Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

Latest Blog Entries

1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

To feel envy is human, but to enjoy other people’s misfortune is downright diabolical. As Paul continues to describe the characteristics of God’s kind of love, he suggests that it is worse than weak to partake in this kind of rejoicing. In fact, he says it’s wicked to enjoy this.

This immoral approach to love is happening in the city of Corinth. The saints are taking pleasure in other people’s misfortunes. Paul feels conflicted; he feels that love doesn’t rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Love doesn’t gloat when bad things happen to other people. Love doesn’t secretly rub its hands together in enjoyment. Love doesn’t enjoy misfortunes even in those who have done wrong. Love does not find satisfaction in the wrongdoings of enemies.

You should love your neighbor even when they fall.  

However, pain always wants compensation. The wrong done to you forces you to shut down the hope in the one who has done you wrong. But the presence of the Spirit in your life ought to be stronger than these wicked feelings. The Holy Spirit should give you the strength not to take pleasure in others’ failures. When the Holy Spirit dominates your soul, you should have no desire to rub your hands together in happiness when one of your enemies falls.

Imagine driving down the road, and a car cuts in front of you, then drives past and gives you a rude gesture through the window. A couple blocks later, you see a cop has pulled them over. Maybe you hope they forgot their license that day or they weren’t wearing a seatbelt. At the very least, maybe they’ll spill coffee on their clothes or get an agitated cop who gives them a ticket. But Paul says your love shouldn’t gloat over the misfortune of those who’ve done you wrong. Even when it comes to an ex friend or significant other—and considering all the pain and hardship they’ve put you through—Paul still stresses that love doesn’t revel in the pain of others.

Don’t search for contentment in your life through the misfortunes of those who have wronged you. God’s love in you can and should provide all the contentment you need. When you understand the magnitude of the love of God that is in you and begin to truly value that love, nothing else will matter. You don’t have to feel more impressed with yourself, or superior, or inferior based upon another person’s behavior. You should simply be grateful God brought you this far.

As much as you’ve been hurt, He makes you stronger through every hurt you have experienced. Maybe some events in your past should have prevented you from smiling again or having new aspirations or finding joy, but God brought you through. When you think about how He’s brought you back from the edge—how He didn’t let you fall when you were barely hanging on—how can you be anything but content? He sorts, heals, sanctifies, and makes the crooked places straight.

Find joy and contentment in God every day, not just seasons where you are winning and your enemies are losing. Wrap your future in the strength of His presence. Rejoice not in the misfortune of others, but in the love He puts on your life. God is enough!

1 Corinthian 13:1-3 (AMP)

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

In these times of political turmoil, our culture is turning to incivility. We see someone on the street and instead of talking to them, giving a polite smile, wave, or “Good Afternoon!”, we look the other way. We wait for them to say something. And I must admit, I am guilty of this myself. We become tired of the incivility in others, so we give up too. We look the other way, we ignore others, and the cycle of incivility continues. It’s in the church, it’s in our culture—it’s everywhere.

Last week we talked about incivility on a cultural level, but this week I want to discuss this at an individual level. Paul is lecturing to the people of Corinth that without love, our spiritual gifts are fruitless. Our words become hollow. If we can’t relate to others and come together in God, our acts of good amount to nothing. He asks, “What is the root of God’s work in you?” The answer should be love. Our spiritual endowments are given to us so we can help one another in the body of Christ.

Don’t let others make you sacrifice your civility or act like you don’t believe in God or the principles outlined in the Bible. You are not saved because you say you are, but because of the grace and mercy that God has extended to you. Don’t go around saying you’re anointed but treat others who don’t agree with you with disrespect. Don’t lose your hope. Stay encouraged when faced with threats every day. Maintain your grace not just when money’s in the bank and food is on the table, but when your back is against the wall and others aren’t treating you well.

You may have acted with disrespect before you were saved, but when God extended the gift of salvation to you, it made you different. God does not judge you based on who you were before you were saved—He cares about your behavior now. He cares that no matter how the culture is behaving around you, you don’t have to become corrupt just to fit in. He cares that you love even when people hate and that you put your weapons on the shelf and use your spiritual gifts instead. Your relationship with Jesus should make you believe that there is always life after tough seasons.

Maybe you were a naturally distrustful person because of your background. But when you gave your life to Christ, that all goes away. He transformed your life and spiritually empowered you. That means you don’t have to succumb to incivility. The Holy Spirit transformed you to help you live and love for the kingdom and make others want to know the Christ who set you free. Being a Christian doesn’t give you a pass.

What made us lose confidence in love? When did we stop trusting its substance or sustainability? Too often we judge others by their actions and judge ourselves by our intentions. What would happen if we reversed that?

Don’t let the infection that is setting in this culture make you forget you’ve been inoculated from its ingestion by the Holy Spirit. We can’t know the joy of God without others. Always remember that the love of Christ never fails and is a gift that should be shared with anyone that crosses your path!


1 Corinthian 13:1-3 (AMP)

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

In this passage, Paul is explaining to us that we should live a spirit-led life that compels others to want to live the same way. The presence of the Holy Spirit’s gifts is the highest expression of God’s presence in the life of a believer. The gifts are sent to help one another in the body of Christ. But let me ask you, what good are your gifts from God if they are not presented with love?

As Christians, we should be growing our faith and encouraging others in theirs, but that’s not what I’m seeing in today’s culture. Today’s culture is mocking that of which we see in Paul’s Corinth. In Corinth, they’re rude to each other. We see name calling, insults, cruelty, and debate for no purpose or benefit. This spreading infection is called incivility. Incivility is defined in the dictionary as “rude or unsociable speech or behavior.”

Much like in Corinth, our world is in jeopardy due to this incivility. Your faith in Christ might be able to withstand a hurricane, but there will be holes in the foundation caused by the termites of incivility eating away at it.

When Paul speaks, conversation in the city hushes. He explains that if the townspeople don’t express themselves with love, their words will be reduced to a hollow song of nothing. If they can’t relate to others and come together in God, their speech will amount to nothing.

We live in a world of demonizing descriptions and opinions that are encouraged by half truths. We’ve gotten to the point where when something good is done, it seems shaded and motivated by something darker. And I’m not just seeing this in our culture, I’m seeing it in the church. Our sharpness of tongue and inability to debate without using weapons of mass destruction has put us Christians on edge about everything. It’s human incivility. 

We are better than this. We Christians are better than how we have been acting. Don’t let others make you sacrifice your civility. Don’t let culture make you act cruel, too. Don’t let the mean you see in the streets make you mean and cynical in the church. Just because you say you’re saved and anointed doesn’t mean you are. The proof is in how you treat others.

Don’t cave in to crushing incivility.

Many people believe that as the culture goes, so goes the church. I don’t believe that. I believe the church leads the culture. So therefore, as the church goes, so goes the culture. Don’t allow incivility to fatigue you and act in the same manner. You are God’s mouthpiece. You might have a natural inclination to be distrustful of people you meet on the street, but even though you are wired a certain way, recognize that you can be transformed by the Holy Spirit to act in a different way. Guard your tongue, mind your business, and be kind.

Don’t let the infection toxify your system. Don’t cave to incivility.

No matter how crazy this culture is in 2018, a revival is on the way. We can’t wait for culture to change; we have to be the ones to start the change. Don’t wait for someone else.  


Psalm 25:14 (NIV)

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

Did you know that God is waiting on you to respond to Him? He wants to be your Friend, Savior, and Lord, but He’s not going to force you to sign up. He doesn’t force Himself on us. He doesn’t dominate us for relationship. He “allures” us. He simply wants your friendship and your witness.  

Why? He’s a God of relationship. He could place the world on autopilot, but He would rather the world spin with you than without you.

He even laid that message out in the first book of His book. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make mankind in our image…to rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (NIV).

Why do you think He told us that?

Even though it’s His world, He gave you dominion over it. He would rather do what He does with us than without us. The fact that He gives me the grace to realize His presence in my life amazes me. He wants to use that blessing on my life to amaze others.

Now, let me give you the other side of this amazing life God offers you. Your anointing doesn’t mean that you won’t have bad days and long nights. It means that you’re living in a broken world and that God wants you to trust Him and keep saying “yes” to His invitation to live a life with Him in it.

He opens up the windows of Heaven to pour out on your life the blessings you don’t have room enough to receive. It sounds almost too good to be true. You trust Him and He blesses your life. What’s the catch?

The catch is you bless others with the blessings you receive. Jesus commanded His disciples to “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV).

Yet, even His commandment comes with a promise. “Go forth and teach of me. I am with you always,” He says.

So, when life knocks you down, how do you respond?

You get back up and trust Him again. Don’t be scared to take a walk again. Don’t be scared to show up again. Don’t be scared to stand up again. Don’t be scared to lift a prayer again.

He’s just waiting for you to respond.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Here’s a hard truth. Sometimes God says, “No.” He doesn’t explain it when you pray and pray for something and it doesn’t come to be. He just asks you to trust Him and believe that He has a better plan for you.

But waiting on a better plan can be difficult!

Think about the greats of the Bible who had to wait a long time for God’s purpose for their lives: Moses (40 years); David (arguably 15 years of being pursued by a jealous, crazy king); Zechariah (99 years old) and Elizabeth (88 years old) before they had John the Baptist; and Noah (estimates say he was told to build the Ark 55-75 years before the Flood). I think you get the picture. Waiting for a promise to be fulfilled can take a long time and takes consistent faith.

But the thing about God’s timing is that He always keeps His promises. They may not look like anything you can imagine, but He has a purpose and a plan and you are part of it.

Reality steals from the faithful by saying that God stopped talking a long time ago. There’s a strand of theology called progressive revelation. This simply means that God has continued talking to His children over time.

Reality can tell you that God stopped talking when the Bible was finalized. It can tell you that the last people He spoke with were the apostles. That reality is a false reality and here’s why:

  1. God said His Word wouldn’t come back void. In Isaiah 55:11 He says, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
  2. If you prayed this morning, you spoke to God. Like the hymn says, “He walks with me, and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own.”
  3. He is the LIVING God.

Reality tells us that we can’t enjoy the blessings he bestows upon His children. But that’s false too. We shouldn’t feel guilty for what the Lord has done. Even in the exile of Israel, God told His children (ones in exile in Babylon):

Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. (Jeremiah 29:5-7, NIV)

God wants you to thrive and live, not hide behind what you see in your circumstances today.

Here are five tips for keeping your balance with reality and possibility: 

  1. Stop thinking you don’t deserve what God has given you. You may not be able to justify your blessings, but you don’t have to explain them. A simple answer—Jesus believes in the possibility of me.
  2. Become a contemplative Christian. As David says in his famous Psalm 119, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees: I will not neglect your Word.” As one commentator says, “Read God’s word until it reads you.” Life is always going to juxtapose you between reality and possibility. This meditation puts possibility ahead of reality.
  3. Believe that every new day is a day for possibility. His mercies are new every morning after all.
  4. Don’t just thank God for changing your reality. Thank God for giving you possibility—also known as hope.
  5. Remember that you can’t improve on what Jesus has already done. You have salvation, grace, and freedom from sin because you are HIS.

Now, go live for possibility because that’s what God wants for you.