Tag: Love God

Put on the armor of Light!

Scripture reading for June 9th: Proverbs 11-13, Psalm 8, Romans 13

Romans 13: 11-14 “Besides this you know that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now that when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

Paul encouraged believers who had given their bodies to God as a living sacrifice and their minds to think God’s thoughts to now apply these truths in practical ways. It is easy to acknowledge spiritual truth and then not apply it. We must know who we are–now children of Light living in God’s glory and made to bring Him honor. We must cast off the works of darkness that marked our old way of living and now cloth ourselves with the armor of Light! We are told to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus is our righteousness, our sanctification and the assurance of our resurrection and full salvation. Our new living in Christ Jesus serves as a guide to those who are our neighbors, believers and unbelievers! Amen!

Psalm 8:3-5 “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”

Prayer: Father God, when I see the vastness and intricacy of Your amazing creation, I wonder, along with the psalmist, ‘what is man that Your are mindful of him?” But in Christ Jesus You have shown me my true identity as Your child and my calling to love You and love my neighbors through obedience to Your Word. Clothe me afresh today with My Lord Jesus Christ and the armor of Light!

Proverbs 12:26 “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

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Eternal life by works?

Scripture reading for March 24th: Deuteronomy 19-22, Psalm 6, Luke 10

Luke 10:25-29 “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?””

Because of sin, all mankind is languishing in despair and doesn’t know how to inherit eternal life. The lawyer that was testing Jesus with the question about this, answered Jesus’ question back with a good answer from the Law. He advocated loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself. The story revealed God’s mercy towards us and what He desires of us. Eternal life is a gift of God’s mercy. He alone has defeated all our enemies and goes before us. He alone can heal our rebellious hearts and pour in His love.

Deuteronomy 20:2-4 “And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is He Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.'”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for being our “Neighbor” in sending Jesus Christ. Thank You for giving us the gift of eternal life by faith through Your grace and for healing our rebellious hearts. Deliver me from ever thinking I can earn eternal life. Help me today to be a neighbor to those around me and to love as You loved me and gave Yourself for me!

Psalm 6:1-2 “O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger, nor discipline me in Your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But You, O Lord–how long?”

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Of highest importance?

Scripture reading for January 18th: Genesis 30-31, Psalm 11, Mark 12

Mark 12: 28-34 “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked Him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, Teacher,” the man replied. “Your are right in saying that God is One and there is no other but Him. To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.””

Jesus was being grilled by the religious leaders in their plan to trap Him and find a reason to kill him. Jesus wisely answered their questions and turned each question around on them, exposing their own ignorance of God’s Word. One of the teachers of the law had a legitimate question and Jesus answered his inquiry about the most important of God’s commandments. He quoted from the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses and the teachers accepted His answer. The most important commandment has to do with our love for God–a complete love encompassing our whole heart, mind and strength. It is demonstrated by our love for others as for ourself. To experience the abundant life of God’s kingdom, love must be of highest importance! God is Love!

Genesis 31:53-55 “So Jacob took an oath in the Name of the Fear of his father Isaac. He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there. Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.”

Prayer: Father God, I love You with all my heart, mind and strength and receive Your Word as the highest importance in my own life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and Your love for others made in Your image. Help me daily to allow Your abundant love to flow through my life and draw others to You. Examine my life today and make correction as needed.

Psalm 11:4 “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth, His eyes examine them.”

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Known by God!

Scripture reading for September 3rd: 2nd Chronicles 29-31, 1st Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 8:1-3 “Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”

Corinth was a pagan city with an idolatrous culture. Many idol temples worshiping various ‘gods’ were in the city and animal sacrifices were offered to appease these ‘gods.’ Christians knew that these idols were nothing and that eating meat from the sacrifices would not harm them. This knowledge made them proud–‘puffed up’, and lacking in love for those caught in this idolatry whom God loved and wanted to reach. They did not know enough about God’s love and their need to restrain their liberty to reach lost sinners. We should rather have God ‘know’ us because we love Him and the lost than to have religious “knowledge.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with a river of Your love through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Help me to love others caught in the idolatry of these times and reach them with Your love.

2nd Chronicles 30:8 “Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to His sanctuary, which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you.”

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Hearing and doing God’s Word

Scripture reading for March 20th:  Deuteronomy 10-14, Psalm 5, Luke 8

Key Scriptures:  Luke 8:19-21 “Then His mother and His brothers came to Him, but they could not reach Him because of the crowd.  And He was told, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.”  But He answered them, “My mother and My brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it.””

God’s Word is to be listened to, heard, and obeyed.  Jesus was teaching the people that if they wanted to be closely related to Him and God the Father, they must hear and obey God’s Word.  He was not disrespecting His mother and brothers, but using their relationship to Him to call others closer.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep His commandments and statutes, . .”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord, I love Your Word and seek to hear and obey.  I am thankful that Jesus Christ perfectly heard and obeyed and now has sent the Holy Spirit to empower me.  I long to see the Father’s face.  Spread Your protection over me and give me favor!

Psalm 5:11-12 “Let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may exult in You.  for You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover him with favor as with a shield.”  

 

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Believers basic behavior

Scripture reading for October 30th:  Hebrews 13, Psalm 67, Proverbs 1

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 13:1-5 “Let brotherly love continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.  Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

Since Christ Jesus is with us now and forever, we have an obligation to live a life that pleases Him in our basic relationships.  We must love our brothers and sisters in Christ, part of our family now and forever.  We must also show hospitality to strangers, because they may be angels of God sent to minister to us or others.  Prisoners are also to be remembered and visited as well as the persecuted for their faith.  Above all, marriage is sacred and to be honored as God has decreed that godly children are to be raised up in the family.  Finally, love God, not money!

Faith Confession:  Jesus Christ is my constant companion and friend.  I choose to live a life of love for God and others that reflects my love for Jesus Christ.  I will be with Him forever!

Psalm 67:1-3 “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.” 

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Faith and Love work together!

Scripture reading for February 25th:  Mark 12, Psalm 40, Proverbs 9

Key Scriptures: Mark 12:28-31 “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that He answered them well, asked Him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.””

Jesus was asked by a scribe to give His opinion on the most important commandment.  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18 about loving God and loving your neighbor.  Love is foundational to faith.  We can trust someone we love.  We believe someone we love.  Love always wants the best for the one loved.  Love for God is first enabling love for your neighbor.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I love You with all my heart and soul and mind and strength and want to please You through obedience.  Thank You for helping me love my neighbor as myself.  I am still growing in both.  (Action step:  Show God or your neighbor you love them today in a tangible way.)

Psalm 40:8-9  “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.  I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation.”  

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The Great Commandment

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Matthew 22, Psalm 22, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures: Matthew 22:35-40 “And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””

Jesus answered the Pharisee’s question concerning the most important commandment in the Law.  He stated plainly that it was all about love and relationships.  Loving God completely and loving one’s neighbor summed up all the Law and Prophets.  The Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus, but Jesus gave them truth that stopped their test.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I love You with all my heart, mind and strength and depend on You to help me love my neighbor as myself.  Action step:  Seek a way to show love to one of your family or close associates that you may be struggling to get along with.

Psalm 22:22-23 “I will tell of Your Name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You:  You who fear the Lord, praise Him! . .  .”

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Knowing God!

Scripture reading for November 20th:  Ezekiel 20-23, 1st John 2

Key Scriptures:  1st John 2:3-6 “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.  Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His Word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.  By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”  

What does it mean to truly “know God?”  John, the beloved disciple, says that obedience to His holy Word is the best indication of our knowledge of God and our love for Him.  If we say we ‘know’ God, but live in rebellion to His Word, we are a liar and do not have the truth.  If we truly ‘know’ God through Jesus Christ, we should walk as Christ walked on this earth:  in complete obedience to the Father by depending on the Holy Spirit and God’s grace.

Ezekiel 20:44 “And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for My Name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.” 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me the revelation of Jesus Christ to know You and Your great love and mercy.  Thank You for that mercy instead of dealing with me according to my evil ways.  Help me to live fully for You. Amen.

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Single-hearted serving!

Scripture reading for March 23rd:  Joshua 22-24, Judges 1, Luke 16

Key Scriptures: Luke 16:10-13  “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.  If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and money.”

Jesus warned his disciples about the danger of compromise.  To be faithful servants of God requires a single focus.  You cannot serve God and place something else in His place, vying for your affection.  It is impossible!

Joshua 24:14-15  “”Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness.  Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you well.  But as for me and my house, we will  serve the Lord.””

Prayer:  Lord, I choose again today to serve You Alone, to devote my life to You and love You.  Amen.

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