Did Jesus Truly Show His Love?

Did Jesus Truly Show His Love?

Ponder this:  did Jesus truly show His love for mankind?  Do you have assurance of God the Father’s love for you?  Here are some Scriptures for you to consider:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:8)

. . . nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:39, underscoring added)

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20)

All of these Bible verses talk about the love of God for us and the love of Jesus for us.  It is very easy to understand it through these passages.

Jesus, our Savior, demonstrated His great love for mankind and for His Father by offering His own life and blood in order to reconcile all of mankind to our Father God.   Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  (Joh 15:13)  Jesus absolutely loved us—He gave His life for us!

With this understanding of Jesus’ love, which is a reflection of God the Father’s love, I believe it should seem like a reasonable service for us to put God in first place in our lives.

Wisdom of this World

Wisdom of this World

Is there any true wisdom in this world?  Here’s what the Bible has to say about worldly wisdom: 

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness;” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”  (1 Cor 3:19-20)

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  (1 Cor 1:20)

According to the Word, there is no true wisdom that exists in this world, apart from Godly wisdom.  How do we, as believers and disciples of Jesus, obtain God’s wisdom?

  1. Ask the Lord for it. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  (Jas 1:5)
  2. Grow up into Christ—speak the truth in love. So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ . . . (Eph 4:14-15)
  3. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Rom 12:2)
  4. Study the wisdom from above. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  (Jas 3:17)
  5. Understand and come to know the Lord—then boast in Him! Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”  (Jer 9:23-24)
  6. Set your minds on things that are above. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  (Col 3:2)  That means we need to think about heavenly, godly things.  Meditate upon the Scriptures and the goodness of God.
  7. Do not love the world or the things of the world. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.  (1 Joh 2:15-17)
  8. Fear the Lord. By “fear,” I mean to respect and reverence the Lord.  When we fear the Lord, we put His opinion about everything and His instruction to us in first place in our lives. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is  (Pro 9:10)  This fear of the Lord will establish us securely on the path to learning of and receiving the wisdom of God.

The Power of God

The Power of God

The Bible has quite a lot to say about the power of God.  Here are some selected verses.

. . . and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.  (Rom 1:4)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  (Rom 1:16)

. . . but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  (1 Cor 1:24)

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  (1 Cor 2:4-5)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18)

I’m sure that you’ve noticed the recurring theme in these verses that Jesus is called the power of God or the verse may state that power comes through His good news.  How did Jesus access His Father’s power?  He accessed it through the Holy Spirit, for our Lord said:

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Ac 1:8)  Jesus spoke this to His disciples, and told them that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit.

Further on in the New Testament, we read:

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.  (1 Thes 1:5)

Each believer receives power in the same way that Jesus did, through the Holy Spirit and His presence in us.  We must learn to cooperate with the Lord and the Holy Spirit through our knowledge of the Word and through our obedience to it.  As we obediently serve Him and allow Him to lead and guide us, we will move and operate in His mighty power.

Have Confidence in the Lord

It is vital for us to have confidence in the Lord.  I’m talking about having the kind of confidence in the Lord that Paul had when he wrote this verse:

But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.  (Rom 15:29)

Paul could make this bold statement because he knew who he was in Christ.  He had confidence in the Word of God, and he had confidence in his relationship with Jesus, our Savior.  This is the same confidence that each and every one of us may have.  All we need to do is to nurture our confidence!

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.  (Ac 28:30-31)

For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.  (Pro 3:26)

But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”  (2 Cor 10:17)  Another word for “glories” is boasts.  So this verse reminds us to boast in the Lord.  Paul knew how to do that.

We know that when signs, wonders, and miracles take place in our ministry, it is the Lord who performs those wonders!  We know that He alone is the Healer and Deliverer.  Paul knew that it was natural and normal to expect good things from the God who is good all the time.  This is the kind of confidence that we want to nurture in our hearts.

We nurture our confidence in the Lord by reading and meditating upon the Scriptures.  We do it with praise and worship of our God on a regular and ongoing basis.  As our relationship with the Lord stands the test of time, we mature and grow in our faith as well as in our confidence.

Trust the Lord and His Word.  Rely upon His Word and believe it when it says of itself:

Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass. (Josh 21:45)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  (Mat 24:35)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18)

Feed your confidence! 

Blank Checks

Blank Checks

Most people know what is meant by the term “blank check.”  It implies an invitation to use however many funds or resources we may need.  And these resources are supplied by the person or persons who own the checking account against which the blank check is written.

Our God has given us His Word which is full of testimonies and also promises of blessings.  Quite some years ago, while teaching a class, I realized that many Scriptural promises were exactly like a blank check!  I began referring to them as the “Blank Check Bible Verses.”  To encourage you to search out some of these precious promises on your own, I’m going to share a handful of them here with you!

But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10b)  There’s no boundary on what good thing, but rather the opposite with this verse!

Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God our salvation.  (Ps 68:19)  The word “benefits” can mean blessings, payments, grants, allowances, profits, etc., etc.  Notice that we’re “loaded” [filled; packed; heaped; stuffed; and even overwhelmed] with these benefits DAILY!  This is quite a blank check!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (Mt 7:7)  Do you understand the blank check nature of this verse?

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Mt 19:26)  There is no limit to the word ‘ALL’ is there?

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will [His Word], He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 John 5:14-15)  The words “anything” and “whatever” are two more words that do not imply limits of any kind.

To date, I have discovered 25 such verses in the Bible, and I urge you to continue hunting for more of these wonderful promises from the heart of our loving God.  Happy hunting!

Food for Meditation

Food for Meditation

Our last article was on the topic of meditation, which included a biblical promise with it.  Today, I’m going to give you suggested food or topics for meditation.  I hope that they will bless you.

The Lord is my:

  • Exceedingly great reward (Gen 15:1)
  • Rock (Ps 18:2; 31:3; 71:3)
  • Rock that is Higher than I (Ps 61:2)
  • High Tower (Ps 144:2)
  • Hiding Place (Ps 32:7;119:114)
  • Very present help in the time of trouble (Ps 46:1)
  • Intercessor (Job 16:19-21 NIV1984; Isa 59:16-17)
  • Mediator (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24)
  • Advocate (1 Joh 2:1)
  • Teacher (Lk 12:12; Joh 14:26; 1 Cor 2:13)
  • Healer (Ex 15:26; Ps 103:3; Mt 4:23)
  • Open Heaven (Joh 1:51)
  • Comfort, Comforter (Ps 86:17; 2 Cor 1:3-4)
  • Strength (Ps 18:1; 32)
  • Fortress (Ps 18:2; 31:3; 71:3; 144:2)
  • Deliverer (Ps 18:2; 40:17; 70:5)
  • Shield (Ps 3:3; 18:2; 28:7; 144:2)
  • Horn of my salvation (Ps 18:2)
  • Stronghold (Ps 18:2)
  • Redeemer (Ps 19:14; 78:35; Pro 23:11)
  • Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6)
  • Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2)
  • Bright, Morning Star (Rev 22:16)

May God bless your meditations.

Meditation

Meditation

The Bible has a fair amount to say about meditation and the types of things that we, as followers of Christ, should set our thoughts upon.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  (Josh 1:8)

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  (Ps 1:2)

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  (Ps 119:15)

May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.  (Ps 104:34)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  (Phil 4:8)

Suggested topics for our meditations:

  • The Scriptures (Book of the Law; law of the Lord; precepts);
  • God’s ways;
  • The Lord; and
  • All things that are truthful, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

The Bible tells us that as we meditate upon and talk about these themes that we will have a successful and prosperous life.  What a blessed promise!