Grace

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

…He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit)… (James 4:6, Amplified)

…faith activated and¬†energized and¬†expressed and working through love. (Galatians 5:6, Amplified)

How do we access grace which is the power of the Holy Spirit? By faith.

How does our faith work? By love.

We have a commandment, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and love one another as He has loved you. What happens when we do this? Our faith works and we access grace. We access His power.

This process begins with first having faith in His love for us.

We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, NIV)

We believe this. We receive this. We access grace from God. Then what?

…speaking the truth in love… (Ephesians 4:15, KJV)

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29, KJV)

When you love the ones your are speaking His truth to, your very words will actually minister grace to them. You will take the grace, the power of the Holy Spirit, that you received from God and make it available to others.

For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:17, Amplified)

As you speak His truth, don’t judge, reject, condemn, or pass sentence on the hearers. Love them. Grace them. Empower them to be saved, safe and sound through Him. Selah.

Perfectly Loved

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and¬†expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. (1 John 4:18, Amplified)

No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! (1 John 4:12, Amplified)

The Bible tells us that the Body of Christ is to grow up in love. The two scriptures here speak of reaching the full maturity of love, of being perfected in love. We are to reach the place where we love perfectly. That sometimes sounds so hard or impossible. What is our hope of ever loving like that?

We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, NIV)

…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5, KJV)

…Christ in you, the hope of glory… (Colossians 1:27, KJV)

Our hope of loving like that is that we were and are first perfectly loved. Our hope of loving like that is that His very love is in our hearts now by the Holy Spirit. Our hope of loving like that is that Love Himself has come to dwell within us and we simply allow Him to run His full course in us and through us.

We love because He first loved us. I don’t focus so much on loving others. I don’t try and strive to love others. I focus on that fact that He perfectly loves me. I press to know, believe and receive His love for me. And the more of His love that is allowed to run through me, the more fear and selfishness is driven out and the more my love for others is perfected.

Jesus said, “If you love Me, you’ll obey me.” My focus is not on obeying. My focus is on loving and I find that His love in me, for me and through me, empowers me to obey.

When you hear those words perfected love, don’t stress about loving perfectly, meditate on the fact that you are perfectly loved. And you will love perfectly.

Fill in the Blanks

I never really stopped to think about this before, but in each relationship that I am in, there will always be things that I don’t know about the other person. There will always be things that they don’t know about me. After 17 years of marriage, my husband came home one day and said his office was sending him to Brussels. My response was, “You mean they are sending us to Brussels.” He was surprised to find out that I had always wanted to go there. He had never known this about me.

So what don’t we know about each other? And in those unknown areas, in those blanks if you will, who is filling in the blanks?

The Bible tells us that love thinks no evil and is ever ready to believe the best of each person. Love forgives and forgets. Love covers a multitude of sins. The Bible also tells us that the enemy is the accuser of the brethren. Who is filling in the blanks in your relationships, at home, at work, or anywhere else you may come in contact with others? Or in your thoughts about others?

I watched a movie recently. I’m not endorsing it, but it was interesting and entertaining. The majority of the time in this movie is spent in people’s dreams. In these dreams there will be people known in real life by the dreamer, but in their dream it is not the real person but their “projection” of that person.

The main character’s wife was lovely in real life, but due to his own guilt, in his dream his projection of her was anything but lovely. It was twisted and tainted and not a true image of her.

If we allow the enemy to fill in the blanks, the image we have of others may not be a true image of them. It may turn out to be a twisted and tainted image. But if we allow God Who is love to fill in the blanks, God Who is also omniscient and knows the hearts of men, we will get a truer image of that person. And sometimes we just need to acknowledge that there are blanks and be willing to leave them blank, but in the process love each other by believing the best.