Known

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35, KJV)

I’m known for many things. I’m known for being a little lady who likes little things. I’ve been lovingly teased about my tiny purses, tiny shoes, tiny notebooks, my tiny Bible and my new hobby of growing tiny Bonsai trees. Oh, and did I mention I have a tiny dog too.

I’m known for my curly hair and for always having a smile on my face.

I’m known for ministering God’s healing power to the sick through His Word and through prayer. Some even refer to me as the “healing lady”.

But the scripture above is what I want to be known for. He said that all would know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.

I endeavor to be known as one who loves like He loves. The legacy I want to leave is that I loved God and that I loved people. I want to be known by my love.

Father, teach me to love.

I love you.

Walk in the Light

…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7, KJV)

I’d like to revisit an area I blogged on last November in light of some things I learned just last week. I attended a meeting in which Billye Brim was teaching on a Jewish concept called halacha. Billye Brim learned the Hebrew language and Jewish customs in the land of Israel among the Israeli people.

She said that the term halacha is a term that means, “how to walk it out”. She took us through the Book of Ephesians and showed us the glorious things that the first few chapters say about us, the church, in Him. And then she showed us that beginning in the fourth chapter of Ephesians, Paul begins to give us the halacha, or the instructions on how to walk it out.

It reminded me of what the Lord said to me concerning the commandment of love. I blogged on this in depth on November 25, 2008 in a post entitled “Walking in the Light”.

I had asked the Lord to teach me about the commandment of love. I asked Him late one evening as I was drifting off to sleep. As I awakened the next morning, I heard Him say, “I am teaching you how to walk in the light”.

First John 1:7 tells us that we are to walk in the light as He is in the light. To be quite honest, I don’t know what all that means yet, but I do know that just a few verses before we are told that “God is light.” Walking in the Light would be walking in Him. It’s in Him that we are more than conquerors. It is in Him that we are seated in heavenly places far above all principalities and powers. It is in Him where the impossible becomes possible.¬†But how do we walk it out?

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light… (Proverbs 6:23, KJV)

The commandment of Love: “I’m teaching you how to walk in the light”.

We walk in the light when we walk in love. We walk in the Spirit when we walk in love. We walk in Him when we walk in love. We walk in victory when we walk in love. We walk it all out when we walk in love!

Knit Together

For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:16, Amplified)

…as they are knit together in love… (Colossians 2:2, Amplified)

That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints […the experience of that love]… [That you may really come to know… the love of Christ… that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! (Ephesians 3:18-19, Amplified)

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose…] To Him be glory in the church… (Ephesians 3:20-21, Amplified)

We are the church. We are His body, the Body of Christ. And His desire is that we be knit together and that we be one with Him and one with each other (John 17:21-23).

How is this accomplished? First and foremost, by our union with His Son Jesus Christ, but this Body of Christ is also being knit together in love, by Love Himself. Not by our common doctrines or practices. But by yielding to His love in us for one another.

Ephesians 3:20 mentions His power working in us to carryout His purpose. He is knitting us together, but we can yield to that work or resist it. How? By yielding to love towards one another or not.

When we resist loving one another, we are not only resisting that person, but we are resisting God’s work in knitting this body together. Walking in love is not just a sweet thing to do, it is vital to the work and purposes of God.

I’ve heard it said, and it’s true, that submission is not proven in an atmosphere of agreement. Submission is only tested and proven when we disagree. Well, love is not proven when everyone is being lovely. Love is proven as we choose to love when the other person is being unlovely.

This love, agape, is not based on loving when everyone is doing everything right (or right in our opinion). This love loves unconditionally, right or wrong, lovely or unlovely, I am going to love you. That’s agape.

I want to take a quick look at what love is and what it isn’t in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified). Two things to keep in mind as you read this list 1) you are not examining everyone else’s love walk by these scriptures, you are examining your own and 2) notice there are no exceptions listed, love always loves like this in every situation.

Love endures long and is patient and kind.

Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy.

Love is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride).

It is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.

Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking.

It is not touchy or fretful or resentful.

It takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes.

Is ever ready to believe the best of every person.

Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances.

And it endures everything [without weakening].

Love never fails.

God’s love has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). We have the capacity to love like this by the grace, the power of the Holy Spirit that abides in us. And we do this by yielding to the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. In the Amplified Bible it says that this fruit of the Spirit is “the work which His presence within accomplishes”. His power at work in us.

Yield to love at all times. Yield to His work by the Spirit in you. Yield yourself to Love Himself and cooperate as He knits this body together in love.

Resting in His Love

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matthew 11:30, KJV)

I give you you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. (John 13:34, Amplified)

When I hear a fellow Christian speak about just how difficult it is to love, it makes me cringe inside. My head wants to agree with them, but my heart won’t let me. And even deeper still, my spirit man knows it’s not true. Don’t get me wrong, I used to think and say the very same thing, but something changed. The way I think and the way a walk out this commandment has changed.

Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” How can that be? He also said that we would find rest for our souls. Let’s take a look at another scripture that speaks of rest.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest… For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:2,3,10; KJV)

There is a place of rest that has been made available to those who believe. This passage tells us that it takes faith to enter into this rest. Let’s take a look at two scriptures that speak to us about faith.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17, KJV)

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

It takes faith to enter the rest, and that faith comes by the hearing of the word of God. Faith is trusting, leaning and relying, wholly on God and His word. And once faith is put into operation, it accesses grace, which is the power of the Holy Spirit (James 4:6, Amplified)

When I used to try to walk this love walk out in my own will power, it was very hard. When I began leaning entirely on the grace of God to love, it seemed so easy. It wasn’t me trying to love any longer. It was me yielding to His love in me, His Spirit in me, His power in me. I’ve often described it as the Nestea plunge. How hard is that? The difficult part has always been to just let go.

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

First and foremost develop your faith in the love of God. Read scriptures that speak of His love for you and think about them, meditate them, say them, feed on them. Read about His love for others. Think, breath, live on His unfailing love.

Second, develop your faith in the fact that He lives in you. His love is in you (Rom 5:5). His Spirit is in you (1 Cor 3:16). His fullness is in you (Col 2:9-10).

First believe and receive His love and then freely give what you have freely received. It’s that easy. Stop trying to love and rest in His love and let it carry you.

For in Him we live and move and have our being… (Acts 17:28, Amplified)

Unfailing Love

God gave the Israelites a set of commandments.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

In Matthew 22 Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment in the law. His response is found in Matthew 22:37-40.

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. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)

On these two commandments hang ALL the law…

Now let’s take a look at Romans chapter thirteen.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10, KJV)

The Amplified says it this way:

…he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law… (Romans 13:8)

[All commandments] …are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. (Romans 13:9)

…love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law. (Romans 13:10)

Now there is a lot of mention of law in there. And many may be saying, “What about grace?” I’m so glad you asked ūüôā

It’s because of His grace that we are now able to love like He loves. I like what one of the pastors at our church said, “In the Old Testament they did the works to get saved. In the New Testament they were saved so they could do the works.”

Romans 5:5 tells us that His love, HIS love, has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That’s grace. And because of His grace we can love like He loves.

Also, First John 4:19 tells us that “We love him, because he first loved us.” Or some translations point out that the word him is not in the original text which would then read, “We love, because He first loved us.”

All this brings me to the scripture that inspired me to write this morning. It is found in the 90th Psalm.

Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love. (Psalm 90:14, NASB)

I read this scripture this morning and thought about how important it is to sit with Him every morning letting Him tell you of His love.

Do I take time to meet my Good Shepherd each day, letting Him tell me of His love…? (footnote to Song of Solomon 2:13 in the Amplified Bible)

You see the only time we find it difficult to love others, is when we don’t know how much He loves us. His love for us sets us free to love others unconditionally.

I always say if you find yourself being impatient and unkind towards others, or not believing the best of them, get away with God and let Him love on you and tell you of His love through His word. Let Him satisfy you with His unfailing love each morning through prayer, through sitting with Him, through the communion table, through His Word and you will find yourself free to love others.

It’s when we fear loss that we fear loving others in their weakness, but His perfected love sets us free from all fear (1 John 4:18).

Let Him satisfy you today and every day with His unfailing love! Then walk out the rest of your day with absolute freedom to love others unconditionally!

(Recommended scriptures. I feed on these quite regularly. Enjoy and be satisfied! Is 53:5; Is 49:15-16; John 20:25, 27; Is 38:17, Amp; Psalm 103:2-4; Jer 31:3; Luke 7:37-39, 48; Rom 5:8; John 3:16-17, Amp; John 15:9; John 15:16; John 16:27; John 17:23; Rom 5:5; Rom 8:32; Rom 8:35; Rom 8:38-39; 1 Cor 8:1; 1 Cor 12:31; 1 Cor 13:8; 1 Cor 13:13; 2 Cor 5:14, Message; Gal 5:6; Eph 1:4, Message; Eph 2:4; Eph 3:17-19; Eph 4:15; Eph 5:25; Col 1:13; 1 Thess 3:12; 1 Thess 4:9; 1 Pet 4:8; 1 Jn 2:5; 1 Jn 2:10; 1 Jn 3:1; 1 Jn 4:9; 1 Jn 4:10; 1 Jn 4:16-19; 1 Jn 4:19, NIV; 2 Jn 6; Jude 1:21)

And So Do I

I had an awesome day on Sunday. I attended a very good church service, taught two classes that went very well and attended a Super Bowl party that was full of great food, fun and fellowship. Then I woke up yesterday and it wasn’t long before I thought, “I should have just stayed in bed today.”

While it seemed I could do nothing wrong the day before, this day it seemed like I could do nothing right. I made one mistake after another that cost me much time and much money. As the day went on, I became more and more frustrated with myself for making so many stupid mistakes in one day.

Then the Lord reminded me of the commandment of love.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind… (Matthew 22:37, KJV)

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:39, KJV)

In the Amplified Bible verse 39 reads like this:

…You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

How do I love others? I am patient and kind with them. I believe the best of them. I am quick to forgive them of their sins and I don’t remind them of their past sins.

So how should I be towards myself when I make a mistake? I should be patient and kind towards myself. I should be quick to forgive and forget my sins. I should believe the best of myself and show myself the mercy I show others.

It wasn’t long after I switched my thinking towards myself from one of frustration to one of love, that all the things that had happened that day seemed like no big deal. When I got out from under the self-condemnation I received God’s forgiveness and confidently asked Him to help me cover the cost of my mistakes and to redeem the time lost.

In the healing ministry, I have seen many people not only lose their peace and their joy over their mistakes, but actually lose their health. One doctor that talks much about this is Dr. Don Colbert. He speaks on taking care of your body physically by making good choices in the foods that you eat. (Sounds like loving yourself!) He also talks about the importance of positive, healthy emotions and how negative, ‘deadly’ emotions can cause physical problems in your body.

Today I came across this statement in the book “A More Excellent Way” by Pastor Henry Wright discussing self-rejection, self-hatred and self-bitterness.

There is a spiritual dynamic that comes, in which the white corpuscles are invisibly redirected to attack living tissue while ignoring the true enemy which is bacteria and viruses. As the person continues to attack themselves spiritually, the body finally agrees in which the white corpuscles start attacking the body. That is a high price to pay for not loving yourself.

I shared the following statement with friend this morning and found myself saying it throughout the day.

My Father loves me and so do I.

Here is one more scripture that I think will help you love yourself. It is Philippians 4:8.

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. (KJV)

Do you make mistakes? We all do. Are there things in you that need to change? We all have things that need to change. Let the Lord help you with all that, but in the meantime love yourself. When you think about yourself think lovely thoughts. He does.

What is man that You are mindful of him and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him? ( Psalm 8:4, Amplified)

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare  and  peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11, Amplified)

Remember your heavenly Father loves you and so should you.