Sunday, 7 November 2021

I Love You

 Scripture: John 15 v 9 - 12: "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."

In a world that is filled with romance novels, soapies, to the movies and songs of today, we have an idea we know what love is.  The excitement of young love and the honour of long loving marriages is a blessing to our lives.

This is a far cry though from what the love of Jesus brings to us.  There was never a moment of love so great as when He died the death we should have suffered because of sin.  In the whole of human history, this was the single most outstanding act of love.

There was nothing romantic or beautiful about His death.  It was cruel, inhuman agony which He willingly suffered to spare us this same eternal fate.  When He cried out at the end, My God why have You forsaken me? - that would have been the cry of our hearts for eternity.

John 3 v 16 - 17: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

Godly love gives to the uttermost and keeps on giving.  Time, care, prayer, friendship, meeting needs, touching lives, with whatever we have been given by God to uplift the body of Jesus.  This body looks very similar to how Jesus looked on being removed from the Cross.

This body needs the resurrection power to give it life, momentum, unity, direction, truth and authority.  Individuals have received this through being born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, but for the whole body to be resurrected it needs a miracle of love.

It starts with us.  God responds to the way we manifest His love towards others.  The more we do of His perfect will, the more He does to encourage us.  We have to pay it forward!  If we don't forgive then He does not forgive us.  So we must start this ball rolling.
Mark 11 v 25 - 26: "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

If there is someone who makes us angry, and lash out verbally or physically, that someone has been put there by God to reveal a problem in ourselves.  Really.  So think of whoever it may be and start by thanking God for His mercy in sending that one to show us our problem.  Now send this irritating person a prayer of blessing.  Then we must change our attitude and deal with our own nature.

If we are full of pride in thinking we are better than others, we are failing to discern the Lord's body.  Every part is equal to every other part.  We are each fragments of one whole body.  It's a bruised and battered body so some parts may be different colours.  It is stretched out over the whole Earth so we may speak different languages, but we are one.

Galatians 3 v 27 - 28: "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Where the verse says we have put on Jesus it means that we have started a journey to become like Him.  We are fragments of His Body, broken for us from the foundation of the world.  We were all bits of His great Spirit, smashed to pieces, and to heal us, unite us in one Body, connect us to the mind of Jesus Christ, we had to be born in human flesh.

This Earth was recreated to be a beautiful place where we could heal peacefully and choose to love our God.  He is saying I love you to the whole world but if we choose no to respond He will not force us.  With sorrow He will let us have our own free will.  It's up to us to be convincing, to share the truth about Jesus, God the Father, Heaven and Hell.  So we must show and tell, look the part, be the best Christian example we can be.

Pray to be connected in love to every other part.  Love, God's love, means speaking the truth to those who have not heard or have fake information about Him.  Only the truth will give them an opportunity to be saved.  

Jesus commands us to love one another as He loves us.  That means we are fully able and equipped to do so.  If every Christian started doing this right now, the resurrection power would come down and turn this world upside down.  Jesus never entertained us, He went about healing the sick, driving out demons, raising the dead, preaching the gospel.

The church has left off the love of Jesus and adopted a people-pleasing mode of operation to keep the congregation coming in the doors and filling their coffers.  They have deleted the word sin from their preaching and as long as everyone feels good they are satisfied.  They are politically correct and have offended no one.  Except God.

The Lord is busy sorting out the sheep from the goats.  The sheep are His true followers who walk in love, joy, peace and obedience.  The goats are those who have a form of religion but deny the power thereof.  They are either caught up in tradition or entertainment or both.  They proclaim that they love God but they speak not the truth.  Take this moment to assess where you fit into the scheme of things.  Make adjustments where necessary.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, Your love fills us with gratitude, and yet we know we must love like You do.  We fall short many times and hurt ourselves and the body of Jesus.  Teach us Your ways O Lord, that we may love unconditionally and be faithful to Your calling.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.