Love Keeps

One of my earlier posts was entitled Love Gives. Today I want to share with you about how love keeps. No, not the kind of keeps that means to hold something back, but the kind of keep that means to take care of, nurture, watch over like a shepherd would keep a flock of sheep.

Over the years I have been very blessed by God in every area of my life. One area in particular is in the work I do in the healing ministry at my church. It all started when we experienced a tragedy in our family and I felt helpless to do anything about it. Afterwards, I asked the Lord to teach me about healing. Almost twelve years later, I am now in charge of the healing ministry at my church, and I teach others about healing.

Along the way I saw many miracles, many healings, many answered prayers. There were also many warnings to not get into pride about it. With every blessing and with every promotion that came, I became more and more concerned about not getting into pride. I had a tape series by Joyce Meyer called No Flesh Shall Glory that I pulled out every time something really good happened. I never fully enjoyed any of the things that happened, because somewhere in the back of my mind was that subtle fear that I might get into pride.

One day the Lord spoke to me about it. And He said to me, “If you will focus on studying the Love of God it will keep you from getting into pride.” It will keep me. I realized then how much fear I had gotten into over pride and how much I was focusing on it. The Lord was telling me to not focus on the pride, but to focus on the very thing that drives out fear and would keep me out of pride.

[Love]… is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride)… (1 Corinthians 13:5, Amplified)

…God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5, Amplified)

…abide in My love… (John 15:9, Amplified)

Keep yourselves in the love of God… (Jude 21, KJV)

Now unto him that is able keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever Amen. (Jude 24-25, KJV)

Waiting

The Bible is full of some very deep concepts. Sometimes so deep that we miss them for years. We read them and think “I know that’s saying something important, but I’m not sure what”. So we kind of just read over them and wait for a time when the Holy Spirit begins to explain them to us as we study the Word, as we listen to a minister preach on that Word.

I think we do the same thing sometimes with the simple things in the Bible. They don’t seem very deep or very important so we kind of just read over them waiting for the good stuff. Let me tell you, it’s all good stuff. Even the genealogies tell us some very important things if we take the time to study them and let the Holy Spirit show us things.

There is a little statement in the Bible that for years has intrigued me and thrilled my heart. It’s a simple little statement that we could just read past without much thought, but oh how rich it is.

And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Moses returned to the camp, but his minister Joshua son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the [temporary prayer] tent. (Exodus 33:11, Amplified)

The first thing most people notice about that scripture is that God talked to Moses as a man speaks to his friend. I love that. It’s so beautiful. So marvelous. But every time I read that scripture my heart is most thrilled at the words written about Joshua. This young man that wanted to stay near to God’s Presence. He remained in the tent of prayer.

Many people today, spend much time in their “prayer tent” when they have a need. But every time I read this, I sense in my heart that this young man did not stay their out of need but out of a desire for God and His Presence. He remained in the place where God’s Presence dwelt among them.

He reminds me of David in the hills watching his sheep. His heart turned toward the Lord in psalms. Throughout his life David waited in God’s Presence and the Lord exalted him and he did mighty exploits. Here we see another young man waiting and he too was exalted by the Lord and did mighty exploits. Neither of them sought God because they wanted to do mighty things and make their names known. Both sought God because they desired to know Him and to be known by Him.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. (Psalms 62:1, Amplified)

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psalms 25:5, KJV)

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalms 27:14, KJV)

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. (Proverbs 8:34-35, KJV)

Blessed

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ… (Galatians 3:13-14, KJV)

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22; KJV)

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12, KJV & Amplified):

Blessed are the poor in spirit (the humble): for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they  shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The beatitudes as taught by our Savior. I noticed something about them yesterday. They seem to me to be the attitude of a person that walks in the love of God. Many of these states are not possible with a heart full of fear. If you are fearful, you will not be merciful. If you are fearful, you will not be able to walk in peace and help others walk in peace. If you are fearful you will not be humble and patient. If your are fearful you will be pressured to thirst after things other than God and His ways of righteousness. If you are fearful, you will not rejoice and be glad when persecuted.

Think about the times you have been full of fear. Did you respond the right way? Were you patient and kind? Or did the pressure and torment that accompanies fear push you to respond out of love?

You see love and love alone can drive fear out of a  heart (1 John 4:18). And a heart that is free from fear, a pure heart full of the love of God, is free to walk in the way Jesus described in the beatitudes. That person that knows and believes he is loved and loves God and loves others is blessed. That person walks in the blessing that is already ours through Jesus Christ.

My Father’s Business

And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem… And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers… And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:42, 46-47, 49; KJV)

At a very young age, Jesus understood something very important. His life was not His own, but He was here for a purpose. A purpose higher than the other children his age were concerned with. He was here to do His Father’s will.

You and I have been bought with a price. Our lives our not our own. Yet many continue to live life without a thought for the purpose God has for their lives.

Jesus said He was here to be about His Father’s business. Now many of you may say, I don’t have time to be at church every time the doors are open. I have a family to feed. I have a job to go to. I have a business to run. I don’t have time to run off to church or Africa or some other place to do the work of God. Well, Jesus didn’t spend all His time teaching in the synagogue. He went from village to village preaching the gospel, healing the sick, feeding the multitudes and much more. He went out among the people into their world and brought the life and love of God to them.

You may not be called to be a pastor, an evangelist, or to a full-time job in ministry, but their are people in your world, in your office, on your route, in your meetings that need the life and love of God in their lives. And it’s so much easier to give them that than many may believe.

I believe the business that our Father is in, is the business of loving people back into wholeness.

…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)

He sent Jesus because of His love. Jesus was moved with compassion, moved by love, to meet the needs of the people. What about the needs of the office secretary? What about the needs of the store clerk? What about the needs of the waiter at lunch? What about the needs of your business partner or employees? Or your boss?

It may seem simple, but a smile at just the right time, could make all the difference in the world to someone’s life. A big tip when having a really bad day, may be just the mercy and love the waiter needs that day. As we love people throughout the day, our simple acts of kindness may be just what they need to make it through another day, or it may be what opens the door to share the Gospel with them. No matter how big or how small the act of love is, the love of God never fails to achieve what it was sent to do.

So remember, no matter what business you are in, you can still be about your Father’s business every where you go and with every person you meet simply by loving people.

Loving God

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-38, KJV)

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8, KJV)

Double minded, those with “divided interests” (James 4:8, Amplified).

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8, KJV)

The sower sows the Word… the Word sown [in their hearts]… then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and  false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless. (Mark 4:14, 15, 19; Amplified)

Love the Lord your God with your all. One of the pastors at my church, Pastor Terri Pearsons, made a statement this Sunday that so struck me that it’s been on my mind and on my heart every since. It is something I  have lived by, but never could put in just the right words. She said something to this extent. When you love God it draws the Presence. When you love people it releases the Presence. Selah.

I teach classes on ministering healing to the sick. I follow the Holy Spirit in what I do and sometimes find it difficult to express in words what it is I’m doing. I often feel like people want a 1,2,3 checklist for ministering healing and I didn’t know how to give it to them in that form. I asked God about it and He gave me a 1,2,3 list.

  1. Believe the Love.
  2. Receive the Love.
  3. Release the Love.

As we love Him we receive His love. As we love others we release His love. His love never fails. When Jesus released this mighty force called love (when He was moved with compassion) the blind received their sight, the lepers were cleansed, the sick were healed and made whole, the oppressed were set free, the multitudes were fed miraculously, and the dead were raised. Love led Him to the cross to die for us, for you and for me.

This is not something we can be casual about. This interaction with Love takes time. Just like the love between a husband and a wife or a child and a parent can not be expressed and received in just a moment here and a moment there, but in quality interaction over time, so too is our interaction with God. It’s a relationship. Where we sit with Him on a daily basis with His Word in worship, in prayer, in silence. Our hearts turned to Him in love. Where He is loving us and we are loving Him.  Interacting with Love in those quiet times and throughout the day. Then taking that Love to a desperate world, a world full of hungry, desperate, dying people.

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19, KJV)

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8, KJV)

That which you have freely received, freely give.

Submitted to Love

There is a very interesting verse in the Bible. It is 1 Peter 5:8.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour… (KJV)

Why does he have to seek? Because he can’t devour just anyone.

Another interesting scripture is James 4:7.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (KJV)

So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. (Amplified)

God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19, KJV). If He said that the enemy would flee when we submit to God then that’s exactly what will happen when we act on that scripture. And I have found that the way to do just that is to submit myself to the God Who is Love. To respond the way Love would respond. To do what Love would do in any given situation.

On January 2nd of this year, I wrote a post entitled Learning to Love. In it I describe how God worked on my heart towards an unkind person as I yielded to His Love and His direction. In the end I was changed and I looked more like Jesus, but that’s not all. The other person was changed as well. What if I had not yielded or submitted myself to God, to Love in this situation? Where would I be now? Where would this other individual be now?

The enemy’s ways are always to judge, reject and condemn. He is always trying to divide and conquer. He is the accuser of the brethren. (You can reject the sin without rejecting the person.) Had I continued to accuse this person, to reject this person, to judge and condemn this person, I would have placed myself outside of the protection and power of Love and into the hands of the enemy.

When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]. (Ephesians 4:26-27, Amplified)

However, thank God (really, thanks to God), I chose to love instead of hate. I chose to act in faith instead of fear. I placed myself in line with Love and His ways and it brought about restoration, growth and reconciliation in a very difficult situation.

No matter what you are facing today I tell you Love is the way out. Submit to Him and the enemy will flee.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10, KJV)

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation. (Psalm 91:14-16, KJV)

Lessons Learned

I asked my faithful friend feltsdia to help me with today’s post. She had a story about her young son that I thought was appropriate after yesterday’s post. Here is her account.

As a home schooling mother, I look for every opportunity to tie the physical world to the spiritual one. A couple of years ago, the boys and I planted a garden so I could teach all the physical science aspects, but more importantly, so I could teach the spiritual property of sowing and reaping. I had attempted to teach this regarding everything we did, but the natural parallel would be an invaluable teaching aid.

My son has been given a wonderfully compassionate heart. He sees the good in everyone and is seldom offended. I picked him up from his class one Sunday and he was seething with anger and had been crying. Upon inquiry, he told me of his hurt feelings. A fellow classmate had called him an ugly name. This was his first experience regarding this aspect of the world.

As the Spirit revealed, I took that event and began to tie our physical teaching of those lettuce seeds to the “word seeds” that boy had planted that morning. “What harvest will come from these word seeds he’s planted? You are angry and wanting to plant the same seed for yourself.” I saw the light come on. He understood. That boy would harvest others calling him ugly names. My son didn’t want that for himself. We prayed a prayer forgiving that young boy, but also praying he would experience his own revelation about “word seeds.”

When we returned to church the following Sunday, my son came out of his class smiling. He had gone to the boy and told him of his forgiveness. He had also taught him about word seeds! In two years, that circumstance is the only trouble we have had with name-calling. Glory to God!

As I wrote yesterday’s post on learning to love this story came to mind. My friend helped her young son, he was 5 years-old at the time, learn a valuable life-changing lesson regarding sowing and reaping and the power of words.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:7-10, KJV)

But so much more was imparted to this child and eventually to the other child as well. He learned about forgiveness and praying for those who do you wrong. He learned about love. Love is the One Who set up sowing and reaping for our benefit, we are the ones that get to choose what to sow. Love is the One who taught about forgiveness and praying for others. Love is the One that makes us want to see others set free. My friend’s son wanted to help the young boy that had hurt him learn the same lesson so he wouldn’t plant bad seeds any longer.

At such a young age he learned a weighty, heavenly concept. In yesterday’s post I spoke of how long it took me to learn to just yield to Love and let Him have His way in me and through me. Each of us can learn to be like this child and see God’s truths (they are really quite simple) and act on them without having to come to the end of our rope before yielding.

Thank God for a Godly home-schooling mother. You too have such a Parent. Learn the lessons your Heavenly Father is wanting to teach you. Let Him teach you about Love.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26, KJV)

But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. (1 Thessalonians 4:9, KJV)