Monthly Archives: February 2014

As I Have Loved You

Luke 6:27-28 “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you”.

 

What would happen if, as Christians, we started actually living out what Jesus taught us? Jesus’s teachings on love attacks several traditions and misinterpretations of scripture that we use to justify our sinful and unloving nature. While we have learned to love thy neighbor, we sometime seem to exclude the need to love our enemies. But Jesus instructs us to love and do good to our enemies. The love Jesus instructs us to love with, does not result from any merit or attractiveness in the other person, it comes solely from the heart of the one loving, and we are to seek the best interest of that person, despite their behavior toward us. Now this love does not result from a weakness or failure to stand up for truth or justice, it is a purposeful love that flows from a strong heart that seeks the eternal salvation of others. This sacrificial love demonstrates that our purpose for living is larger than who we are.

Jesus commands us to pray for and bless those that offend us. Our natural response is to strike back when mistreated, but Jesus teaches us to do the opposite. Jesus gave two illustrations to show the extent of how far our love for others should go, there is a blow to the face and stolen clothes, in such cases we are not retaliate. The purpose is to reach out in love instead of satisfying ourselves through revenge. Our love must be strong and purposeful in accepting mistreatment, as it shows our trust in the Lord and his ability to use the situation for his Glory. Jesus not only taught us our love must be strong and purposeful when mistreated, but we must also be merciful to others in our daily lives, as the Father daily pours out new mercy on us.

The standard of sacrificial love goes beyond what others might do or what we might feel we should do, it is what Jesus teaches us to do, it is what he did. The prime example of selfless giving is our heavenly Father himself, who showed kindness to all humanity regardless of how they treated him, as he gave his only begotten son that we might have everlasting life. When we love others the way Jesus instructed us to, we show the world we are his. ” Love Ye one another as I have loved you”.

A Simple Truth

Isaiah 5:13″ Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished,and their multitude dried up with thirst”.
Many people have no knowledge of what it takes to walk with the Lord in perfect peace. This lack of knowledge tends to cause many to be held captive in the lies of the evil one. See we walk by the faith of God’s word and not by the sight of the things which the world tries to show us. But because of a lack of knowledge of God’s word, many don’t have the faith described in the Bible, and they are held captive in a wilderness of unbelief, trapped in the bondage of lies and thus they do not believe or practice what Jesus said. Most people can’t even name the Ten Commandments. Some assume Jesus lived the Commandments for us so we wouldn’t  have to. Others believe what we do doesn’t matter that much as long as we have feelings of love toward every one. Many people cling to misconceptions about Jesus’ message, the gospel. Our Savior, who came preaching “the gospel of the kingdom of God,” instructs us to “repent, and believe the gospel”. Yet many have never understood the true gospel Jesus taught. A flawed understanding produces a faulty faith. Since faith involves diligently seeking God (Heb.1:6), we must base our faith on a correct understanding of God’s Word.
Simply saying“ I believe” without making life altering changes is not a sufficient. Acknowledgment of God’s existence does not magically produce a right relationship with Him. As already noted, Jesus commands us to repent. Repentance doesn’t just happen.It requires effort and commitment. Living faith must be nurtured and spiritually fed and built. Jesus cautions us against the danger of false faith, faith that is immature and incomplete:“ Not everyone who says to Me,‘Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven”. But what about Paul’s statement,“ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”? Did Paul preach a faith that did not involve a need for obedience? Not at all. This passage shows us that God’s grace, His undeserved favor toward us, is a gift. It is simply wrong to assume that, since grace is a gift, no actions or good works demonstrating a repentant heart and faith in action are needed (James 2:14-26).

We must have living faith, not an empty, inactive faith. Our salvations comes from God’s grace and faith in our lives .The Bible tells us salvation is by God’s grace and is not earned by good works “lest any man should boast”(Eph.2:9) But we are saved by grace through faith. The danger we face is that our faith will die if we neglect our salvation by not living a life of obedience to God. That is why the apostle Paul wrote,“ I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified”. Of themselves, works will not earn us salvation. But the book of James makes it clear that faith, without works, is dead, utterly useless (James2:17,20,26);Let us take the time to learn the word ,will and way of the Lord and free ourselves from the captivity of the evil one.

On The Way To The Grave

John 17:4 “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do”.

“Verily, Verily I say unto you ,except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit”. He is Jesus at the end of His earthly ministry, on his way to the grave and he said his soul is troubled. But for this hour he was sent, for He was the only way to redeem lost man back to a Holy God. For this purpose he came into the world. On His way to the grave He went through some things for our behalf. He was met with conflicts and confrontations, he was alienated, persecuted, and rejected, yet he endured to the grave for our salvation. Look what Jesus did on His way to the grave.
On His way to the grave he glorified the Father, his work now complete, he had given sight to blind eyes, so now man could see that he was lost and in need of a savior. He had put hearing in deaf ears ,so  man could hear what thus said the Lord. He put speaking in the mouth of the dumb, so man could share the good news of the gospel. He put walking in the legs of the lame, so man could stand firm on God’s word and walk up right is His righteousness. And he had called the dead back to life, so now man could live in a newness of life as he was no longer dead in sin. On His way to the grave Jesus paved the way for lost man to be found, to be saved and to live in eternal glory. Jesus willing to lay down His life that we might know his love, receive his mercy and live in His grace. Jesus being obedient unto death, that we might be obedient unto Life everlasting, accepted for us the wage paid by sin, that we might be redeemed from the slavery of sin.
All that Jesus went through was for our good ,not his. He was whipped for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. He was charged with our crimes and put to death with our hatred. Yet He did it all because of His love, His grace and His mercy, and to bring glory to His Father which art in heaven. On His way to the grave and Jesus saw you, and loved you, and he died for you. If you were the only person in the world , he still would of died for you. What will you do for Him?

Grace Sufficient

2 Corinthians 12:9a”And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: For My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

 

Like many of us, there were things that tested Paul’s faith in the Lord. Paul said he had a thorn in his flesh, and he asked the Lord to remove it from him. God could have removed our thorn from us which is  the flesh and the lust there of,  but he said his grace was sufficient. In times of temptation we need to trust and rely on God’s grace to carry us through. As we believers grow older, we often experience different  pressures in life. Satan would like nothing more than for us to turn from God when we become discourage in times of difficulty, but Christ and the Holy Spirit provides us with grace sufficient for each season of life. We must realize that Jesus is the power of God who has all power….

 

To the Christian teenager, things seen in the media or on social networking web site may be more appealing to them, than the stuff written in the bible or talked about in church. Young parents may face financial pressures due to a lost job or needs of a handicapped child. Middle-aged Christians may suddenly find a spouse unattractive or a job boring. The temptation is to abandon ones family responsibilities grows stronger as the grass begins to look greener elsewhere. Senior men and women may feel neglected by children who are busy pursuing their owe lives. Increasing physical limitations may restrict activities they once enjoyed and even at church, seniors may feel replaced by younger people and are no longer needed. No matter what the stage, God gives grace to help us stand firm. When we are at our weakest, that is when God is at his best. God’s grace is strong enough to help the Christian hold firm in every season of life.

 

Like Paul, we must pray that God will encourage our hearts, both in trials and in our Christian walk, to give us steadfastness and stability in our witness to, and our defense of the Gospel, both in word and deed. When we find ourselves feeling discouraged and weak, we should not forget that God is able to supply us with what we need to get moving again. His resources are more than abundant enough to meet our needs, and he is eager for us to come to him for help.