“This is My Command”

17 This is my command: Love each other. – John 15:17 NLT

John 15:16-21 NLT

Are you getting the feeling that we are stuck on this “love” theme? Love the Father, love me, love each other? We are and we should be. After all, the author of the Bible is perfect, complete Love.

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.–1 John 4:8 (NCV)

The world is full of hate. Those that walk in the flesh despise people that love. We have been chosen out of the world, but as long as we inhabit this fleshly tent, we will remain in the world. While we are here, it is our job to show the world love. Some of them will be drawn to Jesus through that, others will not be so kind. The name of Jesus is powerful. Every time a person hears that name, they have to make a decision. They will either be for Jesus or against Jesus. If they are against Jesus, they will offend and persecute us. We hear about it in the news every day. You can talk about religion all day and nobody cares, but just mention the Name of Jesus and there will be, there must be, a reaction. It gets personal because it is personal. It requires each of us to build a relationship with a living Savior that is founded on and built with LOVE

“You Can Have the Same Joy”

11 I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy. – John 15:11 NCV

Access

​Jesus wants each of us to know the same joy that He knew because of His relationship with the Father. Because of the Holy Spirit, we have access to that same joy. Happiness is temporary and fleeting but the joy that we have is a fruit of the Spirit. Since the Spirit never leaves us, we always have access to that joy.

22 But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness–Gal. 5:22 (NCV)

We also have access to the same love and the same knowledge. As we learn to love Jesus, obedience becomes an act of adoration and not an act of obligation. One of the results of loving Jesus is that we will also love those around us and it will be easy to show them that we love them thus making it easier to obey the command that we should love each other. The Holy Spirit produces love and joy all the time. The question for us is this: If we are not full of love and joy, why not? Maybe we need to check our connection to the flow of the Spirit. Or as Zig Ziglar said (and I paraphrase here) We need a “checkup from the neck up to get rid of stinking thinking and an attitude of ingratitude”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“I Have Loved You”

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. ​ – John 15:9 NLT

John 15: 6-10 NLT

To abide in Jesus we must obey His commands. If we do this, we have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. It is this power of the indwelling Holy Spirit flowing through us that produces good fruit. The best and everlasting fruit is love. If our finite minds could grasp the power of the infinite love of God, nothing would be impossible for us. To understand this love requires us to spend time alone with God reading His word to Him. You cannot truly love someone you do not know and you can’t know someone without spending time alone with them. God cherishes the time His children spend alone with Him. You may be thinking that people decide to love each other through letters, phone calls and emails. That is very true.. But how much time have they spent writing and/or reading those letters and emails or talking on the phone? In today’s wireless world, you don’t have to be face to face with someone to spend time with them. We should be thankful that God has the original wireless system. God has been having love affairs with His children without the internet or computers for years. But His system is so much better because it doesn’t cost anything, it is never busy, it never breaks down and we always get an answer.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“So Don’t Be Troubled or Afraid”

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27 NLT

Peace

God has sent the Holy Spirit to abide with us. He sent the Spirit in the name of Jesus. That is the Trinity of God — Father, Son,and Spirit. They are one and the same but with different functions. God created, Jesus redeemed and the Spirit calls us to accept Jesus and be a child of God. Jesus gives us the gift of peace. It is not peace that means there are no wars or violence or problems in our lives.That is what the world thinks of as peace. But true peace, the peace that Jesus gave us is the kind that keeps us calm in the middle of a storm, in the middle of medical emergencies, financial emergencies or any other bad situation that you can name. The peace of God is available to every child of God, but we have to decide to accept it and abide in that peace, just as we had to decide to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We can accept the peace that Jesus offers us or we can hang onto our cares and worries and let the devil devour our peace and joy.

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.–1 Peter 5:6-8 (NLT)

Humbling ourselves under the hand of God means that we completely agree with Him that He can and will do exactly what He said He would do. To believe anything less than that is to deny the Omniscience, Omnipresence and the Omnipotence of the great God that we serve.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“And Even Greater Works”

19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.  – John 14:19 NLT

John 14:18-24 NLT

Jesus was always teaching His disciples and encouraging them. He knew that until the Holy Spirit came, they would feel alone and discouraged. He assures them and us that we will never be alone. He isn’t here physically with us now, but He is here abiding in our hearts and guiding us. If we love Jesus, we will be obedient children and the Father loves all of those who love Jesus. Every word that Jesus spoke came straight from the Father, so it is Truth. Everyone has the same opportunity to answer the call to come to Jesus. It is difficult for us to understand why some do and some don’t. God doesn’t send anyone to hell, a person has to work hard to get to hell. The wages (salary, pay) of sin is death. It is hard to understand why anyone would continue on that path when the plan of salvation is free and open to all who will accept. So, each of us has a choice to make, we can accept salvation full and free or we can earn our way to hell.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“How Can This Be?”

God is waiting to show you the way.

30 The angel told her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor[a] with God.
31 You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus.
32 He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.
33 Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be? I’ve never had sexual intercourse.
–Luke 1:30-34 (God’s Word)


Can you imagine the thoughts that must have gone through Mary’s mind at this announcement? The thoughts of the shame of being unmarried and pregnant? She would be ridiculed and possibly put away by Joseph, her betrothed. What faith it took for Mary to say, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you have said happen to me”. And, then, Joseph, how could he accept this? Surely, Mary had been unfaithful and gotten herself in this condition. But God! But God had a plan and a purpose. Can we even imagine what God could do through us, if we had even a hint of the faith that Mary and Joseph displayed in carrying out God’s marvelous plan. How many times has God spoken to us and we have responded with “How can this be?” Will we say okay to God,even when it doesn’t make sense to us? Do we believe or do we just mouth the words? But God!!

“That You Also Love One Another”

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. – John 13:34 NKJV

John 13:31-35 NLT


A new commandment? Isn’t the whole Bible, particularly the New Testament about loving one another?  What did Jesus mean by “a new commandment I give to you”?  If we put this verse in context we find that he spoke this to the remaining 11 disciples after Judas had gone out into the night. What had happened just before that? Jesus had taken a towel and a basin of water and washed all 12 of the disciples’ feet.  This included Judas whom Jesus knew was about to go out and betray Him.  So, the “new” part of the commandment was that we should love , not just our Christian brothers and sisters but also our enemies, even those that will betray us.  Loving those who love us is easy but what about those that intentionally hurt us?  Can we extend our love to them and invite them into the Kingdom? Jesus says not only that we can but that we must.

”Today’s blog was inspired by a sermon by Rev Bill Frank Wilson, Corinth Church 05-24-2020″

9 When all the people[a] heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead.  -John 12:9 NLT

John 12:9-11 NLT

Sin always takes us further than we want to go. The leaders had planned to kill Jesus and now they would have to kill Lazarus as well. How many others would have to die before the movement was stopped? We don’t know because Christians are still being killed today for their faithfulness to Jesus. The persecuted church of today will tell you that it is much harder to live for Jesus than it is to die for Him. Would we suffer and die for Jesus? Jesus said that we must be willing to do that.

34 Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. 35 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.–Mark 8:34-35 (NCV)

Have we made that commitment? Can we say along with Paul:

10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.–Philippians 3:10-11 (NCV)

The great thing is that for us, it is a win-win situation. Paul put it this way:

21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.–Philippians 1: 21 (NLT)

“Your Loving Friendship”

6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. – 3 John 6 NLT

3 John 2-8 NLT

Because we have been commanded to love each other, we should always show concern and compassion for others. We are instructed in Paul’s letters to support those who minister to us. This includes our local pastor as well as other ministries where God directs us to help. But we should never just give randomly, but pray about it and ask for discernment. Giving money to unfruitful ministries would not show good stewardship with the finances God has entrusted to us. Remember that Jesus was supported by others and sent his disciples out without even a change of clothes. A good Pastor is worth all that we can afford to pay him.. He is God’s anointed and has been appointed to shepherd us. We should show our love for God and for our pastors by supporting them, not just with money, but with prayers, encouragement and helping out wherever we can physically.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“This Is Not A New Commandment”

5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends,[c] that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. – 2 John 1:5 NLT

2 John 1:5-9 NLT

From the beginning, God based His plan on showing us love and teaching us how to love. We are commanded to love each other. Then God showed us the greatest example of love by giving His only Son to redeem us from sin. Jesus said that all of the law and the prophets were hinged on two commandments–“Love the Lord your God…. and love your neighbor as yourself”. Then over and over throughout the Scriptures we are reminded to love each other. We are also told that perfect love keeps us from fearing others and other things. The kind of love that God wants us to learn is love that expects nothing in return. God wants us to be like Him and love like He loves. If we follow the love chain throughout the scriptures, we can only come to one conclusion, “God is Love”. Christians should be like good hash browns, served smothered and covered with love and scattered among the people.​

John 15:9-13 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous