Wednesday, February 27, 2013
What is so wrong with living right? I have asked myself, our children, the church and anybody else this very question. The answer is always, "nothing," yet as believers many are challenged with just living right. Many believers are also challenged with loving others like God loves them.
Living right or right living is indicative of obedience and obedience from the heart is an outward display of a high level of love for the Lord. Yes, we are still ministering on this powerful subject of love so that we can bring the theology into reality. God wants us as believers to display His love one to another so that the world will know that we belong to Him.
Righteousness or living right is when we bring what has been read in the Bible into our every day lives. One way that we can live right is to bring our inner love life out into the light. This is not a difficult thing to do if you love God and want to obey Him. In John 14:15 Jesus clearly expresses this by saying, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
For the sake of teaching, I am going to give you three simple keys that will help perfect you love life and obey the command of the Lord. These three keys will equip you to walk in a high level of love. If you purpose to apply these keys to your life, you will find yourself loving like God.
The first thing that you have to do is love your enemy. We understand that the devil is "the" enemy and "your" enemy is anybody that you don't like. With that said, your enemy can be a spouse, lover, sister, brother, friend, boss, co-worker and the list goes on. These are all people that you for the most part that you love. However, when one of them offends you, or gets on your nerves, they can quickly and very easily become your enemy.
Matthew 5:43-46 says, "“ You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?""
In essence, it is easy to love those you like. However, we are commanded to love our enemy. The above verses tell us to love, bless, do good and pray for those we may not like. When we do this, we will like them more and eventually love the individual like God loves them. The antithesis of this is that if we continue to be mean, ugly and spiteful to those we don't like we will dislike them even more.
My love challenge for you this week is to purpose to love, do good, bless and pray for anybody that you don't like. It may not be easy, but the command still stands. Purpose in your heart to be obedient to the Lord and love your enemy, whoever they may be. Then as the scripture says in Matthew 5:48, you will be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Tomorrow I will conclude this teaching with the other keys to perfecting your love life. Keep in mind that your reward will be great in heaven and on earth as you walk in the high level of love that God has commanded. There is nothing wrong with loving like God and the result will be that all men will know that you belong to God.
Love, peace and blessing,
Friday, February 15, 2013
A common question asked in the Body of Christ is, "Do you love God?" It almost seems like a silly question because all Christians love God, right? I mean, God's love and believer's reciprocating that love is Christianity 101. It is the foundation for everything that we do. So, really the question should be, "Do you love God more?"
In John 21:15 Jesus asked Peter did he love Him more? The Lord is asking the same question today because many people say that they love God, but they do not love Him more than their money, career, ministry, children, etc. This is seen in the way that they show their love for God. You see, it's never an issue of whether a person love's God or not. The question is, was and forever will be, "Do you love Him more?"
This has been an incredible season in the Lord where He is challenging our love life with Him. This is a challenge because most have been going about the Lord's work with a sense that their love life with God is going just fine. Church attendance, serving and giving are all in tact as well as private, personal and public devotion. However, something is missing and the question still remains, "Do you love God more?"
Take a look at the discourse between Jesus and His disciples found in Matthew 16:13-17. It says, "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar- jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
This is one of the most profound verses in the Bible because it holds the key to what is missing. Jesus asked His disciples, "Whom do men say that I am?" They gave some answers, but Jesus wasn't satisfied with their response so He made it a bit more personal. He then asked, "Who do you say that I am?" Only Peter answered this question with, "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus then told Peter that he was blessed because of the revelation he received from the Father.
This passage is teaching that it is the revelation that makes the difference and that revelation is personal. It will never matter if your neighbor, spouse or friend has a revelation of loving God more. The question comes back to you and whether you have the revelation. Do you have a revelation of what it means to love God more?
I believe that what is missing in the lives of believers is a revelation of first, God's love to them and second what it means to love Him more. You see, if you don't have a well-instructed, deep, experiential (i.e. revelation) of God's love for you, you will never be able to love Him more. Loving God more is the natural out flow of the revelation of His love for you. Until you receive this revelation, you will continue to struggle with loving God, yourself and everybody else. Until you receive this revelation, you cannot accurately answer the question of, "Do I love God more?"
Therefore I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. I pray that the covers be pulled back in your mind and that you would receive the revelation of God's love for you so that you can truly begin to experience the richness of loving God more.
Until next time, love, peace and blessing,
Friday, February 8, 2013
I've got love on my mind. There is nothing particularly wrong. It's this feeling I feel inside. When I woke up early this morning, it was staring me straight in my eyes.
For those of us raised in the seventies and on Motown, you know this is from the popular song, "I Got Love On My Mind." Natalie Cole was singing of a lover or significant other. For me, as I have been studying this month, I've got the love of God on my mind! Every morning when I wake up with another life pass, love stares me straight in the eyes! It fills me with purpose, assurance and clarity of vision. I can't explain it, but I know that I have experienced the love of God.
Though I have experienced his great love and rich mercy, I find that sometimes, more often than I choose to discuss, my love gets off. Ugh! I find myself being selective and shallow in my love, only loving those I like and it is not until God gets my attention that I realize that somewhere, somehow, my love has gotten off.
I am sharing this with you today because I know that I am not alone. I know that life takes a toll on us all and clouding our vision. Nevertheless, I know that we can love like God! The Holy Spirit has been shed abroad in our hearts giving us the ability to love like God. The only thing now to do is to be sensitive to His leading and learn to walk in His love.
For some, this may be a great task, but I am here to tell you that it is not as hard as you think. First of all, in order to please God, we must obey because He has commanded us to love. So, out of obedience, we must purpose in our hearts to love like He loves. Then, practically speaking, begin doing nice things for people you don't like. When you do this you will find that you like them less and will be walking out God's love. So, you see, it's really not that hard. It is a matter of whether you are willing to be willing and obedient to God.
We all have to make a choice to obey God. Obedience is often challenging because it is putting the flesh on the cross. It is a day to day mortification of what "I" want to get what He wants. It is a day to day declaration of "yet not I." It is a day to day decision of "not my will, but Thy will be done." Because of His great love wherewith He has loved us with, obedience sets its face like flint to say, "I love you Lord, therefore I will obey."
Jesus said this to His disciples in John 14:23-24 (AMP), "Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me." It is clear from this verse that love obeys.
Obedience is the highest form of love because it is a public conveyance of a private conviction. Therefore, I pray that as you read and meditate on this devotion, that you too would purpose to show God just how much you love Him by simply doing what He says. Don't just say that you love God. Display your love for Him by being obedient.
Love, peace and blessings,