Learning to Love God’s Way

The term ‘self-government’ is used to define the rights that God has given every individual. None of us have the capacity to look into another person’s heart and know what or how they’re feeling. We don’t have the ability to know exactly what another individual is thinking. Only God knows this. Psalm 94:11 tells us that He knows our thoughts, and Psalm 139:4 reminds us that He knows what we’re going to say before the thought of it is formed in our minds. Jeremiah 17:10(NLT) states, “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Heavenly Father knows us intimately. Even though we speak negative words that do not please Him, we think bad thoughts, and harbor feelings of resentment, anger, and all kinds of toxicity in our hearts; He will not prevent us from doing these harmful things. He will never violate our free-will choices to feel, think, speak, and do as we choose.

Jesus Christ tells us in John 14:6 that he is the way, the truth, and the life. His example provides access to God and to life everlasting. 1 Peter 2:21(MSG) says, “This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.” Jesus taught us that choosing a life of love isn’t always going to be the easiest choice, but it will forever be the best choice.

Every day, life presents us with choices to help us learn how to love through our Master Jesus. He demonstrated to the tee everything that God would do as a human being. He said, “The Father is in me, and I am in the Father”(John 10:38), and in John 5:19, he said that he doesn’t independently do a thing, but only does what he sees the Father doing. This is precisely how God wants us to live love, so that we will have victory and triumph in our own lives. We don’t have to know someone’s thoughts or see into their hearts, we just have to love with the wisdom, strength, and courage of God’s love.

When God chose the planet earth for our habitation and then created humanity, it was His intention that we would live in fellowship and harmony with Him. We should notice that He would not force this harmony on us, because forcing is not love’s way. He gave us freedom, and our choices could not be exempt from it. He has shown us by example that the way to govern wholeheartedly is through love. It is not a sappy emotion with no backbone. Loving God’s way is the epitome of strength and authority.

Isaiah 9:6(NLT) states, For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Before the birth of Christ, humanity had taken God’s plan for harmony and love and we spoiled it. In many respects, instead of benefiting from God’s great love, we found incredibly destructive ways to brake the rules. Jesus Christ was sent to earth on a special mission. He came to wake us up and reveal the Father’s heart to us. The government rested on the shoulders of Christ. This means that the highest blessing, benefit, and righteousness that could be extracted from God’s plan rested on Christ. He did not let God down, and he didn’t let us down either. He accomplished all that God required and desired him to do. Love won!

Government is control exercised over actions. Again, God didn’t give us government over others. He gave us the ability to govern ourselves, and to do it so expertly through the love of Christ that all things will work together for our greatest good. This is God’s promise. We live in an environment where many allow their emotions to govern them instead of governing their emotions. This is not the way of Christ, and it is not the way to walk in faith. God created us to reign and have authority in our own lives. Studying His Word and learning to love His way, day by day, will bring us in alignment with His purpose. It will cause us to bask in the liberty and joy that Jesus Christ made available.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

“Learning to Love God’s Way” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

 

A Treasure to Love

I recently heard about a man, a friend of a friend, who’s engaged to be married, and is having a really difficult time getting along with his fiancée. They’ve been together a while, and their rocky relationship is no huge secret. That’s why it’s surprising to everyone who knows them that they’re considering this very serious step. They’ve clashed on just about every decision, and his fiancée has thrown a few notorious tantrums. She calms down after the ‘crisis’ is either handled or averted, but he’s exhausted and said that if she loses it one more time, he’s going to call the whole thing off.

If you don’t know much about the Father’s love, then you might look at these two and say something like, “They love each other, and you can’t help who you love.” Here’s another one, “the heart wants what the heart wants.” These are two very different people, one incredibly outspoken and the other seemingly calm and even-tempered. So, one could even say, “Opposites attract.” We have all these rationales for falling IN love with someone, but some of these reasons fail the test when it comes to sustaining that love and making sure we don’t fall out of it.

Romans 8:38 tells us that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. This gives us a basis for comprehending the depth and expanse of His heart towards us. God’s love is unyielding and unfailing, and trusting this is more important than any of us can imagine. Because the truth is that ultimately you and I will love others to the degree to which we believe WE are loved.

There’s a saying, “Don’t just talk about it, BE about it!” Commitment and action should back up our words so that our love investment is believed. John 3:16 (NLT) tells us, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” God didn’t just tell us He loves us, He demonstrated His love by sparing not His only begotten Son. He gave us the most precious gift that could be given. He, who is the best, gave the best to us, so that we could make good on His investment.

God is teaching us through our earth experience to love like He loves, give like He gives, and live like Christ lives. In Ephesians 5:25(NLT), Heavenly Father delivers another benchmark for love, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” God’s letting us know the human heart’s tremendous love capacity through Jesus Christ. He wouldn’t tell us to love this way if we weren’t capable of it. The truth is that we were created out of love for the purpose of love. If we’re not well-formed in God’s love, we need to allow Him room to help us to grow and mature, so that we learn to love through Him.

When someone just adores you, and it’s from a place of light, humility, strength, and honesty, it will plant a seed within you that influences your life in the most spectacular way. You won’t become emotionally exhausted, but continually inspired by God’s goodness, because He’s given you a person that is a treasure to love. This is what God wants for all of us. It’s available, and we should want it for ourselves. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“A Treasure to Love” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

All Day, Every Day Love

God has given every person that is living, or that has ever lived, a wealth of good stuff. It comes baked in by virtue of our humanity and habitation on this earth. Although not everyone sees it this way, the truth is that even before our first breath we are blessed beyond what we deserve. We have life, and therefore, we have hope! And not just hope, but the hope of God’s glory! Colossians 1:26-27 The Message (MSG) tells us, “This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.”

Colossians 1:26-27 beautifully informs us of the awesomeness that God is offering to each person. As His sons and daughters, we are replicas of Christ; therefore, like Christ, part of our purpose for being on earth is to walk by faith. We must learn to call those things that are not, as though they were. In other words, we confess our faith by speaking God’s promises into and over our lives even though our conditions are less than optimum. This means that we cannot allow ourselves to always be sold-out to the things our physical eyes can see. 2Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) puts it best. It says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

As a spiritual being having a human experience, not only must you come to recognize that those things which are unseen are more REAL than the things that are seen, but you must know that SPIRITUAL TREASURES that are unseen to the physical eye are more VALUABLE than those treasures that are tangible and can be seen. A Christ-kind-of-faith demands that we operate from this level of spiritual awareness. This is why Jesus Christ taught us in Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

We were not there when Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross for our sins, but as Christians, his sacrifice is more than the air we breathe; it is more than life itself. His ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection is the very essence of all that we are and could ever hope to be. It is something we have never seen with physical eyes, but with spiritual eyes we can see it clearly, because the Spirit of Christ within us bears testimony of it. The totality of Christ exceeds whatever we are in this moment. It is more real than the body we live in and the skin that clothes it.

God has made it possible for us to walk in the reality of Christ every moment of every day. It is not a ‘walk by sight’ thing; it’s a ‘walk by faith’ dynamic. Hebrews 11:6 gives us the barometer to measure the importance of this. It tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith.

Not only does faith make it possible for us to respond to God’s goodness, mercy, and grace with gratitude, but faith gives us the bandwidth to express God’s nature. These are the treasures we should be interested in laying up. They are enduring, and not only impact our lives, but the lives of those within the span of our influence.

1John 4:12 (NIV) says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” This is huge! The nature of our God is love, and His love—love from the Creator of all that exists—is made complete in us! Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s love expands us. It will stretch a person beyond his or her comfort zone, and make them all that God created and intended them to be. Nothing in life is better than this. The question is whether we will actually live and walk in the reality of all God has made us. This is our choice, and if our aim is to honor Him, we’ll choose love all day, every day. ■

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

 “All Day, Every Day Love” written by Fran for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

 

God’s Love Doesn’t Hurt

A very good friend of mine has recently endured a tremendous amount of turmoil by the person she was in love with. Because his intention was to injure her at all costs, she feels completely broken, bewildered, afraid, and alone. This is truly not the way God wants His sons and daughters to live. He sent His only begotten Son to set us free, and a life of liberty is our right through the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants the best for us, and it isn’t His will that we’re punished by anyone. He doesn’t want us suffering any kind of abuse; emotional, mental, verbal, or physical. Love does not abuse.

1John 4:8(NLT) tells us, “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Our Heavenly Father is the definitive authority on love because He IS love. He knows how love should feel and what it can do. There’s no greater power in the earth than His love. He tells us in 1Corinthians 13 that we can know all His secrets and mysteries, but if we don’t have His love in our hearts, we won’t amount to anything. This is all we need to know about how important love is. It’s the way God intended life to be lived. We’re His kids, and He wants us to love others the way that He loves us.

God informs us so much about His love in His Word because He doesn’t want us to be ignorant about it. John 10:10 makes it clear that we have an enemy, the devil, and he is a thief, murderer, deceiver, and destroyer. Subtle deception is one of the tools in his arsenal; he’s a counterfeiter, adept at tricking us into believing that something false is the real thing. This happens quite a bit in our love relationships. It’s natural to want to give love and receive it in return. Sometimes we allow this need to be fed by a person that can’t reciprocate love in a healthy way. We make this mistake because we haven’t learned enough about God’s love from His Word. We haven’t made His standard the one by which we recognize and understand love.

My friend says that she will never love again, but it isn’t clear that what she felt for her abuser was indeed love, at least not the kind that comes from Heavenly Father. 1Thessalonians 5:5 (NLT) tells us, “For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” God’s love brings us into the light, so that we are not bamboozled by the enemy. His love opens our eyes to what real and true love is.

When we learn to love God’s way, we don’t have to be afraid of loving anyone, because 1John 4:18 tells us that God’s love will cast out fear. We begin to walk in the rich truth of this verse as we study and meditate on God’s Word. The more we know about His love, the more the indwelling Holy Spirit will help us to mature and grow into the people that God wants us to be. The Holy Spirit does this work within us as we commit ourselves to love God’s way.

1Corinthians 13:4-5(NLT) tells us, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” Love does not hurt. It encourages, inspires and motivates the giver and the receiver to love more. This is what we should learn from the example of Jesus Christ. Through his life, ministry, and sacrifice, we see the Father’s heart. He wants us to know that there’s a difference between love and fear, so that we can choose to give and receive His brand of love and walk in the freedom and wisdom that it gives. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“God’s Love Doesn’t Hurt” written by Kyrenee  for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2017. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!