Love, God’s way


1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13

This is the greatest chapter in the New Testament about the Love which is expressed toward us by God. It also expresses the type of love that Christians should express to each other and to the world around us. Since Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I thought I should put this up so others might see it and know that God loves you unconditionally, even if you haven’t given your heart to His Son. If He didn’t love all of us in this way then what would be the reason that He sent Jesus to redeem us?

God’s reason was His Love for humanity even when we were unlovable and sinners.

Learning about God from God


lamb-of-god-passoverIt is something that many of us try to do in our lives at one point or another, but many of us have no idea how to do it? We consider reading the Bible through but just as any “new year’s resolution” we soon push it aside like any other exercise. Then we only pick it up on church days and read with our pastor, and sometimes we don’t even bring it to church with us at all.

How can you cultivate a relationship with the Creator if you don’t get to know Him? Our only outlet, our only way of getting to know Him IS to read His Word! His ways are there for us in black and white on a page or today on an electronic reader of some kind, but He and His Words are available! He is near us and if we are Christians, then He is dwelling inside our hearts and so near that we might as well be living inside His skin! Ewww gross! Don’t laugh, I know that is what many of you thought.

The point of this is that He wants a relationship with us, just as He did with Adam and Eve only they chose to be independent and go their own way. Our world has been damaged terribly by this independence because instead of living inside His Love and His Life, we make up our own version of Him and His attributes. We remake God and His Son in our image…how WE want them to be! Then, when we feel like they aren’t doing it right, we try to take over and we usually mess things up pretty good at that point!

God’s Word and Wisdom is in the Bible and if we will treat it as our Creator Who is actually speaking through the prophets and writers then accepting Him for Who He is will be so much better and easier! Please consider it and think about reading the book, “The Shack“. I am going to see the movie and maybe do a Bible study on it soon. God loves you!

God’s viewpoint


The title sounds a bit grandiose doesn’t it? How could I possibly know anything about His viewpoint? Well, if you read the Bible which was inspired by His Holy Spirit you can find His viewpoint on many different subjects. Life, love, hate, anger, fear, jealousy, foolishness, adultery, the list could go on and on. He gives His view on these things in a format that is similar to an instruction manual. Some of the books rattle on about how the priests are supposed to carry out their work, but somebody had to tell them!

God views each of us as a child, His child. Those who are following Jesus are adopted into His family because they have washed their sins away by accepting the atonement and His grace. It is a gift which we can’t do anything to purchase or add to because we have nothing to purchase it with on our own! God gives it to us freely, all we have to do is realize that we are sinners and that it is His grace and the blood of Jesus which will save us from an eternity in hell.

Many people will think that, “God wouldn’t send you to hell for your mistakes if He loves you so much.” He doesn’t send you there, it is a consequence of your decision NOT to accept Jesus as your Savior which sends you there. It pains God to see us refuse a free gift which provides us with an eternal home that otherwise we couldn’t have. The love of God is deeper than we can imagine just as the hatred of Satan for us is far deeper than we could imagine.

God sees us when we make all of our decisions, good or bad, and He sees the results of them before we do. That is why we should always consult Him in all things, seeking His guidance and direction first before we make a mistake. If you could step outside of time and see all of the mistakes that you have made and where you could’ve made a difference in your life or someone else’s but didn’t, you would understand how God sees all of us. The difference between us being able to see those mistakes and God seeing them is that, if you are a Christian, He can work out your bad mistakes so that you will make a better choice the next time. Sometimes, He will take you down a path that will bring you to a better place or choice than you had hoped for.

Think about all of the lines and paths that God can see each of us walking, good or bad, and how He can guide you and me without being intrusive so that our decisions still turn out for our good and His glory! Read the Bible because it gives us wisdom to live by, advice in our time of need, and hope for a better tomorrow with Jesus as our Savior.

 

What do you depend on?


We all have different ways of making it through our days. Some of us start off the morning with a cup of tea or coffee and the paper. Some people get online with a cup of coffee and try to catch up with what is happening. But, who do you go to and depend upon when things go terribly wrong? I don’t mean when you spill the milk or break a nail, I mean when you get a diagnosis which makes you sit down. When someone in your family comes home with a letter that says you are being sued for something, or maybe they are the one that gets the diagnosis which is like a hammer to your head and your heart, what do you do then?

Many people turn to their best friends or even to their church, if they go to one. So, what or Who do you depend on for assurance or hope or healing? Many people look to their doctor if they get one of those diagnoses, some look to him as well if there is a wreck or accident. The Person that you and I and everyone else should be looking to and praying to FIRST, before going to the doctor or anyone else is God! He is bigger and able to handle all of your problems, to give you strength to get through them all and if it is His will to do so, He will heal you of whatever the diagnosis may be. He may do it through the doctor’s skills or it may happen by His power and your faith before your next doctor visit.

Bad days are going to happen. Accidents and diseases are going to crop up in your life and mine, we are human and that is just the way our fallen world is. Good people and bad get these circumstances added to their lives all the time, it doesn’t matter how good you are or how bad you may be. The reality you have to remember is that God loves you and will not forsake you in any of your problems, you must have faith in him and ask Him for wisdom.

You don’t have to accept a “bad day”, God can make a day which seems bad turn into a good day. Love, especially between two people as husband and wife, can make a shack into a home. Expressing your love for your children is something that many people seem to have forgotten how to do these days. Wake up people, they need to know that they are loved by you just as much as you need to know that God loves you!

If you truly want a successful life and a happy home, even if it is in a two room shack with cracks wide enough to throw a cat through, love works much better to bring this about than alcohol or drugs or anger! Where love is anger cannot stay, when you truly love your children and your wife there is no fire too hot that could keep you from rescuing them! God is the answer that everyone is looking for, they just don’t know it yet. Many people say that they can worship God in a fishing boat or a deer stand just as well as they can in church. NO YOU CANNOT! You are looking for a trophy bass or antlers that will strain the wall to hold them up, you don’t go out there thinking of worshiping God!

I used to think that too and I would pray and talk to God while I was out there. That’s probably why I don’t have any trophies on my walls. I would thank Him for His beautiful creation and the sunrise that many don’t get to see. I would praise Him for the beautiful birds and the chipmunks as they scurry around trying to find all the acorns they have hidden for the winter. Yes, praising God and thanking Him for these things is good, but worshiping Him with other believers is more gratifying and humbling than any deer or turkey. Yes, they are God’s creation and He takes care of them just as He does each one of us, but they don’t worship Him. Their instinct tells them that He will feed them so they don’t know Him like we can.

Your Spirit is lifted up and refreshed every time you hear God’s Word preached. Your soul shouts for joy and it is heard in Heaven especially when you find that the diagnosis that you thought you had is just some cells that are causing trouble and making you feel bad. Satan and his followers know how to make you feel this way and will convince you that you are going to die. They can make it so convincing that you will die, if you allow them to take it that far.

We have power through Jesus’ name to renounce the feelings of deathly diagnoses, and depression that makes you want to crawl under a rock, but it does you and me no good at all if we don’t claim the Word of God and tell Satan to back off because I am a child of God! God’s Word and the promises in it are more powerful than any drug or any situation that you have or that you will ever encounter. Don’t forsake the Word or prayer and call on His name because He can heal you of all the afflictions that Satan has placed on you and in your life.

The power of Love


This word has been used so much since the sixties until it seems that few people know or even care what it really is.

Love is a powerful word, one which can begin a relationship which will last a lifetime. It is also one that is used so flippantly today that much of its meaning has been lost. There are many kinds of love. One is meant for friendship, one is meant for erotic love, one is a type that has no boundaries at all and that is agape love. It is the kind that exists between parents and children who are loved by them. It is also the kind of love that is between God and all of mankind. There are no limits to it and nothing can stop it. Time nor space has no meaning to this kind of love and it is referenced in 1 Corinthians 13 as the highest form of the gifts which we are given by God Himself!

Today, love seems to be missing from our lives in its truest form. Many people really seem to mean that they “like” something or someone, but they use the word love. Its power is from God and yet we misuse it just as we misuse His name. Love puts up with many things and helps us through some of the toughest times in our lives. When you really love someone you want the best for them, sometimes to the detriment of your finances but that is how you feel and how you would like to treat them! It takes time and maturity in your love to know how much and what to do for those that you feel so deeply about.

Love that has grown deeper with time doesn’t fade and it doesn’t go away, ever. It is a smouldering emotion that is always there, but it never fizzles out or dies. True and genuine love cannot be expressed by someone who you just met a few weeks ago. Erotic love burns HOT like a flame which has gas thrown on it, but unless the lust can keep it hot over a period of time it will flame out and grow cold and heartless. This is the kind of love which will make you hate someone and divorce them or worse.

Seek out the Source of Love in God’s Word and you will know the Power of Love and if you really want to feel His Love, ask Him to reveal it to you and you can truly know of His Love forever!

The true patience of our Creator


How far did God go for us?

His love is immeasurable, there is no limit to it whether you are trying to find the extent of it in height or length or depth or time. His love is limitless, so much so that we cannot understand it…no, we cannot comprehend it. We never will because in the world that we are living in today, real LOVE doesn’t exist it seems! You see lust on TV, you see it in movies, in cartoons for heaven’s sake. This filth should never be in front of children so young!

There is not possible way that we can see all of Him. We cannot comprehend what God has offered to us and yet, we don’t have to pay one cent for it. It is already paid for through the blood of Jesus. God created the universe to overwhelm us with awe and force us to think of the possible reason for all of that, and yet He pays attention to a speck of dust, our world, Earth.

When you look at the pictures which have been taken by our telescopes,
how far they reach, how many thousands and millions of galaxies that are out there. Each one with millions of suns like our own. We don’t know if there are other worlds like ours. We don’t know if Christ has saved others in other places like ours over the many years.

That is the God that we serve! Truly, we don’t need to know if there is life in those galaxies or solar systems because we will never go there. The distances which separate stars in our own galaxy are too great for us to travel. We have more pressing matters to attend to on Earth than to spend money going to a star that only our descendants will see and we will never know about.

He spread out the universe and all of the stars and planets and He knows them all by name. It is possible that there are other people, we don’t know for sure, but God can do anything that He wishes…because He is God. Our life and our salvation depend upon Him and His Grace which He extends toward all of us and yet there are those that will refuse to accept this grace. They will refuse to accept Him or even the mention of His name, and yet they will put their faith in something or someone who has no regard for them.

Some will even go so far as to believe that there is no greater power than themselves and that when they die, they are just gone from this world. This is true, but they will be in His Presence and then they will know for sure. Many accuse me of trying to frighten people with this kind of talk and I admit it, yes I am! Why? Because I don’t want you to go to a place which was prepared for Satan and the rebellious angels that he deceived into following him. Their torment and punishment will last for eternity and anyone who has refused the Love of God and His Grace that is offered to all will share in that place…the agony and pain for all of time. There is no second chance because this life is the time that we have to find our way toward God or to choose to turn away from Him.

Which decision will you make, because it is your decision which determines your eternal state. God doesn’t condemn you nor sentence you to hell, you do that yourself by choosing to live according to your own rules and your own morality, good though it may be. If your life, spiritually, is not one that is following Jesus and seeking Him, then you are missing the point and the purpose of your life.

Think about it, pray about it if you have felt or heard any small voice in your soul, seek Him out before it is too late. The Bible is God’s inspired Word given to us through the writers and prophets and it says that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Please, pray about your life and what God may have for you in it.

We have a testimony!


Regardless of your belief or lack of it, IF you are a Christian you have a testimony. Your life has been changed because you cannot take part of God’s Spirit into your heart and your life without being changed! It just isn’t possible!

Just as those who are possessed by demons are changed and do not act like they did before, we shouldn’t either! God has always been One in Three, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! When you ask for Him to come into your heart and your life, the Holy Spirit comes into your spiritual heart and changes you into the person that you are to be from that point on.

The problem is that many of us stay at that point in our Christian lives and never mature. We don’t study God’s Word or really sit down and pray every day about our life or those around us. We don’t do what Jesus said to do, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all of these things will be added unto you”. Many people don’t understand what the first three words of that actually means. How do I seek Him first? It is so simple and yet profound, pick up your Bible and read it!

When you are in a relationship with someone, you don’t go on dates for a few days and then get married. Usually, you see each other for a while and get to know them a little bit first, sometimes this takes months, for others it may take a year or more. The point is this, if you REALLY want that relationship, then you seek to know that person better. You want to know their favorite color or song, the type of food that they like to eat or their favorite shoes or hobby that they might have or enjoy.

The same is true when you become a Christian, or at least it is supposed to be this way. You want to learn more about God and Jesus. Who they are, what they like or don’t like, everything that you can learn about them is precious to you even if you can’t see or touch them right now. This is the relationship that we are supposed to mature into and the way to do this is by getting to know them through the Bible and by prayer, asking God to show you His ways, to help you understand His wisdom and His grace.

Our lives are brief, usually only seventy or eighty years although some live a bit longer. When we truly find someone who we love and want to spend the rest of our life with them then we are truly blessed in that relationship. It is the same when we come to a relationship with God through His Son, except…your life will not end and neither will the relationship or the fellowship! Eternity is a span of time that we can’t fathom, yet when you are His that is the life that you have to look forward to. It will not be a waste and it certainly won’t be boring.

God has a plan for each of us. That plan is for us to be His adopted children and for us to do His will while we are able in this life. Then, when we enter into eternity we will be ready for the next step in our life with Him. Learn all that you can about Him through prayer and study of His Word in the Bible. Grow into the person that you can be in Christ and then when you walk through the door into eternity you will be ready to know Him even better than you thought possible.

Living with Love


Consider that God is Love and His Love for us is perfect. Could you live with His Love and experience it every day? Many people seem to think that this is impossible. That we, being flawed human beings, can’t live this way. We can’t possibly experience that kind of real Love daily. Why not? If you have asked Jesus into your life and you have really given yourself to Him, why can’t you feel His love flowing back to you?

You can by worshipping Him every day through prayer and reading and studying God’s Word. Experiencing His Love through His Spirit and the interaction between your spirit and His. I have felt this before and at times it almost overwhelmed me when I was studying my Bible.

I know, many of you will see these as being impossible to do. It takes too much time or it’s too hard to keep your eyes focused on Jesus that much. You know, He loves you anyway but you should show some love back in His direction too. Yes, you can accept Jesus and then decide to sit down and do nothing. You still have the blessing of being a child of God and you can be selfish with your salvation and keep it all to yourself.

But, WHY would you do that? His disciples didn’t and wouldn’t keep quiet even after being flogged and imprisoned and we shouldn’t be either. It is true that many of us can’t go on missions overseas, but with the Internet we can let people know about Him from our homes, no matter where we live. Our blessed existence is in His hands and His power if we have given our lives to Him and we are watched over every day by His angels who strengthen and encourage us according to His will for us.

Don’t laugh, angels exist just as Satan exists and his demons. These are not figments of someone’s imagination. Remember the Bible says that we struggle against “powers and principalities and demons”, that is the spiritual realm that we have to deal with as Christians. Diseases and all sorts of trouble are brought into people’s lives by these beings. Our life in Christ is to be in opposition to these forces of Satan by way of prayer and praise. In expressing our praise to Him we are expressing our love for Him, but we are also strengthening the Spirit so that it can oppose Satan’s forces in the spiritual realms.

Jesus loved us enough to die for us and I think that the least we could do will be to express that love in our prayer and our praise to Him when we read His Word and meditate on it.

Love, what is it really?


This being a day that many of us associate with relationships and the feelings associated with them and yet many people don’t know what love really is.

Love is not sex or lust, those are associated with erotic love (lust), but that is not the emotion which would bring about a lasting relationship. One which would grow deeper with time regardless of the health of the one that you love or the amount of money that you have.

There is a movie in the theatres today that is making the erotic lust of someone into a “relationship”. It will be like burning a candle with a blow-torch, it is fun for a while but if it doesn’t grow into something far deeper and even more intimate, then it will burn out like that candle.

Many people chase after feelings like those from a sexual relationship or even the feeling that comes with getting high from drugs or adrenaline or even alcohol. These things are temporary and don’t last at all, but the love that doesn’t ask for anything in return, like the love that comes from God, that is mature love. The kind of deep love that lasts through sickness, heartache, poverty and wealth. It doesn’t matter what happens in your life, that kind of love is what we all search for and yet it is the kind that is so hard to find.

It is the kind of love that only God can bring into your life, whether it is through Jesus or by God bringing you and your “soul-mate” together. He is the only One, the only match-maker Who can answer the prayer of someone who is looking for that special someone who will be there for life, regardless of what life may bring. He is the only Person who can show you the very one who will be faithful and true to you just as He is. That is the relationship that we all are looking for, whether it is an intimate relationship with your spouse or with Jesus.

A relationship that is strong and enduring, whether it is between friends or your spouse or children, is what we crave and hunger for in our lives. Yet, even that relationship can’t take the place of the Relationship between you and Jesus. That One is more deep and connected than any that you can have if you will seek Him out when you feel that call on your life. If you haven’t felt that call yet, then I pray that you will seek Him out by going to church and open your heart to Him. Ask Him into your life and read the Bible, pray that God will give you the wisdom to understand its words and the Truth contained in it and He will.

The Love of Christ is the deepest and most enduring Love that is more than you can imagine or comprehend, yet it is available to you any time. Regardless of how your day is going, good or bad, Jesus is there to comfort and to strengthen you. He is there to heal when you feel broken by depression or injury or sickness, just call to Him. Coming to Him is easy if you believe that He will answer you. He doesn’t turn down anyone who genuinely seeks Him with an open heart asking Him to come and heal their lives.

God’s love for us, all of us, has been present since the first day of Creation. He saw down through the ages who would be needing and seeking Him. He knows you and your life, your problems and your pain and He has the answers for those too. No, I can tell you that your disease or other health problems  won’t immediately go away, but He will be with you and help you through them. In some cases, He may heal you immediately so praise the Lord for it when it comes.

Time for our world is growing short, so I urge you to seek God and His grace for your life. Believe it and in Jesus’ sacrifice for you and ask Him to come into your life so that God can give you eternal life with Him. If you choose not to believe in Jesus or in anything that you may read here, eternity will come for you but it will not be pleasant.

Love is the message


How could love be the message of the Bible? With all of the killings and the wars that are fought in its pages, how could the Bible be considered a book based upon love? We will see that very soon.

Love is the message which shines through every book in the Bible. Yet, some people can’t or won’t see it because of the words in the message. God loves each one of us and the people around us, regardless of their race or religion. Of course in the Old Testament, He told the Israelites to purge the Promised land of their enemies, why? Because God knew that if they were left in the land, soon they would become a stumbling block to Israel as a whole. The people would inter-marry with them and begin to worship their gods and their ways and pretty soon, Israel would be just like them. They would no longer be God’s chosen people because they had mixed with the “world” around them to the point that you couldn’t tell them apart.

The love that God has for everyone is the kind that we don’t understand, agape love or unconditional love. It is hard for us to understand it because for us, there has always been a give and take approach to affection and love. But, that is not how God’s love works.

The Church that began with the disciples after Jesus went to Heaven started out with the love of God in their hearts and toward all of the believers. Not only that, but that love is turned outward toward the world itself because we are to take it to the furthest reaches of the world so that others who haven’t heard of Jesus can come to know Him. That is the expression of God’s love. We do not seek riches or power for ourselves, just the continuation of Jesus’ work and His Grace to all who will receive it.

Your witness to them, no matter who they are or where they live, can be expressed through your life or your words or even something that you do for them. It doesn’t have to be done because of your love for them, but because Jesus loved them first and we should too. Many people seem to look at this as loving others like we love each other, but the love that we must spread abroad to others is from God and not ourselves.

Could I love someone who has killed my children or my wife? No, not with my own strength or my love but through Jesus and the love that He has given to me in my heart, yes I can love them through Him. I can also forgive them for what they have done to me or my family through Him as well. It does sound as if I am crazy and to some people I may be, talking of forgiving someone for killing my family. Only through Jesus could I do this, not on my own.

Can anyone feel or express God’s love if they don’t know Him? Feel it, yes, express it..not a chance. God can love and does love everyone. He does not condone the sinful life that they lead apart from Him, but if they repent and turn to Him when they feel His Spirit touch their heart then He will forgive them and take them into His family. It really is just that simple.

Jesus died to atone for ALL of humanity’s sins. The only thing that is left for each of us to do is to believe in Jesus and that sacrifice which happened on the cross for us. Humble yourself to ask Him to come into your heart and change you into the person that you can be, then your life will be forever changed and you will be a new person. The thief on the cross believed in Jesus enough to ask Him to remember him and was saved, that was all that was necessary. Belief, heartfelt and true as a child.