- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about the power of His love?
When we understand the depth of God’s love for us, Rom 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”we love Him, 1 Jn 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.” This love teaches us not to fear, 1 Jn 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” and the freedom this brings allows us to change our lives.
His love confirms the hope He has promised us of an eternal life, which changes our perspective on everything in this life. Our future is already secure, so we are free to live this life helping Him, 2 Cor 5:15, 17, “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again…Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Our new found love for God leads us to feel His compassion and His love of the truth, Ps 86:15, “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” We learn to rejoice in His truth and to be selfless, 1 Cor 13:4-8, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;”
Our new found selfless love no longer uses dissimulation to manipulate others to do our will, Rom 12:9, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Instead, we truly abhor evil and do the good God advocates, Phil 2:13, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God sees the big picture and knows what the final outcome will be, Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” We can either go along with the pain and suffering of this world, including the horrible means and unimaginable ends we are witnessing. Or, we can do the good God calls us to do and watch how His light shines on the path for others to follow. This world calls us to darkness; however, God calls us to the His Truth, which leads to good, 1 Jn 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” He is not calling us to thought alone, but rather to action, to deed. Only then can our lives be changed, thus drawing others to God.
God does not ask us to walk alone, He is always with us as we battle for His Truth and justice, Josh 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” He does more than walk with us, He strengthens us, so we are able to complete the work He has given to us, Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” He tells us that He will always love us, no matter what, Rom 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So, we no longer have to worry about being perfect, we can proceed with confidence and correct our mistakes along the way. This frees us to be bold, for God will elevate us to the position needed to be able to do the work He is calling us to complete, 1 Pet 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” This humble nature God calls us to, opens our hearts and minds; which then allows His Word, and will, to penetrate the depths of our souls.
Let us now look at the life changes we will see along the path to completing God’s calling.
Gal 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” This fruit frees us from the preoccupation of self, teaching us patience, allowing us to see our problems as stepping-stones to the solutions God will provide. We can then focus on others and our part in God’s plan to help them through their troubles. Charity is that part of love, which brings us into harmony with God’s plan, Col 3:14, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” We learn by experience that giving is better than receiving, Acts 20:35, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Our relationships change when we work from the spirit of love, Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Our love for our spouses comes to life as our deeds match our words and become expressions of our love.
Jn 15:12-13, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Our love for our friends becomes limitless, as we learn to lay down that part of our lives, which have separated us from our friends. Friendships grow deeper, as our friends feel our love for them.
Matt 5:43-44, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” We learn to love those we felt were our enemies, changing the way they feel about us. We no longer judge them; their imperfections become opportunities for us to show our forgiveness, as we become more reasonable.
This change is hastened by our examination of our lives, Prov 4:26-27, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” We begin to see the little things we are doing, which negatively affect the lives of those around us. Then, one by one, we modify our behavior.
With God’s help we begin to resist this life’s temptations and, then, are able to see the way God has provided for us to escape those addictions we have allowed in our lives, 1 Cor 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The transformation process has begun, we are transforming into the likeness of our Lord, 2 Cor 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Our lives become more interesting when we focus less on ourselves and begin helping our neighbors, “Sir John Templeton once wrote that it is impossible to be bored if you love your neighbor.” - It’s Good to be Good: Love Your Neighbor, by STEPHEN G. POST, PHD on JANUARY 17, 2014 – http://saynotostigma.com/
Once we feel God’s love for us, the messages we are sending to others begin to change. They feel God’s love and want to spend more time with us. Lk 15:4, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” God never leaves the one behind, and He is calling us to spread His love by giving it to all we meet, especially the one in our lives!
An example might help, so, here is an article told by a man who was saved by God’s love: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/09/09/as-post-september-11-warrior-surrender-was-not-in-my-vocabulary-until-this-happened.html
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