Friday, April 19, 2019

Nothing Will Separate Me From God's Love -- Including My Sin

"38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor 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." (Romans 8:38-39)



For the longest time, I used to believe that my sins, my thoughts, the perversions in my flesh had to be removed from me before I could understand, received, enjoy God's love.

It's amazing to me how I didn't understand this, even though I have been hearing this verse so many times before.

Nothing can separate me from God's love--and that is because I am now in Christ!

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:4-6)

This love is active and involved in my life. Nothing is stopping it.

Nothing can prevent it.

Just as Paul wrote, I had to be persuaded to believe it.

It takes time.

It does not happen overnight for us.

Again, this is why Paul had to pray on his knees that we would understand how much God loves us! (Ephesians 3:14-19)

There is so much clutter that has to be removed in our lives, so many things that we believe which are ... wrong.

Let's believe the truth -- let's know and believe in God's love for us!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

It's Not About Our Love for God, But God's Love for Us

"We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

I wrote in a previous post about maturity in Christ Jesus.

We need to see how much God loves us. It's not about how much we love God.

We cannot give what we do not have. We cannot give what we do not think we have, either.

Consider what David declared in his final prayer as he passed on the kingdom to his beloved son Solomon:


"But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." (! Chronicles 29:14)

We cannot give but what we have freely received from Him.

Paul did not pray for the Ephesians to love more.

He prayed that they would understand how much God loves them!



"14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3:14-19)



Paul did not pray the following:

1. Do more for God.
2. Love God more.
3. Give more to charity.

Paul's prayer is incredible, and incredibly power.

To the best of my knowledge, this passage contains the only time when he wrote "I bow my knees", to show how earnest, how heart-felt, how emphatic his prayer is!

1. Be strengthened with might by His Spirit
2. Let Christ be at home in your hearts
3. Be rooted and grounded in love--His love
4. Comprehend, take into understanding His love in all directions
5. To know--to understand with greater awareness, even intimately--the love of Christ

NOTE here - it's Christ's love for us, not our love for Him. This revelation skips over so many people. We are so busy trying to love God, when we need to get "busy" understanding how much He loves us.

This deeper knowledge reminds me of a scene in The Wizard of Oz.

Towards the end of the movie, when Dorothy Gale returns with her three friends, she finds out that the Wizard is just an old humbug professor from Kansas. He doesn't really have any power, and there is not much he can offer to the four weary travelers who sought home, brains, hearts, and courage.

When the Wizard finds something for the Tin Man, he provides him a clock-working heart medallion.

Then the Wizards says:

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”



Many people I know struggled with this statement. Isn't love about what you do for others, not the other way around? Isn't love an action?

No!

Love is about our ability to receive -- from God the Father!

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10)

Love is not about us or anything that we have done or will do.

God loved us, and He sent His Son to be our Mercy Seat. He is the atonement for all the sins of all the world. He loved us first!

Love is defined by what God did, for God is love! (1 John 4:7-8).

It's not about our love for God, but God's love for us!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Babies Work for Righteousness. Adults Receive Righteousness

We cannot earn righteousness, but rather we must receive it as a gift. If we are still trying to earn or work for it, then we are still little babies in Christ:

"13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:13-14)

Righteousness is all about faith, faith in God's promises specifically, and faith in Christ Jesus essentially:

"And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." (Genesis 15:6)

Righteousness is something God declares that He will establish us in:

"14In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54:14)



and then

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17)



So, God's gift of righteousness is granted to us as a gift.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

In His Love! In the Beloved!

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

Last week, I was talking to a friend of mine. I said that I felt like Kanye West. His sense of new freedom has been something else to watch. He talks a lot about love, too. God's love is freedom, isn't it!

This sense of freedom had grown, has become increasingly overwhelming for me in the last week. I could not ignore it. I began to realize how much God loved me. Daddy God loves me, because of what His Only Begotten Son had done for me, and what His Son continues to do for me!

This love is just so much for me, I can hardly take it in, and there's still so much to take in!

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." (Jeremiah 31:3)

This verse comes from the Old Testament, under the sacrifices of bulls and goats. Notice that the "Lord has appeared" here.

But John writes something far more intimate:

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

This is a love that has been in place since the beginning:

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" (Ephesians 1:4)

God had His eye's on us from the outset. Before time began, He loved us!

Folks, we need to understand this! This matters so much. I submit to all of you who read this, that understanding, receiving a deeper revelation of how much God loves you is maturity in Christ. To be a real, grownup Christian, you need to know how much God loves you! It's not about how much you love Him, because we can only give what we have received.

"6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)

We are accepted in Christ Jesus, yes indeed. More importantly, however, we are accepted in "The Beloved."



What does it mean to be in Christ? So much, and that includes to be "In Love". God is in love with us, and we are in His Love!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Once Saved, You Are Sealed, Saved Forever

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13)



Many people have a problem with "Once Saved, Always Saved."

Why? The Bible could not be clearer about this.

Jesus did not come to save us temporarly, but eternally!

"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." (John 3:16)

God's Son gives us eternal life. That's what salvation is all about!

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)

Jesus said it "Never hunger ... never thirst."

That's not temporary. That's eternal.

How about this?

"And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" (John 11:26)

How much plainer can Jesus make it?

We are saved, we are sealed. When you believe on Jesus, you are taken from death to life!

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." (1 John 3:14)

Righteousness is a gift (Romans 5:17), one which God so freely gives us through His Son Jesus (Romans 8:32). We don't earn it, but once we receive it, how can we "unreceive" it?!

When I understand the unending love of God, the eternal life and perfect standing of righteousness that He accords to those who believe on Him, I think of that scene in the Disney movie "Hercules.

When he dived into the deadly waters to save the princess, he risked everything, his own life.

When the Three Fates were about to cut the cord of his life, it suddenly turned bright gold. It became uncuttable! No matter how hard the Fates tried, they could not end Hercules' life. He had become immortal!

When we believe on Christ Jesus, we are fully established in His righteousness (Isaiah 54:14).



Our salvation cannot be taken away. It cannot be repealed. It's too late for you who believed on Him -- there is no going back!  No one can cut the cord, so to speak, of your eternal life in Christ Jesus!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

God's Love is Unconditional--Independent of All Circumstances

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)



This is yet another difficult message, a difficult revelation for me to accept.

It really is easy for us to believe that God loves us when things are going well.

Do we believe that He loves us when things are NOT going well?

His Love for us has nothing to do with what is going on around us.

God sent His Son into this fallen world without our knowledge or permission.

He loves us passionately, even if we don't get what is going on all the time.

I have received some interesting news, so who knows what will happen.

I used to wonder if God loved me when things were not going the way that I wanted them to go.

Now I realize the full meaning behind "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose."

Image result for 1 John 4:19
We love because He First LOVED US!

I love God because I know that He loves me. He loved me first! (1 John 4:19)

Part of the struggle has also included seeing God's love as something that cannot coexist with trouble.

That's not true at all.

Let's start with the truth. God loves me! God is in love with me!

From there, we take into account everything else that is happening.

His love came first, regardless of what is happening. At this time, it has become more than essential for me to trust, to believe in that love, regardless of circumstances.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Man's Sin Cannot Stop God's Love

"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." (John 3:16)





I  have begun meditating on God's love more deeply, the sins which capture people and hook them in, and why is it that so many people are unable to break free.

People acknowledge their struggle with addiction. They call themselves "addict" many times, and then they work hard to break free.

I then realized something: condemnation so powerfully hooks people, that they cannot break away. In many cases, it seems pretty clear to me that they feel that they cannot come to God with help.

It takes the love of the Father for us to break free of all the lusts of the flesh which afflict us:

"15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:15-16)

Lusts of the flesh all connect to addictions. That's what they are!

The reason why? The individuals in bondage do not know the love of the Father. The love of the Father is not in them. Why does this happen? We struggle too much in our own efforts. We want to come to Him after we have cleaned ourselves up.

All that stuff is of the world, and it will never last. It will never suffice.

Now, about our sin ... it cannot stop God's love.

God sent His Son, His Only Begotten, to die for us, to rise for us, to live for us and through us.

God the Father sent His Son while we were still sinners!

"8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:8-9)

Our sin cannot stop God's love. If it could, God would have never sent His Son, or worse yet could not have sent His Son!

Consider also the types and shadows in the Old Testament:

"I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, but Esau I hated." (Malachi 1:2-3)

Jacob did not deserve God's love at all.

He lied, cheated, deceived, put his own needs ahead of others. He played favorites among his four wives and his twelve sons and daughter.

Yet God loved Jacob.

That's how God loves us! Unconditionally. When we understand how great, how wonderful God's love is for us, then we fall out of love with the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life.

Lean on His love. Ask Daddy God to give you a broader, wider revelation of His love for you! (Ephesians 3:16-19)