Wednesday, February 19, 2014

In All Things...LOVE!

I Corinthians 13:4-7 is a short passage of scripture, but it is packed! Fifteen attributes of love are given that help us see more clearly what it means to live out the law of love. This past Sunday morning, we only got through six of the fifteen attributes! So, as promised, here are some thoughts on a few more…specifically the last four attributes mentioned in verse 7.

Love Bears All Things:
This literally means to put up with annoyance or difficulty, but more importantly, it means to cover, conceal, protect, and hide. This is the idea of covering with the cloak of love. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Because love covers a multitude of sins”. This provides a protection. We are not talking about hiding sin so we get away with it, but more about looking out for one another so that we help others overcome rather than being overwhelmed. 

Take Away:  Look out for others and don’t flaunt your own sin, but seek to be covered by love.

Love Believes All Things:
This is faith. Love has faith in all things. No, this is not meant to suggest that we should have faith in sinful and ungodly things, but rather that we should believe, to the extent of complete trust and reliance, that God is large and in charge. The Greek word can be translated into English as ‘to believe in, to have confidence in, to have faith in, to trust, faith, trust.’ 

Some helpful verses may be: 
‘Abraham trusted in God’  Romans 4:3
‘whoever believes in him will not be disappointed’  1 Peter 2:6
‘he who is righteous because of his faith shall live’  Romans 1:17
‘we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus’  Colossians 1:4

This is not gullible living, but it is a love that has faith in men. This is an act of love, not naiveté. Another way that this can be said is that love gives the benefit of the doubt. 

Take away: Trust not only God, but in love, show wise trust in others.

Love Hopes All Things:
This is love that is looking forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. 1 Timothy 4:10 proclaims that, ‘because we have placed our hope in the living God,’ we can be confident in the struggle that any aspect of our faith may face. This is applicable to our past, present and future. Hope interacts with all three aspects. This is a hope that sees the bright side in all things and “soldiers on” in the face of all circumstances. 

Take Away:  Love is optimistic because of hope in all things.

Love Endures All Things:
Love sustains ongoing assaults! Yep, that is what this means. Endurance is putting up with whatever may come our way. Loving someone who is loving back is easy. Loving the unloving and unlovable is just plain hard sometimes! This love attribute endures difficult times and difficult people. It perseveres through all manner of trials. 

Some helpful verses: 
‘so I endured everything for the sake of God’s chosen people’   2 Timothy 2:10
‘the kinds of persecutions I endured’   2 Timothy 3:11

Take Away:  View people differently. They are created by God and in-process themselves.

The Big Take Away Is This:  Love is not limited in its reach. Allow it into every area of your existence!

Have a blessed week!

Pastor David

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Celebrate Marriage!

National Marriage Week is February 7th -14th ( We love marriage here at Orange Friends Church. We want your marriage to be long lasting and healthy. It is a blessing from God even during difficult times - and we all have those times. In light of National Marriage Week, I want to remind you all of our commitment to marriage health through our Healthy Marriage Policy. The following is the ideal for us. It is a standard we strive for in hopes of marriages started the best way possible, saving struggling marriages, and building up thriving marriages. Join us as we seek to invest in healthy relationships.

Orange Friends Church 
Healthy Marriage Policy

This policy expresses the common concerns of our Church family regarding the need to better prepare, strengthen and restore marriages and to support step-families in our community.

We Believe:
  1. God has established marriage in Scripture.
  2. God intends the marriage bond to be between one man and one woman and to last for a lifetime.
  3. As a church, we have a responsibility before God to raise the standard for marriage.
  4. As a church, we believe we have a responsibility before God to strengthen and nourish step-families.
Therefore, We Will:
  1. Encourage a courtship of at least one year.
  2. Affirm fidelity in marital relationships.
  3. Educate ourselves and others about the negative effects of premarital sexual activities and co-habitation.
  4. Provide a premarital preparation process of four to six months.
  5. Provide annual enrichment opportunities in the church and community.
  6. Identify, inspire and train couples with strong marriages to serve as marriage mentors.
  7. Provide mentoring for all stages of marriage.
  8. Cooperate with other congregations in sharing resources and information.
(Adopted at the Church on 12/10/2009)