The Integral Weave of Love

Are you and I consistent in the manner in which we choose to conduct our lives? How we choose to live, move and have our being will most definitely chart out a course that determines what we display in the way of character that indeed touches every life our life touches. What goes out from within us indeed does come back around to greet us, does it not when all is said and done. Consider the gravity of such a statement and the impact it has upon the very world in which you and I conduct life.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. As the love of God and His goodness envelopes and encompasses one’s heart truly then as “captured and consumed” are we in His holy drawing embrace and all that is not in alignment “with” is “imprisoned”. A prisoner of the Lord being a most blessed place indeed is one of a freedom unknown truly to many today.

In God, all are called; “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)
How are you and I responding to this call or are we responding at all? To gather together in the presence of God in worship, word and for the building up and edification of one another in our most holy faith can shift our very lives in that time together, however if when we come out of assembly what does it profit if we go right back to our comfortable, convenient and familiar way of life that we are so accustomed to maintaining which may the “same ole same” repeated over daily from sunrise to sunset Monday through Friday? What will that instill into our home, community, city and surrounding territory of our lives?

The church does not consist merely of what takes place within the walls of a building or facility during given hours of the week. It is to be the catalyst for setting the atmosphere of our neighborhood, our work place, the market place, the business place and civic center for social climate nurturing.

For anyone who hears the Word of God but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, and after observing himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like, according to James 1:23-24. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer, will be “blessed in what he does”. Are we being effective men and women of integrity and purpose whose lives honor God and one another? We are to bear the presence of God and naturally this is meant to be cultivated and multiplied repeatedly through the course of our lives.

Are we living to love and thus fully loving life to it’s fullest in our living? Why not? Jesus reminds us; “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.”
In thus we fulfill the royal law. “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; (Psalm 19:7)

God’s plan for living to love does make wise the very simple basics that keeps life integral, intact, flowing and honors Him and every one of His sons and daughters. This is sure, true, tried and tested. So why does it seem to be not enough for some? Why go wanting and looking for more when all of the highest fulfillment is discovered within, right in front of our eyes. May we choose to love, always, every time.

“To fully love is to Know”

“It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

This is my prayer for you all this morning as it was with the apostle Paul for the church at Philippi. Over the last couple days I have experienced such an overwhelming sense of being consumed and enveloped within the love Jesus has for you and I; His bride. Yesterday there seemed to be too much before me, being held in my heart to even put into words and therefore I was somewhat restrained from writing yesterday. Confession is good for the soul it has been said, so I’m simply being very transparent here. What can I say and what can I do when overwhelmed as such in the presence of my Saviour? Oh, how He desires that we come into a fullness in knowing Him. Oh how He loves us!

I sense that I experience somewhat like Paul, a thorn that prevails in my flesh to this day. I still experience incomphensible limitations from time to time in my body that come and go even though I am walking in absolute belief and trust that I am fully healed from nearly a decade of chronic illness that taught me and instilled within a grace and strength that I could not have gained any other way other than to go through the pain and suffering that I have and the periods where my faith and believing in God was seemingly pushing the envelope of what I thought I could bear.

The grace of God carried and brought me through it all and continues to do. I believe all of this has and had to be so that I would not become too confident upon my own strength and understanding. This has away of instilling a wisdom beyond one’s years. I do not boast here on behalf of my self at all; please understand that to God, I ascribe all the honor and glory.

What is required of me, I recently asked? The answer came right away and it was “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8 ESV) This He has shown me indeed.

Open the eyes of my heart O Lord, even more, that the eyes of my understanding are ever being enlightened, more and more with each passing moment. This is my heart’s cry. To be holy and blameless before him in His love, beyond human understanding, to go the extra measure, predestined for adoption to the Father as a child of God through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace.

This he has blessed us within the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight.

Through such God has been making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. This is what the Cross fulfills for you and I. It is all done by Jesus for us at the Cross. The only that remains is for us to walk it out in loving faith; will you believe God?

I close this writing out this morning with the following prayer for the body of Christ; “may your love be built up in your most holy faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, increasing more and more unto perfection in Him towards the moment of his return.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.

May the eyes of your hearts be 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.

Jesus, being 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; shall have all things under his feet and be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. All to the glory of God the Father though His so Jesus Christ, and Yes to every Amen, may you and I reflect such in Jesus’ name”. Keep yourselves in the love of God and “be this” in all you do and with all you meet in the way of this adventure called life. It is a priceless gift; don’t ever take it for granted and allow it to just be spent and waste away. Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt. I love you and may you have a blessed day my friends.

No Greater Love

I find myself in recent days asking the question, “how can I justify thinking of any other human being as an enemy?” I can’t really. Being created in the image of God my character aught to by all means aspire to align with His should it not? I may not “like” certain people due to their actions that they may reflect, however there is no justifiable cause for me not to “love them”. Yet the love that God has for each and everyone that walks the earth, is certainly beyond comprehension of the human mind.

John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This surely means that God is loving all and offering all eternal life without exception or condition. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1 ESV). Note that the Father clearly states we “should be called children of God and so we are”. Some just do not know it yet.

What does it means for the pure love of God to flow out through the heart without imposing conditions upon it’s expression?

Let us consider Jesus’ example; that which led him to and through the Cross for you and I. “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
(Philippians 2:1,2 ESV) I am to be of the same mind as He; following in His footsteps, am I not?

I must therefore purpose to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than myself. Not looking only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others. Having this mind, which is mine in Christ Jesus; I consider Him, keeping my gaze fixed upon Him, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

He was found to be in human form, humbling himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 ESV)
Walking in this level of humility is not easy by any means due to our human nature; a heart that is effected by sin; yet is not Jesus sufficient and does not His love cover all? He most certainly is and does. Then it comes down to the surrender of our own will unto His, doesn’t it?

This changes everything does it not? Why I choose to do what I do with this life that God has given me addresses a reordering of my priorities. This is mind blowing for most of us is it not? Yet to what do i affix my passion in life? What to I choose to give myself over to?

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31 ESV). What shall we say to such? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, nothing separates us.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:37-39 ESV)

So my highest goal in life in all things and in every circumstance must be to “love as He loves”. To this I aspire and count the cost of bearing my own cross and taking up His. It comes down to a reckoning of will does it not and this is walking out my divine story and what truly is more fulfilling than this?

“Walking Truly in Love”

What does it mean to walk in love in the truest sense? This has been on my heart the last couple of days so I’m feeling it is time to take a look at this today.

“I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” (2 John 4-6 ESV)

We are to love one another in deed and truth. So this implies steps of action on our part and and a sense of basis and foundation for those steps. May we live and walk with the basis for our motives and intentions being centered in what God has to say about us and consequently how we are to walk out our daily lives. May we not only love in this truth but know that the truth of what God has to say is fully alive and activated within us every moment. May grace mercy and truth prevail within us and may we abide in the teachings of Jesus and in the examples He left with us.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
(Ephesians 4:1-6)

As we bear with one another we are to share in or help carry the load of one another’s burdens thus encompassing the law of Christ, which is fulfilling the royal law of love which we are to as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to fulfill in order to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (2 Peter 2:9 ESV)

Let us not go looking for or being drawn to focus on the differences that tend to separate us or on what seems to be wrong or not going so well in our life.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
(Philippians 4:8, ESV)

May we be eager to seek out that which unites us and brings a wholesomeness to our relationships in life. In a humble and gentle spirit may we patiently overlook, work though and endure our differences in opinions, preferences, culture, etc. This is the beginning of developing and cultivating a lifestyle that is Christ honoring and fulfilling.

What was Jesus’ great priestly prayer for each of us? Was it not to declare the following; “these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

May we all be one, just as the, Father, is in Jesus, and He in us, that we also may be in Him, so that the world may believe that He has been sent and come from the Father. The glory that the Father gave Him, that we may be one even as we The Father and Jesus are one, He in us and us in Him, that we may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that He sent us forth and loves us even as He loves the Father.

May the goodness of God be clearly seen and genuinely displayed in the lives we live and as we walk them out. Let us as sons and daughters of God, be a people set apart for His glory and as we do so, be changed into the same from glory unto glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Is this not truly being “in love” and living to live, to love?

“Divine Provision properly Proportioned”

Is there a hunger in your spirit for the things of God?

I recall when the Word of the Lord came to Elijah. “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”

“So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. There come seasons where we must wait upon God, seek His face and He will speak and then we submit to his process as He gently leads us on to our next step.

Then comes specific times of pouring out. “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
(Acts 2:17)

Then there is the account of Elijah and the widow’s oil.
“Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” (2 Kings 4:1,2)

Are you perhaps holding inside you a portion that God gave you to in order to be poured back out?

Elijah asks the widow; “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”
Receiving and Releasing

There are seasons of being filled up of God. What about that little jar of oil? What is in your hand? There comes time to start pouring that out. There is a river. Rivers flow. Waters that do not move become stagnant such as The Dead Sea. Life is meant to be in reciprocal motion.

Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Did not Jesus say that it is better to give than to receive?

Spare not; and give away in abundance when it is your hand to do so. Why do we sometimes feel inclined to hang onto and hoard? Is it not because we feel our supply may run out? So giving place to fear or remaining in the right of the need to know the outcome can become our choice. Let the left hand not know what the right hand is doing. God’s business is in his capable hands. Why is there a tendency want to work the hand of God? Out of His love He so freely gives us all things that we truly have need of. Be as the sparrow.

Perhaps we move beyond being able to trust God? When all things are freely given at His hand, why may we be inclined to hold onto what is not ours to retain? When we let of what is physically tangible then we make room for more new to come in. Are you perhaps poised in stagnant waters?

Then Elijah proceeded to say to the widow; “go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.”

Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” ( 2 Kings 4: 4-7)

Abundant provision is commensurate with liberal pouring back out into perhaps awaiting provision that God has placed within you to be given away. The gift that keeps on giving, they say. That gift you are.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

The oil of God’s Holy Spirit is in abundant supply and shall never run dry. Freely have we received, so freely may we give.

“What is Life”?

What is life? Is it not as a vapor that appears for a short time only to vanish away?

Here but for only as a moment, as man measures time. Do we not get stuck in and hung up on the temporal? I conclude that most of us do so to some extent.

That extent can become the measuring rod for what we call life; and can end up defining life for us. However, God is Eternal in nature. He states that we are created in His likeness.

Why do we not see through His eyes of Eternal perspective naturally? Is it simply because we do not allow ourselves to be truly born again by His Spirit; born of both water and Spirit?

I seemed to have lost the ability to think in complexity or detail. I must keep all my thinking quite basic and simple or I get lost in process of life and can not arrive at a place of making a decision for a next step. I wait and pray. I have pondered what to write. I have waited for a deeper message from God. There seems to be no deeper message than the simple Gospel; which is my conclusion.

Why has much of the world made life so complex? Simple and basic seem to hold little value for many in this day. Does one have to muster up an expression of uniqueness to be heard, seen or acknowledged as someone having something of value to offer to their world? Why does that matter so much? We forget so readily that “in Christ” we all hold the same intrinsic value. Is Jesus’ sacrificial work on the Cross no longer enough that we readily dismiss it to assume way of making a life for our self that is self centered or inward focus oriented? Why allow someone else to define who I am? I am who God says that I am.

Contemporary thinking seems to elude my understanding at times. Is it possible to lose one’s mind’s ability to function in contemporary conventionality? Yes, I conclude; sometimes this may be so. Is that a good thing? It depends on the reason for the question. Sometimes God’s call eludes our defining of it.

What happens when my thinking no longer meshes with what comprises the here and now that I see with my eyes and how I feel about such? It is then when the surrounding becomes so overwhelming that I simply must close my eyes and sit in silence. It is then when there is nothing to do but be still and then the Words of God can become so very clear.

As I listen now to old Gospel songs and hymns their message is so clear, concise, and to the point. Yet the world has moved on in the greater sense. The message of such music composition no longer deliverers to the soul of many it’s original message. Why is this? These lyrics are ever so clear that I wonder how can anyone miss their message? Why do we always have to seek some new thing? Sometimes I gloss over in what becomes too familiar. It loses meaning. I sense that the church has been infiltrated by and for the greater sense, a religious spirit. Has such pervaded our thinking over many years of time and rocked us to sleep unto the Eternal perspective that should by nature, direct in the spirit of a child of God?

Heaven calls to me in this moment more than ever and it is not a place one goes to. Heaven can be already present if one is “in Christ”. Heaven can be, I believe a state of being and not necessarily a destination. Jesus’ work on the Cross is full and complete and lacking nothing. Heaven must be introduced into wherever we are in life and into whatever place we may find ourselves in. Yet “there” conflict can arise.

Why does so much of the world find itself so far from what God defines as Heaven? Heaven feels so natural to me at this moment and it is as though now it beckons me to come and merge. The Spirit and the bride do say “come” indeed.

What happens when one dies to this world in order to embrace “Heaven” that God’s Word addresses? Is this “going home? Is there “a letting go” process so that one may return “home”? The functionality of the mind can pose many questions when it’s integrity becomes compromised; be it due to disease or the need to be transformed rather than continuing to conform. Then walking by the Spirit is the only way through. Therein one comes into the peace that passes all understanding when it feels like I’m losing all then becomes one of “gaining all” as in the Presence of the Lord is true liberty discovered.

If one is truly born again from above or “in Christ” they are Eternal in spirit and never really die. They merely leave the body at some point. To leave an aging and suffering body’s constraints is immense relief is it not? So why is so much effort spent to “achieve” the worldly goods within this life? Why can’t we be and remain in a perspective of Eternity in walking out life; where a sense of nothingness can be engulfed in a fullness? When death is arrested then one is truly free. He who the Son sets free is free indeed.

Life begins in the Presence of Jesus and there all else gains reason to matter and remain. In Him all is made new. So then, what holds significance and preeminence with you and I?

I hope that what I have stated here today amidst my questionings, applies in some way. It is the first prompting I have received to resume writing. I hope to continue as long as have capacity within me to express what I sense is being asked of me; a day at a time.

“Behold a Great Mystery”

What perhaps is the greatest mystery to us in relationships?
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In the creation story taken out of Genesis 1 we pick up at verse 26 where it was declared “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. So as we look into the face of another we are beholding the very image of God or if not then what? Contemplate this, and then ask yourself why it might be that we could perceive otherwise? There are perhaps two elements at work in opposition to one another; one temporal and the other Eternal? One being flesh and blood, the other Spirit. When a marriage breaks up it seems this likely begins with the couple failing to recognize one another being the express image of God to one another. Did the marriage commence from being based on such expressed image or did they simply marry one another’s attracting qualities? It is so imperative to be in love with Jesus first and foremost before you can truly love another person fully and behold in their face the face of your First Love. May you and I choose Eternity over the temporal in every decision in life especially when it comes to relationships.

At the cross Jesus restored God’s original creation plan in full. We simply have to believe and act upon it fully with our lives. Such transformation is the next move of God through those who will act in belief and trust. “A remnant that becomes pregnant with the Promise”. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
(1 Corinthians 15:45-49) Be the express image of that which we truly and fully are!

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over all His creation. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” And now God sees the same that He always has since the Cross. May we take on the same Eternal sight and perspective. Being fully in the image in which you were created is a sight to behold and to set one’s sight on.

“This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32) ESV)