Sin No More II

Yesterday we read about the woman caught in adultery and how Jesus spoke words of grace to her that empowered her to do just what He said, “Go and sin no more.” Today I want to look at another person that Jesus spoke these same words to, the man healed at the pool called Bethesda.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches… And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years... Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed and walk. And immediately the man was made whole… Now the invalid who had been healed did not know who it was… Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. (John 5:2,5, 8-9, 14 KJV; John 5:13 Amplified)

Just as the woman caught in adultery encountered not judgement, but mercy and grace, so too do this man. As I have often mentioned it is important to note where this all took place, at a pool called Bethesda in the Hebrew tongue. This word is made up of two Hebrew words bet which means ‘house’ and hesda which means ‘mercy’. It was at the house of mercy where Jesus healed this man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Once again, what is mercy for? It’s for when you didn’t do everything right. Jesus wasn’t asking this man to jump through all the right hoops to earn his healing. He wanted to show this man mercy. The Hebrew word hesda (mercy) comes from the Hebrew word hesed which means God’s unfailing love. He wanted to show him mercy simply because He loved him.

Jesus once again spoke words of grace in this man’s situation as He did with the woman caught in adultery. His words were filled with grace when He said, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk”. His words were filled with grace when He said, “sin no more”. He imparted the power of the Holy Spirit through His very words.

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)

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully)… (James 4:6, Amplified)

Throughout your life He has spoken and will continue to speak words of grace. Words that help you to walk free and words that help you to be all that He has called you to be.

Grace be with you all. Amen. (Hebrews 13:25, KJV)

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.

Family

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name… (Luke 11:2, KJV)

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named… (Ephesians 3:14-15, KJV)

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God… Beloved, now are we the sons of God… (1 John 3:2)

I’ve been thinking about family a lot lately. My schedule has slowed down dramatically and I have had the opportunity to spend more time with my family, including going to church with my four year-old niece.

She goes to a Catholic school. Each Wednesday morning there is a mass held where all the children attend. It is somewhere between seven to eight hundred children. Those who know me, know I was in heaven sitting there among hundreds of children worshipping God!

I was raised Catholic, so much of the service was familiar to me. Then the priest began to speak. He asked the children if it was possible to make God sad. He told them it was possible. He asked them why is God sad when we do wrong things. His answer, “Because He loves you”. Once again those who know me know I was in heaven at that point. The priest then went on to ask the children what are the things that we do that make God sad. His response, “When we don’t love one another.”

The commandment of love, spoken of in churches all over the world, whether Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Non-denominational, and the list goes on. Sitting in this Catholic church, hearing the precious Word of God, I was sitting among family and not just my niece.

One day at my own church, a woman sat next to me. She shared that she was visiting the church due to a special meeting we were holding. I suddenly felt love for her in my heart. I thought to myself, “I may never see her again, but we will forever be connected through Jesus.” She was family.

In 2008 I was blessed with a trip to Brussels. As my husband worked during the day, I walked through the streets of Brussels and visited the churches. I sat in the pews. Admired the architecture. Read my Bible and prayed. I also sat in the back at noon each day as they gathered for communion services. I watched these people take their lunchtime to go to church and partake of the Lord’s supper. I didn’t understand what they were saying, but I did understand what they were doing. I also understood that in this room I was among family.

I’m sure there were some in each of these settings that may not have joined the family yet, but I am also sure that in each of these settings there were those who had.

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name… (Luke 11:2, KJV)

Whoever says he is in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even until now. Whoever loves his brother [believer] abides (lives) in the Light, and in It or in him there is no occasion for stumbling or cause for error or sin. (1 John 2:9-10, Amplified)

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. (Psalm 133:1, Amplified)

PS… Follow this link to find out how you too can join the family of God 🙂

http://www.faithman.org/howto.htm

Endued with Power

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49, KJV)

But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you… (Acts 1:8, ASV)

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26-28, NLT)

We have been empowered and through that power we have been enabled to serve. To serve God? No. He didn’t come to be served. We are His body in the earth. We are empowered and through that power we are enabled to serve others on His behalf, in His Name.

I like that if you continue to read in Matthew 20 after Jesus makes this statement, that the very next thing you see Him do is heal the blind men. He stops when He hears them and says to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He was empowered to serve these men and they were healed.

…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38, NKJV)

Selah.

Make Me

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places. (2 Samuel 22:34, KJV)

He makes my feet like hinds’ [firm and able]; He sets me secure and confident upon the heights. (2 Samuel 22:34, Amp)

The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet likes hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places… (Habakkuk 3:19, KJV)

“The hind is a female red deer whose home is the mountains. The rear feet of the hind step in precisely the same spot where the front feet have just been. Every motion of the hind is followed through with single-focused consistency, making it the most sure-footed of all mountain animals.” (hannahscupboard.com)

Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling… (Jude 24, Amp)

There is much I could say about the above scriptures regarding how we are made to have hinds’ feet, what it means to have hinds’ feet and what are the things that cause us to stumble and fall. However, today there is just one word that I want to draw your attention to. It is the word make.

Why do so many of us (the creation) work so hard to make ourselves what we ought to be? While all the while, God (The Creator) is saying, “Let me make you and mold you. Let me lead you and guide you.”

Now may the God of peace…strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you what you ought to be… (Hebrews 13:20,21; Amplified)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalms 23:1-3, KJV)

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13, KJV)

With all these promises in His word that He will make us, He will lead us, He will work in us, why are we trying so hard to be and to do these things?

Instead of going through life like someone forging our own way through thick vegetation with a machete. Let us submit to the hand that is molding us. Let us yield to the work He is doing in us. Let us simply take the hand that is leading us. Let us let Him make us sure-footed and set us on high places.

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.