Love


March 18, 2016: 7:30 pm: Love

2 Corinthians 9:3-5
3 We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. 5 With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The proud arguments and strongholds that Paul is talking about are within our minds. They are the wrong teachings we have been taught about God. Parents and teachers have influenced what we think of God. Right or wrong, everything we have learned about God is programmed in our minds. Sometimes we need to be de-programmed. If we see God as a judgmental disciplinary that is just waiting for us to do wrong so He can punish us, then we may have trouble accepting His unconditional love. God has given us a clear picture of Himself and His love through Jesus Christ. Our picture of Him is skewed by our past experiences and interaction with those in authority over us. These are strongholds in our minds that need to be torn down and replaced with the truth. That is why Paul is telling us we can not fight this with human weapons but must use spiritual weapons. Ephesians 6:11 tells us, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.” Satan will use these false perceptions of God in your mind to keep you from receiving all that God has intended for you. We need to break these strongholds down with the truth of God. The truth is in God’s Word. Know His Word. And ask God to tear down these strongholds and fill your mind with His truth.

Have a God Day!

 

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February 29, 2016: 9:00 pm: Love

James 1:21-27
21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law-the law that sets you free-and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many find it easy and comfortable to maintain the appearance of being committed without a deep and sincere loyalty to God. Religious acts or rituals can help you to understand God, but without a sincere commitment to doing His will, they mean nothing. That is why God instituted circumcision and the sacrificial system in the Old Testament and baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the New. But religious ritual is helpful only if it is carried out with an attitude of love for and obedience to God. If a person’s heart is far from God, ritual will become empty mockery. God doesn’t want your “acts” of religion; He wants your actions of His will. Hosea 6:6 states, “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to know God; that’s more important than burnt offerings.” God told the Old Testament people that He did not want their sacrifices, He wanted their heart. Because a heart that loves Him is a heart that will obey Him. The actions that come out of a heart that loves Him will be for Him and not to Him. And we can love Him because of His unconditional, unfailing, unending love that He has for us! Pretense of love is not love at all. God desires your sincere love and the relationship that comes out of that love will keep you safe within His love. Don’t just go through the motions of serving Him. Search your heart and read His Word to know Him and you will love Him because of His great love for you!

Have a God Day!

 

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December 10, 2015: 10:08 pm: Love

1 Peter 1:17-21
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as foreigners here on earth. 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you. 21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Because God is judge of all the earth, we dare not ignore Him or treat Him casually. We should not assume our privileged status as children of God gives us freedom to do whatever we want. Our fear is a healthy respect for the all-powerful God who could have just as well destroyed us all. But because of His love for us, He ransomed us with His Blood, and we are to be forever grateful to Him. Christ’s sacrifice for our sins was not an after thought. The plan had been set in motion by the all-knowing God long before the world began. Luke 22:20 states, “…This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you-an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.” What a comfort for those who love Him to know that He has always had and will always have everything under control. We can confidently place our trust in Him, as we respect Him for who He is.

Have a God Day!

 

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September 2, 2015: 2:42 am: Love

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
13 As for us, we always thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation, a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and by your belief in the truth. 14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on everything we taught you both in person and by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loved us and in his special favor gave us everlasting comfort and good hope, 17 comfort your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do and say. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Salvation begins and ends with God through Christ Jesus. We can do nothing to be saved on our own merit, we must accept God’s gift of salvation. There is no other way to receive forgiveness for our sins. He knows who will accept him and who will not. The process of being made holy is a work of the Holy Spirit in us. While we are in this process, we will face pressure and worldliness to leave our faith. Paul tells us to “stand firm” and hold on to the truth. The reality of Christ’s love for us will keep us on the road to becoming like Him. Let it fill your heart and mind and then your actions will follow.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 26, 2015: 7:43 pm: Love

 

John 16: 29-33
31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming-in fact, it is already here-when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The instructions that Jesus gave us reflect how He lived His life while He was here on the earth. He told us not to be alarmed when we have trials and problems. He had them, and so would we. We have all suffered from struggles, problems and trials. Some have suffered more than others, but all of those in Christ will experience them. How we deal with them is another question. How we handle our grief is dependent on how we have built our life. If you are about to set sail to cross the ocean do you want to get on a ship that was just built for smooth sailing or do you want to get on the ship that can handle the storm? Of course we expect smooth sailing, but in the event that something should change, don’t you want to be on the ship that can take the unstable sea? The same goes for our lives. We need to build our life on the principles of the Word of God and live as Jesus lived. If we know Him and know His Word, we will be prepared for anything this world can throw at us. We expect smooth sailing, but we also know that problems will come. Those who build their lives on Christ are prepared for the most difficult illness, financial problem or even death of a loved one. They are prepared before the trail comes because they have built their life on the Rock. When you know Him, you know peace no matter what your circumstance. Because your peace is based on His promise and not on the outcome of your situation, you will weather the storm. Even in your sorrow, you have a sense of well being because you know He is with you and will never leave. So don’t set sail in life without preparing. Be grounded in His Word, know Him and you will know peace.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 18, 2015: 1:04 am: Love

John 14:21-29
21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. 29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Jesus said that His followers show their love for Him by obeying Him.  Love is more than words; it is commitment and conduct.  If you love Christ, then prove it by walking in obedience to His Word.  When we know Him, we love Him. And when we love Him, we walk in obedience to Him.  When we walk in obedience to Him, we know His peace.  The Holy Spirit gives us perfect peace when we love Him. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance. The peace given to us from God is not dependent on the circumstances of our life, but is present in any circumstance we may face.  And this peace cannot be taken away from us, no matter what may happen.  Our peace is in Christ not in what is happening in our lives, or to our bodies, or to our loved ones.  It is a peace that covers our very souls with assurance that God is in control and that He will work all things out for our good because we love Him.  And when we love Him, we obey Him.  It all comes back to how we show Him we love Him.  Show Christ that you love Him by knowing His Word and doing His Word.  Take the time to love Christ to someone you know today by being His hand extended with acts of kindness and love that can only come from our Savior.

Have a God Day!

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August 17, 2015: 1:03 am: Love

Ecclesiastes 3:10-14
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil-this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

What is this burden God has laid on the entire human race?  For those in Christ Jesus, we have God living in us.  This makes us righteous before Him.  We are not righteous because of what we have done, but because we believe what He has done for us.  But we also still have our sinful nature in us while we live in this world.  This is part of the burden we have.  All humans have the burden of our sinful nature.  But for those in Christ, we also have the Spirit of God in us.  So we have the privileges of royalty while having the duties of slaves.  While we live in this world, we know we have right standing with God the Father, yet we continue to sin.  This burden weighs heavily on the heart that does not understand the amazing grace of Christ.  God will make everything beautiful in its time, but until then we need to continue to know Him more and work out the sanctification of our souls. Our mind, will and emotions are subject to our sinful nature. And even though we continue to sin, our position in Jesus Christ does not change.  Nothing can ever separate us from His love and grace. Our mind may tell us different, but we can feed it the Word of God.  His Word cuts through any lie we may tell ourselves or that others may tell us.  So understand the burden God has placed on us all while understanding that nothing can ever remove you from the grace and love that God gave when Jesus Christ went to the Cross and you believed Him. Believe Him now in knowing that we may stumble, but we are never removed from His love!

Have a God Day!

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July 27, 2015: 12:14 am: Love

Luke 6:37-41

37 “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. 38 If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small-it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” 39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “What good is it for one blind person to lead another? The first one will fall into a ditch and pull the other down also. 40 A student is not greater than the teacher. But the student who works hard will become like the teacher. 41 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

A forgiving person demonstrates that they understand their own sinfulness and have received God’s forgiveness.  When we realize how great our sin is, no matter what it is, we will be able to move forward in freedom to forgive those who have wronged us.  If we are critical rather than compassionate, we will receive criticism.  If we treat others generously, graciously, and with compassion these qualities will come back to us.  If we rationalize our own sin by pointing out the sin in others, we have not understood the forgiveness God has given us through Christ Jesus.  It does not matter that your neighbors sin is “worse” than yours, you still have sinned and need God’s forgiveness as much as the greater sinner.  By putting a level of wickedness on our sin, we put ourselves above others and God does not see it this way.  Our standard of measure is always God.  And no one can measure up to His perfection.  So all sin is evil in God’s eyes and all sin, no matter how great or how small, is sin against God. If we minimize our sin, we do not make changes and so we keep on sinning.  But if we view every wrong attitude and action as a serious offense against God, we begin to understand what living for Him is all about.  To live without faith is hopeless, to express sorrow for your sin without change is hypocritical.  Everyone is sorry for their sin when they are caught. But only those who understand how great all sin is will make changes in their life that will reflect Christ living in them.  Being sorry for sin is not enough.  Repentance demands a change of mind and heart that result in changed behavior.  Seek to know Him and seek to understand how great His sacrifice was for your sin and your heart will reflect through your behavior the changes God has made in your life.

Have a God Day!

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February 16, 2015: 7:22 pm: Love

1 Timothy 1:12-17

12 How thankful I am to Christ Jesus our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve him, 13 even though I used to scoff at the name of Christ. I hunted down his people, harming them in every way I could. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with faith and the love of Christ Jesus. 15 This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-and I was the worst of them all. 16 But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Good News is that Jesus Christ came to earth to save sinners and no sinner is beyond His saving grace! God did not become a Man to merely show us how to live a good life or to become better people; He came to offer to anyone who would believe salvation. If you have not accepted God’s gift of love, it is not too late. Paul tells Timothy that he was the worst of sinners, even hunting down God’s people and putting them to death. Paul held the cloaks of those who stoned Stephen in Acts and agreed with what they did. So if God could reach him, there is no one whose sin is too great to be covered by the Blood of Christ. Nothing you can do or have ever done is too great for God to forgive, if you come to Him and ask Him. Paul never forgot where he came from, so he never lost his humility. And because Paul never forgot where he came from, he could reach out to the worst of sinners with the love God so freely gave to him. This is the example for us; never forget the grace given to you for your sin when others sin against you.

Have a God Day!

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February 13, 2015: 7:32 pm: Love

1 John 1:1-4

The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life. 2 This one who is life from God was shown to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and announce to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was shown to us. 3 We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.4 We are writing these things so that our joy will be complete.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

John was one of Christ’s original disciples. He was the “the disciple Jesus loved.”(John 21:20) This letter was written at about 85 A.D. from Ephesus, before John’s exile to the island of Patmos, before he wrote the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. and Christians had been scattered around the world. John knew his life was coming to an end and wrote this letter to put believers back on track. He knew that when all of those who knew Christ as a person would soon be gone, that Christians would have to continue on without this first hand witness. He clarifies that they had a person to person relationship with Christ. That they had lived with Him, had touched Him, and they had heard Him. But most of all that they had fellowship with Him and now all believers who knew John could have fellowship with Him. All believers could have fellowship with Christ because they had fellowship with John. We too can have fellowship with Christ because of John’s testimony, because of his written word. Because God worked through those who knew Christ personally and they wrote about that experience, those who read and believe can have fellowship with Christ. And having fellowship with God will bring joy and make us complete. The Word was given to us through those who personally knew Him, and because of their relationship with Christ, as we can have a relationship with Christ. True fellowship is a personal and spiritual interaction through a living relationship with Christ. And is for all who believe Him and we can believe Him because of the witness of those who knew Him first.
Have a God Day!

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