The Grace to Love

Let everything you do be done in love… (1 Corinthians 16:14, Amplified)

Every thought. Every word. Every action.

But how?

By His grace in you.

…The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love… But He gives more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). (James 4:5-6, Amplified)

Grace, the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of God’s Spirit Who lives within you.

You will not do everything in love by willpower. You will not do everything in love by your own ability, your own love, your own goodness. The only way to do everything in love is to acknowledge that without Him you could never truly love, but then thank Him that you are not without Him.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV)

But the the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes is love, joy… peace, patience… kindness, goodness… faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control… (Galatians 5:22-23, Amplified)

Love … is patient and kind… (1 Corinthians 13:4, 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)

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace… (Romans 4:16, KJV)

We were instructed to do everything in love. Understand that without Him this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. And you are not without Him. When the temptation comes to be unlovely, by faith believe His love and the power of the Holy Spirit is in you to love in every situation.

When I find myself having a hard time loving, I say, “I yield to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness. I yield to faithfulness, humility and self-control. By the power of the Holy Spirit in me I choose to love.”

The Language of Love

Do you ever sit around just thinking and find yourself thinking a really random and weird thought? I had one of those thoughts the other day. Don’t ask me how I got there, but as I was just sitting and thinking, it occurred to me that there were people around the world that I could never verbally communicate with.

I can speak two languages, but if they don’t know those two and I don’t know the languages they speak, then we could not talk and understand one another. I found that thought kind of disturbing. How would I tell them about Christ?

Then I remembered something I read in Henry Drummond’s The Greatest Thing in the World.

In the heart of Africa, among the great lakes, I have come across black men and women who remembered the only white man they ever saw before — David Livingstone; and as you cross his footsteps in that dark continent, men’s faces light up as they speak of the kind Doctor who passed there years ago. They could not understand him; but they felt the Love that beat in his heart. – Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World, 1891.

I thought of the many times that I communicated the love of God to another person without words ever crossing my lips. A look, a smile, a touch that said “You are loved.” But done in faith that it was not communicating an earthly love that I might have for them, but communicating the heavenly love of the Father.

I once visited Brussels, Belgium. There I found many people that I could not verbally communicate with. There were many that seemed to have no life in their eyes. There were many people begging on the streets whose bodies were broken, who looked lost and without hope. As I dropped money into their cups, I made a point of looking into their eyes, smiling at them and when possible lightly touching them. All the while yielding to His love in me, so He could love them through me.

I remember one woman in particular, sitting just outside a church I was visiting. While in Brussels I visited as many churches as I could get to. This one was in a very quite neighborhood, with no shops around. No tourists in sight except me. I sat in the church by myself as I read my Bible and quietly prayed. When I left the church it was just me and this woman sitting at the door with a cup in her hand. I felt the love of God overwhelm me. I looked at her and loved her. Our eyes seemed frozen in time upon one another. Something transpired between us. Something was said between us. But not a word was uttered.

You can take nothing greater to the heathen world than the impress and reflection of the Love of God upon your own character. That is the universal language. It will take you years to speak in Chinese, or in the dialects of India. From the day you land, that language of Love, understood by all, will be pouring forth its conscious eloquence. – Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World, 1891.

And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him… (Mark 10:21, Amplified)

You may never travel to a far away country. You may never mingle among people who don’t speak the same language. But daily you pass people at work, in the malls, on the streets, who could use a smile and a look that says, “You are loved.”

Thoughts of Love

Love… is ever ready to believe the best of every person… (1 Corinthians 13:7, Amplified)

Love strains forward with all its might to believe the very best in every situation. (1 Corinthians 13:7, Rick Renner, Sparkling Gems From the Greek)

“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… 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!” – Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8, KJV)

I’ve noticed something happening in my heart lately. When I hear an accusation against another person, either in my own mind or by another individual, I am choosing not to think about the accusation at all. Not one moment of entertaining a negative thought about another person. And each time I choose to love instead of judge, a wave floods my soul, a wave full of love, joy and peace.

I quite often looked around at the cars driving past me and only noticed how badly the people were driving. Now, I choose not to entertain those thoughts and as the cars speed past I sense a great love for them overwhelming me. I’m still working on this for those that cut me off 🙂

I used to work as a hostess in a restaurant. There was a booth right next to my station. I would often overhear the conversations that took place in that booth. Couldn’t really be helped.

Many of the conversations I heard were people talking about another person. Giving their opinion of what they were doing wrong. What they needed to do differently. Pretty much talking badly about them. I was surprised by how much time people spent talking badly about other people.

I confess I have done my fair share of this and I am very sorry for that. Thank God for His mercy and His forgiveness. Thank God for the blood of Jesus!

Now, I am endeavouring to change the way I think and speak about others. Leaning entirely on His grace (the power of the Holy Spirit within me) to do this. And as I spend less and less time thinking negatively and speaking negatively about others, I find His love increasing in my heart. I sense His peace, His joy, His presence more and more in my day to day life.

Henry Drummond said, “What a delightful state of mind to live in!’ I’m finding that to be oh so true. Much more than I ever imagined.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. (Psalm 139:17, NLT)

This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. (John 15:12, Amplified)

All Things to All Men

Even though I [Paul] am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. (1 Corinthians 9:19-22, NLT)

For although I am free in every way from anyone’s control, I have made myself a bond servant to everyone, so that I might gain the more [for Christ]. (1 Corinthians 9:19, Amp)

…I have [in short] become all things to all men, that I might by all means (at all costs and in any and every way) save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ]. (1 Corinthians 9:22, Amp)

As I read this passage a few days I ago, it stirred something in my heart. I recalled a time when I ministered to a group of ladies. I was surprised when I left my notes and began talking about ‘mean’ Christians. Something that ought never be.

As I began to minister to the ladies after the teaching, a woman came up crying and confessed she was one of those ‘mean’ Christians. All the other women in the class knew her and began to weep with her as they witnessed her transformation from a ‘mean’ Christian to a loving one.

I have met a lot of ‘mean’ Christians in my life. I myself have had my moments and I thank God that by His grace in my life, they are few and far between.

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:6, that the letter of the law kills, but the spirit gives life. I have seen these ‘mean’ Christians take the Word of God and demand that others behave a certain way, make certain changes, or else. They demand that others be like them and believe like them or they will have nothing to do with them.

Yet in the passage above from 1 Corinthians 9, Paul tells us that he became all things to all men in order to save them. He found common ground and did not separate himself from them.

The letter kills, but the spirit gives life. The letter demands. The spirit loves.

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many, and they followed him. (Mark 2:15, KJV)

And they followed Him. Not because he judged, rejected, and condemned them (see John 3:17, Amp). But because He loved them. He didn’t go around rebuking them. He did go around rebuking the Pharisees for judging, rejecting and condemning men based on the law.

He didn’t come to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence. He came to love. And that’s what we as Christians are called to do too.

Keeping His Garden

Reading my Bible today, I had another one of those moments that brought a smile to my face. You know I used to read my Bible just putting in my time. Checking it off my list of things to do. Later I read my Bible always looking for some great revelation. Now I read my Bible to hear His voice, learn His ways, but mostly to spend time in His Presence being changed. Like Mary sitting at His feet and listening to His Words.

As I read from 1 Corinthians 3 this morning, I came across this verse.

you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation… (1 Corinthians 3:9, Amplified)

You are God’s garden.

And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. (Genesis 2:15, Amplified)

God instructed Adam to tend, guard and keep the garden. God does the same. God tends to, guards and keeps His garden. God tends, guards and keeps you.

I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. (John 15:1, Amplified)

I think about my own work in my garden. I watch it carefully. I inspect each plant. I watch over and enjoy each flower. I make sure my garden has enough water, enough light, enough nourishment. I watch for insects and weeds and deal with them. I watch over it, protect it, keep it. And I enjoy it.

I don’t get put out with my garden when a weed shows up. I get put out with the weeds that would try to destroy her beauty. Those things that would steal her water, her light, her nourishment.

…Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards [of our love]… (Song of Solomon 2:15, Amplified)

Now may the God of peace… strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight… (Hebrews 13:20, 21; Amplified)

Yield yourself to the Vinedresser. Yield yourself to the work that God, the Creator of the Universe, is working in you, His garden. He will guard you. He will keep you. He will protect you. He will nourish you. He will water you. He will give you light. He will make you beautiful, a sight to behold, wrought by the Hand of God. He will make you pleasing in His sight. Selah.

He Who Hears and Sees

I received a comment on the post from July 3rd from a friend of mine. She mentioned that when she read a particular phrase in the scriptures referenced in the blog that day, that it brought a smile to her face. It had done the same for me. Often as I am reading the scriptures I come across a word or a phrase that brings a smile to my face. Usually ends up in the next blog post 🙂

Why do I smile?

Usually the reason I smile, is because something I just read, told me something about my God that is precious, beautiful, lovely. Something that makes me smile when I think about God saying this or doing this.

Today the phrase that made me smile came from 2 Kings 20. King Hezekiah had just been told by the prophet Isaiah that he would die due to the illness he had contracted. It tells us in verse two, that when he heard this King Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, then prayed and cried unto God.

Before he even makes it out of the courtyard, Isaiah is told to return to the king and give him another message from God.

This is what the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears…” (2 Kings 2:6, NLT)

This brought a smile to my face. The King of the Universe turned His ear towards earth, looked and saw a man, praying and crying unto Him.

It goes on to say that the LORD said He would heal Hezekiah and add fifteen years to his life. Through the prophet He also gave the king’s servants some instruction on how to make an ointment for his ailment. God also said He would rescue and defend Hezekiah and the city from their enemies.

All very good news, but I like it so much when I come across a little something in the scriptures that paints a picture of God that puts a smile on my face and brings joy to my heart.

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God – soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. (Psalm 42:5, The Message)

…In Your presence is fullness of joy… (Psalm 16:11, NKJV)

God Bless Her

And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. (Genesis 1:3, Amp)

…God… calleth those things that be not as though they were. (Romans 4:17, KJV)

So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God he created him… (Genesis 1:27, Amp)

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19, KJV)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue… (Proverbs 18:21, KJV)

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Mark 11:23, KJV)

He shall have whatsoever he saith. Created in His image. He spoke and it was. We speak and well sometimes we see and sometimes we don’t. It’s the things we say in faith. The things we say with no doubt in our heart. The things we believe shall come to pass as we speak.

Today is the Fourth of July! My question today is what are you saying about this nation?

We have been created in His image. We have been give the power of blessing and cursing in our mouths. Are you blessing this nation? Blessing means empowered to prosper. Are you empowering this nation to prosper? Or are you agreeing with the those who would tear her down with the words of their mouths? Or are you agreeing with those who are complaining about all that is wrong with this nation?

God calls those things that be not as though they were. He called Abraham the father of many nations long before Abraham became a father of one. We are created in His image. We can speak those things that are not as though they were. And those things that we speak in faith and believe will come to pass we can have.

How can you have faith that your words will come to pass? Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). If God said it and you believe it, then when you say it, you can have it.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD… (Psalm 33:12, KJV)

Our current president said that this is not a Christian nation. The founding fathers would not agree with him and neither do I. I thank God that people are free to worship in this nation, including freedom for other religions. But the foundations of this nation are Christian foundations. Our constitution, which many would like to forget and ignore, has stood the test of time. Why? Because it has its foundation in the unfailing Word of God.

I say this nation is a nation whose God is the Lord and this nation is blessed! This is a land of liberty (freedom) and justice for all! God bless America. And today and every day I choose to bless her with the words of my mouth.

(For more on the foundation of this glorious nation visit http://www.wallbuilders.com/)