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Archive for the category “God’s True Love”

God’s Demonstration of Unconditional Love

Romans 5:5-8 (NIV)

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      Romans 5:1-11 is a powerful teaching section in the Scriptures concerning a believer’s relationship with God.  Verses 5-8 are the hinge section of truth that makes your relationship with God so amazing and so challenging to give to others. Consider three words that heighten the significance of God’s unconditional love to you.

“…God poured out his love into our hearts…” As Christians we did not receive a little bit of God’s unconditional love, we receive the completeness of his unconditional love through the presence of the given Holy Spirit. Do you hoard or pour God’s unconditional love before others?

This past December 2012 and January 2013 the principle “…very rarely will anyone die for a righteous…a good man…” was shown to the utmost in two separate shootings, in which  adults placed themselves between a gunman and students to save their lives, while their own life was taken. The principle is of total, selfless abandonment of life on behalf of another individual. In Philippians 2:1-8 we are taught the example of Christ’s own self abandonment on behalf of a lost humanity.  The Apostle goes on to teach that if we have experienced Christ’s love and presence, then we too should be willing to abandon self-interests on behalf of desperately needy people. Are you willing to do the same, be totally selfless, for a spiritually lost person or a desperate fellow-disciple of Christ?

     “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Demonstrate – to show, prove by example. God’s unconditional love is not just an idea or contemplation of ideas; it is real action, the meeting of needs on behalf of a lost and desperate humanity. 1 John 3:16-19 confronts believers with the reality of just talking about Christ’s love, as opposed to being literal instruments of his love for others. Consider being God’s clear channel of his active, unconditional love the next time an opportunity arises. But be prepared – he will give you many opportunities. Let God’s unconditional love flow unchecked, through you, to others.

 “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

                                                                                                                                              P.H.C.

Pray for these churches:

California Presbyterian Church

Lockwood Community Church

Union Church of Quincy

Love Manifest In Sacrifice

(1 Jn. 4:9 – 10)

 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

            There’s no such thing as “secret love” in the Bible. Unlike the classic case where a school boy has a crush on a girl, but never reveals it, true love shows itself; it can’t hold back; it always gives itself away to the one loved. Notice I said “true love”, not infatuation, fantasy love, or lust. True love is God’s kind of love (called Agape in the Bible). It is a love that is other-oriented and unconditional. And its most common manifestation is in sacrificial service to another.

In our text the Apostle John reminds us what we’re dealing with when we encounter God’s love. Notice that God did not hold back, but rather, he took the initiative to act in love on our behalf. He sent his own Son to be the atoning sacrifice (substitutionary payment) for our sins. In exchange, we get life. And not just any life; it’s God’s kind of life – meaningful, abundant and everlasting.

Why would God orchestrate such an exchange? John tells us in the previous verse…because God is love. Notice, he didn’t say, God has love, or God likes to love. He said, God’s very nature is love, and love by nature is giving, its other-oriented, it’s sacrificial – even though the one being loved isn’t necessarily lovely or very lovable.

Hold back? Never! Not God. Paul reiterates this truth in Romans 8:39 when he declares that nothing in all creation could ever separate us from the love of God that is manifest to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Want to know how much you are worth to God? Look at the high price he paid to have you: One Son. He held back nothing so that you could gain everything.

“Love manifest in sacrifice,

And you my friend were

Loves great prize.”

J.E.E.

Pray for these churches:

Burlington Church of God

Gospel Lighthouse

St. Paul Lutheran Church

God’s True Love For Me

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Have you taken the time lately to re-read this iconic portion of the Bible? We seem to adopt a “been there, done that” mentality after we learn how to quote a verse from memory, much to our own loss. I cannot count how many times I have asked God to show me a verse to meditate on over the last few years only to have Him lead me back to “old faithful.” At first I would get a bit frustrated but then I would settle down to meditating on what He wanted me to get out of it.

If we are not careful our familiarity will rob us of many powerful truths that God designed to set us free. The message is simple but incredibly profound. God, the all-powerful, all-knowing creator, chose to love us with an immeasurable, unconditional love long before we were ever born. Think about that! What kind of faith does it take to love the broken, sinful, out-of-control beings that we so easily become? God did it and then proclaimed it through His very own Son Jesus to a sincere but confused seeker like Nicodemus. Jesus set him free from the “do-it-yourself” kind of religion that is based upon the fear of not measuring up. He told us here how to qualify for this love gift of eternal life, with a single word…Believe!

            That is the hardest part for the average person to accept, a free gift for all who will accept it? Yet here it is in the most unmistakable words: God provided an elevator called Jesus so we don’t have to take the stairs of self improvement. All have sinned and fallen short, but through the cross of Calvary and the finished work of Jesus we all can enter into the rest of faith, knowing that we are accepted in the Beloved. God is not mad at you, my friend. He loves every person, no matter what. Believe it, receive it and live it, then go tell your friends about what God has done for you so they can find eternal life too.

 God is not mad at you, He loves you.  (John 3:16,17)

H.J.

Pray for these churches:

  • East Ovid United Brethern Church
  • Lockwood Community Church

 

Power Of God’s Love

Ephesians 3:16-19

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

       Our armed forces have boot camps to instill within soldiers what is needed for them to survive in combat. By design it is rigorous and difficult. The training instills the basic skills and values of a soldier. The training has been refined over years in order to create a soldier in a short amount of time.

Our Heavenly Father has a different training plan. The Lord gives us the Holy Spirit to indwell in us to give inner strength, hope, and courage. He trains us as we grow mature in our faith. One of those principles to be deeply instilled in us is our understanding of God’s deep abiding love for us. This will provide us assurance for each day of our lives. God wants us to know the greatness and the power of His love. It’s wide, long, high, and deep! This is essential to our very survival as a Christian. There is power in this knowledge that we’ll never understand.

To deeply understand His love will prepare us for the greatest trials and temptations that come our way. We will overcome with this knowledge!

To know His love is to be able to have the strength to love the unlovely just as Christ did.  We are now God’s ambassadors, expressing His love to a sin-broken world and to sin-broken lives.

Open up your life today to the fullness of God’s love for you.

Ask Him to transform you with His love, to transform the way you think about yourself and about others.  Ask Him to transform you so that His love power is deeply at work in your soul.

 

“…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ”

J.D.B.

Pray for:

  • Bethel Gilead Community Church
  • First Congregational Church of Union City
  • Shepherd’s Heart Ministries

God’s Steadfast Love

Psalm 103:11-17

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children… (ESV)

 

Concern for generations of coming believers is deep among people of bold faith.

There are many parents and grandparents who are praying for the salvation of their children and grandchildren. The reality is that each generation, each person, must come to their own faith relationship with God. This is why prayer is of utmost importance, and a steadfast testimony of God’s forgiveness and compassion is essential.

Pastor K was called by the family of Jim, a man who was home receiving hospice care. Jim had given his life to Jesus Christ six years ago, shared his faith with his family and fought cancer for the previous two years. With the family all gathered together in prayer and sharing their love for one another, Jim listened to his children as faith in Jesus Christ was celebrated and affirmed amidst the generations of the family.

This vigil of faith, hope and love was filled with readings of scripture and words of gratitude and appreciation. The family joined the pastor as they prayed, hand in hand: “Lord Jesus, allow Jim to accept your sweet embrace and trust in your loving arms to take Him home to heaven.” With this, Jim breathed deeply and died peacefully. The presence of the Lord was real, the promise of God’s steadfast love was revealed. Jim was unbound from the temporal nature as the eternal cords of God’s love held him tight.

Our days on earth are “like grass,” but the wind of Heaven in the Spirit of God leads us to receive God’s grace and the promise of His eternal Kingdom. The steadfast love of the Lord will change the hearts and minds of those who boldly step forward to believe in Jesus Christ.

The Son of God stretched His arms from east to west in order to remove our transgressions, if we so believe as to trust in His perfect work of redeeming love. This same cross is our discipline, our opportunity for bold and loving service as we follow Jesus Christ to become disciples who make disciples via faith passed on from generation to generation.

S.T.A.

PRAY for these churches today…

Assembly of God of Union City

First Congregational Church of Bronson

Oasis of Love Family Church

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