Tag: God’s love

It’s all about love!

Scripture reading for November 24th: Zechariah 2-5, Psalm 93, 1st John 3

1st John 3: 11-15 “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

John kept his message to the churches he oversaw very simple. He pointed them to a basic commandment: ‘Love one another.’ He used the oldest example of murder as an illustration of how the unrighteous of the world hate the righteous and seek to destroy them. So it is in this world until this day that we live in. One of the surest signs of salvation and eternal life is our love for our brothers and sisters. If we have hatred, we abide in death, not life eternal. Love for others comes from new birth and the Holy Spirit of God, Who Himself is Love, abiding in us. Love gives grace and forgiveness as our Lord did for us.

Zechariah 4:6-7 “Then he said to me, “This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. Who are you O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace to it!'”

Prayer: Father God, I love You and I love the brothers and sisters in Your family. Thank You for the gift of love and eternal life. I can only love because You first loved me and gave me Your love in the abiding Holy Spirit. Your love is holy and mighty–moving mountains and drawing many to salvation. Forgive those who are still in hatred and fear and use me to share the Good News of Your amazing love.

Psalm 93:4-5 “Mightier that the thunders of many waters, mightier that the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty. Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore.”

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Healing signs of God’s love!

Scripture reading for May 21st:  2nd Samuel 13-14, Acts 28

Key Scriptures:  Acts 28:7-10  “Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days.  It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery.  And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.  And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.  They also honored us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.”

Paul and the two hundred seventy-five others on the ship all made it in safely to shore from the shipwreck.  The ruler, Publius, received them and took care of them for three days.  Paul found out the Publius’ father was sick with a fever and dysentery and visited him and laid hands on him praying for his healing.  God answered and the sick people from the island flocked to Paul for prayer and all were cured!  This brought great joy to the people and those ship-wrecked were loaded with blessings when they were ready to leave.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great generosity to heal those who are sick, regardless of race, color or creed.  Empower me today to act in faith, praying for those who are sick and in need.  Pour out Your blessings on the outcasts and give them life!

2nd Samuel 14:14 “We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.  But God will not take away life, and He devises means to that the banished one will not remain an outcast.”


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Kind and patient Love

Scripture reading for July 23rd:  Psalm 37-40, 1st Corinthians 13
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends. . . .”

The more excellent way is walking by the Spirit in love.  God is love.  Paul’s great chapter on the enduring and powerful working of love stands as a beacon for all believers to walk in God’s great love.  God has demonstrated His patience, kindness, truth and overcoming love to us through Jesus Christ.  We rejoice in this truth and ask God to fill us with His kind and patient love.

Psalm 37:34  “Wait for the Lord and keep His way; and He will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your kind and patient love expressed to us so generously in Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Fill us with this love again today and let it overflow in our souls.  Amen.

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Thankful for God’s Amazing Love!

Scripture reading for September 22nd:  Hosea 1-5

Key Scriptures:  Hosea 3:1-2  “The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress.  Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”  So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.  Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.””  

Hosea was instructed by God to find his adulterous wife and show her love again, buying her back from her slavery and indebtedness. Hosea was to demonstrate God’s great and amazing love for His adulterous people, who were in slavery to idolatry and uncleanness. So Hosea obeyed the Lord and bought his wife back, instructing her to remain faithful and live with him.  This is a picture of the redemption that God accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ, who demonstrated God’s great love for us who were sinners!

Rejoicing in Amazing Love:  “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!  For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life.”  (Romans 5:8-10)

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Paul shares his testimony to the Jews!

Scripture reading for June 4th:  Acts 22

Paul arrived in Jerusalem and shared the results of his ministry to the Gentiles.  At the advice of the church leadership there, he began a purification ritual to prove his faithfulness to the laws of the temple so as not to give the Jews cause to harm him.  However, Jews from Asia ( probably Ephesus) recognized him and seized Paul and dragged him from the temple and began beating him.  (Acts 21:30-32)  The Roman troop commander rescued Paul from the angry crowd of Jews and certain death.  Religious people can be mean!

Paul asked the Roman commander if he could address the crowd and was granted permission.  Paul again has opportunity to share his testimony of his personal encounter with Jesus.  He told how he was zealous for God just like they were and persecuted the believers in Jesus, having them imprisoned and put to death.  On his way to Damascus with letters to arrest believers, Paul encountered Jesus!  “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.  I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, “Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?”  “Who are you Lord?”, I asked.  “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting, He replied.”  (Acts 22:6-8)

Paul then told of his blindness and then visit by Ananias, a devout Jew who was also a believer who brought healing. He told how he was baptized and returned to Jerusalem.  He was warned by Jesus to leave town and preach to the Gentiles.  When Paul mentioned this, the crowd again turned on him, demanding his death!  (Acts 22:22)

Paul seized every opportunity to tell people about Jesus!  He was willing to die that others might hear.  Oh that the church might live that way today!

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The ‘foolish’ message of the cross!

Scripture reading for November 22nd: 1st Corinthians 1-6

Christ and the cross seems to be a foolish idea that doesn’t make sense to the mind trained to trust senses, self, and science.  It is not logical or even believable to many who have college degrees and have embraced modern secular humanism. To these people, religion is fine, but the cross is offensive!  But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong! (1st Corinthians 1:27)

The message of the cross is a message of God’s wrath against sin.  God has decreed that the soul that sins must die.  (Romans 6:23) Jesus Christ took the wages of man’s sin upon Himself and was beaten, mocked, spit upon, ridiculed, and crucified as a common criminal.  Isaiah says that we considered Him “stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4)  The punishment that we deserved fell upon Him and by His stripes we are healed!  (Isaiah 53:5)  God’s wrath was directed against His own Son, that we would be free from wrath! (2nd Corinthians 5:21)

The message of the cross tells of God’s love for us.  God’s willingness to send His only Son to earth just to die in our place tells the greatest love story ever told!  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)  He demonstrated His love for us in that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners!  (Romans 5:8)  God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish, but have eternal life!  (John 3:16)

The message of the cross demands repentance and faith.  We must turn from our self-centered ways and look to Jesus Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sin.  This message is the power of God for salvation to those who will believe!  (Romans 1:16-17)  “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”  (1st Corinthians 1:30)

Oh how I love the cross and the One who gave His life for me!  May this message of God’s wrath against sin and God’s amazing love flow from us who believe each and every day!

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Warning about idleness!

Scripture reading for October 15th: 2nd Thessalonians 3:1-18

God created man to work and work is honorable.  One of the results of a wrong view of the second coming of Christ in Thessalonica was a number of the church members quitting their jobs and living off of others in the church.  This created strife and hard feelings.    Satan is always out to divide the church!

“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.  For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example.  We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it.  On the contrary, we worked day and night, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:6-8)  Paul had set a godly example for these believers.  He now warned them to stay away from those who were idle.  Avoiding work was not proper for Christians.  They were to work and provide for themselves and their families.

Paul had a rule that he always used and taught:  “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:20)  Laziness is a sin that displeases God and causes strife in the body.  Idleness allows too much time to gossip and interfere with the business of others.   Paul commanded those who were idle to settle down and work so this problem would be taken care of.

In dealing with those involved, believers were to not have fellowship with them.  They were to warn them as brothers, but not go so far as to treat them like enemies.  (2nd Thessalonians 3:14-15)  In looking at Proverbs, there are more warnings against idleness and laziness that about drunkenness. (Proverbs 12:27, 13:4, 19:15, 24:30-34)   Christians should set examples of hard work and financial propriety.  They should be the best givers and not just takers.  Jesus, Himself, taught that it was more blessed to give than receive!  (Acts 20:35)

If we are lazy in our daily work, we often will lack diligence to seek the Lord as well.  Spiritually luke-warm people make God want to spit!  (Revelation 3:15-16)  Let it not be said of any Christian that they are lazy!  We all want to eat, physically and spiritually!

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Sunday Rest and Reflection:God’s love

Dear Friends and Lovers of Jesus Christ,

“I love Jesus Christ!”  I can say that without shame or fear today because of a secure relationship with God through Jesus!  I know Him and trust His Holy Word!  It is wonderful to have a love relationship based on truth and trust.  This relationship that I have has been growing for many years and is stronger today than yesterday.  It is because I am constantly seeking to know Him better and to understand His love for me as expressed in His Word and by the Holy Spirit. (1st John 4:13-16)

Because of my relationship with Christ, I can also love others.  I am growing in my ability to be a loving husband and father as I learn and experience Christ’s love for me.  I am learning to love in truth as well as in deed.  (1st John 3:16-18)  Christ demonstrated His love for us by dying for us!  (Romans 5:8) (1st John 4:10)

In our reading this past week, God demonstrated His love for His people by counting each one of them and giving them work to do.  God showed His love for His people by living in the center of their camp and manifesting His glory to them.  He showed His love by giving them leaders like Moses and Aaron who would model obedience and pray for them.  He loved the people by leading them and then by giving them rest.  He loved them by placing His Name on them by the blessing of Aaron spoken over them!  He loved them by feeding them manna each day and providing water from the Rock!  What a caring God we come to know as we read His word!

I love you!  Thanks for being my friend!  Take time on this day celebrating love, to tell those you love how much you care for them.  Be sure to tell God how thankful you are for His love, the source of all true love!  In His Love,  Pastor John

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God is Good, His Love endures forever!

Scripture reading for June 24th: Psalms 104-106

One of the attributes of God is that He is good!  Thankfully, God has been good to me and I have personally experienced that goodness for over 60 years!  In these last three psalms, the psalmist reflects on the goodness of God to His people because of who He is.  Let’s reflect with this psalmist about God, the greatest subject that the human mind could contemplate!

Psalm 104 begins with the praise of God who wraps Himself with light as a garment!  This is the God who is light and in Him is no darkness at all or shadow of turning!  This God is clothed in splendor and majesty! (Psalm 104:1-2)  He by His great power has stretched out the heavens like a tent canopy and decorated the sky with jewels of light.  He is the one who uses the winds as His messengers and the lightening bolts as His servants. (Psalm 104:4)  He set the earth on its foundations and formed it’s surface, covering it with water and setting boundaries for that water.  He created the plants and animals and the birds of the air and fish of the sea. (Psalm 104:24-25)  This majestic God is the source of all food, breath, and life!  He is worthy of continual praise for His goodness! (Psalm 104:33-35)

In Psalm 105 God is worshiped for His faithfulness to His covenant with His people!  (Psalm 105:8-9)  History is filled with the record of God’s miracles and deliverance on behalf of His people.  The people of God have been cared for by God’s power and wisdom throughout their history, from saving them from famine through Joseph to the deliverance from Egypt through Moses and the miracles wrought through his hands.  God brought the people out of slavery, loaded down with silver and gold.  He fed them and watered them on their journey (Psalm 105:37-41).  This was because of His promises to Abraham and the covenant that God was faithful to keep!  He is worthy of praise!

Psalm 106 begins with a declaration of the goodness and love of God! (Psalm 106:1)  This is but an attempt to proclaim what is an infinite subject!  God’s goodness is without limit and His love goes from everlasting to everlasting!  Now that’s a broad subject!  God’s love also includes His loving discipline!  God only disciplines those He loves!  Some of the judgments recorded here include the wilderness experience where a generation that would not believe died!  God dealt with unbelief, rebellion, idolatry, grumbling and disobedience!  (Psalm 106: 32-39)  God’s people have a history of unfaithfulness, but God has remained faithful!  Even when He handed them over to the nations, He heard their cry and because of His great love, he relented! (Psalm 106:44-46)  This good and ever-loving God deserves praise from everlasting to everlasting!

Take a moment today to remember God and His faithfulness to you personally.  Look back over your life and offer thanks and worship for God’s creation, provision, healing, deliverance and discipline that you have experienced!  Remember, we will worship Him for eternity!

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