13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. – 1 John 4:13 NLT
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told His disciples and us that He would send us a Comforter and that Comforter would teach us everything.
25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.—John 14:25,26 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit abides in us and His job is to teach us everything, including how to love God and how to love others. The English language does not have words for different kinds of love. In the Greek, there are at least 6 words for love, Let’s look at four of those. We have philos or phileo (brotherly, friendly love), storge (natural or love for family) eros (sexual) love. These three can be accomplished to a degree in the natural and involve both parties loving and giving. The fourth word is agape (unconditional) love. This is the love that comes only from God, It is the love that only the Spirit can teach us. It is unilateral love, God loves us whether we return that love or not. The flesh can not love in that respect. This is the love that we are to be striving to show to others. But, as Paul said, we “must strive toward the mark”. We must keep practicing loving without expecting anything in return.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” And the man of God had said, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!” 20 And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate! –2 Kings 7:19, 20 NLT
Everything that Elisha had prophesied about the famine and then the abundance of food came to pass. Not one thing was left out. God had defeated an army by confusing them until they fought each other and then the rest ran away leaving all of their supplies which included the abundance of food they had stored for their sustenance during the siege. Israel did not fight the battle and they did not lose one single soldier in getting the supply that God had promised. The only person lost was the king’s assistant and he was trampled by his own people before he could get a bite of food.
Every detail was fulfilled. God has made us many amazing promises in His Word. We can believe those promises, access them and enjoy the benefits of living in His presence or we can try to make it on our own and experience defeat and death. God is not a man that He should lie and He is not slack concerning His promises. There is no fine print or legalese to interrupt, just promises made in simple langauge that anyone can understand. Don’t be like Pharoah and choose to live with the frogs one more night. Just believe God’s Word and start enjoying the benefits of lving in His resurrection power today.
1 Peter 3:13-17 (NLT) 13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
God is waiting to show you the way.
We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.
Matthew 5:11-12 NLT “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
The English language is very limited when it comes to expressing the different types of love that exist. We “love” everything, homes, cars, sports, etc. We also “love” our spouses, our families, our friends, and, yes, we even love people we don’t know. Yet, the depth of feeling and emotions is different for each of these categories. So, how do we know which level of love we are expressing for each category. Well, I use the term “love” for everything, but spousal love, then I use the term “in love”. To me, that means that I have made a choice to treat this person differently than any other person in the world. A spouse should not have to compete with anyone else for that kind of love. To accomplish this depth of emotion and attachment to a person requires that I get to know that person better than I know any other person. The only way to get to know this person on that level is to spend time with them, learning about their likes and dislikes, their boundaries, everything about them. I am not talking about time with that person and a roomful of other people. I am talking about one-on-one, face to face time with no distractions. I am talking about using all my ability to focus on this person and no one else. That is the only way you will ever really get to know another person and that is the only way you will ever get to know Jesus. Spend some time with Him, just you and Him, no distractions. Will you make a commitment to not just “love” Jesus, but learn to be “in love” with Him?