Getting to love … God

life

We all want to have that knowledge or confidence
… that God knows us.

      But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him
      1Cor.8 3

So the question is…
How do we love God?

      The same way He loved you,
      … by giving His all, His life (in Jesus) for you!
      You give all that you are – to Him!

How do you do that?
You believe that you are loved,
and you start living love!

      You give Him your hands,
      … the things you do, you do for Him.
      You give Him your thoughts,
      … you put your decisions in His hands.
      You give Him your eyes,
      … you look where you can do something for Him.
      You give Him your actions,
      … you reach out in love to His creation
      You give Him your heart,
      … in which He already shed His love,

      Beloved, if God so loved us,
      we also ought to love one another.
      1 John 4 11

 


Love is looking…

                                          … for you!

What is love?
Most everyone will tell you that to love is to give,
… and they are right!

What does this mean?

      If love is to give,
      then love wants to give!
      If love wants to give,
      then love must be looking where to give
      and love must be looking what to give!

Are you looking where you can love
… and what you can give?

      God is Love, and he who abides in love
      abides in God, and God in him.
      1 John 4 16

What does this mean in your life?

      You don’t have to advertise your needs
      Love is looking after you!
      But Love cannot give to you,
      and Love cannot reach out to you,
      if you are not where Love is,
      … where Love can touch you,

      Let your gentleness be evident to all.
      The Lord is near.
      Phil 4 5 (NIV)

 

The act …

                                          … of forgiveness!

To forgive, or saying you forgive someone
… is easy.
Getting out from under the pressure of condemnation
because of what was said or has happened,
… that’s difficult.

So what do you do?
You make the decision to forgive
by surrounding that person with love
as an act of faith.

      When thoughts of that person come up,
      are you going to remember what happened
      … and dwell on the past?
      Or …
      are you going to bless and uplift that person
      … because you made the decision to forgive?

The choice is yours.

If you have decided to forgive,
… then every time you think of that person,
speak blessing and life over that person.
Don’t harbour negative or condemning thoughts.
That act of faith to be positive and to bless,
… is what will free you from the negative past.

      Judge not, and you shall not be judged.
      Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.
      Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
      Give, and it will be given to you:
      Luke 6 37-38

 

What is believing …

                                          … all about?

You may be familiar with these scripture verses:

      And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
      but the greatest of these is love.
      1 Corinthians 13 13

      but faith working through love.
      Galatians 5 6

What are they all about,
… and how do they work?

Hope – is what you want!………………….. Rom. 5 5
Believe – is what you do to get!………….. Mark 9 23
Faith – is how you get it!………………….. Rom. 1 17
Trust – is what you do till you get it!……… Prov. 3 5
Love – is Who gets it for you! (does it)….. 1John 4 16

Sounds good … but where do I start?
If you start at the end,
… the beginning becomes clear and easy!

      And we have known and believed
      the love that God has for us.
      God is love, and he who abides in love
      abides in God, and God in him.
      1 John 4 16

If you go to the provider,
He will not only show you the way,
… but He will secure the provision.

      looking unto Jesus,
      the author and finisher of our faith,
      Hebrews 12 2

 

Your love…

                                     … changes things!

We all want to see change
… in our lives and in our circumstances.
and we would also like to see change,
… positive change in the lives of others.

      But, how does this change happen,
      … particularly in the lives of others?
      Not by our unsought advice or preaching!

Paul on the other hand showed us the way, saying…

      Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
      1 Corinthians 11 1

So what did Jesus do that we need to imitate?

      Jesus showed us the love of the Father
      … that love that changes our lives forever!
      Therefore, what is it that I need to do
      … so that the lives of others will change?

My part is to love them
… with the love He loves me!

      And above all things
      have fervent love for one another,
      for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’
      1 Peter 4 8

God’s part is to change them,
… through His love for us!

      For God so loved the world
      that He gave His only begotten Son
      John 3:16

      Behold, the Lamb of God,
      that taketh away the sin of the world!
      John 1 29

 

Knowledge

                                                 … puffs up!

Knowledge has great potential.

      We know that we all have knowledge.
      Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
      1Cor 8 1

Yes knowledge does have potential,
however too often that knowledge is limited,
… to what we have seen, read or heard,
which on its own so easily leads to judgment!

      And if anyone thinks that he knows anything,
      he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
      1Cor 8 2

It’s therefore about how accurate or complete your knowledge is
… and how you use or apply that knowledge.

      In other words,
      the proper or correct use of knowledge
      … does not only provide good and practical answers,
      but also builds lives and impacts people.

And you do that by loving instead of judging!

      Love edifies.
      If you reach out to others,
      … and use your knowledge to their benefit,
      not only will others be blessed,
      … but you will have developed your own self,
      and have planted seed,
      … seed that will bring you a harvest.

      But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.
      1Cor 8 3

 

If God is love

                                     … what about hell?

 
If God’s love for us is eternal,
… then how can anyone go to hell for eternity?

Since God is love, hell is certainly NOT His plan.
However, LOVE is only real and effectual,
… where it is accepted, and where it is valued.

The parable of the prodigal son (the son of Love)
… clearly pictures this reality for us – (Luke 15 11-24)

      The prodigal son (mankind) decided to be his own source,
      … took what was given to him by the father (Love) and
      separated himself from Love (from the source of life).
      It wasn’t long before what the son saw as heaven,
      … turned out to be hell,
      feeding pigs and no one caring about him!

      So he decided to return to the father,
      … only expecting to be treated as a servant.
      Yet the father already saw him from afar,
      … and with no set conditions or any expectations,
      … ran out to meet his son and embraced him,
      … restoring him, as his son, the son of his love!
      That is LOVE!

When we decide to separate ourselves from love
… we separate ourselves unto hell!

God’s will for us is love, is life…

      I have come that they may have life,
      and that they may have it more abundantly.
      John 10:10

 

Righteous

                                           … or not!

 
      How does one become righteous?
      Because to stop sinning seems impossible!

Truth is that …
Righteousness and sin are total opposites,
… and not sinning won’t make you righteous anyway!

So what do I need to do?

      What you need to do about sin,
      … is NOT to try to stop sinning,
      because that is impossible for man!

      What you need to do about righteousness,
      … is NOT trying to live right.

The reality of becoming righteous,
… is NOT about what you do or do not do,
but it is all about what Jesus has done!

      Just as Jesus did not become sin by sinning,
      … so also,
      we don’t become righteous by doing righteous things!

Jesus became sin by taking our sin on the cross,
and because of His righteous act on our behalf,
we become righteous by receiving His righteousness,

      For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,
      that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
      2 Corinthians 5 21

 

Forgiveness…

                                     sets you free!

 
The Bible instructs us to…

      if you have anything against anyone, forgive him,
      that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
      Mark 11 25

I have tried that…
but just saying ‘I forgive…’ doesn’t seem to work.
However, if God wants us to forgive,
… then what about following His example!

      But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
      in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
      Rom 5 8

How did God forgive us?
God forgave us by loving us,
… not looking at what we have done wrong,
but looking at what He could do,
… to help us out of the mess we got ourselves into.

      Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
      John 8 36

Through His love for us, God forgave us,
… which set us free … totally free!
By the same token,
if we forgive others by loving them
… instead of judging them,
not only are they free, but so are we!

      And above all things have fervent love for one another,
      for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’
      1 Peter 4 8

 

Don’t switch off

                                         … switch over!

Don’t try to switch off your mind,
… to stop thinking about what may be bothering you!
It is impossible because your mind never switches off!

      If all you are doing is switching off,
      … you are still exactly where you were,
      … in a state of negativity and under pressure!

But you can switch your thinking to something else,
and put your mind on the positive,
… leaving no place for those negative thoughts!

      Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
      …noble …just …pure …lovely …of good report,
      if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy
      meditate on these things.
      Phil 4 8

If you switch your thinking to what is positive,
where you decide what you meditate on,
those negative influences will no longer dominate your thinking.

      Set your imagination free.
      Lift your eyes up and see
      … the beauty and perfection in nature
      … that God created all around you.
      Think on these things,
      … and let His love set you FREE!

      But above all these things put on love,
      which is the bond of perfection.
      And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
      Col 3 14-15