11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
— 1 John 4:11
God revealed His love for us when He sent Jesus, His only Son, into the world to live as a human. Jesus revealed His love for the Father and for us by being obedient, even to a cruel death on a cross. We can never attain to that kind of perfect love, but we can allow God to show His love to others through us. We are instructed to love and pray for our enemies and those that persecute us. As humans, we are not capable of such love, we must be willing to allow God to love through us. No matter, what we have to go through, we have the hope and faith that His love will sustain us and we can live victorious lives. Through Jesus Christ, we can be over–comers and conquerors.
Galatians 5:22-26 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:39 NLT
The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety. How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us? Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray? At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what God created us to be. We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”? Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us. You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine. With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you. Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us. Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain” .Amen.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
— Phil. 2:5 NLT
What was the attitude of Jesus while he was here clothed in human form? He came first as a servant, giving up all of His glory. He came to earth just as an ambassador to a foreign country. He had access to all of the power and the angels of heaven yet He limited Himself to live as a mere human. He never used His powers to advance Himself as humans see advancement. The instances we read about of Jesus using His powers are actions that advanced the Kingdom of God here on earth. He could have called on legions of angels to protect Him at any time yet He chose to suffer and die for our sins. He ate with sinners. He showed mercy to the poor and to the needy. He could have allowed Himself to be crowned king by His followers. Instead, He chose to live a life serving others. He was a giver and He gave up everything to die on a cross for our sins. He gave His lifetime and His life for us. How much of our time are we willing to give up for Him? We are all familiar with the saying “time is money”, perhaps we should consider tithing our time as well as our money.
14 “I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” — 2 Samuel 24:14 NLT
David was a man after God’s own heart. Time after time, David sinned and repented and God always forgave him. God blessed David with peace and with a super-abundance. Why does God do this for those of us who fall time after time? Because He loves us with a love that we cannot totally grasp or understand. He continued to forgive David because David always had a godly sorrow for his sins. After the heat and passion of the moment had settled, David always turned back to God and begged for His forgiveness. This was a continuing battle for David and it is a continuning battle for any of us as long as we remain in the flesh in this sinful world. God knows that we cannot be perfect in this flesh. If that were possible, then Jesus would not have had to die to redeem us and the old covenant would still be in effect. When we fail and come short of the mark, we must remember to be like David, admit our sins to God and repent from them. When we repent, we turn from the old way and to a new way. True repentance requires actions that show God and those around us that we are serious when we ask God for forgiveness. When we fail and we all do at some point, don’t allow satan to beat you up with guilt and condemnation. Follow David’s example and choose to be disciplined by God. His mercies are new every morning and there is plenty of mercy for all of us and enough to last throughout eternity. When God saved us, He knew our weaknesses and He knew that sooner or later, we would fall, but He chose us anyway and He hasn’t changed His mind about our salvation. Be honest with God, He already knows what we did and what we will do in the future. Those sins are already forgiven, but we must repent.
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34
God is waiting to show you the Way.
I saw this happen to Jesus,
so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.–John 1-32-34 (NLT)
This is the faithful witness of a faithful servant. He saw all the messages he had preached come to life in one Man/God.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.–John 1:1 (NLT)
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.–John 1:14 (NLT)
Not only do we have the witness of John the Baptist, but we have the witness of God Himself.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”—Matt. 3:16,17 (NLT
Let us use these examples as an inspiration to be faithful witnesses. We do not need to worry about what we will say or do, if we are questioned about our Christianity. God has promised us over and over that He will never forsake us nor leave us. He goes before us, He is with us, and He is our rearguard. He has also promised to give us the words to say
19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.—-Matt 10:19,20 (NLT)
Although these words were spoken to the twelve disciples as Jesus sent them out to witness, I believe they are just as true for us today when we make ourselves available for God to use. We need to store the Word in our heart by meditating on the Scriptures. Then whenever and wherever we go, we should remember God’s words to Joshua.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”—Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
1 The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it. 2 This life was revealed to us. We have seen it, and we testify about it. We are reporting to you about this eternal life that was in the presence of the Father and was revealed to us. 3 This is the life we have seen and heard. We are reporting about it to you also so that you, too, can have a relationship with us. Our relationship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing this so that we can be completely filled with joy. 5 This is the message we heard from Christ and are reporting to you: God is light, and there isn’t any darkness in him.—1 John 1:1-5 (GW)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
The Word existed in the beginning. The Word was with God and the Word was God.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was already with God in the beginning.–John 1:1 (GW)
This Word of Life was revealed to us in human form as Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Hundreds, no, even thousands witnessed His walk here on earth. Biblically and historically, there is no doubt that a man named Jesus lived and walked on this earth approximately 2,000 years ago. He was seen, He was heard and we have read the reports. It is now up to each individual to accept or reject this truth. Those who accept it can have a real relationship with the Living Word. The Word is God is Light is life is Jesus is the Holy Spirit. If we have one, we have Them all. We cannot choose to have One without accepting them altogether. How much of each we access and the effect they have on our lives is up to each of us. The fullness of our joy and the absence of fear in our lives is the measure of how much of All of Them we have accepted. Walk in the Light and there can be no darkness, walk in Love and there is no fear.
18. No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.—1 John 4:18 (GW)
5 In the same way, the Anointed One, our Liberating King, didn’t call Himself but was appointed to His priestly office by God, who said to Him, You are My Son.
God is waiting to show you the way.
Today I have become Your Father,
6 and who also says elsewhere, You are a priest forever— in the honored order of Melchizedek.(Read Genesis 14:18-21 for more on Melchizedek)
7 When Jesus was on the earth, a man of flesh and blood, He offered up prayers and pleas, groans and tears to the One who could save Him from death. He was heard because He approached God with reverence. 8 Although He was a Son, Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. 9 And once He was perfected through that suffering He became the way of eternal salvation for all those who hear and follow Him, 10 for God appointed Him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.–Hebrews 5:5-10 (The Voice)
As a man, Jesus had no authority to take the office of our High Priest. But because he was obedient, even to death on a cross, God appointed Christ Jesus as our High Priest. He was tempted and suffered just as any human would, but He resisted the fleshly urge to sin. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for the “cup” to be removed from Him. His prayer was not that He would be spared physical pain and physical death. The “cup” He wanted removed was His separation from the Father. He knew that while the sins of all other humans was poured on Him at the cross, He would be separated from His Father. Sin always separates us from God. But because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, now when God looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. Because of that perfect sacrifice, we will never be separated from God again. To reject us, after we have accepted Jesus and been cleansed in His blood, would be to reject Jesus Himself.