Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Worthy Love

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

There is a difference between saying I love you and showing your love. You have most likely heard the saying, “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?” Talking the talk is just noise unless it is backed up with action: “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).

Some say they love God, but saying you love God is not enough: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). There were then, and there are now, people who profess a love for Christ but continue to live their lives in worldly ways. If our love for God is true, it is revealed in the way we respond to God’s commands. Jesus confronted those who professed love without action: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). Loving God is devoting our lives to His way of life, giving Him our heart, our soul and our minds that He may guide us in His truth

Love without action is contrary to the love God presents to us. If you know God, you know that His love is active: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). God’s love is active in our lives. His love shows us the way of life that is most beneficial to us: “I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). God’s commands are based in His love for mankind and His desire for “all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Jesus died to provide the world with a love they never knew: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We can easily see that God did more than just say, “I love you.” He sent His love to pay the price of our disobedience and give us hope of reconciliation. His love was sent to all and those who envelope His love become active in their love for Him (2 Thess 1:6-9).

Active love is made evident to the world: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Sacrificial love assures the welfare of others and is noticeable by all because it is working to make sure others have what is best for them. This is the love God displayed in Christ. When those of the world witness active love it makes them desire this love in their lives.

In His Grace,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Getting Old

“For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8).

Many are led to believe that as long as we are staying the same then we are not changing. But this is as wrong as a three dollar bill. The truth of the matter is that if we are not growing then we are getting worse. The world is slipping down the slippery slope of sin and has become so hardened to God’s truth that they cannot even see this tragedy taking place. If you somehow do not believe this just look at what people are watching on TV these days. At one time there was a popular television show about a Genie who had been found by an astronaut. He brought her home and she remained living in her lamp. The producer of the show had to make sure that everyone knew that she was sleeping in her lamp and not sleeping in the house in which the Air Force Major lived. If this was not made clear to the audience then the show could not go on.

What a sharp contrast to what it is we see on television today. Every form of immorality can be seen on most channels today. Everything from adulterous situations to even same sex partnerships and even multi partner episodes of relations can be viewed. This is Satan’s way of getting us to accept this as a tolerable way of life, and judging from the evidence, he has been very successful. Satan has been very crafty since the beginning and has been very effective in deceiving the world. What could have we done as a nation to stop this from happening?

The first resolution has to be learning where we lost our focus. When this nation began, the founding fathers had their aim on God’s word. And although not totally correct in their understanding, they were persuaded by the godly values biblical truth holds. But somewhere along the road we managed to get off track. Maybe it was for the same reason the Hebrew nation lost its way: “And I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen'” (Jeremiah 6:17). God has blasted the trumpet of warning going back to the ancient days of creation. His path of righteousness was once followed by ancient folks such as Abel, yet the world continues in its downward spiral because it will not heed His warnings. How far will the nations allow this to continue? When will we as a people learn that God wants us to follow His word because this is the only way to live in peace with Him? Losing our first love as a nation will be just as harsh for us as it was for the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4).

Peter was a trumpet of the Lord when he blasted God’s warning of complacency. In the first chapter of Second Peter he wrote in verse eight that we are to be “increasing” in the qualities of holiness. Many believe that as long as we are not “backsliding” we are doing well. Well this is simply a denial of the trumpet of the Lord. He warns us not to be comfortable in our understanding of His truth. We must always be seeking ways to deepen our understanding of what His way, truth and life (John 14:6) mean to us and our relationship with our Creator. He has promised to lead the faithful to a place of rest, but only the faithful. The faithful are the ones who are “diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The trumpet of the Lord has warned against complacency yet the world seeks a different knowledge than what will lead them out of judgment. But the church can be a light to this perverse generation by diligently seeking the ancient paths and walking in them (Jeremiah 6:16). Never grow tired of learning about God and His way of life. Never grow weary of speaking of Hi great might. It will be beneficial to all.

In His Grace,

Friday, February 15, 2013

What does it take to truly LOVE?

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

Isn't it great to know God is on your side. But this is only a guarantee for those who love Him....and He means LOVE Him...not really, really, really, like Him....but LOVE Him...lets discuss the difference...First off, if you love someone you are willing to go to the greatest lengths to see them pleased... what are some other insights to this question??

If you would like to join in this discussion, you can post your comments here on the blog, or you can join us at our Facebook page

Monday, February 11, 2013

Change is Good

“If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes (Job 14:14).

Many in this world oppose change because they have grown accustomed to a certain way of life. But if we want to be recognized by God as Christians, change has to take place. The first step in becoming a child of God is change. Some say that God accepts us the way we are, but the Bible doesn’t say we are to remain unchanged: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God calls us the way we are, but it is a call to change: “[A]ll the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:20). Change is essential to living a godly life.

Christ died so that we could have a change of spirit. Our spirit is of the flesh and that must change to be like God: “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’” (John 3:5-6). Our physical birth gave us life in the flesh and we lived that life according to the flesh. For change to take place in us we must be born again into the Spirit of God. If we are born into His Spirit then our lives are guided and driven by His Spirit: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). God has brought change to the way we live our lives by sending His Spirit to lead us into a new way of life.

Christ also died to bring change to our creation: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old things are our desires to live according to the flesh. When we are clothed with Christ our demeanor changes as we now walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). God created us as creatures of choice that we might choose to live in a way that reveals our love for Him. In the flesh we made wrong choices and that caused a separation between us and God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Being in Christ has transformed our bodies into a spiritual temple in which God Himself now dwells (1 Corinthians 3:16). We are changed from a tool of Satan to a dwelling place for God. We now function as part of a body that works to glorify God Who created us. We have become regenerated into a new spiritual being.

Christians cannot be afraid of change because God has saved us from the results of an unchanged lifestyle. He has called us to a change in the way He sees us: “[F]or you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10). God’s demand for change is not so bad. It is a change from a life without His mercy to a life full of His mercy. It is a change from living a life that reveals death to a life that reveals life eternal. Let God change your desires, your hope and your mindset so He can change where you will spend eternity.

In His Grace,