“And I am loved by you,” the more I sang those words the more aware I became. Each time I repeated that simple phrase, my spirit connected with the reality that love have consequences. The consequences of the father’s love for me are my freedom, my peace, my victory, just to name a few. How could I not worship when I experience this kind of love? I’ve said it before and I will shout it again, the expression, “Jesus loves me,” should not be reduced to just being the lines of a song. Instead we should allow it to be the life changing truth that it is!
We are in the season of reflecting on the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of which were motivated by the love of the father. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
What is your response to that kind of love?
Is it a willing surrender or is it continuous rebellion?
Is it a heart overflowing with thanksgiving or is it insipid worship?
Love can either be accepted or rejected. What is your choice?
I’m learning more about God. There are so many facets of His character that I didn’t understand, but the more I learn the more I want to know. I desire to go deeper in Him! I’m experiencing the tenderness of His heart, and I’m blown away because I didn’t know. I understand more. I see and feel it. This knowledge and first-hand experience compel me to weep and worship.
No keyboard in the background. No praise and worship team encouraging me to lift my hands. Just me and God kind of worship. I sing songs that have never been sung, they just flow from the deepest parts of my heart and they reflect my gratitude. Worship where I can “feel” His presence and I am undone!
I used to mourn over my problems and unanswered prayers; not anymore, because they are the tools that were used to give me a greater revelation! I am certain the answer will come, and the promises will be fulfilled-and quite frankly, I want them to. But I am content, truly content because I have attained even more. I now have greater intimacy with the one who has loved me with an everlasting love!
Psalm 27:4 NIV
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
For a long time, I knew that sugar was not good for my body. I spent a lot of time researching and studying these truths. I could rehearse different facts about the adverse effects of sugar and even shared it with others. However, I was still eating it. I knew the truth, but I wasn’t living it out. Knowing truth and living in truth are not the same thing.
Don’t be impressed with how much bible people know, rather be impressed with how much bible they are living out. It is so easy to be swept away by those who skillfully share the word of God while ignoring the rotten fruit that comes from their lives. Jesus is more concerned about how we allow the content we have learned to shape our character and impact our actions. It’s not just about learning the content, we are called to live it! 1 John 2:3-6 says “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” Again, the emphasis is on DOING not just KNOWING!
When I began to eliminate sugar from my diet and apply the knowledge I learned, I started to experience many positive changes. The same is true for us and our relationship with Christ. Focus on learning His word AND obeying it. As we obey, we then become more like Christ. Let your actions reflect that you are living in truth, and this is how we know we truly belong to God.
Jesus’ response to the adulteress woman in John 8 shows that compassion is not the same as condoning sin. The woman’s accusers were ready to stone her. Their main motive was to trap Jesus, it was not about upholding the law. Jesus, however, was ready to forgive her. He tells her that he does not condemn her but neither does he condone her sins. Before she leaves His presence, Jesus tells her, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” The forgiveness of God is a package deal, it’s a release of what you did wrong but also a warning to not return to your sinful habits.
When ministering to people we must not offer cheap compassion; one that tells you that we are all sinners and that Jesus understands, without ever addressing the need to turn from sin. This approach opens the door to compromise and produces rotten fruit. In our culture the calling out of sin and a call to repentance is mislabeled as condemnation when in fact it is true love and compassion. In John 3:17, we are reminded that Jesus did not come to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. That salvation comes when one receives the love of Christ AND turn away from sin.
We must also not be like the Pharisees and call out sin because we have impure motives and hidden agendas. We should not call out sin because we want to make ourselves look more righteous or with the intent to humiliate the sinner. We also should not do it for the sake of winning an argument and prove our point. We should address sin because we have true concern for the soul of the sinner. When love is our motive, we are more like Jesus and can be effective in reaching the lost.
I cannot deny the struggle that exists between yielding to what looks and feels good instead of submitting to the God who is good! This is a daily struggle that can only be conquered through a daily pursuit of God. Yes, I live in this world, but I don’t have to allow this world to live in me. I don’t have to become a slave to something that will perish. Oh, but what hope awaits those who choose God.
As I continue to meditate on 1 John 2:15-17, I ask myself what is my end goal? The words in vs. 17 arrest me, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” How many times do we loose sight that there is more to come? There is an ever after and our choices now will determine how that statement ends. Will it be happily ever after or tormented ever after?
Our choice to love the world and what it offers OR our decision to love God and pursue His will determines what our end will be. Choose wisely.
Deuteronomy 30:19 New Living Translation (NLT) “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
1 John 2:15-17 cautions us not to love the world or the things in it. Why? Because it will lead us to a dead end. The things the world have to offer appeals to our sinful nature; lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. Yes, they bring temporary satisfaction, but they also lead to eternal separation from God. Is it worth it? I think it appropriate to answer this question with the words of scripture, “what does it profit a man to gain the world and loose his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
The devil is a great marketer. He knows what will appeal to our sinful nature and he puts the commercial in front of us EVERYDAY! We cannot be passive, we must actively combat the schemes of the enemy. To not love the world, I must first cling to God and put Him in His proper place as Lord! This is not a one-time declaration but a daily reality! What are you doing DAILY to draw close to God? Are you praying to Him, are you reading His word and then responding in obedience? My prayer is that we will not be lulled to sleep pursuing pleasure but that we will remain awake knowing that eternity is at stake.