Monthly Archives: July 2010
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
(Mar 12:31 ESV)
We are to love all people as ourselves, but this verse points particularly to those who live in close proximity to us. Our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. It is easy to love someone who you don’t have to be around much. There is little time for your personalities to clash. On the other hand, your personality will eventually clash with someone you see everyday. It might even clash everyday. In order to love these people we must deny ourselves and consider them better than ourselves. We must love them with the godly love that Jesus gives us through His Spirit.
Christians must, especially, learn to lay theological issues aside for the unity of the body of Christ. So what if our opinions differ on election or spiritual gifts? All that matters is that we love the same Jesus. I do not support apostasy, but it is not necessary to believe every doctrine to be a Christian.
It has been my experience that, while practicing God’s presence, loving others comes more naturally. When I am not practicing God’s presence, my flesh is more likely to react. I don’t need to force myself to love others. Instead, as I am walking in His presence, He is filling me with love overflowing and His love naturally spills over to those around me.
Let’s acknowledge before God that it is impossible for us to have His perfect love, unless He pours it out on us richly. He is always ready to give us good things.
The Word of the Lord
is music to my ears.
O to hear your voice
as I draw near.
Your visions are great,
beyond my thoughts.
My imagination just
leads to naught.
Your dreams are splendid,
showing Your beauty.
But, no dream even comes
close to Your reality.
You Bride is pure and
shows Your image.
Give each of us,
a piece of Your message.
You O Lord speak
to my low heart.
You are ever present,
we will never be apart.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”
(Eze 37:11-14 ESV)
Why do some Christians assert that they have had some part in their salvation. No one can choose Jesus Christ, unless the Father first draws Him. The reason for this is seen here in Ezekiel. Spiritually, we are dead. Not just dead, but a heap of bones already in the grave. But, Jesus called us out of our graves, just as He did Lazarus. We now have the Spirit of God and the life of Christ, in Whom we have put our hope. Let us no longer take credit for the work God that has done, but give Him thanks for His grace.
“That we ought to…enliven our faith. That it was lamentable we had so little; and that instead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct, men amused themselves with trivial devotions, which changed daily. That the way of Faith was the spirit of the Church, and that it was sufficient to bring us to a high degree of perfection.” – Brother Lawrence
How many of us actually walk by faith? We claim to have faith, but our lives don’t show it. How many Christians are not living the life of peace and joy that Jesus promised? Jesus calls us to live free of fear and anxiety. With man this is impossible, but we have the Spirit of God and enjoy the divine life. If we had greater faith in the One who promises eternal life, we would not fear the trials of life. Has God been faithful to you in the past? Let your faith be built on the faithfulness of God. If anyone is lacking in faith, let him ask God to give him greater faith.
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
(2Co 5:7 ESV)
“…We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God; which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.” – Brother Lawrence
It is my firm belief that the higher our view of God, the greater our reverence for Him. As we learn about Him and get to know Him, we can’t help but adore Him. We should meditate on Him and praise His greatness. Great thoughts of God will yield us great joy because we will begin to see God as He is. We will come to know that He is love. We will see that He is so far beyond us that we could never fully comprehend Him. Part of having a relationship with someone is getting to know that person. It takes time to get to know God. By His grace, He bestows on each of His elect a revelation of Himself. Jesus enjoys sharing who He is with us. Also, we will find great joy in getting to know Him. We should continually ask God for greater and greater revelations of our great Lord, Jesus Christ. Why wouldn’t we want to get to know the One we love above all else?
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
(Heb 1:3 ESV)
This verse declares in power that Jesus is God, but I want to focus on the middle of the verse. Christians understand that God is the Creator of everything, but many doubt that He is the Sustainer of everything. God did not set the universe into motion and sit back to let it take care of itself. If God were to stop sustaining it, it would cease to exist. Every beat of our hearts is controlled by God. We live because of His providence. It takes no effort on His part.
If only Christians would live with this in mind. We have God to thank for our every breath. We don’t own anything, even ourselves. God even sustains those who curse Him (at least for a time). Jesus, Himself, is the Sustainer of all life, and the only One worthy of worship.
“…We should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence, by continually conversing with Him.” – Brother Lawrence
Obviously, we who have God’s Spirit live in His presence. Unfortunately, we usually don’t realize we are in His presence. We need a sense of His presence. We need to continually recognize our God as being there with us and guiding us. If we truly love Him, won’t we want to spend time with Him? As we spend time with God in these little conversations, our love for Him will grow tremendously. God is love and He enjoys pouring out His love on His people.
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
(Mar 4:39 ESV)
By no means do I wish to diminish the work of Jesus in calming the storm. He overwhelmingly demonstrates that He has taken back the authority given to Adam, to subdue nature. On the contrary, I wish to reflect on the simplicity of this task in comparison to that of creation. The great work of calming the storm is the power given to mankind before the fall. This pales in comparison to commanding billions of galaxies to exist. All creation was created through the Son.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
(Joh 1:1-3 ESV)
I am convinced that if we were to have a higher view of God, we would not act as the ungodly do. If we were to get a glimpse into the majesty and greatness and power of God, we would make every effort to not offend Him (Not that the Christian life is based on our efforts). Our earnest prayers should be for a greatest revelation of the greatness of God.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
(Pro 9:10 ESV)
Follow this link to find out what half a million galaxies looks like:
O how sweet
is the taste.
The Lord’s fruit
is so great.
At his table
is a feast.
He feeds me
though I am least.
While I work
my heart leaps.
His Spirit gives
joy in heaps.
How I wish
to share my Lord.
For others to feel Him
make their hearts soar.
We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
(1Co 10:9-11 ESV)
Let’s not complain about our circumstances. Instead, let’s view even the smallest of daily trials in light of the great reward which awaits us. We should give God thanks for every difficulty that we go through. It is through these trials that He forms us into the image of Jesus.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
(Rom 5:3-5 ESV)