Summary: (Sin to Confess - Promise to Claim - Attitude to Change - Command to Obey - Example to Follow - Person to Imitate - Error to Avoid - Truth to Believe - Something to praise and thank God about). I Corinthians 13
Nine Steps to Improving Your Personal Devotions (I Cor 13:4-8)
Illustration:"I have met many young mothers who are discouraged by their inadequate devotional life. The term "quiet time" only reminds them how little "quiet" or "time" they have for Bible reading, prayer, and meditation.
When my children were young, I was inspired by a speaker (also a mother) who shared how she overcame this dilemma during her childrearing years. Throughout her house she placed pencils and notepads on high surfaces, well above the reach of her toddlers. During the day, wherever she was, she would jot down insights, prayer needs, or Bible verses as they came to mind. Each evening she would gather up her jottings--the ingredients of a spiritual feast she had been preparing all day. How eagerly she welcomed the opportunity to nourish her hungry spirit with her Bible and her jottings! As I began putting her method to the test, my daily devotions became what they needed to be--a workable vehicle for strengthening my devotion to Christ.
Whether you’re an overworked mother, or simply overworked, I recommend "spiritual jotting," both now and as a lifelong habit. Not only will it put more devotion into your devotions, it will also bring you closer to fulfilling Paul’s admonition to "pray without ceasing" (1 Th. 5:17). Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread)
If we seek God in the minutes, we shall find Him in the hours.
To personalize the interpretation and application of any scripture use the following acrostic: S-P-A-C-E-P-E-T-S (Sin to Confess - Promise to Claim - Attitude to Change - Command to Obey - Example to Follow - Person to Imitate - Error to Avoid - Truth to Believe - Something to praise and thank God about). I Corinthians 13
1. Sin to Confess - Love is not rude, self-seeking, easily angered, and does not hold grudges. Failure to forgive is a sin that hinders our fellowship with God and those around us. (I Cor. 13:4-7)
2. Promise to Claim - Love bears up under any amount of pressure, injustice or hardship. Love endures anything and everything regardless of the pain. Love is fadeless under all circumstances and it stands the test of time without weakening. (I Cor. 13:7)
3. Attitude to Change - My own love should not be affected by personal biases. Love should never fade out or grow cold to people who are unkind to me. My love for those less fortunate than me should be done with a heart full of compassion, sensitive and caring for every person’s need. (I Cor. 13:8)
4. Command to Obey - Love believes the best in every person. My love should try to focus on the areas of peoples’ strength rather than their weaknesses. True love should be able to overlook another’s fault and instead concentrate on their area of greatest concern. (I Cor. 13:7)
5. Example to Follow - Paul, the apostle, encouraged the divisive Corinthian believers to put love before every other concern. Paul wrote I Corinthians 13 to the church in Corinth to provide them with a formula for loving one another regardless of their differences of opinions. Paul recognized that the root cause of many disagreements could be eradicated if they applied Paul’s love principles to their thinking and actions. Paul’s description of love helps people understand that love is more than just human affection
6. Person to Imitate - Jesus Christ’s faith, hope and love is a perfect example for me to follow in dealing with accusatory people like the Pharisees. Jesus never lost self-control even during the most distressing times. Jesus Christ willingly fellowshipped in the homes of the tax-gathers and sinners, as well as anyone who would engage Him in conversation. Even when Christ hung on Calvary’s cross, He turned His attention to His heavenly Father and said, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do."
7. Error to Avoid - True love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. It is all too easy to laugh at other people’s problems or to feel morally superior. A Christ like love avoids the temptation of looking down on other people. Love is able to display a compassionate and tender heart even for people who have previously mistreated you. Love tries to avoid the sins of omission of failing to love people who are different than we are. ( I Cor. 13:6)
8. Truth to Believe - Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful. Real love is not obsessed with one’s own interests. Love knows when to turn the controls of problems over to the sovereign will of God. Love has the serenity to accept the things it cannot change, courage to change the things it can and wisdom to know the difference. (I Cor. 13:5)