In Faith and Love; making a Difference

“We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV) A very well known and often quoted scripture. What is it really saying?

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
(John 14:21)

“On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.
(John 14:21)

How do we “keep His Word”? “Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 ESV)

All things are possible for the one who believes. (Mark 9:23b) You say you believe?
Belief is accompanied by a life style that puts feet to the words claimed and declared as truth and walks it out where talk = the walk; they are one and the same.
Where your choices truly matter and make a difference and leave impact upon your world as in reality in practice, where running the right race with passion matters.

Ask yourself “Do I believe more in who God is than who I am? “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16) What this all comes down to is at what level do you and I live in the love of God, isn’t it? God is love. The real question we need to ask ourselves is will we also “be love” or will we merely act loving? There is a difference.

Jesus asks us to love all others as we love ourselves as we read in Mark 12:31. We are “to love” as “we love ourselves”. That is the where the rubber truly meets the road in life. will we “be this”?

Faith and love are intricately woven together here. Faith and love must be equally proportioned; equally mixed. Really the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Furthermore were or are you running a good race? Who or what cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? What has perhaps sidelined you? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)

The only time faith is activated is when love is targeting your action of faith. We are called to a way of truly loving in deed and in truth. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-2 ESV)

Our decision here is very simple; “will I be the heart of God in the earth? I will leave you with that question today.

A Passionate Love Relentless

This morning a particular word comes to me and stands poised asking that I highlight it. The word is “succour” and is seldom used anymore. It is found in the word of God; depending on what translation you choose to look at to examine and obtain meaning from. There is only a 40 percent chance of this word even coming up in today’s language.

In Hebrews 2:16,17 KJV text we find this word used, where Jesus is really addressing any and all, not merely Israel;
“Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”.

“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” You need not be subjected to continual bondage.

The word “succour is usually rendered “helped”. However it carries a much stronger conveyance of God’s grace. Please stay with me here for a moment, and I shall attempt encapsulate this short and sweet.

Hebrews 2:5–18 explains why the Messiah, Jesus Christ, came in the form of a man, rather than being an angel. In order to serve as a true example, He had to experience our human suffering and temptation. By doing so, Jesus was able to become the ”Captain,” or the ”Founder,” of our salvation. His resurrection breaks the slavery we experience over our fear of death. By using more quotations from the Old Testament, the writer of Hebrews shows that this is exactly what God planned for all along. Jesus makes the darkness in our midst to literally tremble.

For some reason this morning I sense God is asking me to convey to you the emphasis of the level at which his love is reaching out to you in this day and hour. I wish to help you perhaps begin to grasp the measure of his love that. He is extending to you. Get to know who Jesus truly can be to you and with you. This nothing new. It has always been since Jesus went to the cross for you and I. It has been largely lost sight of however with many.
Let this penetrate to the core of your being. This is my prayer for you as you read on. I trust His Holy Spirit to fulfill this in your heart right now.

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV)

This is the time of His favor, right now; for such a time as this, He has heard your deepest heart’s cry, which perhaps cannot even find the words to know how to respond. He has heard you; yes, you! He hears your heart. Today, right now is the day and moment of salvation for you. What do you need delivered or rescued from? What is missing in your life? Jesus is here, right now. Just say “YES”. It is that simple. He already did it all for you and fulfilled it all at the cross. Hope is not lost. I reach out to you today in a selfless passionate loving pursuit to convey the Father’s heart. You are chosen and not forsaken. There is room in the Father’s house for you. That is my message for you today. Will you say “YES”?

A Greater Glory

I am who God says that I am, not merely who I may believe I am. Who I think I am can change and shift with the moment. “All things are possible for one who believes”. (Mark 9:23b

However belief is a lifestyle. Our daily choices and our passion matters and so does running the right race. I must believe more in who God is than in who I am. It is believing Jesus to the point that where my life becomes lost in His heart. It is there that I can let go of my ways as I simply do not find the way back to them readily. As I get lost in His love most all else has a way of growing strangely dim. I wake up in the morning and wonder what is happening to who I have been for so very long? I am overwhelmed and consumed by a presence that my mind cannot wrap itself around nor explain. I can hardly wait to sit in the presence of Jesus where I can be real and true and release any and all shame, blame or regrets because those have a way of melting away as I sense how near He truly is. This has become my story in recent days and the song in my heart. One I can’t entirely explain in words however this is what and how I choose to be. An all consuming desire to be a conduit through which His love can flow.

A love that heats up my passion that it has driven me from passivity to an all- consuming desire and compulsion to push on anything in life that can a releasing agent or catalyst of expression through which the goodness of God can flow and touch the life of another with whom my life intersects with. What brings greater joy than this? Nothing in my opinion can even begin to compare with the glory that awaits to be revealed. May you come to see that the glory of God is His goodness being made manifest. This is what we are wired for, this is God’s divine plan for each and every one of us is it not?

The Hebrew Shema which is found in Mark 12:29-31, is my premise which I begin and end each day with. In it, Jesus said is all the Law and prophets are fulfilled. Love God with all heart, mind, soul and strength and love each and every other person as I love myself. This level of love truly covers all in life. I encourage you to put it into practice daily.

You see we cannot truly have a fulfilled life apart from it. Something will always be missing. This is what our hearts truly long for. So why wait? Be the love that God is and we in his image are designed to be as well. O Lord, open the eyes of our hearts that we may truly see you high and lifted up and shining through the light of your glory; holy, holy holy! Through our lives O Lord, through our lives; may you come and may we be bearers of your glory, right where we live life, engaging life. A loving faith in relentless pursuit to multiply within each eclipsing moment with each person we meet and greet. As God is, so may we be in this world!

Living the Love by Faith

Jesus, when He went to the Cross for you and I brought Heaven down to earth, that we might experience “the all” of living, moving, and having our being fully “in Him”.

I’ve been sensing that “a new Hosanna” is coming to the Body of Christ. A new level of awareness of who Jesus is to you and I, to as many as who can receive this.

I see the King of glory coming into the atmosphere of our worship unto Him with fire and the whole earth shakes as we begin to gain a new awareness of His glory and presence, which is His goodness made manifest.

I believe that God designed us to bear this in the very life we walk out. In more ways than we may be able to conceive now.

I see a generation rising up to take their place with a selfless love. A love that begins with loving Him with all of heart, mind, soul and strength. And then loving every person we see, know and connect with, as we love ourselves.

A new Hosanna is birthing for the King of Kings and Lord of lords; Jesus. This I believe and experience rising up within my being right now. The fulfillment of vision is one of moving and walking out with every breath I take.

He was the Word at the beginning, one With God the Lord Most High, His hidden glory in creation is now revealed in Jesus our Christ. What a beautiful Name it is; the Name above all names, at which every knee on earth will one day bow in reverence and awe. What a beautiful Name it is; nothing compares to this.

He didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus brought heaven down and I can testify that my sin was great, but His love love was greater and so what could separate us now?

Death could not hold Him, the veil was torn, He silenced the boast of sin and grave, hallelujah! The heavens are roaring at the praise of His glory, for in Jesus we are raised to life again! Truly; can you fully “believe with me” and “live as” we believe this? A love so radical; this is true transformation and this and only this will shake all that can be shaken, so that only the unshakable, the eternal, shall remain and stand the test. The refiner’s fire of a love that is well beyond the comprehension of most of us, brings us to who God says that we are in Jesus. I pray that divine self revelation come to each of us now in Jesus name.

He has no rival, no equal. Now and forever, Oh God You reign.
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory, Yours is the Name, above all names; Jesus!

I say “shout unto the Lord with a voice of triumph! Glory; may we sing Allelujah unto our King! May a new Hosanna now birth forth from each, that names the Name of Jesus as Lord and King; let this resound and ring.

“The Eyes of the Heart”

In the silence of my heart I awakened this morning in a deep stillness of anticipation. It was like time was standing still in a great pause. Dawning in the skies here was yet nearly four hours away and I wondered as I wandered about this space. I was captured by a deep sense of awe in the presence of the Lord. There were no words forming in my thoughts. Only a sense that there seems to be a new “Hosanna” forming upon the lips of and stirring in the sons and daughters of the King to welcome in His presence in a new way of grand processional. I tend to be a natural worshiper and I often in recent days see myself in the band and company of those on the front line of worship assisting to bring this in. I’m just saying these are mere impressions that keep springing up. Maybe some of you have been experiencing something similar?

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1) It is time to arise indeed and I sense the call to pray a blessing over each of you right now; “may the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Yes, the Lord looks upon you with favor.

“For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
(Isaiah 60:2,3 ESV)

Yes, there is a penetrating darkness entrenched throughout parts of the earth today nearly everywhere in most places. Yet at the presence of light darkness must always give way and be dispersed. One of God’s names is “Light”. At the beginning of creation, God’s first words to be spoken, “let there be light” birthed all into existence. Jesus is declared to be the Light of the world. God’s Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path. Jesus came so that Light would fill the earth. Because of His work; the Cross, all is fulfilled. We just need to walk it out with our lives; filled with His Word, wherein every promise is activated through the testimony of our walk in this life. We overcome by the blood of Christ and through the word of our testimony. In His Promise, a Passionate Pursuit of the highest expression of our love based in His love is our Prized Possession. May we possess it most fully indeed!

“The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; (Psalm 19:8)

May “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,

Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:17-23)

And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, (2 Peter 1:19)

Open the eyes of my heart, O Lord, I want to see you in greater depth, height and breadth; seeing You high and lifted up and shining in the light of Your glory.
Pour out Your power and love as we sing holy, holy, holy are You Lord! May new sight come and be displayed.

It is in the eyes that out of which, His glory shines and emanates. I’ll likely be saying more about this in coming days. For now take these words to heart and I ask that you sit with them and then ask God a question as to what response from your heart would be most pleasing to Him now. It is that simple, but be passionate in that response and in the practice that follows.

“Believing and Being in Deed and Truth”

No man is an island. God created us as sons and daughters to always be in constant communion and to never find ourselves isolated or separated from one another. As sons and daughters of the King we “are” the church and constitute the Body of Christ. The church is not a place we simply gather at once or twice a week. A Christian that is disconnected from church does not exist in scripture. We are the church in our homes and in the market or work place as as much as we are when gathered in a place set apart for worship, word, prayer and ministry.

“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts. (Acts 2:46)
You see it was a continual and daily practice and faith levels were constantly on the rise and increasing. Jesus said “where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them”. He always sent His disciples out two by two or they were in teamed up by three or more representing Him. They were family and in family. Strength is found to be greater in numbers. They were attending to the Father’s business in continuity in their entire walk of life; continuity in practice.

“And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” (Acts 5:42)
There was no break in the continuity of their practice. What was practiced daily and in continuity? They first and foremost practiced and delivered that which had personally been received into their lives; a living faith and hope that was anchored and centered in believing God and their lives reflected such testimony to what they had seen and heard, which they did and became.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1,2 ESV)

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ encapsulated. This is what our lives are to reflect, emanate and from which things flow. In this we find our place in life and go, because we know. We know the One in whom we believe and place our full trust in.

You and I declare through our words and actions in our lives, who we believe that we are. What are the words that we are speaking actually declaring? What is our daily practice putting into action? Who do you say that you are? Who does God say that you are? “I am a child of God”. What does being “a child of God” call me to every moment of every day to “walk out”?

Who am I that the highest King Would welcome me? I was lost but He brought me in,
Oh His love for me! Who the Son sets free, oh is free indeed. I’m a child of God;
Yes, I am. Free at last.
He has ransomed me and His grace runs deep. While I was a slave to sin, Jesus died for me, yes He died for me.

Who do I say that I am? Who the Son sets free, oh is free indeed, I’m a child of God, yes I am. In my Father’s house there’s a place for me. I’m a child of God.

Daily in practice, in continuity, in consistency; I call us to be the people who God says that we are. May we allow God to truly transform us and may our lives emanate His glory (His goodness) and be radiant of His presence as a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. Shine!

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

“I am who God says that I am”, being changed in His image, moment to moment, from glory unto glory; even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The Passion of Pursuit

When I go after anything in life that compels or draws me to that which I love so very much that I can’t seemingly experience truly fulfillment without, then I have a tendency to get very overzealous and can sometimes go overboard and be relentless in my chasing after it. I can drive myself to exhaustion and depletion in the process. To some that can come across as being too intense in my expression and such intensity can make them feel uneasy at times. Is that a virtue or a vice? Well it depends on how you may choose to look at it.

I guess I am wired to passionately pursue on purpose with what moves me. If it doesn’t move me it is because it has not “caught” my attention. It must catch my attention in order to capture my heart. If my heart is not in it then you won’t find me there most likely, at least not for long. So why do I seem to be wired as such? I sense it because I cannot sit still with what moves me to chase after what stirs inside of me, to merge with the essence and nitty-gritty of who I am. I have to merge and become one with what is likened to the nature of what is most alive within me.

It becomes almost like an obsession with me at times. However what ends up stopping me in life in most cases? It is in being patient with the process in which all of this involves. I may want what I want and want it now and when doors do not seem to open fast enough, I can become given to formulate and begin to “work” self generated agendas to “make it happen” rather than patiently pursuing the process. May I propose an example from the Word of God?

In 2 Kings 9 we find the account of the anointing of Jehu as king over Israel. You might want to go and read that. Here was a man on a mission where nothing would stop him. “And the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.”(2 Kings 9:20) We see pictured the idea of driving, transferred from driving horses harnessed to a chariot, to driving a motor vehicle. How is your driving in life? Are you driven? By what? Jehu was a famously fierce soldier whose chariot-driving followed his temperament. What constitutes one’s temperament?

What drives you in life? Are you passionate or merely passive? Where does passion begin and where does it end and how does this participate with the process of discovering true and lasting fulfillment?

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
(Hebrews 10:22 ESV)

What catches your attention in life? What thus captures your heart and consumes your energy? Or do you just seem to want to be passive and take life as it comes at or to you, you know; easy come and easy go? Easy with little go, tends to equate to little or no flow. Life is meant to be in reciprocal motion, is it not? Give and take; a harmonic balance. Then you must “go” for and “with’ that which you seek to know or experience and make your own in life.

You have truth within, that which God has spoken into existence. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3) Be set apart through truth for his Word is truth. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Draw near to what catches, captures and compels you to move toward making it part of who you are. Align all within the context of God’s Word; written and spoken into you. Fully assure yourself in believing God, taking him at his word concerning what He says of you and of who you are. Strengthen and encourage yourself in the Lord. Ask him the questions that you need to ask; ones in which their answer will require you to take action; to take a step. Don’t wait for God or someone to do it “for you”, because God is waiting for “you” to respond to Him posed in what surrounds you and makes up what is your’s to occupy. At the Cross, Jesus sacrificed his all, his life to provide everything for you now at every level. Have you received his ultimate gift? Occupy that which He has deposited within you and thus is being reflected around you.

Draw near, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. What are you waiting for? Passionately pursue on purpose, that which is ready to propel you to “participate” in life. I invite you now to put it fully into practice.