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”?

“Oceans and Rivers Abound”

For freedom Christ has set us free to liberate you and me. He who the son sets free is free indeed.

Deep inside there is stirring; a current and a tide arising.

Overflowing from the throne of God, heaven surrounds my earthly gait and for what do I wait?

There is a fountain of joy that drowns out the sorrows of yesterday. There is an ocean deeper than any and all fear.

Rivers of living water bursting forth from the former dry and desert places. Up from the ground, I come alive in the river of His love.

“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”
(Revelation 22:17 ESV)

“Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers. Others We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you.”
(Song of Solomon 1:4 ESV)

God will give me my heart’s desire as long as I continue to live for and delight myself in Him (Psalm 37:4). My eyes are fixed on Jesus. My faith is strong. My heart’s full. And, my heart’s wide open too.

The invitation is open to whosoever will say “YES” and follow after the One whose name is above all names; Jesus. Come if you will.

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?

“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.

“An invitation to Participation and Practice”

Something is stirring in the spiritual atmosphere around me. I particularily noticed it beginning yesterday. As I went to the grocery store yesterday I could sense each person around me in a new way. God is moving in something new and fresh that I sense none of us have ever seen. It is like a holy moment or pause where it seems like time is standing still so we may be particularily aware. The next move of God always begins deep with us. Are we paying attention? Please do not dismiss these summer months as just another season to enjoy; I am sensing that this time holds special significance in God’s plan unfolding now in the earth.

I am pondering this morning some surreal truth in this picture. I found myself saying that “every” moment is “a holy moment” truly. Yes, the holiness of God’s presence can seem to have a pronounced effect at given times and seasons however is that not due to our perception and level of awareness varying? He is unchangeable; yesterday, today and forever.

“But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15,16)
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3,4)

So what is my conclusion in this matter? Why not make the following a guide for a prayer of our heart to always carry before us; “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12) As long as we are willing we have His promise to uphold us. It goes back to our level of passion doesn’t it? What do I love the most in life? Then I must give that my all and best in participation and practice.
Will you join me in believing God for the very best in us to be brought forward and to manifest where we live?

“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.