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Love the Way You Serve

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2023 9:00 am

Love the Way You Serve

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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February 7, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the idea that love is serving and does not seeks its own.

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30 Days to a New Beginning:

Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Grace To You
John MacArthur

Hello, everyone. Today is Tuesday, February the 7th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at Or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, let us know by sending us a text at 252-582-5028.

You can also email us at contact at That's 100% right, and you guys can... Would it be 95% right? It's just mostly right.

Keep going? Alright, you guys can... That's 112% right! You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the podcast, sharing it online, and leaving us a good review on iTunes.

We are going to send you guys a link right in the description of this podcast so you can help us do just that. That's 175% right. That's 175% right. I don't want to leave that in, but I guess now we kind of have to.

Extra correct. John, why don't you deliver the verse of the day to our listening audience today? I don't feel like it, but I'll do it anyway. 1 Chronicles 29, 11. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty, for all that is in heaven and in earth is yours.

Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, as you are exalted as head over all. A lot of times in our lives we lose perspective. We think about what's going on in our lives, what's happening immediately to us, and we forget where we are in the grand scheme of the universe and creation. Not that we don't matter to God, but God is infinitely higher than we are. I think that word you use, perspective, is the best word that can be used because a lot of times we get to think, and I know this is true for me, that I'm the center of the story because my perspective is the only one I have.

The only one I have, yeah. I can try to see through your eyes, but I can never live your life. I can't live your experience. So that results in me thinking that I'm the nucleus and everything orbits around me, and God is one of those big orbits, but he's still orbiting around me because he's impacting my life.

It's very opposite. Speaking of the main character of our story, I looked at your Snapchat story the other night, and I saw that you made something that looked delicious. It looked delicious, but it was—well, let me rephrase. It tasted good.

It tasted good. So I made some chili. I made chili with— Ah, chili.

Especially when it's cold outside? Mm-hmm. I made chili with beef and lamb. I watched the recipe, and the guy in the video was using chilies, like actual dried peppers, but he only used three, but they were huge. So the ones I had were pretty small, so I was like, okay, well, I need to kind of compensate because he had really big peppers, and he only used three, so I was like, maybe I'll use like 20. I goofed up that chili, and David had some.

It was inedible almost. It tasted great, but it was so hot. Most of the chili was just sour cream to try to balance it out.

Okay, so here's my question. In the video or the recipe that you were following, what kind of chili does he use? I can't remember. It was a Binging with Babish video.

I can't remember. It was a couple different types, but they were big, so I was just looking at the size of it. Mine were small. Mine were like that. They looked like little dried leaves. What kind of chilies did you have? It's at the house.

I could probably find it. Because size does not necessarily correlate to spiciness, as you've learned. Oh, I know that now. Yeah, I learned that. I learned that the hard way. It was good.

It was one of those things where you taste it, and it's like immediately later, you're like, oh, this is good, and you keep eating, and then you're like, uh-oh. I'm in trouble. I'm in big, big trouble. I'm in danger.

I'm in danger. So I had David. David came over the next night, and I told him the story. He was like, wow. He was like, that's crazy. And I kept waiting for him to do that thing that dudes always do where they're like, I'll try it, man.

Yeah, I'll do it. He just didn't. So I was like, yeah, but I mean, it was hot, dude.

You could try it. He was like, yeah, yeah. And he just wouldn't take the bait, so finally I was like, I'm going to make you a bowl of chili. He was like, that's okay.

I really don't want it. It sounds pretty bad. It sounds like it's going to hurt me. So I was getting offended, so I went and just made it, and I put it in front of him and he ate it. And he was like, yeah, no, this hurts. I wish you hadn't served me this. Yeah, he was like, and it's crazy because I could have not eaten it, but out of social pressure, I did.

And he paid the price. How was it, Dave? Sorry, I didn't mean to dump.

Sorry about that. It was bad. Yeah, it was bad. I mean, the flavor was there.

Painful. The flavor was there. It tasted good, but it wasn't that I didn't take the bait.

I genuinely just didn't realize you were trying to bait me in it. I didn't want it. I didn't want any part of it. I was just there to see the baby and hang out.

And I ended up leaving in pain and had a nice reminder the next day. It wasn't good. It was crazy, man.

It was crazy. So if you're out there and you're thinking about following some online recipes, make sure to get the same because chilies are something you don't want to play around with. You don't want to be experimental there.

Be experimental with your little Walmart seasonings and stuff, but don't deviate from the chilies because they will mess you up. Yes, they will. Absolutely. Well, I hate you had to learn the lesson the hard way. Well, thank you. I don't know. I don't know, man.

Maybe that was the Lord trying to teach me something. Stick to the book. You know what I mean? Follow the recipe. Don't deviate. Follow the recipe. Don't shoot from the hip.

That's right. Well, we've got an exciting episode planned for you guys today. We're going to grab Dr. Shaw in just a second. But if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, make sure you send those in in those text messages to 252-582-5028 or visit us online at

We'll be back after this. You know, 1 John 515 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clearview Today show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clearview and share your prayer request. But the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at or you can download the Clearview app on iTunes or Google Play.

You know, on that app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you, and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks for listening. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send those in in a text at 252-582-5028. Happy Tuesday, boys. It's Tuesday. I'm feeling good.

On a Tuesday. I don't know what that was. I just rolled it. You're bringing some life into it, man. I respect you for that. I wish you hadn't done it, but I respect you for trying.

I wish you hadn't done it, but I respect you for trying, changing things up. Yeah, that's right. If you're joining us for the first time, if you're new and visiting with us, first and foremost, sorry about that. But then, also, we want to welcome you in. We want to make you aware of who you're talking to today. Dr. Abbadon Shaw is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. You can follow his work on his website. That's Sorry you haven't been listening, but glad you are now.

Yeah, that's right. So, on today's episode, we want to continue. As we're headed toward Valentine's Day, we've been talking about love. From 1 Corinthians 13, Paul's writing what love is, what love isn't, and how we can accurately think about how we should act lovingly toward other people.

We've hit a lot of great stuff so far. It's been helpful to me in understanding what love is and how we ought to display love. There's a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to the realm of love.

Right. We looked at how love is patient. Last show, we looked at how love does not envy. It seeks the best for the other person. Today, we're going to look at, one step further, that love is serving, where Paul talks about it does not parade itself.

It's not puffed up. Yeah. Do you think that was a problem in Corinth when he was writing to the people? Yeah. We were talking about it on the Friday show of last week, that he was writing this to the Corinthian church. Yeah.

Right. This is the one, I think, that I always remember. Most of Paul's letters are like, hey, thank you. I appreciate you.

I love you guys. There's always that one. I believe it's always the Corinthians where he's getting onto them. Corinth was a mess. Yeah.

He had to give them a whooping. We only think about the Jewish diaspora, but there was also the Phoenician diaspora. There was the Greek diaspora. There was the Hittite diaspora. So, there were a lot of people moved around. So, when you think about Corinth, Greece, don't just think of it being populated by Greeks.

That's a mistake people make. Corinth, by the time that Paul is writing this letter or visiting Corinth or staying there for those three years, ministering to them or building the church, was a Roman colony. It was populated by freed slaves, army veterans, many original Greeks, and business people, and laborers. Now, pay attention to those categories, freed slaves. So, they have a sense of pride, right?

Which is good, right? They're coming out of slavery. They have bought their freedom or whatever, but they're fighting to express themselves as freedmen. sort of overcompensating, I guess? Maybe a little bit.

Getting rid of that complex? Maybe, maybe. We don't know for sure, but maybe. Then, there are also army veterans. If you know anything about people in the military, they have that sense of, I'm in charge and get out of my way. And then, many original Greeks. So, they had a sense of their own pride, like, yeah, this is a Roman colony, but trust me when we say this, we were the original ones here. Right. So, a lot of different ways for people to post.

Yes. A lot of different opportunities for pride to come in. And then, there was business people. So, they're successful.

They are making money. And then, laborers. Now, if you know anything about the labor force, they have their own way of walking and talking and dealing with people, which is kind of like brash or kind of rough around the edges, as we say. Imagine being a church full of these kind of people. That's like bootstrap Christians. Bootstrap people. Ego's like clashing up against each other.

Yes. Ego's clashing up is a good way to say it, because you've got freed slaves, army veterans, original Greeks, business people, and laborers. That's true, because you often think of pride only coming from people at the top, the elite, the successful. But a lot of, like you were saying, a lot of laborers and a lot of people who aren't up there still have that mindset of, listen, I used to have it way worse. I had to struggle and pull myself up, and I made myself what I am today.

I'm better than you because, fill in the blank. So, I would say Paul wrote that letter exactly to who you need to write that letter to, the Corinthians. They needed to learn how to love, and love without being puffed up and parading itself.

I mean, think about what he says. Love does not, parade itself is not puffed up. Do you think this was finding its way into the church, the Corinthian church?

Oh, of course, yeah. Now, the word for does not parade itself is perperuitai. Perperuitai is the only time it is found in the Bible, and one time in secular literature. Wow, so this is an uncommon word. Yeah, we call it a hapax legomena.

But in many ways, one time in secular literature, which means it's a very rare word, it has the idea of bragging by talking a lot about oneself in big lofty words. Yeah, I can see something like that happening. I have this mental picture now that you said that. That's a really great description, talking a lot about oneself.

Let me tell you, hang on one second. Some of the battles that I've been in? Yeah, some of the troubles I've faced. You think you had a hard time? I was a slave. Oh, you were a slave? Let me tell you something.

I was dead. And I don't even, like, spiritually. You may be a Roman, but I'm a Greek. You're a Greek? I'm a Greek. You guys are talking about these big lofty terms, but I'm out here like the working man.

I'm the one on the front line. Listen, I used to get up before the sun even rose. We worked 28 hours a day. When we came home, our parents danced on our own granite.

I built my business up from the ground. Imagine being in a church like that. Yeah, that's the thing. I can imagine that out on the street or in whatever, but in the church. That was happening in the church where people were parading. Yeah, perparas means a bragger. Wow. So you can just imagine what this church must have sounded like. These massive egos, personalities, businessmen, at the same time, you know, they just have a way of, they may not be as brash as an army veteran or as prideful as an original Greek, but they had their own way of putting you down, you know, putting this one down, so whatever.

So, you know, that word perpar, think about the word murmur. You know, that's where we get our idea of the barbarian. Yeah, yeah. Wow. Huh. You know what's funny?

I thought about that. And it's funny that people, a lot of people don't know that they're this way, but some people do, and they always feel the need, they have to preface it. Like, they're aware of who they are, but rather than change, they're like, listen, let me tell you something about me. You're just going to have to get to know me. I'm going to tell it like it is. I'm going to tell it like it is.

You know what I mean? I can't stand that. Yeah, because it's acknowledging that this is a problem, but I'm not going to fix it.

You're going to get used to it. Right. And if you're not, hey, I'm still the alpha here, so. Yeah. Yeah.

It's just one of those things that I think Paul is talking about, and I'm glad he brings it up in this discourse on love. Yeah. Yeah. It's great that this, I mean, we're talking about this in the current terms of the Corinthian church, but it's so helpful that this is included in the Bible because it doesn't paint an inaccurate picture of church. I mean, the church is full of people who are from various backgrounds and struggle with various elements of pride. Yeah. This is not just relegated to the church or just first century Corinthian community.

This is found everywhere. Yeah. I do see how it can be difficult.

Like if you grow up in a culture or in a world, not even just in Corinth, but in America too, if you have to assert yourself and dominate and prove that you're like better or more wealthier or more powerful, and then suddenly you get saved and now it's about being meek and lowly and humble, how that could be, I guess, how that could be a struggle if it goes against everything that you've been taught. Yeah. And the second counterpart to that, not only does it not parade itself, this perparuitai, but it's not puffed up. The Greek word is fusiutai.

Fusiutai means to blow up or to puff up, kind of like inflate. Mm-hmm. It's found about six times in this letter. And each time the idea is of someone being full of pride and self importance, but not necessarily with their words. So you have, on one hand, they're parading itself talking about themselves in lofty terms, but then they also have an attitude to go with it. So it is pride without sound.

So there's pride with sound and pride without sound. That's a good way to put it. Wow. Yeah.

They talk the talk and walk the walk, unfortunately. Yeah. Yeah, in a negative way. Right. It's interesting that you said that it's found six times. I was thinking, I just glossed over it when you said it earlier, but I was thinking six times in the New Testament. But you said it's found six times in just this letter, First Corinthians. Just this letter. Mm-hmm. What a word to be repeated six times in one letter. Yeah, they needed it. The word for being puffed up and strutting around.

Perparuitai. Yeah. It's something that I think that people can misconstrue, and they should say, well, you shouldn't strive to succeed. You shouldn't chase the degrees, or you shouldn't chase success, because it's going to necessarily make you puffed up. But one of the things that I've noticed about you, Dr. Shot, about the culture here at Clearview, is that your degree and your PhD has opened doors to keep impacting the kingdom. Right.

I've never once heard, and not from you, but I've heard other people say, well, listen, I know what I'm talking about. I've got the degree. I've put the work in. With you, and here at Clearview, it's always that I got this PhD so that we could do more stuff. Right. So that we could impact more people.

We could get this radio show. There's credibility. There's a sense of assurance that people listen in, and they know that they're listening to someone who cares about them, who wants them to succeed, and wants them to pursue godliness. And I think that's the difference here, because I don't think Paul would ever say you shouldn't strive to succeed. You shouldn't be proud of your accomplishments. Right. It's more that don't puff yourself up like these people are doing. Right. Yeah. And the Corinthian culture was kind of normal. Yeah.

You had to assert yourself, prove that you're stronger, wealthier, better than the other person by your attitude and your demeanor, your words, and your actions. But in the church culture, this was abnormal. You know, Paul was telling them to set aside their pride and reach out to the other person in genuine love, care, and understanding. And so the Corinthian church was struggling because there was no true love.

Yeah. So, you know, Paul wrote them a powerful statement, a definition of love that we need to hear today. If we're talking about pride and pride in the sense of being braggadocious, like with words, puffing yourself up with your words, or just strutting around carrying that air of pride, that sense of self-importance as you walk into the room, what's the antidote?

How do we combat that in both realms? Well, let's stop and look at who God is and how does God love us. God doesn't strut around in pride. Neither does He sit puffed up with pride.

It's not His words or His actions that communicate pride. Instead, He serves us. God is a serving God. You know, how do we learn the whole idea of service?

Like, you know, putting on a towel, taking a basin full of water, and washing each other's feet. Where did we learn that? We learned that from Christ. And where did Christ get that? But that's part of the attribute of Godhead is to serve.

And we think it's just simply to be served. That's man's idea of who God is. This deity that sits there and waits on us to serve them or him. But not with Christianity, not with the Judeo-Christian foundation or the Old and New Testament.

God is the one who comes down to serve. Yeah. You made a statement one time, Dr. Shah, that stayed with me for a while that it's very difficult to love people when you're trying to convince them, either wordlessly or with your words, why they should love you and why they should be grateful that you're in their lives. And I've done that before. I've done that where I try to make people understand that, you know, I'm the key to this.

You know, I'm the key to your happiness or I'm the key to your success or whatever, like all these things. But at the same time, then I'm not thinking about them at all. I'm never, when I'm doing that, I'm never thinking about their actual wellbeing, just what I can get from them, which is their validation or their approval or whatever it is. I'm not actually thinking about serving them at all. Yeah.

Right. That's a great point. It makes me think of like, you know, the flip side of that, you know, sort of like walking around, just sort of indignant, like how, how dare they treat me that way? Like, do they know who I am? Do they know how much I'm doing? Do they know, like, maybe you don't say it with words, but you just kind of walk around with that, that wound.

Like if they only understood like what I brought to the table, they would treat me differently. Right. And that's, I mean, that's not a direct like interaction with them, but it's still that air that, that kind of walking around puffed up. And it infects me, like it infects my mind because then after a while of saying that I start really thinking it. Yeah. And I start believing it.

Yeah. Well, Paul talks about this throughout his letter. In fact, in the very first chapter, first Corinthians 125, he says the foolishness of God.

Now think about it. Foolishness of God? You know, is God foolish? No, he has a sense of humility behind it.

But look at the next line. The foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness. Is God weak?

Of course not. That's the last thing I think about is God being foolish or weak. But here Paul is explaining to them, you know, the, the, the servant mindset of God, the foolishness of God is wiser than men. And the weakness of God is stronger than men means as God humbles himself in both situations, whether it's the foolishness or weakness, it doesn't diminish him. Right.

It actually proves who he is, a serving person. And then again, you find in verse 22, first Corinthians one 22, for Jews request a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified to the Jews as stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called by Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God. So think about that moment. Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God, you know. Yeah.

There was something you, that we talked about a long time ago. I was in college and I had a professor ask me, you know, is there anything in the world that God can't do? And of course everybody, you know, chimes in, it's like, no, absolutely not. You know, and it's, there's, there's nothing he can do. He can't do anything.

And so I remember the professor asked, well, can he lie? Can he, can he commit murder? Can he commit like an injustice? Like, no, I guess he can't. And it's kind of what you were just saying. Like the fact that he doesn't or can't do those things is not an indictment of him.

And in fact, it's quite the contrary. It makes him better. It increases his virtue.

The fact that what we would consider foolishness or weakness, you can't do something in God's case, makes him purer and holier and better. Right. He was willing to do that. Right.

In order to save us. Right. Yeah.

Right. I love that you, I love that you bring that up, Dr. I love that you, the way that you have laid that out and just like Paul did, where we have the, this comparison of the Corinthians who are strutting around in pride or who are in with their words, building themselves up. And he's like, Hey, listen, we're preaching Christ, the one who could brag, the one who could boast, the one who could strut around and yet came to serve the ultimate example of humility. And imagine how Paul had to navigate through this world that was full of pride and almost like, like, you know, when you go to New York, if you ever drive like close to New York city, I don't drive.

I've never driven inside New York city. It's crazy. But they tell you, you know, when you're here, don't try to have your Southern charm. Don't try to be like, go ahead. Come on in, come on in. They don't like that. They'll honk at you. And it's like, what are you doing? Keep going.

I'll find my way in. I've driven through the Bronx one time in my life. Oh yeah. And it was, you can't drive like you drive down here.

It was a nightmare. I did it. Ellie and I went up to New York and I think she stopped to wave someone through and they did not like it. They don't like that. No. So it's like, you're like, well, I'm going to help you guys.

No, no, no. So imagine Paul having to walk into this world and still talk about love and still talk about humility and still have authority with them. You know, so some of the statements that he made in first Corinthians two, three, he said, I was with you in weakness and fear and in much trembling in my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power. So it's not like he's saying we didn't have any power. He's like, no, we were weak, but in the process the spirit was powerful.

That's right. So what is the goal that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. I mean, we can preach on this for days. Amen.

Another one here. First Corinthians nine, nine for though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all. So he's not like saying, oh, I'm just a poor servant. Cause they would just like run over him.

He'd be like, what are you doing? Waving us in, keep going. I can find my way. Paul says, but though I'm free from all men means I'm not a slave.

Trust me on that. I have made myself a servant to all that I might win the more and to the Jews I became as a Jew that I might win Jews to those who are under the law is under the law that I might win those who are under the law to those who are without law as without law, not being without law toward God, but under law towards Christ, that I might win those who are without law to the weak. I became as weak that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men that I might, that I might by all means save some.

So that's what a balance. On the one hand, he's saying, I'm not foolish or weak, but I allowed myself to have that spirit so that I could save you. That's right. You know, that's right. There's nothing valuable about being weak and harmless and not being able to control.

Like when you've, when you've, when you are strong and competent, but you can still be weak when you need to be weak. That's, that's the ultimate. Right. Exactly.

Yeah. So question for us is, you know, how do you see those who are proud? Are you willing to serve even those who strut around and act like they're all that, you know, listen to what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in his book Life Together, which is an excellent book written during a time when he was, I believe in prison, you know, for the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler. You know, he was a theologian and a very powerful theologian, by the way.

He was offered jobs in England and in the United Kingdom, but he chose to go back and be with his people because he knew the time was going to be very difficult. And he said in this book, Life Together, the classic exploration of Christian community, he says, he who is bearing others knows that he himself is being born and only in this strength can he go on bearing. Wow. So how, why should I bear with, why should I deal with you? Well, because God deals with me and I'm a proud, proud, arrogant person. Wow. So I can keep dealing with you.

That's right. What a great, what a great motivation for us to show love to others in that way. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us in a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at

And on that same website, you have the opportunities to support us financially, to be obedient to what God has called you to do, and to show love, help us show love to other people by spreading the gospel. We have a question tonight, today from Perry C. Perry wants to know what was the best vacation you ever took? Oh, wow. The best one for our family was back in 2009 when we took a cross country trip all the way from Indiana, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, a little bit of Utah before we got into Arizona, and then New Mexico and all the way back. I love the Old West, as many of you all know that, and it was an amazing trip. I'll never forget that. Now since then, our whole team has gone there as well.

But man, I love those Old West. Very nice. Very cool. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-07 10:12:57 / 2023-02-07 10:26:04 / 13

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