God’s Love is not, sentimental or romantic feeling, He is Love……

One thing is certain, God does not love us because we are lovable or we are rich or educated ‘no’ it is because we deserve His love. The state of mankind since the fall is one of rebellion and disobedience. In Jeremiah 17*9 describes man’s inner condition: “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Our innermost beings are so corrupted by sin that even we don’t realize the extent to which sin has tainted us. In our natural state, we do not seek God; we do not love God; we do not desire God. Romans 3*10-12 clearly presents the state of the natural, unregenerate person: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” How then is it possible for a holy, righteous, and perfect God to love such creatures?

To understand this we must understand something of the nature and character of God.

First John 4*8 and 16 tell us that “God is love.” Never was a more important declaration made than this God is love. This is a profound statement. God doesn’t just love; He is love. His nature and essence are love. Love permeates His very being and infuses all His other attributes, even His wrath and anger. Because God’s very nature is love, He must demonstrate love, just as He must demonstrate all His attributes because doing so glorifies Him. Glorifying God is the highest, the best, and the most noble of all acts, so, naturally, glorifying Himself is what He must do, because He is the highest and the best, and He deserves all glory.

Since it is God’s essential nature to love, He demonstrates His love by lavishing it on undeserving people who are in rebellion against Him. God’s love is not, sentimental, romantic feeling. Rather, it is agape love, the love of self sacrifice. He demonstrates this sacrificial love by sending His Son to the cross to pay the penalty for our sin (ref,1 John 4*10), by drawing us to Himself (ref,John 6*44), by forgiving us of our rebellion against Him, and by sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, thereby enabling us to love as He loves. He did this in spite of the fact that we did not deserve it. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (ref,Romans 5*8).

God’s love is personal. He knows each of us individually and loves us personally. His is a mighty love that has no beginning and no end. It is this experiencing of God’s love that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. Why does God love us? It is because of who He is: “God is love.”

Have I not Commanded you? Be Strong and Courageous

The primary way God use to communicate or commands us is through His Word. “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (ref,2 Timothy 3*16).

If Scripture commands something of us, there’s no need to hesitate and wonder if it’s really God’s will for us. He cares so much about us that He already gave a plain and clear guidebook to life which is the Bible. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” . “The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (ref,Psalm 19*7). “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word”.

Likewise, God never contradicts Himself, so He’ll never ask you to do something contradictory to Scripture. He will never ask you to sin. He will never ask you to do something Jesus Christ wouldn’t do. We need to immerse ourselves in the Bible, so we will know which actions meet God’s standards. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth: meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything that is written in it” (ref,Joshua 1*8).

Christians also have the Holy Spirit to discern what is, or is not, God’s will for our lives. “The Spirit of truth . . . will guide you into all truth”. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will either agitate our conscience if we’re making a wrong decision, or He will pacify and encourage us when we’re leaning toward the right decision. Even if He doesn’t intervene in such noticeable ways, we can have confidence that He’s always in charge. Sometimes God will alter a situation without us even realizing He has acted. “The Lord will guide you always” (ref,Isaiah 58*11).

If God is calling you to take a leap of faith, be encouraged by His presence. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (ref,Joshua 1*9). And remember, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (ref,1 Peter 5*7). “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”.

Our Prayers are Based in a Relationship we have with God…….

If we assume that “ask and you will receive” means “ask for anything you want and I’ll give it to you,” then we have turned the Lord into a cosmic genie who serves our every whim. This is the problem of prosperity gospel and word of faith teachings.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ” says that whoever asks receives, whoever seeks finds, and whoever knocks will find an open door (ref,Matthew 7*7–8). But with this and all other verses we must examine the context. Jesus Christ goes on to say that God will not fail to give His children good things (verse 11). So, this is one condition to the promise of “ask and receive” what we ask for must be good in God’s estimation. God will give advantageous gifts to His children; He will not give us bad or injurious things, no matter how much we clamor for them. The best example of a good gift is the Holy Spirit, according to Luke 11*13. We begin to see a two fold purpose of prayer to increase our understanding of what God calls “good” and to cultivate a desire in us for what is good.

Our prayers to God are not unlike our requests of men. Our prayers are based in a relationship, as Jesus points out in Matthew 7*8. If a child asks his father for something the father knows to be hurtful, the request is denied. The child may be frustrated and unhappy when he doesn’t get what he asked for, but he should trust his father. Conversely, when the child asks for something that the father knows is beneficial, the father will provide it eagerly because he loves his child.

We have another condition to the promise of “ask and receive” in John 14*14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Here, Jesus does not promise His disciples anything and everything they want; rather, He instructs them to ask “in my name.” To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray on the basis of Jesus’ authority, but it also involves praying according to the will of God, for the will of God is what Jesus always did This truth is stated explicitly in 1 John 5:14, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” Our requests must be congruent with the will of God.

Jesus Christ Gives us Peace and Equips us to Endure

 

 

Life involves hardship, and with hardship come worries, fears, and doubts. Jesus Christ told His followers, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (ref,John 16*33). Jesus Christ reminded us of God’s love and care (ref,Matthew 6*24–33). Jesus Christ also gave us the Holy Spirit to live with us forever (ref,John 14*15–21; 16*7–15). Jesus Christ is the reason we are not alone. Jesus Christ is the answer to our fears and heartaches. He is able to sympathize with us because He has lived a human life in this broken world (ref,Hebrews 4*15–16). Jesus Christ gives us peace and equips us to endure, and even rejoice in, the hardships of this life (ref,James 1*2–5).

Jesus Christ is the answer to the problems of the world. He has a plan to fix this broken world: “The government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this” (ref,Isaiah 9*6–7). World peace has proved an elusive goal in our war-torn world, but one day Jesus Christ will set all things right, and the Prince of Peace will rule in true justice, ushering in a time of blessing and bounty the world has never seen (ref,Isaiah 11). Revelation 21 predicts a new heaven and new earth: “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (ref,Revelation 21*3–5).

A day is coming when the world’s problems will be solved; everything will be made new, and peace will reign. This is because of Jesus Christ,We eagerly await His return, trusting that “the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (ref,2 Peter 3*9).

No matter what our individual needs, Jesus Christ is the answer for our lives today, and He promised.

We can Allow God’s POWER to Lift us Above STORMS

As you are waiting for God, He strengthens you. “But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (ref,Isaiah 40*31).

 I once heard an illustration about how God strengthens us during trials. It went like this: “Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm; it simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When the storms of life come upon us, we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us; we can allow God’s power to lift us above them. God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure, and disappointment into our lives. We can soar above the storm. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them.”
 When waiting for God, He blesses you. “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice.Blessed are all who wait for him” (ref,Isaiah 30*18).

 What does it mean to be blessed by God while we wait on Him? As we wait on God and His timing, He can accomplish so much in our hearts. Often we find new purpose in life, receive answers to prayer, see God work, increase our faith, and most often we see God’s perfect plan fulfilled in our situation. Remember, waiting on God is not waste of time!

Christ Took the Sins we Committed onto Himself to pay the price for us

Today the Scriptures teach that all men are sinners (ref, 3*9-18, 23). The penalty for our sinfulness is death. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

That verse teaches us several things. Without Christ, we are going to die and spend an eternity in hell as payment for our sins. Death in the Scriptures refers to a “separation.” Everyone will die, but some will live in heaven with the Lord for eternity, while others will live a life in hell for eternity. The death spoken of here refers to the life in hell. However, the second thing this verse teaches us is that eternal life is available through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ died in our place when He was crucified on the cross. We deserved to be the ones placed on that cross to die because we are the ones who live sinful lives. But Jesus Christ took the punishment on Himself in our place He substituted Himself for us and took what we rightly deserved. “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (ref,2 Corinthians 5*21).

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed” (ref,1 Peter 2*24). Here again we see that Christ took the sins we committed onto Himself to pay the price for us. A few verses later we read, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” (ref,1 Peter 3*18). Not only do these verses teach us about the substitute that Jesus Christ was for us, but they also teach that He was the atonement, meaning He satisfied the payment due for the sinfulness of man.

We can only pay the price of sin on our own by being punished and placed in hell for all eternity. But God’s Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to pay for the price of our sins. Because He did this for us, we now have the opportunity to not only have our sins forgiven, but to spend eternity with Him. In order to do this we must place our faith in what Jesus Christ did on the cross. We cannot save ourselves; we need a substitute to take our place. The death of Jesus Christ is the substitutionary atonement.