Love One Another

In John 13:34-35 (Amplified) Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].”

It’s interesting that He says it’s as we love one another that men will recognize us. Many times we major on loving the ones who don’t know Him. We will lay down our lives to spend time with the sick and with the prisoner, but we get impatient with those at home. We’ll spend hours on our knees for the orphans in far away places, but that annoying in-law gets no prayers, just complaints. We are to love one another even when that other lives with us and their actions directly affect us.

I can say that my biggest testing ground for my love walk is at home. It’s easy to put on love when I’m out and about ministering in His Name. But what about when I’m tired and feel spent from a long day and my family is just not cooperating? This is where we find out just how yielded to love I really am.

I will walk a mile to take a drink of water to the hurt and dying world, but will I walk to the kitchen and get a drink when they forget to say please?

I will overlook the sins of others when it doesn’t really affect me. But what about when their actions directly cause me so much pain and trouble?

Here is where we find out, can I love the ones closest to me with all their faults, all their missteps, all their actions that adversely affect me.

When Jesus hung on the cross He looked at those who had just placed Him there, the ones that had beat Him and nailed Him to that cross, and He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. We are to love the same way He loves.

What are you still holding on to? What are you unwilling to forgive? Love others just like He loved you. Cast all their sins behind your back. Selah.

Believe the Best

One of my favorite teachings on love is the sermon “The Greatest Thing in the World” by Henry Drummond. He first gave this sermon in the late 1800’s. It has been printed and reprinted many times and is widely available. I highly recommend getting a copy and reading it, rereading it and studying it, until its message becomes a part of your life.

In this sermon, Henry Drummond is expounding on the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, otherwise known as the chapter on love. In an earlier post I listed the facets of love (agape) taken from Henry Drummond’s sermon. They are:

Patience – “Love suffereth long”; Kindness – “And is kind”; Generosity – “Love envieth not”; Humility – “Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”; Courtesy – “Doth not behave itself unseemly”; Unselfishness – “Seeketh not her own”; Good Temper – “Is not easily provoked”; Guilelessness – “Thinketh no evil”; Sincerity – “Rejoiceth not in inquity, but rejoiceth in the truth”.

In this sermon, Henry Drummond goes on to expound on each of these in the most beautiful and enlightening way. Today I want to focus in on one of my favorite sections. It’s his discussion of guilelessness.

Guilelessness is the grace for suspicious people. And the possession of it is the great secret of personal influence. You will find, if you think for a moment, that the people who influence you are people who believe in you. In an atmosphere of suspicion men shrivel up; but in that atmosphere they expand, and find encouragement and educative fellowship.

It is a wonderful thing that here and there in this hard, uncharitable world there should still be left a few rare souls who think no evil. This is the great unworldliness. Love “thinketh no evil,” imputes no motive, sees the bright side, puts the best construction on every action. What a delightful state of mind to live in! What a stimulus and benediction even to meet with it for a day!

To be trusted is to be saved. And if we try to influence or elevate others, we shall soon see that success is in proportion to their belief of our belief in them. For the respect of another is the first restoration of the self-respect a man has lost: our ideal of what he is becomes to him the hope and pattern of what he may become. ~ Henry Drummond

I once attended a John Maxwell leadership conference at my church. During one of the breaks my volunteer assistant (and friend) came to me and said she thought I must have already taken the conference, because I was leading the team the very way John Maxwell recommended. Then she laughed and said, “But I knew you’d probably say you got it from the Holy Spirit.”

She was right I hadn’t taken the conference before. I lead people the way the Holy Spirit instructs me to. Only He knows their hearts and only He knows the way to their hearts. He always leads me to lead by love. And one of the most beautiful ways He has me lead people is by believing the best of them.

I’ve rarely (I can only think of one time) ever had to correct a person on one of my teams. I have believed the best of them and they were aware of it and they have changed. Just having someone believe in them and expect the best of them, gave them the hope and the grace to change.

It reminds me of the scripture in Isaiah 38:17 (Amplified), “You have loved back my life…” Many people have been told what their problem is and what their weaknesses are, but people need someone to tell them, “I believe in you”. When someone will love and believe the best of them a highway is made for them to follow and come up higher.

(A little confession: I need to remember this at home more often. To my husband, Forgive me.)

It’s A Love Story

There’s a song I listen to occasionally that has the line, “It’s a love story.” Every time I hear those words I think of my Bible and the beautiful story that it tells.

A Divine, Supernatural Being that is Love that longed to have a family to pour that love out on. The creation and fall of man and the unfathomable lengths He goes to in order to win back the lives of the ones He loves.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son… (John 3:16, KJV)

…You have loved back my life from the pit of corruption and nothingness, for you have cast all my sins behind Your back. (Isaiah 38:17, Amplified)

In our earthly love stories we place rings on one anothers’ fingers to remind us of the love and commitment we have to one another. He has a reminder too.

Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands… (Isaiah 49:15-16, KJV) …Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints… I will never believe… Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hand… (John 20:25, 27, Amplified).

He thinks of you when He looks at the nail prints in His hands.

What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You graciously and helpfully care for and visit and look after him? (Hebrews 2:6, Amplified).

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7)

He thinks about us and cares for us affectionately.

My beloved is mine, and I am his…

Just some things to think about today.

I Surrender All

I awoke this morning to the song “I Surrender All” flowing through my heart. And even though I walk with Him daily; even though I teach and minister in His Name and see people set free; I still wanted to give Him more of me.

I gave Him my heart when I was saved, but daily as I walk with Him I find myself giving Him more of my life. I remember years ago He asked me to write a letter to someone that had been especially unkind to me. I remember telling Him, “I can’t do it Lord”. He was patient with me.

I prayed a prayer that day that I have prayed for years now when He makes such requests. I said to Him, “I am not willing to do that, but I’m willing to be made willing.” He always answers that prayer. Within a few minutes I was weeping and I could hardly wait to write the letter.

As I was thinking about this today, I realized I don’t remember the last time I prayed that prayer. These days He only has to hint at what He wants and I’m ready to do it, because He’s the One asking. He has more of me today than He did back then.

In Mark 4:19 it says that there are cares and anxieties in our world, along with many kinds of distractions, things that could cause Him to have less and less of our time and possibly less and less of our heart and our lives.

I’m sitting here this morning listening to “I Surrender All”. Sitting with the elements of communion. He gave me His all through His death and resurrection. Today I offer my all and if there is any part of me He does not already wholly posses I pray it becomes His today.

All to Jesus I surrender; All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him; In His Presence daily live.

All to Jesus I surrender; Humbly at His feet I bow; Worldly pleasures all forsaken; Take me Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender; Make me Saviour wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender; Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy love and power, let Thy blessing fall on me.

I Surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, My Blessed Saviour, I surrender all.

Put On Love

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper]. Be gentle and forebearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony]. Colossians 3:12-14, Amplified

Put on love. You know every morning as I get ready for the day, I put on a new set of clothes. There has yet to be a day when my clothes put themselves on me. I decide what to wear and then make the effort to put it on.

Here in Colossians 3 Paul tells us to put on love. Sounds like something you do on purpose. But where do you get this love and how do you put it on?

Romans 5:5 tells us that “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (KJV). Also, in Galatians 5:22-23 we see that deep within us are the fruit of the Spirit. As the Amplified Bible says the fruit is “the work which His presence within accomplishes” in our lives.

Where do we get this love we put on? It comes from the inside of us… His love in us, His fruit in us. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:16 that we “are the temple of God” and that His Holy Spirit dwells in us. God is love (1 John 4:8). Love lives on the inside of you. And His Presence in you produces the fruit of the Spirit in your life, if you’ll put it on.

When circumstance cause you to fear or feel hate, choose to love. Choose to put on the love that is in you. When something happens and you feel sadness and grief trying to take hold of your emotions. Refuse to be sad and put on His joy in you, the joy that is your strength.

Many times when temptation has come I have said, “I refuse to fear. I choose to love. I yield to His love in me.” “I refuse to be sad. He took my griefs and sorrows. I yield to His joy in me.” I put it on by believing it’s in me and deciding in my heart and saying with my mouth “I yield to His fruit in me.”

When you are tempted to be anxious and fretful, yield to peace. When you feel impatience coming on, put it off and put on His patience. When you’re not feeling so kind, put on kindness and goodness. When you want to give up, put on His faithfulness. When your not feeling so gentle, put on gentleness (meekness and humility).

Ever had an issue with self-control? You have self-control on the inside of you. Yield to it. Put it on.

He has put His nature on the inside of you. Yield to His nature, yield to His love.

Pray this as needed: “I’m not feeling so lovely today Lord, but I yield myself to You today. I put on Your love. Love through me today”, in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Anointed

I heard an anointed message yesterday by a minister named Chip Brim. I don’t think I could do his message justice in one little posting on a blog, so I won’t try. But I’ll briefly share the main point.

He spoke of some divine advice he gave some young men, and the powerful results in their lives. Two were athletes who felt called to be athletes by God. Called to take His glory into that realm. They began to say that they were anointed to play their sport at a level the world is not familiar with, all for the glory of God. Both of these young men have now excelled at their sport to such a degree that they are both sought after in their sport at a national level.

He also shared this advice with a young actor who had previously only had a small, non-speaking part in a commercial. The actor began to confess that he is anointed to act at a level the world is not familiar with, all for the glory of God. This actor is now sought after and is currently filming along side a major Hollywood actor. 

He shared how a businessman got hold of this divine advice and just as it looked like his business was going under he received a six figure offer to market his product and now a major television personality is interested in his product.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me. (Philippians 4:13, KJV)

The word ‘Christ’ is a Greek word. Its English translation is the Anointed One, the anointing. I can do all things through the Anointed One and His anointing in my life which strengthens, which empowers me.

One of the main assignments in my life is to teach. After hearing Chip Brim’s message I began to say, “I am anointed to teach at a level the world is not familiar with, for the glory of God.” I also said this concerning healing, being a wife, and other assignments in my life. Then it hit me.

I am anointed to love at a level the world is not familiar with, for the glory of God!

God strengthens, completes, perfects and makes us what we ought to be (Hebrews 13:21, Amplified). He equips us with everything good that we may carry out His will (Hebrews 13:21, Amplified). He works in us and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight through Christ Jesus (Hebrews 13:21, Ampified). Working in us through Christ Jesus… through the Anointed One and His anointing in us. We are equipped with the anointing. We are equipped to do what He has called us to do like Jesus was equipped to complete His calling.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38, KJV)

We are anointed to carry out our assignments on this earth. We have been called to love. We have been commanded to love. We are anointed to love.

I am anointed to love at a level the world is not familiar with, for the glory of God. In the Name of Jesus, amen (so be it).

Moved with Compassion

Throughout the accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry we see the phrase “moved with compassion”.

In Matthew 14:14 we read that when Jesus saw the multitudes He “was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (KJV). Love moved Him to action.

In some translations the phrase “moved with compassion” is translated as “moved with pity and sympathy”. Those translations lose some of the original meaning. Pity and sympathy are feelings one feels toward another in a sad or difficult situation. In the case of pity and sympathy, you may be moved in your feelings, but they won’t move you into action. Compassion is when you are moved by love to do something about that person or persons’ situation. Jesus didn’t just feel sorry for people, He was moved to help them out of their situation.

Before we see the miracles of Jesus, we first see Him being moved with compassion.

Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. (KJV)

He was moved with compassion and it led to the miracle where he fed the four thousand with just seven loaves of bread. This compassion, this love, preceded His miracles.

And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. (KJV)

And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

In Mark 5 we see Jesus deliver the mad man from the demonic oppression of a legion of demons. And Jesus said to the man, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” (KJV).

And one of my favorite accounts is found in Luke chapter 7. The miracle is definitly exciting, but I like to also picture the tender love of Jesus toward this widow woman.

Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow… And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. (Luke 7:12-15, KJV)

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He still is moved with compassion today. We are now His hands and His feet in this earth (1 Cor 12:27). Let compassion move you.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name… they shalll lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover… And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. (Mark 16:17, 18, 20; KJV)

Just last Saturday myself and two other members of our ministry team allowed ourselves to be moved with compassion. We held a Bible study at 8 o’clock in the morning in a local prison. The ladies were blessed by the message. Broken hearts were healed. And three ladies were instantly healed of physical problems with obvious and complete changes in their physical conditions. This isn’t theory. This is love in action.