equivalent worth of over $4 trillion.  Musa was supposedly beyond that.

This king was rich!  No surprise, most kings are!

But the question becomes, what’s your worth?  You?

1 Peter 1:18-19  NLT                                                                                                                     18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

Your worth is not measured in mere gold or silver, but by the precious blood of Christ.

What we see from this passage is that you are worth quite a lot.  You have worth because someone was willing to pay something priceless for you (their blood).  You have worth because someone was willing to do something extreme for you (they died for you).  Your worth is calculated not by what you can do or how much money you have or how awesome at sports you are; your worth is determined by who values you and what they are willing to do for you.

Jesus gave his life in exchange for your life, so in essence you are worth the life of a King.  That’s priceless!

Loving by Serving!

Quotes and highlights from Chapel, May 4, 2018.

foot washing 1

I want to share a passage to you of something Jesus did that was kind of a surprise to the disciples.

John 13:1, 4-5, 12-17  NLT                                                                                                                     1 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.                     12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

Jesus knew he was leaving soon (he knew he was about to be put to death), so he takes this moment to remind his disciples of his purpose on Earth and to push them to do what he did.  His purpose was to love by serving others. This was the disciples’ calling and it is our calling, to love others by serving them.

In ancient times, Foot washing was one of the lowliest tasks that anyone could do for another, that’s why it was such a surprise to the disciples when their teacher began washing their feet.  Jesus turned this event  around and washed his disciples’ feet to give them an example of true leadership… of true love.

While washing feet seems dirty and gross, it is actually a beautiful, meaningful act that speaks love into another by serving them.

Serving others is loving others.

Saying Goodbye!

Quotes and highlights from Chapel, April 9, 2018.

graduation caps

Our seniors will Graduate May 22.  Start telling them goodbye now.

Saying Goodbye is über important.  It’s a marker in your life… it tells others, “You were a part of my life and that is important to me.”   Saying goodbye, while may hurt your heart, it’s good for your soul.

One of the last conversations Jesus had (after his resurrection) was on a beach to say goodbye to Peter (the guy who betrayed him).  It was a beautiful moment of restoring Peter and encouraging him to carry on.

John 21:15-17  NLT                                                                                                                     15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”                                                                                                                                     “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”                                                                “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”                              “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”                                                                      “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”                                Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”                                                                                      Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

Don’t leave your goodbyes unsaid!

In what do you put your trust?

Quotes and highlights from Chapel, March 14, 2018.

root canal

This past Monday I went to the dentist, this was the third visit in two weeks… I’ve got two more to go because what happened to my tooth was so bad.  A few weeks ago, my tooth started to hurt so I waited a few days to make sure the pain didn’t just go away, it did not, so I made an appointment to see my dentist.  When I went to the dentist she showed me the x-ray, I had some serious decay under one of my crowns and we discovered that I had an exposed nerve and I was going to need a root canal.  A lovely procedure where they drill into your tooth and remove the tooth decay, then stick this file down the nerve canal and clean out the dead pulp, finally filling up the empty canal with pink rubbery stuff.

So back to Monday’s visit… my dentist, who I really like and trust, had done all the work to finish up the root canal and one of her assistants needed to take a final x-ray.  This was the worst part of all the visits so far, and it should not have been.  She sticks this rectangular paddle into my mouth to take the x-ray, but this thing is huge and the edges are sharp… basically, it was torture!  I literally was gagging, but I just wanted it to be done so I did my best to handle the situation.  This hurt more than when my dentist shot me with Novocain or when she touched the exposed nerve.  I trusted this assistant not to hurt me too bad (you’re at the dentist, you are going to feel pain at some point) but she did.  It was awful.  She was a poor photographer too, she had to try about five times to get the perfect picture… every time she took a photo it hurt!  I like my dentist but I don’t trust her assistant.  I don’t even know which one it was, she was wearing a mask.

I was angry because I trusted this person and all she did was hurt me.  Sounds like a bad relationship doesn’t it.

2 Kings 13:14-20a  TLB                                                                                                           14 When Elisha was in his last illness, King Joash visited him and wept over him.  “My father! My father! You are the strength of Israel!” he cried.   15 Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did.  16-17 “Open that eastern window,” he instructed. Then he told the king to put his hand upon the bow, and Elisha laid his own hands upon the king’s hands.  “Shoot!” Elisha commanded, and he did.  Then Elisha proclaimed, “This is the Lord’s arrow, full of victory over Syria; for you will completely conquer the Syrians at Aphek. 18 Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the floor.”  So the king picked them up and struck the floor three times. 19 But the prophet was angry with him. “You should have struck the floor five or six times,” he exclaimed, “for then you would have beaten Syria until they were entirely destroyed; now you will be victorious only three times.”  20 So Elisha died and was buried.

At the beginning of this story, the prophet Elisha is deathly sick when the King Joash comes to him, Joash is worried about their Syrian enemies. Elisha tells King Joash to open a window and to shoot an arrow eastward, to represent the Lord giving victory to Israel against the Syrians. Then the king is directed to hit the arrows against the ground which Joash does three times, Elisha gets angry and replies that God will only give them victory over Syria three times because the king followed the directions halfheartedly… he should have beat the ground 5 or 6 times with the arrows.

Scripture is vague on how he should have known how many times to hit the floor with the arrows, but from Elisha’s response we can decipher that King Joash was just going through the motions and there was a lack of trust.  He was not completely on board with Elisha’s prophecy.  Remember, this is a King who openly prayed to God, but also to idols… we don’t really know where he put his trust.  It surely was not fully in God and it was not fully into his idols… he was halfhearted in what he trusted.

Fear is the destroyer of trust.  Many people do not put their trust in God because they fear they will, in some way, lose out, or that they are limiting themselves.  Those of us who are Christian many times only trust God halfheartedly like King Joash because we don’t want to give up control over our life.

In life we will put our trust into something, most times it’s into ourselves or something worldly, but if we put our trust in things other than God, we will be disappointed.  We are only human, and the things of this world are temporary.  God is the only sure bet, nothing is as solid as God.  Nothing is like him.

By putting your trust in God, you will never lose out, you will have to sacrifice, you will have to rely on him to guide you, which means you are going to have to let go of some control, but you will never lose out!  Your life is not limited, it becomes limitless with God.