Tag Archive | agape

First will be last and last will be first

I was looking at a picture of ducks who were facing one way, and in the second picture they had done an 180 degree turn, meaning that the first was last and last would be first.  They did a repentance, a Metatonia in Greek.  It’s really hard to make a spiritual turn.  Sometimes we get stuck or backslide.  But this is a process that God is working on with us. We are like a potter’s wheel, we get mashed around and cry and laugh.  Today I was caught crying because I was forced to eat.  I didn’t like it but I ate because of my love for Joey.

What is the Purpose of God?

Heavenly Father,

I pray that You anoint my hands to type only words that come from You and not from myself, with simplicity and understanding so that the message may touch whoever You want it to reach.  I thank You that I am anointed to preach this Word, and You the precious people are equally anointed to receive and understand this Word.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

To fulfill our destiny in life we must know what is the purpose of God.  We may think we know, and we may think we have already done it, but Jesus makes it very clear what it is the purpose of God. To understand the purpose we must know what Jesus was anointed for.

Luke 4 says:

18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity],

19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day [l]when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound].

Notice He didn’t say it’s about building Churches (yes preaching the Gospel is part of that), it’s not about having revival meetings, it’s not about having parties, it’s not about anything, but His purpose the reason which He was called- to set captives free, to recover sight to the blind, to deliver those who are oppressed, and also to bring salvation to mankind.

We all need to repent for our sins because we are now abiding in Christ, but part of abiding in Christ is to fulfill His purpose.  You may see someone who is brokenhearted, and you do not go and comfort them, you do not hold them, you do not let them cry on your shoulder without giving them a lecture, then are you fulfilling the purpose of God?

If you see someone oppressed, and you refuse to pray for them, are you fulfilling the purpose of God?

Jesus has a very caring, compassionate, loving, heart and He reaches out to the Outcasts, and the ones who are beyond help, and cannot survive without the God kind of love in their lives.

We need to judge by fruit to test to see whether we are breaking the bonds of others.  We may think, “What if they won’t hear us?  What if they don’t see any change?  What if they reject you?”  That’s ok because they rejected Jesus and by rejecting us they also reject Jesus.  We must strive to see the good in others.

Seeds have a domino effect.  Seeds of love passed down can bring forth power, but seeds that bring condemnation, fear, and judgment, are defeating the purposes of God.  It is not our job to judge anyone – it is Jesus’ job to judge people.  With this in mind we must remember why we are called.

Most diseases have to do with a broken heart, and when a heart is broken, then it takes love to restore it.   It takes love from above, which is powerful.  When you see someone with a broken heart do you go out and help them?  When you know someone is crying and grieving do you go out and comfort them?

The Church role is very important, but is your church meeting up with God’s criteria and His purpose?  Is your Church ministering to the outcast and the weak people.  This is a very important thing to consider for all of us.  We need to take a step back and reevaluate this.  Do we show characteristics of Christ, or do we show characteristics of self-righteous attitude?

What really grieves the heart of God?  Is it because someone is not committed to Church on a regular basis?  If someone is not going to Church, did you ask them have been receiving the love which Jesus so richly pours out upon us?

Right now there are so many brokenhearted people, and Jesus is looking for people to minister, and He needs His Bride to lift up and encourage one another, not to get so high up there, that you cannot minister to the poor, needy, and brokenhearted.  He loves all of us.  He cares for all of us and He shows compassion for all of us.  It is such a great compassion.

There is love that is never ending and until eternity.  This is the love that Jesus so richly paid the price for.   Who is broken hearted, oppressed, and needy?  Have you met that need?

Heavenly Father,

Help us meet the needs of the poor, oppressed, broken hearted, those that experience rejection, feel alone, despised, like no one loves them.  Help us bring them back into the fold.  Help us go after the lost and experience what is the true purpose of God, and not get caught up in man made traditions.  Help us see a need and meet it.  Renew our love today, and bring peace to all the people around us.  Thank You for our blessings.

In Jesus Mighty name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

Father’s love gets you through the dangerous times

In one of my previous posts called No more Rules and Regulations I talked about the movie of the Sound of Music, and I want to write about it again.  For background info you can read the post called No more Rules and Regulations.  In that movie, Captain Von Trapp was the strict former Navy Officer who was the father of seven children who lost their mother.  So Maria, who was a Nun, who hadn’t learned, to be obedient, went to “grow up” and to “fulfill her calling and purpose” and to “find out who she really was”.  The father Captain Von Trapp who treated his children like military subjects was very strict with them causing them to rebel even more.  We can see this example in the Bible in the Old Testament, when the LORD tried to get Israel to obey Him, and they were always struggling, and they longed as Job said, “for a Mediator” to bridge the gap between the wrath of the LORD God, and himself.  But in the movie once, Maria came in and brought singing in the house, and reignited the love relationship to the children, then the Captain became softer toward the children and started treating them like his children, but the Captain still didn’t lose his identity, he just changed his affection towards the children.  So because of this affection towards the children and because when they received abundant love from him whereas before when they were so afraid of him doing something wrong that they wouldn’t have a relationship with him and just didn’t seem to have that closeness and just fear and everything else was based on fear that he would punish them so he couldn’t properly guide them in making wise decisions.   This is a type and shadow of the way the Father is in heaven, and how even during the dark and dangerous times He will help those whom he loves because of His nature.  The Captian in the movie is a type and shadow of the Heavenly Father in the sense that He is the same Father who With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

So in the story the Captain helps them escape from the enemies during the Holocaust time because he had established their relationship with them, and now they were able to obey because of the unity of love, but when they thought he didn’t love them, they acted rebelliously and defiantly.  So it was needful for Maria to come in and show the example of love in their life because without her they didn’t seem to have any, and without that they couldn’t get through the difficult times.  So through the dangerous times in the last days, yes we know the times we are living in, and we know there is sin in the world, and the world is getting more wicked as the days come, but when you bring love into the picture, which is the greater Law, it changes the heart of the people so that they can sing, and there is nothing wrong with preaching about love and only love because that is what the Kingdom of God is about.  It is about faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love.

Because the Father loves you so much, He sent His son to die so that you might not die and have eternal life, but if you don’t accept that love and just view Him as someone who put you in a bad situation then the time that you are going through is going to be much harder.

Remember Brigitta – she was about 10-12 I don’t remember, but she was at that defiant age, and she was punished with a spanking and a chastening, but the true test came when they were in the prison when the enemy was coming for them and they had to go into hiding, and when they went into hiding and they had to depend on their father to tell them what to do.  This would not have happened if they had not developed the relationship of love with Maria.  Now Maria at the time was conflicted with the Baronness, and she had to struggle to at one point and lose her identity as a Nun, and have to face the fact of sinning against the ordinance, but the Reverend Mother realized that it was needful for Maria to go and do what her heart desires she said, “I want to love him, but I don’t want to love him” or something to that effect.  So then she had to take on the new role as a mother, and giving her a whole new set of responsiblities and finally bringing her into her calling.  Imagine if while the family were in hiding, that they were still afraid of their father, yes they would obey Him, but their fear would make the situations worse to the point where they would panic.  God is not like that He wants you to come to Him with love and not out of fear.  With love you gain respect and reverence, but not with fear.  You still have to treat him with dignity when He has his “uniform of the Captain or LORD of hosts on”, but you still know in your heart that He is your loving Father and that He loves you unconditionally.  Captain Von Trapp hated disobedience, and had been through many governesses, just like the Heavenly Father had many prophets to teach Israelites how to obey, but none of them lasted.  The disobedient children because they were not reminded of the love of the father always rebelled against the governesses, in the same way the disobedient Israelites came because they were not reminded of the love of the Father, so Jesus had to come and put Himself on the Cross for us so that we might have relationship with Him, and also to the Father, and for that His redeeming power is so great.  Love is what keeps the Holy Spirit alive in our hearts, and without the love of the Holy Spirit, then times will become very difficult.  We should rest in peace knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us no matter what is going on, even if we are in hiding.  When we hide, we hide in His presence and not away from Him.  We don’t turn away from Him.  We use the love that was sown in our hearts to make the best out of a bad situation.

At the end of the movie the Reverend Mother quoted Psalm 121-

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

The word keeper and preserver here means to protect, and can also have an implication to seal as we are sealed with the promise of His Holy Spirit, which  will never leave us or forsake us no matter how many times we fall and disobey. But we must be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit by not realizing how much the Father really loves us and how deep the Father really loves and in that we find our protection and our healing. The Holy Spirit is gentle, and He will not force you into anything, but God loves you so much that He is doing things for your protection even if you may not see it at times.  We must remember that perfect love casts out fear.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the grace, mercy, and love that you so generously showered over us for Your Word does say that Your stedfast love endures forever.  We repent for not following after Your Spirit at times and at times when we have not recognized the love that You have given us and we repent for not pursuing a relationship with you and growing in intimacy with you.  Thank You for helping us get through difficult time and Thank You for more and more revelations of You.  You are Jehovah Rapha and Jehovah Shammar and Jehovah Shavout, and You promised that Your stedfast love is forever as it says in Psalm 136 and Your Word does not lie, so then we accept Your love and walk this day in covenant with You so that we may see more of Your grace, mercy, and love, so then even when we are disobedient, that Your grace may abound more.  We accept this gift of grace and choose not to take in vain with licentious living but to live with a pure heart whose only desire is to have that wise Agape love that seeks out Your Kingdom Promises.  Thank You Lord,

IN JESUS MIGHTY NAME I PRAY,

Amen.

 

 

From a greedy heart to a loving one

 

This has really been on my heart a while about the dangers of greed, and I wanted to share it earlier. In the process I changed my title.   I want to venture out and say that sin has different levels, and while I was preparing this message, the verse that someone commented on this blog became alive for me.  12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:11

Imagine running a race, when a 100 pound weight vest on.  That’s what people do on the Biggest Loser.  They sometimes run these races and they have these weights of all the weight they used to weigh and as they are running the race they drop off the weights in these containers.  Similarly, in the Christian walk, we all have weights that are called sin, which so easily ensnare us.  Yes Jesus Blood has cleansed us from sin, and removed all past sin from us, but we are still not perfect like Him, so then we have this sin that so easily ensnares us, and one of them I want to talk about today is greed. Greediness is tied into selfishness.

We know the world has greed and it can be seen anywhere, the stock market, George Fontenellis, said “operates on fear and greed”.  The world does not know any better.  Whether Christians should invest in the stock market, is not the purpose of this post.  But we as Christians should be set apart and act differently, than the world, and sadly, we don’t see that within the body of believers.  Sometimes we pray for stuff and then we get it and then the next day it’s something else, and something else.  It is also tied to not having a grateful heart or a heart full of thanksgiving.  We are always wanting more and more and more to the point that we are not satisfied.  We are always asking this and that from God, and sometimes forgetting to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

We can also be greedy about love.  We want to have all the love to ourselves, and not want to share it.  We are in turn being selfish, and while God does know us, He wants us to recognize that we do have this area to work on.  The first step in problem solving is to identify the problem.  The Holy Spirit works with you to recognize the problem, and then He helps remove this weights of sin off our lives, if we let Him.  If we don’t let Him, then He can’t work in our lives.  We all have problems, and they need to be fixed, and Jesus is the Master of fixing problems, but often times He does not do it in the way we expect.  For example when He came to Israel, they expected Him, to become King and dismantle the political system and save the Jews from oppression by the Romans, but that was not what He was there to do.  He was there for a bigger purpose.  He had to commission His Kingdom, and set the process of transformation of lives to begin with.

Many people can have spiritual gifts and anointing, ministries, and the like, but unless they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and remove the things that are keeping us from the glory to be revealed in us as it says in Romans 8, then all of that is in vain.  Unconditional love or Agape is the reason that Jesus died for us, and not just for our families, friends, and acquaintances, but for the whole world.  When we have this selfish greed in our heart it is keeping us from operating in the fullness of this Agape love, but since there are certain levels of greed operating in our lives, then we have to lay this sin upon the cross daily, and start renew and cultivate the love of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.

What gets to me is when Paul says, “To be able to know what is the depth, and the height and the breadth of love, which surpasses all understanding”  We need to have more of this kind of love.  Greed is what makes people steal.  In 2 Kings 5:20 they talked about Gehazi who had greed, and the leprosy of Namaan clung to Gehazi.  Why?  Because He was not operating out of love.

This post is really not about tithing, or about money, or about possessions, but it’s about the character of God developing in you.  When you have this greed, or any sin, for that matter, it is like grime and it weighs you down so that you can’t run the race.  When you pray and you run to God to release the burden of the sin onto Him, and cast your cares onto Him, He allows it to work in your life, but you first have to surrender.

Many people think that once your saved, that’s it that you don’t have to change in anyway and that you can still be the same person, and that you cannot remove the old nature and to take on the new nature, but they don’t realize that this is all a process and a journey with many mountains and valleys, ups and downs.  Jesus is there to guide you through it all, and Thank God, for He is patient, kind, slow to anger, and merciful.  If it wasn’t for God’s mercy, we really would not be able to get away with all the stuff that we’ve gotten away with.

The power of redemption is to know what a sinner you were before, and to realize exactly what Jesus has done for you, so does that mean that once you have accepted you can continue to live in that way?  When you have redemption, not only has Jesus paid the price for your sin, but there is a transforming work inside of you that brings you from glory to glory so that you can be the shining example of victory that God has promised in your life.  Repentance, is not really just about saying I’m sorry, but like I said before, it’s about feeling remorse, and then turning, but as you turn it’s usually hard.  It’s where your faith comes in, and says if Jesus says that I can do it, then “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and in this context is where the verse is properly applied because the context is about knowing that whether abased or abound, you can be content.

Isn’t that all that we want?  To be content.  It is the true heart’s desire for us to be content and satisfied, but in essence we are always wanting more and more and we cannot seem to settle in one direction or another, but to have that steadfast contentment in our hearts, knowing that no matter what happens as long as we have Jesus, all is well.  I know it is hard, but we shouldn’t let others’ discontentment, which can lead to issues such as anger and greed get to us.  At the same time, we need to avoid being greedy and avoid all kinds of sin around us.  Yes Jesus has removed us from the guilt of sin, so we do not keep on needing to beat ourselves up about it, but we need to allow God to transform and change us by surrendering to Him, and it’s all a little by little.  The seed is there and we are going to change, if we have the right attitude about it, and are willing to change for God.  The problem comes when we think we have completely changed once we are saved, and then our minds don’t need constant renewing in the Word of God, or that our character needs to change to develop Christ-likeness.  Then we can appreciate the Grace of God that allows us to change into the image of God because He put that seed to love in our hearts.

Heavenly Father,

We know we are not perfect without You in our lives, and we thank You that You have given your precious saints, the ability to change and to become more like You.  Guard our hearts today from any kind of sin, which so easily ensnares us, and let us lay down any weight that keeps us from You Lord God.  Transform our hearts and make us into the pure likeness of Your Spirit, and guide us all into discernment Truth.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and I ask you Lord to renew our hearts daily so that we may become more like You.  Mold us, like the potter molds the clay, and make us conform to Your image Lord God.  Wherever there is violence or anger spewing in anyone’s heart, remove that and change into love, and compassion, and mercy, and forgiveness.  Teach people humility, and to be loving and giving of their time, resources, and the gifts and abilities You have given them so that they may know how they can reach out to others.  Thank You for this beautiful day for we know that whether it is sunny, or windy, or rainy, or snowy, or thundering, or shaking, You are still God and the midst of it all.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

The Multi-Faceted Word of God

There are so many different ways to interpret the Bible these days, and we often wonder why.  That’s because we don’t understand who God is.  We have to begin by knowing the names of God, and then we can learn about the attributes of God.

I’ve touched before on the names of God.  You can search for my posting.  But there is something deeper to really get to understand what God is about.

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

This was Isaiah speaking in the future because He had a vision where He had been taken up.  I read somewhere I believe it in the Bible that every time God turned around the angels would cry “Holy” at the new sight of God.

Irregardless, the WORD of GOD is still mutlifaceted meaning that Jesus has many sides to His character and personality.  He wants You to get to know Him, and the same is true with the Heavenly Father, which is why He sent His Son into the world to send the Holy Spirit into the world to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

One of the ways that really needs to get ingrained into the Body of Christ is that we cannot mold God into our image, He has to mold us into His image.  We need to become more and more like Him.

One of the main causes of division in the Body of Christ was this divisions on how to understand God, and why He did all those things that He did in the Old Testament, and why He brings Judgment and Wrath upon the people.  Yes it is good to know Him as Abba Father, and as Jesus knows Him, but even your own earthly father, if you really unconditionally love him, you will want to love all parts of his personality, even the ones you don’t like because your father means a lot to you.  The Heavenly Father is the same way.

In Exodus 34:12 it says that (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God).   With the foundation of Jesus as the Savior, you cannot properly understand the fullness of God unless you understand that He is Jealous.  Interestingly enough, the word used here is “Lord” and that means Jesus, and Jesus is the bridegroom, and He is Jealous for His bride like a husband is jealous for his wife.  If someone came and harmed His wife, He would take vengeance on her.  The Church is the Bride of Christ, and Israel is the Bride of the Father.  Everything God has done is for you, so that you would love Him with your whole heart and not love anything else above him.  He will destroy whatever hurts His bride, and He will protect His bride as well because He loves her.  God is very passionate and His love for you is so that you can love him in return.

I want to point out a scene – in the movie Bruce Almighty – again, where Jim Carrey who plays a man who has gotten the powers of God for a week says, “How can I get someone to love me with affecting free-will?”  Morgan Freeman, who plays God says, “If you find that one out let me know.”

Also Backstreet Boys have a song, Quit Playing Games with My Heart,  and one of the lines is “Everything I’ve done is for you so what is it that you can’t see?”  That’s the way God feels.  He feels like sometimes we play games with His heart, and we trample over His heart and we abuse His heart because we don’t live the way He wants us to.  We don’t accept Him for who He really is.  He is a whole person and the Word of God is the complete picture of who He is and every part of it is about His love for you and what he will do to people that don’t love Him completely.

If worldly people can capture this sense of passionate love, how come Christians can’t find the same thing about God?  Yes He is Grace, but He is also Justice.  If He is not justice, then who will bring justice to the earth?  What hope do we have then?  Yes His justice may not seem fair at times, but He can see things more clearly and from a better perspective than we can.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehendit.- John 1:1-4

This Word, was and is Jesus and here the word used is “logos” meaning Christ Himself, and the Bible is the only way we can discover who He is.  All Truth about Him is revealed through His Word and when we come to the realization that the Word of God and His attributes are mutually exclusive meaning that they cannot be separated.

We want Him to love us unconditionally, but do we love Him unconditionally, whatever He says in His Word, do we appreciate it?

So to get back to the point of the message I want to bring out – He has done everything on this earth for you, and just for you.  Just like a tree wants all it’s fruit, leaves, and branches, to be nourished, God wants you, and He desires you to protect You and to take You and embrace You like a hen is with her chicks under her wings.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16

In this Scripture in 2 Timothy it says that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and that means not only the New Testament,and not just  the Old Testament only.  Each part of Scripture is there so that you may be (saying that you not already are, when you accept Christ) complete.

There is a process in which you become complete.   Here is 2 Timothy 3:16 in the Amplified: 16Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).

To know God’s will we go to John 17:

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me,[b] that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world,[c] I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept;[d] and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

For those believers out there that want to know more about righteousness, I want to ask you a question.  Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who is right all the time?  I mean every single time.  You can never win an argument with them.  They know what you’re going to say before you say it.  Imagine if your parents are that way.  They are right every single time.  If someone is right all the time then there are times when you will be wrong.  You cannot say that, “I am never wrong” in front of them because they know that they are right.  God is right all the time.  He is the Righteous Father.  We are supposed to seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.  So there has to come to be a point where we admit that we are wrong, or that what we did is wrong.  That doesn’t change who we are.  We are still God’s children, but we have to admit that whatever we are thinking, or doing is wrong.  We must be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit.

Some people believe that once you accept Jesus then you can still be the same.  Imagine a scenario of a rich loving King who finds a poor homeless uneducated woman (much like My Fair Lady and Eliza DoLittle)  who is depressed dejected, impoverished, and nothing to her and she is involved in all kinds  of licentious or sinful living, and then he takes her and shows her his wealth and showers her with love and affection, and she loves him with all her heart, then once they are married she cannot go on living like a beggar, she has to take on the role of a queen.  She has to put down her old ways and become a new person.  She has to make an effort to change.  His love will nurture her into health and teach her the way she should go, but there is a process from becoming a beggar to becoming a queen.  It is not just her clothes that have to change, but it is her language, it is her character and a transforming work on the inside from leaving the past behind and taking on her new identity as the queen.   It is not an overnight thing, it is a process.  Queen Esther had to go through 12 months of purification treatments so that she could win favor with the king.  If she really loves him, and not his riches or his wealth and everything that he has given her, she will make every effort to change because she loves him and wants to be with him.

The same way God is jealous for his bride.  He wants to see her enter into beauty and perfection.  Yes she has already inherited the throne, and that is hers, but she cannot continue to live the way she did before.  She cannot be spiteful and mean and catty.  She has to be kind, generous, loving, and pour out her heart to the people.  She has to give of herself, and she has to love with her heart.

The Word of God is Truth to every one that finds it and the Word of God is exalted above his name.  Whoever believes in the Word of God, and actually takes time to meditate on it, they will be prepared when the bridegroom comes.  There are many ways of looking at the Bible and the Word of God, but when you take a look at it don’t just get stuck in one a color lense.  God is technicolor and just like God gave Joseph a coat with many colors, He can give you a lense of perspective into His Word with many colors, so that you can see who He is.  Once you have truly began to see with clear eyes this Word of God, then your life will begin to change.  Try one time to read through the whole Bible to read through the eyes of Justice.  I am still trying to do that myself, but every time I turn to the Word, I see something I’ve never seen before.  We must never become familiar with the Word.  Also there is a point in time where we have to dig our own wells and actually take the time to read and study the Word.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that You give us more insight into the Word, and let Your Word become the light upon our feet from Genesis to Revelation let it bring insight into the Truth of who You are and let us have revelation of You that will really change and transform our lives so that we can become like you being whole and complete and conform to Your will and purpose for our lives.  Thank You Lord God that You do hear and listen to our prayers.  Thank You for Your manifest wisdom upon this Bride of Christ and the Church.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and let what glorifies You be seen and let it transform hearts, break burdens, and show people the love that You have for them, so that they may know You and all of Your wisdom, because Your Word is Truth.  I pray for all Your precious saints, that not only know they are saints, but they become holy like You are holy too.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

 

Perfect Love Casts out Fear

I need this message more than anyone I know.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that I am anointed to preach this WORD without fear, guilt, shame, or inferiority.  I pray for revelation and insight that will transform hearts and purify them as well letting them be able to receive the Truth of God’s Word.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and let only what is suiting to Your purposes be fulfilled in me writing this post.  Give divine revelation and inspiration from the Holy Spirit.  Help me Holy Spirit not only to preach this WORD, but to see a transformation of my own life in this area.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the worldThey are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Verse 4 only applies to those people who have the Holy Spirit, which comes through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Verse 6 points affirms the reading of the New Testament and validation of it.  The whole counsel of the Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The He that is in you, is the Holy Spirit, and the he who is in the world is the devil.  We are coming into times when some people are going to start to be trampled on by what they believe and what we have believed before and thought was true and the very foundation that we were built on will be shaken.  So when you build your foundation on the rock, then you have solid footing and are able to face any circumstance that comes your way, but if your foundation gets tares along with the wheat, then only God can weed them out.

What is the foundation for the Christian faith?  Faith in Jesus.  This Faith is based on love.  Jesus said, “Be therefore perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”  Some people are bombarded with that statement.  How can I be made perfect?  How can I be like the Heavenly Father, who is so perfect and holy and people cannot stand to be in His Presence.  He is very holy, and how can we stand to be in His Presence?  Well the word there ‘perfect’ is from the word ‘teleios’ which is present tense. There is also the word ‘perfected’ which in the past tense is ‘perfected’.  For the sake of clarification  I’m going to bring out the verses backward.

1 John 4:20-21

Obedience by Faith

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

It says here, brother, which means brother or sister in Christ.  I honestly believe that if you truly love God and possess the Holy Spirit you cannot hate your brother, or else you’ll end up feeling really bad.  You may not like what they do at all.  You may not understand why they do what they do.  You may see all the little things that they do, but you wouldn’t want to see harm in them.  You may want to set boundaries and space yourself away from them, but if they are in Christ and you are in Christ, you should make every effort to treat them the right way as to not dig yourself in to a bigger ditch and find yourself where it is even harder for you to be in that place with God.   This is how to put faith into action, and this is what is meant by James, ‘faith without works’ is dead.

1 John 4:17-20

The Consummation of Love

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Take a close look at vs. 17 where it says because as He is- that means as the Father as, so are we in this world.  When we go to God we should not be afraid, because when we are afraid then we are tormented.  The way that our love has been made perfect is that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.   If you love your father and you know you have done something wrong you should be able to come to him and tell him I’m sorry for what I did, and not be afraid that he is going to hit you because of it.  There is no fear in love because fear involves torment.  So what about Philippians 2:12 ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling”?  When cross-referenced with 2 Corinthians 7:15, which says “15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him” a good Bible interpreter asks, “How can someone be afraid and trembling and receive them?”  So that means that it implies “excitement and respect”.  When you go to meet with God, there is a boldness knowing that you don’t have to be afraid.  In fact in this world if you’re a Christian there’s nothing to be afraid of, but we of course have fears and sometimes they are there for our protection, but according to these verses, you don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgment because that kind of fear brings torment, and not closeness with God.

Seeing God Through Love

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

So now that we know that we can enter in boldly to Throne of Grace, without fear of judgment, and if we with our hearts love our brothers and sisters in Christ, and also showing love for the lost, then His love has been perfected in us.  So then we can abide in God and God can abide in us.  The enemy will try everything from negative thoughts, to toxic emotions, dead and dry seasons, condemnation and guilt or anything at all to take us away from realizing that God loves us as verse 19 says.

Knowing God Through Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to bethe propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I’m going to express here again that this love is Agape, and it is the unconditional, self-sacrificing love which you can only get through Jesus Christ as it says in vs. 9.  It is not the kind of love between a boyfriend and girlfriend. Loving one another is the hardest thing to do.  Sometimes it flows so naturally out of us, and the other times it is so difficult. Forgiveness is the key to love.  Keeping this in the foremost of our heart that we need to love another and forgive them is essential.  You may not like what the person does, but don’t hate the person, or want to get back at the person.  Even if they are so wrong, the best thing you can do is pray for them.  Try to see the good in the person.  Try to see the best thing about the person you can find.

I want to say something to preachers, pastors, leaders, and teachers – You reap what you sow.  If you sow good seed, you’ll reap a good harvest, but if you sow bad seed, even the harvest that you have will dwindle away.  Bring words that build life and edify and build up the people.  Of course there are those that are called to rebuke, but there is a serious warning mentioned by Jesus:

LUKE 17:
Causing Others to Lose Faith—Matthew 18:6–10; Mark 9:42–50

1Jesus told his disciples, “Situations or (offense) that cause people to lose their faith are certain to arise. But how horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith! 2It would be best for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large stone hung around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to lose his faith. 3So watch yourselves!

“If a believer sins, correct him. If he changes the way he thinks and acts, forgive him. 4Even if he wrongs you seven times in one day and comes back to you seven times and says that he is sorry, forgive him.”

In NASB it says:

1 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against youseven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

If I have caused anyone to stumble in their faith, or been a stumbling block to anyone’s walk of faith, it was never my intention and I sincerely apologize.  I’m trying to still weed out the Truth from Lies and in my zeal for spreading the Gospel, I may abuse my position in order to get my insights out.  If I have brought guilt or condemnation to a new believer in Christ, then I sincerely apologize.  I myself am experiencing growing pains, getting out of the early years of a believer to going into the next stage, where everything shakes….but we need to hold on to the promises of God and for that we need to know what God says.

Please forgive me Matt Redman for posting your song lyrics here, but I am constantly reminded of this song at times when I think about Perfect Love Casts Out Fear –

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

(Chorus:)
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Christian lyrics – YOU NEVER LET GO LYRICS – MATT REDMAN 

http://www.christian-lyrics.net/matt-redman/you-never-let-go-lyrics.html#axzz1rV4uyvMr

What we can learn from the Elder Brother’s mistake in the Prodigal Son Parable

This insight really blessed my heart- Let’s begin at Luke 15 (NKJV):

“11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.”

This young man here signifies the type of the Gentiles, unbelievers, or people living a fleshly and carnal life, what we like to call Carnal Christians.  We know that it is not an unbeliever because it says that the young man has an inheritance.  This prodigal son became hungry for food.  He thought he deserved to eat pods, or the very little that he had, but there was nothing anybody gave him, so that food or (physical, or spiritual food) was very little.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

At this point, he probably thought his father wouldn’t forgive him because of the way he spent his living, and he was really depressed.  All he wanted was food.  This is a contrast to the story of Esau trading his birthright for food.  But yet he denied his true identity and he did not feel worthy to be a son.  How about if your child did something and said “I am no longer worthy to be your child.” It would grieve you, wouldn’t it to think that your child hurts so much that they don’t want to be called your child, that they would rather do chores for you without wanting to have a relationship with you?

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”

His father was a great way off, meaning far away, and his father saw him and had compassion.  Think about if you have a son that has just come back from the military  wouldn’t you go and feel this ache of compassion and rejoicing that your son had come home alive?    Even if you had an argument before you left you would still be rejoicing because now your son has come back to you.  Just like a person who is the father of a soldier would run and fall and hug and kiss his son, the father ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.  The father was just so happy to see his son to come back that he wasn’t thinking about the way he left and what he did.

22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.”

Using the military example, a returning soldier always gets a warm welcome from the parents, and this is always the cast.  He brought the beeeeeeeessssssst robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  Basically he just poured out his abundant blessings  and filled him up with (physical food and spiritual food) upon the younger son.  It would be interesting to compare and contrast this parable with Isaac and Esau and Jacob.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

I’ve heard people say in some circles (Holy Spirit entertainment, instead of reverential worship) like it’s a bad thing.  Some people are still against dancing.  We are supposed to have JOY in the kingdom of God!!!  Anyway, the elder brother had probably never heard this kind of music before and he wondered what it was.  He was wondering what’s all the commotion.  I guess his life with his father had been pretty boring based on his response.

28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

Who were supposed to not transgress the commandments?  If you go back to my previous post you’ll find one about that the Hebrews/Jews had to obey all the commandments, the entire Law.  He was pretty much jealous of the joy that the younger brother was receiving, and he said ‘this son of yours’, making it seem like he wasn’t even a brother, but almost used in derogatory sense.  He was thinking, ‘Why did you have to do that for him?  You didn’t do that for me?’  Now take a look at the father’s response.

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

There is so much meat in this parable.  There are two types of metaphors here, well actually three- there’s the younger brother (Gentiles), and the father (Heavenly Father), and the elder brother (Jews or Law keeping Pharisees/could also typify the people in the Church that have become religious or become mature in their faith).  I know this parable can be taken from many angles, but I want to examine a little bit more the elder brother.

1.  Elder Brother obeyed all the commands

The Jews obeyed all the commands

2.  Elder Brother was jealous of his younger brother

Some people look at the preachers of grace, and think that they have it way too easy, and that there must be some harder way and so when they see their ministries getting blessed, they begin to quickly turn people away from them, when grace preaching brings hope and life to the soul, if it is done properly.

3.  Elder Brother had no empathy:

He had a self-righteous attitude that ‘I am doing better than he does’ he doesn’t deserve something so rich’ and ‘how come my father didn’t do the same thing for me?’  He couldn’t see that his elder brother was lost and now he is found.

After Jesus ended these parables in Luke 16 it says:

14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

“16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.”

God wants to bring upon the pressing Holy Spirit passion into the Church.  I wish there was a way we could hear the texture and tone of Jesus voice when He was reading vs. 17.

I was reading on further in Luke as I was writing, and I feel compelled to share, that if I have caused anyone to stray away from their faith, or have to debate on things which are just basic.  It seems to at times my own faith is shaken, but I trust Jesus that He restores.  We may not understand all that there is in the Bible, but even as we become mature and learn how to treat people that are younger, or people that may be participating in all kinds of sins, to be able to restore them gently, and also to encourage them and build their faith up in Jesus and increase their faith and just love them be patient with them, and be careful of saying things that are going to put fear in people’s hearts.  There might be teachers out there that are trying their best to put the Word out there, but unless they sow good seed, and seed that glorifies Jesus and shows the nature of the Father to love and not to condemn, then the worse it will be for us and for them.  So treat one another with love.  If any of you elder brothers believe that they are correct in their dogma or doctrines, then take a second look and try to really examine your heart and see if these conditions of the elder brothers – whether Jews, or Mature Christians, Messianic Jews, anybody in that believes that they have been obedient to God, and say to yourself, “You that is without sin, cast the first stone.”  Then you will realize that Jesus was the only sinless man, and the everlasting Prince of Peace.  May you have Joy and Peace in your hearts.

For younger brothers, who have been treated badly by “elder brothers”  forgive them, and just lean on Jesus more and more and trust Jesus more and more.  Learn from people like Paul and how He dealt with Judaizers, and learn wisdom from the Bible because it is packed with Truth.  Learn to properly interpret the Bible and study Hebrew and Greek, reread the Parables over and over again to see what kind of Truth they have.  Don’t get stuck in one way of looking at things, but be teachable.  Keep the passion alive that you first had and remember not to lose your first love.

After I have written these things, I want to say that there is a warning for apostates, and people that stray away from the faith and teach things about spirituality that are not based on the Bible, and are basically emphasize a “pseudo-spirit” and “enlightment” that comes from eastern mysticism, that we need to be aware of because they can disguise themselves as Christians, but they really don’t have any Truth in them.  Test the spirits to see if they are from God.

Benefits of the Law to a society, Justification by Grace and Faith to a believer- Revised

I am going to do some teaching and I’m sorry if it makes your head hurt, but this I have to share because it has really been put on my heart.

Before I start off I am going to define what a Covenant is.

A Covenant is an agreement between God and another party which cannot be broken based on the conditions of the Covenant.

The Old Covenant, and this particular Covenant of Moses was made by God and Moses and it could not be broken.

The New Covenant is made between God and Himself – that’s why the Bible says that because He could not find anyone greater, He swore by Himself – Hebrews 6:13, and that is the Blood Covenant that He had with His Son.

I’m going to start off by saying that we are in no way bound by the Law or Torah, or the curses in it because Jesus paid the price for the curse and we are now under a New Covenant which is much better than the Old Covenant.  It is the Holy Spirit that leads us through the conscience with the law written upon our hearts, which is part of the New Covenant, a much better covenant and we are justified by grace and faith alone!!

Now the Law, which is not the same as the Old Covenant was not all bad either, and many people Christians and non-Christians alike still follow the law for whether consciously or unconsciously.  There were reasons for eating animals that chewed the cud, and with divided hoofs, and reasons for that were mostly sanitary and hygienic.  Most of the laws were guidelines for being sanitary and hygienic during those times because the society was not as developed with technology as we are now, so they had to find a way to take care of their lives and obey the laws.  For example, I want to ask a question to you – Take a typical 5 year old girl….would she want to eat a lizard?  Yet the lizard is considered unclean.  If you ask her she would say, “Yucky”.  If you asked a 9 year old girl she would probably say, “that’s disgusting.”  I’m trying to find the right age group to pose this scenario with, but in reality a typical girl would say no.  You have animal rights groups protecting the rights of the eagle, and other animals, and I am sure they include some of the animals mentioned in Leviticus 11.  Also there is a law that says if that if an insect has landed into your bowl you are to break it and not to use it.  Would you want to eat out of a bowl with a fly in it?  Probably not, so these laws are already ingrained in human nature and are by most cases common sense.  So that’s where it came from and the principles of how to live are there. So that shows the benefit of the law and maybe hints at the reason why it was there.  It was there to ingrain into the society the proper way to live, and whenever they strayed away from the Law there was destruction.

 

Now we are no longer bound under the Law anymore, we are under Grace, which is unmerited favor.  That means that you don’t have to do anything to earn the favor of God.

Here is the definition of the word charis for favor –

1) grace

a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward”

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for charis (Strong’s 5485)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 27 Mar 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G5485&t=NASB >

Paul brings in clarification between sin, law, and grace –

Romans 2:12-16

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Same verses in the Easy to Read Version –

12 People who have the law and those who have never heard of the law are all the same when they sin. People who don’t have the law and are sinners will be lost. And, in the same way, those who have the law and are sinners will be judged by the law. 13Hearing the law does not make people right with God. They will be right before him only if they always do what the law says.

14 Those who are not Jews don’t have the law. But when they naturally do what the law commands without even knowing the law, then they are their own law. This is true even though they don’t have the written law. 15 They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, the same as the law commands, and their consciences agree. Sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done wrong, and this makes them guilty. And sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done right, and this makes them not guilty.

16 All this will happen on the day when God will judge people’s secret thoughts through Jesus Christ. This is part of the Good News that I tell everyone.

Same verses in the Message Bible –

12-13If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a different story entirely. Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.

14-16When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong. Their response to God’s yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences.

Before I go into this, I want to point out there are things that all people have in common regardless of whether they believe in Jesus.  For example, everyone has a spirit.  The believer’s spirit is subject to the Holy Spirit, and the unbeliever’s spirit is subject to the kingdom of darkness.  So even though Gentiles or Jews who are unbelievers, when they naturally obey the Law, they still have a conscience that proves them guilty or not guilty, and since they do not have Jesus they either write off their conscience as saying that, “I do not have to seem guilty for anything” or they say “I really feel bad for what I did because I know it was wrong.”  The believer has this hope that Jesus Christ will forgive them for their sins and cleanse their transgressions as far as the east is from the west, but the unbeliever does not have this hope because they do not have this hope.  The New Covenant replaced this overbearing burden of following the religious Laws that were becoming a burden, with replacing them with a Law of Love or Agape, and now under this new Law, it does not matter whether you break the Mosaic Law (but God still wants you to follow the ethical guidelines in the Law especially the Ten Commandments), as long as you act out of a unconditional self-sacrificing love that comes only through Jesus Christ, and with a desire to become more like Him.  Granted we are not all perfect, and still a work in progress, but the Lord is merciful and patient with us to make sure we develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit that He has put in as seeds, which will grow and bear fruit.  But if you are weighed down with feeling unclean, or burdened by all the Laws in Leviticus don’t be because God knows your heart, and He is testing you to see how much you will follow and obey Him.  Sometimes people, especially unbelievers, end up with a seared conscience when they have done something wrong so many times that they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, and that really effects the society.

The thing that really helped me is knowing and having that vision that we are already in Heaven, those that sincerely and with a pure heart believe on the name of Jesus, and the life here on earth is just temporary, and like the Bible says, “but a vapor”.  We have to be eternity minded.  On the big scheme of things is it really going to matter whether you had a ham sandwich, or ate that piece of shrimp.  Probably not, but if you want to live and make the most out of the body you have been given here on earth then you should probably not eat that.

The Message has a pretty good explanation of what happens to a society after they don’t obey God, and are not motivated by a pure and sincere heart to believe Jesus of the Bible and love Jesus of the Bible and to do whatever He tells them to do, –

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

24-25So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen [imagine hoarders buried alive- but in this sense made their lives a mess], smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

26-27Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

28-32Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

So now before I get a bucket of slime poured out over my head, I just want to say that this was a historical trend throughout civilizations, time and time again, what happened when people took their eyes off of God and did what was right in their own eyes.

Romans 2 again – The Message Bible –

God Is Kind, but Not Soft

1-2Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.

3-4You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

5-8You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!

9-11If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.

In the NASB – Romans 2 –

4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But [d]because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress [e]for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

2 Timothy 3:2-6 says:

2For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

3[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

4[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

5For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

6For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.

 

Some people especially unbelievers think God is softhearted, and He is not going to take into consideration all the wickedness that is done, that He is not going to do anything about all the stuff going on right now – you see it, it’s on the news, but believe me, the day is coming when He will no longer overlook, but for those by perseverance {precondition believing on Jesus} in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, and eternal life.  But those that don’t do what is right are storing up for themselves a time of wrath.  Point being that if you’re an unbeliever seek God first through His Son Jesus Christ, and if you are a believer, then don’t Judge because the greatest law there is in this world, is the Law of Agape or love through His Son Jesus Christ.  This kind of love builds on relationships you have with people, and makes you want to help people out.  And you may see people who are not Christians that might seem to have more of this unconditional self-sacrificing love – it literally means affection, goodwill, love, and benevolence, or brotherly love or loving one’s neighbor, and since we are all created in the image of God, we all have potential for this kind of love, but for the potential to be maximized, the only way is through Jesus Christ.  Because despite being just a nice or good person you are not perfect and your sin still has to be redeemed and that is through the Blood of Jesus Christ.  The safer side for a Christian with a pure sincere heart is to be on the side of Grace, because Jesus is the Personification of Grace…and if you want God’s favor you will need Grace, but if you make mistakes and you honestly feel bad about it and you don’t want to do it, and if you have accepted Jesus then you have nothing to fear as long as you keep up with it, don’t give up and don’t lose faith!!!

Love never fails

A few weeks ago I blogged about the Tests of Love and Loving Like Jesus Loves.  We all need a reminder of love so this is it again for the one that is shorter for that which was longwinded, but still got the point across.

When God puts you through tests He will keep you there until you pass the test, and now I found out how you can pass the test.  It is through the Agape love, the unconditional and self-sacrificing love, which never fails.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:

“13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

That means that all you do for Christ, isn’t enough.  It doesn’t matter how much you pray, read the Word of God, believe God for miracles, selling all that you have to feed the poor, go through persecution or whatever else you do for God, but if you don’t have love then it is nothing. You could be doing all these things, but out of the wrong motive.  I could be writing this blog to get the Word out, but if I don’t sincerely love the people with the unconditional love and the same kind of love that God gave me, then it is nothing.  A world without this kind of love is useless.

These are the characteristics of the kind of love that Paul is talking about:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Let’s start with the first one – love suffers long and is kind –

Do you get cranky or would you get cranky when you are not feeling well?  Would you still show compassion and a heart full of love.  Besides Jesus, I can think of one person – a fictional person in the book, Gone With the Wind, who had this characteristic trait, Melanie was sick and suffering, but she was always kind to Scarlett no matter how much she may have treated her badly.

Love does not envy – That means you don’t want the other person has.  It could be their house, or their car, or their clothes, or their shoes, or even their anointing because to get this realization you have to know that God created you for a purpose and He has given you certain things, which He wants you to have and you have to be appreciative of what you have.

Love does not parade itself or is puffed up – This means that love is not conceited, arrogant, or proud.  The proud will be brought down and be humbled.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

All these gifts which have been given to us are only for our purpose for our time here on Earth, but when we have love this love never fails.  People can prophecy all they want about different conspiracies, or when Jesus is coming back, and people can have knowledge and it will vanish away, but when people have perfect love, then that which is not as important will be no more.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

This is a reflection on being a carnal Christian versus being mature in Christ, to get to the deeper level of understanding, and to know the fullness of God, which can only be realized when we get to heaven, which is when we will be face to face with Jesus.  Just like Jesus knows us, then we shall know Him.  But the ultimate desire is to get to know Him like here on earth and to get to experience the union and intimacy that Jesus had between Father and Son.  In this term intimacy I mean closeness.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Faith is good, Hope is good, but love is the best.

Jesus says in Matthew 24:12-

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

I was meditating a lot on this verse.  It seems like a lot of ways, our love has become cold.  It’s almost like numb.  It feels like we’ve been to that place where nothing seems to shock or amaze us anymore and we’ve taken it all for granted.  The news headlines are so preposterous, and scandalous because of lawlessness, and the advance in technology has it made it more difficult to receive what we need from God.  We have gone into technology over stimulation and we are all pretty much addicts to it.  Since the days of television, to the days of internet, and IPAD, and IPHONE, and all the other gadgets, yes they were created for good and probably have saved lives most of the time, but in the days of Elijah, and the ACTS of the Apostles, they didn’t have these things, and they were able to get into the Presence of God, much quicker than we do.  Do we need a youtube playlist, or mp3 player, or laptop, or cd’s to get into the Presence of God, or can we simply just worship with the Holy Spirit?  Don’t get me wrong, these things are all good in building your faith, but when you’ve gotten into technology overstimulation it becomes harder to receive from God.

Something has to happen.  Something has to change.  We need a revival of love in our lives so desperately.  We need a revival of love where neighbors actually speak to each other.  We need to get rid of this independent, everyone live for themselves spirit, and live by the love of the Lord, which is to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

When you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength – and this means emotions too, because it is implied by soul, which is mind, will, emotions, then this can change your life.  The problem is that when we don’t find, or because we are weary or worn out, and we don’t feel like pursuing God, and get caught up in daily activities then we become numb, or cold, and detached.  That can become a very dangerous thing when we are so thirsty and deprived of the living water.  That’s why Jesus told the woman at the well that He is the Living Water, and that He will refresh our souls and get us into that place.

Heavenly Father,

Help us get to that place where our love never grows cold, and that we live out 1 Corinthians 13, as the body of Christ, and to take on the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit that can only be found in You.  Help us put the self-sacrifice instead of selfishness, and take away our pride and make us humble, help us to not seek our own, but to glorify you with our daily lives.  Your blessings are great and your workings are miraculous, and help us to see the mighty workings of love and Agape in our lives.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.