We Know Love, Thanks to Jesus

We Know Love, Thanks to Jesus

The Scriptures teach us that humanity knows love and is acquainted with love because Jesus gave up His own life to reconcile us back to our Father God.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  (1 Joh 3:16 NKJV)

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom 5:8 NIV)

 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it . . . (Eph 5:25 NCV)

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  (Eph 5:2 ESV)

All of these Bible passages refer to the fact that Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice was an ACT OF LOVE.  The Lord tells us through the Word that we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Husbands are admonished to love their wives even as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed Himself on behalf of the Church. Husbands should want to protect their wives and children even as the Lord did.

And we’re encouraged to follow the example of Christ, and to become (as He did) a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  This gives us a reason to examine ourselves and to ask ourselves if we are demonstrating our love in ways that are spiritually and relationally significant to our nearest and dearest.  God bless you as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you in showing love to everyone in your life!

Rooted in Christ

Rooted in Christ

The Scriptures talk about our being rooted in Christ; rooted in love; and as branches grafted onto a tree which depends upon its roots.

. . . having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.  (Col 2:7 NASB, underscoring added)

We are firmly rooted in Christ by establishing a strong faith in and reliance upon Jesus Christ so that we won’t fall or be tossed around by the harsh circumstances of life.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  (1 Cor 15:58 NIV)

This passage (above) reminds us to stand firm (unshaken; immovable).  We should not allow ourselves to be tossed around by every wind of circumstance which may be bitter, severe, or critical.  Rather, we find our strength and hope in our faith in Jesus Christ.

. . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love . . .  (Eph 3:17 NKJV)

We are rooted and grounded in love because Jesus Christ is the son of God; and God is love.  (1 Joh 4:8)  Jesus is God’s love shown to us in human flesh.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.  (Rom 11:17-18 NASB)

The root or foundation of the church is Jesus Christ.  (Mt 21:42; Mk 12:10; Lk 20:17)  He is the root who supports the church and all of its individual members.  We rely upon Him for life and for everything that supports life!  We are blessed indeed!

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 1

God Calls Us to Love Our Christian Family, Pt. 1

We have received spiritual assignments due to the fact that all believers comprise the body of Christ on earth.  Because we are children of God, we are His representatives wherever we go and with whoever we meet.  Here are some scriptures concerning some of our instructions/assignments:

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.  (1 Pet 2:17 NKJV, underscoring added)

In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.  (1 Joh 3:10 NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  (1 Joh 4:7-8 NKJV, underscoring added)

1 John 4:7 clearly states that ‘love is of God.’  That means that love is the description of and the province of God.   We are instructed to love the brotherhood (1 Pet 2:17)—which means that we should love all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  It goes without saying that we are also instructed to love ALL people (1 Joh 4:7).

We are encouraged to honor all people, as well.  (1 Pet 2:17)   Honor means to esteem, respect, or admire someone.  Wow!  Can you think about giving honor to ALL PEOPLE?  That’s a huge responsibility and a tremendous challenge.  The only way that we can fulfill this command is to ask God to give us His grace and His blessing to enable us to obey.

Critical and significant assignments from our Savior require us to walk closely with Him in unity and companionship.  Only by an obedient and humble relationship with the Lord will we be able to receive the grace, insights and the wisdom that we need to enable us to fulfill our assignments.  God is our strength and our song!  (Ex 15:2; Ps 118:14)  All glory to God most High!

Jesus Heals Broken Things, Especially Our Hearts

Jesus Heals Broken Things, Especially Our Hearts

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.  (Ps 34:18 NCV)

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.  (Ps 147:3 NET)

My flesh and my heart may grow weak, but God always protects my heart and gives me stability.  (Ps 73:26 NET)

For I am the Lord who heals you.  (Ex 15:26c NKJV)

Charles Spurgeon said: “There are many sorts of broken hearts, and Christ is good at healing them all.”  What a beautiful statement of faith and truth!

What types of things can break a person’s heart? 

  • The death of someone we love;
  • Betrayal by someone who is dear to us;
  • The end of a friendship;
  • A miscarriage;
  • Divorce;
  • Being helpless;
  • Being bullied;
  • A crisis on the job;
  • A troubled church situation; or
  • Recognizing that life is unfair, and that it contains pain and heartache.

Everyone has felt the anguish of a broken heart.  If not, then it will occur at some time in the future.  It seems that this is a part of life that cannot be avoided.

The reality is that God is with us in the midst of our brokenness, distress and torment. 

Matthew 5:4 says:  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Again, in Hebrews 13:5 we’re told:  For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Jesus has promised that He will never leave us nor abandon us.  He is always with us, and His love is always surrounding us.  His Spirit is our Comforter.

Isaiah 53:3 reminds us that Jesus knows how we feel:  He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Jesus was betrayed and ultimately rejected by mankind.  He came to extend salvation, love, mercy, and healing to humanity; but we angrily refused Him, tortured Him and crucified Him. 

And yet, Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:11), and He came forth from the grave in power, valor, and ENDURING LOVE for us!  How wonderful is our Savior! He is truly a God who actively and lovingly comforts us and binds up our hearts with bands of mercy, love and healing. 

Trust in Jesus and turn to Him when you are brokenhearted and trust Him to heal your wounds. Hallelujah to His holy Name!

Taught by God

Taught by God

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t forget that Jesus came, in obedience to His Father, in order to save people and to reconcile them back to our Heavenly Father.  God is constantly ready to forgive and to save all who believe in Jesus.

Today we’re concentrating on Scriptures that tell us that all of our children shall be taught by the Lord. 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  (Isa 54:13)  We are drawn closer to the Lord by submitting to His teachings.  Our relationship grows deeper and stronger the more we read, meditate upon, and study the teachings of the Bible.

It is written in the Prophets, and they will all be taught by God.  Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from Him comes to Me.  (Joh 6:45 CEB)  All who receive the internal, spiritual illumination concerning Jesus Christ, the Savior, is drawn to God and to the teaching that comes from God through His Word, His Spirit, and His ministers.

The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.  (Joh 16:14-15 CEV)  The Holy Spirit is our helper and our teacher.  He gives us wisdom, insight, and illumination into the teachings of the Bible.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another . . .  (1 Thes 4:9 ESV)  This is a confirmation by the Scriptures that those who belong to the Lord are taught by the Lord and are influenced daily by what they have learned.

All those who are taught by God (those who accept and act upon what they learn) will always turn to Jesus and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.  And once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they will continue serving Him and obeying His leading and guiding through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We are not only the servants of God, but we are the children of God. All glory to God most High!

God Makes Wars Cease

God Makes Wars Cease

Jesus is the Prince of Peace referred to in Isaiah 9:6.  It makes sense that the Prince of Peace, sent by His heavenly Father, is opposed to war.  Instead, He chose to make changes on earth through His love and His self-sacrifice even to the point of dying on the cross for us.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.  (Ps 46:9)  God’s mighty power extends all over the earth in every country, region, and land.  He has power to demolish weapons and bring an end to war anywhere on earth.

Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand.  (Ezek 39:3)  The Lord can cause weapons to be forcefully removed from human hands and to fall out of a person’s strongest hand! Wow!

He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.  (Isa 2:4)  In God’s perfect timing, He will cause nations to destroy their weapons and cease from attacking one another. 

Until that time, Christians are to “make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”  (Heb 12:14) The gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News for all human beings.  It establishes peace between God and man through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. 

We should always promote peace instead of discord, and be instruments of God to demonstrate His love, mercy, and forgiveness to all.  We are blessed!

Do You Hear & Obey Instruction?

Do You Hear & Obey Instruction?

Listening to God (heeding His Word) and obeying it are momentously important to God.

The proverbs of Solomon.  A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grieves his mother.  (Pro 10:1 ISV)

A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.  (Pro 13:1 ESV)

Listen, children, to your father’s instruction, and pay attention in order to gain understanding.  I give you sound teaching, so do not abandon my instruction.  (Pro 4:1-2 ISV)

According to Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, a brief definition of biblical obedience is “to hear God’s Word and act accordingly.” 

The only “instruction” that it is imperative for us to obey is God’s Word and God’s instructions.

What are the reasons for this?  Let’s consider what the Bible says:

  • Jesus tells us to obey.  (Joh 14:15 ESV)
  • Our obedience, as followers of Jesus Christ, flows from a heart full of thanksgiving for God’s gift of salvation and His gift of grace.  (Rom 12:1 NLT)
  • The Scriptures remind us repeatedly that God rewards obedience.  (Gen 22:18 NLT; Lk 11:28 NKJV; Jas 1:22-25 NIV)
  • When we obey God and His Word, we prove how much we love Him.  (1 Joh 5:2-3 NASB; 2 Joh 1:6 NLT)
  • The Old Testament says that “obedience is better than sacrifice.”  In the Old Testament, God’s people were commanded to offer sacrifices to the Lord, but even then it was not supposed to take the place of obedience.  (1 Sam 15:22)
  • Jesus said in John 14:15 that if we love Him we will keep His commandments.

God bless you as you read, meditate and obey God’s Word!

What’s Your Decision?

What’s Your Decision?

Whom would you rather serve?  You would do well to read our last blog titled Two Paths.  It will shed light upon this article.

Every human being on earth must make a decision whether to serve Jesus, the Son of the Living God; or to serve satan, known as the accuser of the brethren.  (Rev 12:10)

What does the Bible say about Jesus?  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10b NKJV)

The Scriptures warn us to “make our election sure.”  The Lord tells us in His Word how each and every believer may confirm and safeguard his future in eternity:

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.  10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (2 Pet 1:5-11 NKJV, emphasis added)

After we have accepted the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, we do well to submit ourselves to the cleansing that comes to us through daily reading and meditation upon the Bible.  Read for yourself the truth of this statement:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  (Eph 5:25-27 NKJV, underscoring added)

Also, the Holy Spirit will teach us and lead us into all truth as we read the Word of God regularly.  (Joh 16:13) 

Trust the Lord to teach you and to guide you.  Allow Him to make changes in your life day by day, year by year, and decade by decade.  In so doing, you will bear fruit and make your calling and election sure!  God bless you.

Two Paths

Two Paths

In life, there are only two paths to choose from.  Please, recognize this statement for the truth that it is.

We may choose to live for God and the Kingdom of righteousness; or we may sink to serving satan who is the enemy of God and the enemy of all that is good and true, peaceful and holy.

The ancient Hebrew word for satan means “accuser” or “adversary.” Why would we want to serve the being who is named “accuser”?

My heartfelt question is “Why would anyone choose to serve the kingdom of darkness?”  Let’s look at what the Scriptures have to say.  I’m going to put the Bible verses in categories to help to clarify this study.

About the Kingdom of God & Jesus

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . .  (Gal 5:22 NKJV)

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10b NKJV, emphasis added)

. . . and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:7 NKJV)

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.  (1 Cor 14:33 NKJV)

About the Kingdom of Darkness & satan

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.  (Jas 3:16 NKJV)

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (Joh 8:44 ESV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  (Joh 10:10a NKJV)

Warnings from Scripture

Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph 6:11 ESV)  We have to protect ourselves with the spiritual tools that the Lord has given to every believer.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  (1 Pet 5:8 NKJV)  We believers need to be vigilant and review our lives on a fairly regular basis so that we don’t allow even the smallest entry for the devil.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.  (Rev 12:20 NKJV, underscoring added)  Know that the enemy will surely receive his eternal punishment which is described here.

Conclusions

The Bible informs us of key things we should know about the enemy and his realm.  In the kingdom of darkness, the atmosphere is full of envy, self-seeking, confusion, lies and every evil thing.  The beings who populate that realm enjoy killing, stealing, lying and destruction.  The future holds a grim reality for satan and for all who choose to serve him: 

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  (Rev 20:10 NKJV)  This is an eternal, never-ending punishment. 

The Bible informs us that Jesus came to impart life not only here on earth, but for all eternity to those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior.  That is why John 10:10 says “more abundantly.”  When we serve Jesus and His Kingdom, we experience love, joy and peace.  We become a member of the family of God.  And lastly, when we become a child of God we experience the peace that passes all understanding.  (Phil 4:7)  Glory to God most High!

Faith is a Gift

Faith is a Gift

Remember that faith is a gift from God!  It is a precious gift and vital to our daily life in the service of the Kingdom of God.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God . . .  (Eph 2:8 NKJV)

Each and every believer has been given a measure of faith.  Be sure to make good use of what you have been given.  Use your faith constantly either for yourself or on behalf of other people, which is the highest and best use for this beautiful gift.

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.  (Rom 12:3 NKJV, emphasis added) 

Some believers have even been given an unusual gift of faith that stands well above the norm.  To all such believers, I encourage you to pray, pray, pray for other people and help them to receive everything that they need from the Lord—the chief need being salvation!

. . . to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit . . . (1 Cor 12:9 NKJV)

We must serve God by USING the spiritual gifts that He has given to each and every one of us.  It is our responsibility and our joy to discover what our spiritual gifts are and then to use them in spiritually productive ways on behalf of the Kingdom of God and of His people. 

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  (1 Cor 13:2)

We must use all of our spiritual gifts—whatever they may be—with LOVE!  God is love (1 Joh 4:8), and all who serve His kingdom must flow in LOVE. 

Note that love is the FIRST fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.  God bless you!