Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
With all our heart, soul, and mind.... that includes every single part of our being. Love for God must be from the seat of our very being, and what drives us.... all our emotion, will, thoughts and desires - it leaves nothing out. There is not one part of us that is not to be given to the love of God. Not one part of our being is to replace God with anything else or put anything else above Him. This is impossible in the flesh. It is only possible as one who is born again - regenerated by the Holy Spirit, allows the self-filled, self-absorbed nature to be, by faith, crucified with Christ, walking in that which He has accomplished for us, and learns to walk in faith in that perfect love and resurrection power of Christ Himself to perform it in us. He Himself is love, and He Himself, alone, can be love in us as He fills us. As self-love is exposed by His Spirit, and crucified, God's love fills our hearts and works in us to love our neighbor as if he were ourselves.
Rom 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy, shrinking from evil, cleaving to good;
Rom 12:10 in brotherly love to one another, loving fervently, having led one another in honor.
Love can be pretentious.... outward appearance of it without a genuine love of the heart. It may be for selfish reasons.... what will this person give me or do for me? We may pretend to go through the motions of loving our brother when in fact, that love of God is not in our hearts. In order to have love without pretension, we must go before God and ask Him to expose all hypocrisy and motivations of self-glory, self-ambition, self-deceit, self-love, self-righteousness etc. What's false must be exposed and taken to the cross before the true can fill us. Only God by His Spirit can expose it. We must not go through the hypocrisy of thinking we are examining our hearts if it is only self-introspection, but must come before His true light and let His Spirit expose our flesh. Our flesh is too deceitful for us to ever understand or see it ourselves.
Do we do for another just what we feel obligation to do? Or do we do all that love would compel us to do for them and towards them? You see, true love is the energy and power to go the whole way. It wonít let us settle for less. But without it, we only do what our legalistic mind would require, no more. Do we justify ourselves that we have acted in love when we went through some outward performance of a kind act, or do we go the second mile with them because love compels us to not give up but to do our utmost and is not satisfied until true love has accomplished its goal, no matter what the personal cost? Do we have a legalistic idea of performing "acts of love" as our duty, or does love from the heart drive us to not give up until we have won that person for Christ, or until we are sure an offended brother is won back, even if it means denying ourselves and our own way?
People can always feel the difference between genuine love and pretensions of love. The Christian should not feel he is fooling anyone with pretensions of love except himself. He justifies himself by thinking that he has obeyed God's law of love when in fact he is full of self-justification and far from it. He is self-deceived by his own pretentious love, which he is blinded to.
Love cannot rule our hearts and minds until we are free of the love of self and all self-defense. Self-love in its many manifestations is opposed to this love of God as one can easily see when reading 1 Cor. 13. Please carefully consider every word and compare with your own hearts in how you believe you have loved another.
1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
1Co 13:2 And though I have prophecies, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so as to move mountains, and do not have charity, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3 And though I give out all my goods to feed the poor, and though I deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, I am profited nothing.
1Co 13:4 Charity has patience, is kind; charity is not envious, is not vain, is not puffed up;
1Co 13:5 does not behave indecently, does not seek her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil.
1Co 13:6 Charity does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth,
1Co 13:7 quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will be abolished; if tongues, they shall cease; if knowledge, it will be abolished.
Have we satisfied love, or have we satisfied self? What lie are we hiding in our hearts if we turn away from a brother or sister we have offended, or who has offended us, and justify ourselves in saying we have done our part and are righteous before God? If there continues to be hurts, divisions, whisperings in the body, and underlying bitterness, has the love for God with the whole mind, heart, and soul, and to our neighbor been truly acted on without hypocrisy? Or have we only acted towards self-satisfaction? Have we tried to keep from exposing our brothers and sisters from open shame, or have we actually exposed them to open shame and caused suspicion in others instead of trying to scripturally bring restoration, healing of wrongs, or correction. (Matt. 18: 15 ďMoreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that Ďby the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.í 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.)
If we hide hypocrisy in our hearts and pretentions of love we walk in darkness and are blind, John says. We deceive ourselves. No outward performance then of "obedience" will be pleasing to God. He says, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice". Let us come to Him with broken hearts into His light, truthfully, letting Him expose all the areas of our lack of love, and our flesh, and let the power of His cross deal with it in truth, and asking Him to fill us with true love that is His love, and let that love compel us to do what His very heart and mind would have us to do and accept nothing less.
If you take these words of Christ seriously, please meditate on this scripture and ask the Lord to humble your heart and search it and see if you are truly acting in love toward your brother or sister, and if you truly "think" thoughts of love toward your brother or sister, and if your mind is set on speaking words of love about and to your brother and sister in Christ, and your neighbor, showing that you seek only their good.
Jam 3:1 My brothers, do not be many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Jam 3:2 For in many things we all offend. If anyone does not offend in word, the same is a full-grown man, able also to bridle the whole body.
Jam 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, so that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body.
Jam 3:4 Behold also the ships being so great, and driven by fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small rudder, where the impulse of him steering desires.
Jam 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. Behold how little a fire kindles how large a forest!
Jam 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. So the tongue is set among our members, spotting all the body and inflaming the course of nature, and being inflamed by hell.
Jam 3:7 For every kind of animals, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of sea-animals, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.
Jam 3:8 But no one can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Jam 3:9 By this we bless God, even the Father. And by this we curse men, who have come into being according to the image of God.
Jam 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Jam 3:11 Does a fountain send forth at the same hole the sweet and the bitter?
Jam 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brothers, bear olive berries; or a vine, figs? So no fountain can yield both salt water and fresh.
Jam 3:13 Who is wise and knowing among you? Let him show his works by his good conduct with meekness of wisdom.
Jam 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and strife in your hearts, do not glory and lie against the truth.
Jam 3:15 This is not the wisdom coming down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jam 3:16 For where envying and strife are, there is confusion and every foul deed.
Jam 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first truly pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Jam 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
May the Lord open our hearts and minds to receive His Word. Amen!
The Wisdom Of Men Or The Power Of God
1Co 2:5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1Co 2:5 - (Clarke) That your faith should not stand - That the illumination of your souls and your conversion to God might appear to have nothing human in it: your belief, therefore, of the truths which have been proposed to you is founded, not in human wisdom, but in Divine power: human wisdom was not employed; and human power, if it had been employed, could not have produced the change.
Can any conversion of the soul stand before God other than one that is by His Divine power alone? How many today have come to Christ by human wisdom, entertainment, manipulation, etc. But it is all to nothing if it is not by the Divine power of God, worked in the heart by His Spirit alone as one receives His true Word of salvation which convicts the heart of sin, and cleanses it from that sin by the power of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.
1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The word of the cross is never going to be popular, and it will never make one comfortable. If it did it could not save. It is not comfortable ever, to see oneself in God's light, as a sinner in need of salvation. But without this, one can never receive that power to save that comes from that same light.
Joh 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Joh 3:21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God."
How often is the Power of God exchanged for the wisdom of men? How often do we allow that in our own lives? Who is the person we look to as our teacher? Is it too difficult to come before God to seek Him alone and humble yourself before Him, seeking His wisdom, His will, and surrendering to Him in faith that He will work in you and through you in the power of His Spirit?
His Wisdom is revealed to us in His Word. His Word is revealed to us by His Spirit to all who come to him in humility and faith, seeking Him alone, with no hidden agenda. It is not in elaborate churches, or programs, or high profile leaders. It is not in movements, subjective experiences, or new philosophies, or mysticism. His power comes into our lives as we humbly come to Him in faith, seeing that we are nothing before Him and in need of His salvation. When His power comes into our lives it produces a true regeneration of the heart and mind. We become a new creation.
2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
God Himself, and no man, makes us a new creation. It is never a work of the flesh. It is a new birth in our spirit by His Spirit. This new creation only happens as we are put "in Christ", which He alone can do.
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
One cannot live the Christian life just born of the flesh, with human religion, philosopy, no matter how it improves their lives or makes them feel.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Flesh is always flesh and can never produce spirit. The Spirit always produces true spiritual life. No spiritual life can come out of anything other than His life. Flesh can look like spiritual life. It can mimic it to a certain degree. It can be very religious, and can be a faithful church goer. It can do good deeds, and can even have many religious experiences, and even do acts in Jesus name that look like the Spirit, but only what is truly of His Spirit by faith in that one person of Jesus Christ, Who lived on earth in the form of man, died for our sins, and rose again, and Who comes to live in the hearts of those Who humbly submit to Him, will produce true spiritual life that is everlasting. Nothing else will ever stand before the Lord. This true Spirit - given life is revealed to us in His Word.
No, your faith will not stand unless it stands in the true Word of God. It will not stand before God when one day you face Him. It will not stand if it is in some subjective experience you once had. It will not stand if it is based on a well-known teacher or book. It will only stand if it stands on the truth of His Word. The power of man will come to nothing. It will fail. All boasting in anything other than Jesus Christ will fail.
1Co 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
1Co 1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
1Co 1:29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
1Co 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
1Co 1:31 Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
God has brought His life changing Word to us, whereby He reveals Himself to us. Many try to change it, improve upon it, or do away with it. But they cannot ever do away with it because it is from Heaven and eternal. If we ignore it, and turn to another, can we ever hope then to receive the life changing, life giving power that comes with that Word? In our "wisdom," will we choose a different path? One more suitable to all? One more palatable? Shall we treat God's Holy Word as though it were mere "literature" for us to read and put away and then go about searching for human wisdom in this world to live by? Many sadly do who profess His name.
If we live by that Word, trusting in it, and find it our daily bread, our counsel, our source of life, our strength, our wisdom... we shall never be disappointed. We may be persecuted, crushed, pressed, despised, forsaken of man, but we will never be forsaken of God. We will have a life that no man can take from us and that will last for eternity. We will have a power in our souls that is real and overcomes the world. We will stand. We will know the God Who created the universe and us, in an intimacy that no philosophy or human experience can duplicate. We will experience in truth, His everlasting love and presence in our lives.
Many in these last days refuse to love the truth. They instead make their own. But there is no other truth and all that refuse His truth will find nothing but delusion. There is a great danger in creating your own Jesus!
2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
2Th 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
All else will one day come to an end in this world and judgement. But His life is eternal and lasts forever. We can count on it! He will never fail us!
KNOWING AND LOVING GOD
1 Corinthians 8:3: "But if any one loves God, he has been known of Him." (MKJV)
To "know God" is to love God. And to love God is to be known by Him. It is in contrast to loving self which puts ourselves above God, His holiness, His love for the world, and love for others. To love God is to love the sinner. To love God is to love our brother. Loving Him means loving all He is and all He wills, and all He loves. It also means to hate all things He hates, and to take His side against them.
Love is a loose term that is easily thrown about these days. It is used when one is talking of lust, desire, selfish pursuit of friendship or the opposite sex, warm feelings, etc. Many times when a person says, "I love you", he really means, "I need you to make me feel loved and good about myself", or "I desire you".
Many times, even as Christians, this is the kind of love we have for God, until God reveals in us this counterfeit of real love and convicts us of our lack of truly loving Him. It is a selfish pursuit of a being that we think can fulfill us and make our lives better in some way. He can fulfill our needs for "godhood" in our own lives - making us more powerful, self-sufficient, wealthy, healthy, or whatever. Or perhaps your pursuit is just to be loved. You don't care so much about all the material things of this world but you came to God to just be loved. Whatever the reason we come to Him, if it is not fulfilled as we expected, we become angry at God and feel disillusioned because of our expectations of God which were false, were not met. Our pursuit is not bringing us to where we want to be and God seems far away.
God indeed loves you. But until we are free of our self-centered pursuit of "all I think I need to feel happy and fulfilled and loved" from God, we will never truly know His love or Him. When we come to God just because He's God, to know Him for Who He is, and to trust Him because of Who He is, no matter what comes to our lives, no matter what in this life we lose, no matter what we have or don't have, but just to trust Him with all our hearts because He is God and is all He says He is; when we give up and come to the end of our own pursuits, and repent of our sin against a perfect holy God, then we can truly learn to love God. If you believe in a man-made image of God, rather than the one true God revealed through Jesus Christ, then you cannot truly love God.
The only way to truly love God, is to bring every preconceived idea of Christ, and personal pursuit to the cross and lay it at His feet - every ambition and agenda. Just come to Him because He's God. Learn Who He is by reading His Word - His revealed truth to us, so that we can know of Him. Don't lean on your own understanding of preconceived ideas of Who God is or what God should do for you, but just learn of Him, with a humble heart, asking Him to reveal Himself. It is in knowing God that our love for Him grows. We cannot know Him if we do not go to the only place He has revealed Himself to us --that is His Word. There He tells us of His goodness, His sovereignty, His faithfulness, His love, His judgment, His mercy, His perfect holiness and righteousness. There He tells us of Jesus, Who gave Himself up for us, demonstrating what true love is for God first, and to man. We cannot know Him without His Spirit indwelling us and revealing Him.
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard," nor has it entered into the heart of man, "the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
1Co 2:10 But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1Co 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
Can we love God if we join with those who hate Him? Can we love God if we join in unity with others who misrepresent Him and His sacrifice on the cross for sin? Can we truly love God if we change His gospel to one that is false and allows people to remain in their sin and miss His salvation for eternity? Can we love God if we join with and excuse those who pervert His Word of truth and water down His message? Can we love God if we don't love our brother, truly, and care for his eternal soul just as Jesus did?
We can only love God if we know Him in truth as He has revealed Himself to us, if we love His will and hate what He hates. This is loving God.
What loving God is not, is having warm feelings of high emotion and getting excited at a church service where nice songs are sung that make us feel good, yet going on in our selfishness, even our religious selfishness. We may think we love God when He is blessing us and all is well, and we feel good about church and friends and family. When we go on seeking to be "blessed" or have some special experience from God, yet fail to reach out in love to our neighbor, are we loving God or self?
What about when you must choose to stand against something God is grieved by, when it means going against what your church is doing, and losing your reputation, or what your friends are doing, or even perhaps losing a job? Will you stand on God's side, or will you compromise? Will you love God, or your comfortable life? What about loving God when like Job, everything in life is taken from you -- your health, your possessions, your family and friends? What about when you don't understand God? What about when it even looks like He's forgotten you?
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Loving God means walking with God where He takes you. It means trusting His hand in your life, even His chastisement, because He is God and He is all He says He is: perfect love, perfect holiness, perfect righteousness. He will always be true to His character. We can count on it! It means going where He leads you, even if it is not where you want to go. It means, at times, suffering for the sake of His love, or for someone else's well-being or salvation. It means, just as Jesus demonstrated, to lay down your life for another.
John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus demonstrated, that to love meant to go all the way that love would take you in order to fulfill it -- to lay down your life.
This is so opposite to what the world views as love. To the world, to love is to have the right to fulfill all your lust without restraint. This brings nothing but death and destruction and ruins lives. It is a counterfeit of the love God intended us to live in and to live by. It is a lust for love that can never be fulfilled because selfishness never finds fulfillment and rest. It always hungers and is never satisfied.
Loving God was demonstrated perfectly in the life of Jesus. If we want to truly love God, then there is no other way to do so than through Jesus life, lived in us, and through us. There is nothing in our unregenerate hearts but self-love. Self-love must be cast out and God's love must come in. This is only possible through a repentance of self, and being born again, of His Spirit. It is by His Spirit of love indwelling us that we have God's love and learn to know Him and love Him and are loved by Him and known by Him.
1Jo 4:8 The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
1Jo 4:9 In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.
1Jo 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.
1Jo 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1Jo 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.
1Jo 4:13 By this we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
1Jo 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
To love God is something we cannot do in ourselves. It is by faith receiving His love first. It is only then, as by faith we give ourselves up to that love. First we must see our lack of love and confess it before Him.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
To desire God is a start. It is His Spirit drawing us. That's why we desire Him. But to desire Him alone is not loving Him. It is by desiring Him that we come to Him to receive that love and learn to walk in it. Don't stop at desiring God! Pursue love! It's in this that you will truly know Him. Ask Him to reveal all in your heart that is self-love masquerading as love and to reveal Himself to you in all that He is, and to tear down in your heart every counterfeit that may be there, in your perception of Him.
God is faithful, and He will do it, as you give yourself, unreservedly to Him, and search His Word in humility, to know Him and love Him. To truly desire God is to desire Him in truth, searching Him to know all that He is.
1 Peter 5:5b....."for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."
In knowing Him, and loving Him, we are also known of Him. There are many who claim to know Him and do works in His name. But do they truly love God and know Him?
Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!
Donít be content to settle with anything less than to truly know and love God! Donít be deceived, and donít settle for a counterfeit.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Nothing Shall Separate Us!
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What a life we have in Christ! What are God's promises to us in this life? Just what are we to expect? Does He promise us everything will go well, we'll have good health always, and that we will never face evil in this world?
Many Christians seem to believe that is the case and that if they do not find it to be the case in their life, than somehow God has failed them. He did not keep His "promises". Do they know what the promises of God are?
He never promises we will not suffer. In fact He states clearly that we will suffer tribulation in this world. As He tells us this, He also tells us to "be of good cheer. He has overcome the world." He tells us in this world we won't have peace. But in Him we will have peace. He never tells us we won't be wronged, hated, and suffer injustice. In fact He tells us we can count on it. He never tells us that we can expect happiness and security in this world. But He tells us --
Mat 19:29 "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. " Our inheritance is not in this world but with Him. That one is a sure thing that cannot be robbed, broken into, or corrupted! (1 Peter 1:4)
Why should we have to forsake anything for Christ? Because we are not of this world. When we join in union with Christ by being born of His Spirit, we join Him in His death to this world, our life here, our sin, and we are resurrected to a new life unto Him, and by His Spirit. We are no longer citizens of this world but of Heaven. This world follows its prince - satan. They get their philosophies, rules, morals, etc., not from God or God's Word, but from satan, whether they realize it or not.
(LITV) Philippians 3:20 "For our citizenship is in Heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ"
We can be sure that He gives us all we need for living in this world without being a part of it. We are told to not be overcome by the world but to overcome it. In other words - do not let the evil, or corruption, or lusts, or lures of this world overcome us in any way. Do not be enslaved to it in any way. Do not let the evil done to you or the lack you suffer in life because of sin in this world, cause you to be overcome spiritually. But overcome it by faith in God and stand against it by His power. he promises us this, that He is able to keep us through the midst of all evil and darkness, and loss, and sickness, etc. He promises that though we may go through it, none of it will separate us from His love. He promises that none of it will destroy us. He even promises that He will work it all together in our lives for good, He being in control of it all. He promises that He, Himself, our real life will grow stronger as our life in this world grows weaker and more insecure. And He promises us an inheritance, incorruptible, kept in heaven for us by the power of God.
2Cor. 12:9 And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will rather gladly boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.
2Cor. 12:10 Because of this, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in dire needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for the sake of Christ. For when I may be weak, then I am powerful.
He promised to protect us from all evil. That does not mean we will never be victims of evil, but that evil will never overcome us or destroy us. We are to "fear no evil", as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death in this world. We overcome evil by faith, allowing God to deal with it, rather than repaying evil for evil.
Rom 12:20 Then "if one hostile to you hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink; for doing this you will heap coals of fire on his head."
As we show the love of Christ to our enemies, evil in them is sometimes overcome also, and will cause them to come to repentance. If not, it still has not overtaken us and entered our hearts. They will suffer, but we are free because of Christ in us.
He promises us that He will continually work His will in our lives and even chastise us for the sake of working His righteousness in us. He does not promise it will not be painful, or that we will not suffer loss. We may suffer loss in this life because of our own bad habits, decisions, or mistakes. But He promises even in these He will work to use them in our lives to teach, train, and perfect us. (Rom. 8:28)
Heb 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which He speaks with you, as with sons, "My sons, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint while being corrected by Him.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and whips every son whom He receives." Prov. 3:11, 12
Heb 12:7 If you endure discipline, God is dealing with you as with sons; for who is the son whom a father does not discipline?
Heb 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are bastards, and not sons.
Heb 12:9 Furthermore, indeed we have had fathers of our flesh as correctors, and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits, and we shall live?
Heb 12:10 For they truly disciplined us for a few days according to the thing seeming good to them; but He for our profit, in order for us to partake of His holiness.
Heb 12:11 And all discipline for the present indeed does not seem to be joyous, but grievous; but afterward it gives back peaceable fruit of righteousness to the ones having been exercised by it.
If God be for us, who can be against us? What in this world or outside this world can destroy us? Is there any greater than God? Can we willingly give ourselves up to His will for our lives when it goes against our will, our dreams, our comfort, and our hopes in this life? Can we lay down our life? We can, because He is in us. He is our life, and He will never leave us or forsake us. Can we truly trust His will to be greater than ours? Can we truly trust in His perfect love and provision for us? Is God truly God? All He says He is? When faced with loss in our lives, this is what we come face to face with. Will we take care of this our way, or God's way? Will we submit to His will and to His care? Or will we seek our own happiness outside His will? It is a matter of faith in God and all He is. It is a matter of deciding, is His Word true or isn't it? Can I put my life in His hands? Even now? We may feel that we are being destroyed. We may feel hopeless. But His Spirit in us reminds us that in Christ there is always hope, and our life is hidden with Him. Nothing can destroy us. Nothing can separate us. We have true life forever. That life will never perish. It can in no way perish because it is the life of God Himself indwelling us. In order for it to perish, God Himself would have to perish. And that can never be.
Is anything more sure for you to put your hope in? Is anything more reliable or secure?
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