Attitude of The Heart

The great commandment in the law, as described by Jesus, is to love God with all your heart, mind and strength. He then adds that there is a second commandment that goes with this one, which is to love your neighbour as yourself.

Attitude of The Heart
Attitude of The Heart

The foundation on which both of these commandments are built is love, and indeed all of the commandments of God were based upon love, either love for God or love for our fellow man.

So we see that if we are to emulate Jesus Christ and be transformed into His image, we must learn to love as God loves us. To do this we need to develop love as the base attitude of the heart and so be guided by love as we live out the love of God. Continue reading “Attitude of The Heart”

Pursue Love And Spiritual Gifts

(1 Corinthians 14:1)

In several of my recent posts I have looked at the gifts of the spirit and the love of God. The love of God is the only thing that is eternal for God is love and He is eternal.

1Cor14_1

The gifts of the spirit do not continue on forever but that does not mean they are not important. In fact they are critical to us now in this age if we want to find the path of God’s love.

I have made this point also in my most recent posts where I have discussed both the gifts of the spirit and the love of God. Just because love is the “more excellent way” as Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 12:31, we cannot ignore the need for the gifts of the spirit. Just because “love never ends” as we saw in 1 Corinthians 13:8, it does not mean we should ONLY pursue love to the exclusion of th gifts of the spirit sent by God.

I have made both these points in previous posts and now we see Paul saying exactly that here in this verse also.

Continue reading “Pursue Love And Spiritual Gifts”

Love Never Ends

(1 Corinthians 13:8-12)

Like the circle of a wedding ring, love never ends
Like the circle of a wedding ring, love never ends

Everything pertaining to this world and this life are temporary. Even the earth, sun, stars and the universe are only temporary. Everything we can see, everything we know will not last.

Except for God's love.

Only love is eternal and only God's love never ends. His love goes on forever and ever because God is love and He is eternal.

Continue reading “Love Never Ends”

What Is Love?

(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Of all the questions mankind has asked, from poets to philosophers, academics to artists, this is perhaps the most profound and mysterious of all: what is love?

What is love?
What is love?

Love is so fundamental to the human condition that it forms part of our DNA. It is part of our nature to seek, hope for and long to love and to be loved.

No man is an island, as some wise man once wrote, and it is true. To be an island is to be separated and held apart from all others, and the most severe of separations is the separation from love.

But the challenge for all mankind is to learn to understand love not as man sees it, but how God sees it. To be separated from ones fellow man is dire indeed, but to be separated from the love of God is catastrophic, for to be in His love is life, but to be separated from His love is death.

Continue reading “What Is Love?”

Power Of Love

(1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Over my last few posts I have discussed the ministry gifts and spiritual gifts that are given to both individuals and to the church. These gifts are given for the purpose of building up either the individual or the church body as a whole.

Power Of Gods Love

The spiritual gifts are very important. They are critical to the growth and maturity of the church when they are operating correctly.

However, spiritual gifts are not the MOST important thing. They are not the be-all and end-all of the walk we have in Jesus Christ. Paul shows this after discussing the gifts in the previous chapter, which he finishes by saying, “And I will show you a still more excellent way.” So let us now look at what could be better and what is “more excellent” even than the gifts of the holy spirit.

Continue reading “Power Of Love”

Love: The Great Commandment

(Romans 13:8-10)

What is the ultimate expression of the faith and beliefs of a Christian? Is it good works? Is it giving a helping hand when needed? Is it showing our faith is real through the things we do, our behaviours and where we stand when the going gets tough?

Well, all of these things do have a bearing on our Christian life and the walk that we are on with Jesus Christ. All of them are certainly important. But there is a foundation upon which all of these plus many other aspects of the Christian life stand.

That foundation is love. Not love as it is expressed in this world, but the love of God and living a life that reflects His love for us in all we do and say.

God Is Love

Needless to say it is impossible to live a life in Christ unless we express it through the love of God.

The scriptures tell us that God is love and that being true means that He cannot do anything but give His love and show His love to us who are His children.

The opportunity we have to be set free from sin, death and all of the wickedness in this earthly life exists only because God loves us. His grace is nothing more than an expression of His love for anyone who will seek Him out and come to Him to receive His salvation offered through Jesus Christ.

His love also is not like the depictions of love in this world. It is not the soppy mush portrayed in movies and books. It is unique for His love is unlike anything on this earth.

The love of God did not require us to love Him first. He shows that while man was still His enemy He gave man a chance. While man is still a sinner, torn apart by the wretchedness of human passions, emotions and lusts, God offered His grace, and through it His love so that we may be saved.

Furthermore, there is nothing that we can offer in return except ourselves. The Lord Jesus made the point that when He gives us anything it is not as people of the world give. People give to others expecting something in return. But the love of God gives expecting nothing in return for who has anything or can offer anything that would repay God for what He has given to us.

Debt of Love

To that end then we are being trained to love as Christ loved us. We see these sentiments expressed in these verses in Romans 13 saying,

8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)

Do not be indebted to anyone except to love them as God and Jesus Christ first loved us. That is the sum of all we are called to. We are called to love.

We know that when Jesus died He took away our sins. And at the same time He also set us free from the law and ordinances of the old covenant as He issued in the New Covenant age.

But we see in the law the expressions of God's love. The commandments we see above are just a few of the Ten Commandments and as each of these ones as well as most of the rest relate to how we treat the people around us, they are by nature expressions of love.

The great commandment in the law was to love one another just as God loves us.

But now that we are free from law, we are freed from this law also. However, we do not reject what the law tells us. Rather we are at greater pains to uphold the truth of the law and the love of the law because it is the nature of God. We may not be bound under law to love, but we are convinced and convicted by the Holy Spirit to live a life of love for it is the Holy Spirit's role to transform us into the image of Jesus Christ.

So when we are living in the love of God as this scripture informs us, we do not seek to upset, offend or wrong anyone. Instead we seek to help, conciliate, overcome conflicts and seek the peace of God to work in all situations.

This is our call. We are called to be children of God. And to be a child of God is to be a child of love, exhibiting the love of God in us through all that we do and say.

You might also like:

Love Is The Answer
Jesus Fulfilled Law
Love Your Enemies
God Is Merciful
The Woman Who Was A Sinner
Vengeance Is Mine Or Is It
The Good Samaritan
Do You Know How To Set Your Moral Gps
Increase Our Faith
For God So Loved The World
Serving Jesus
A New Commandment
How To Love Jesus
If You Keep My Commandments
The Friend Of God
The Joy Of Jesus
Parables And The Love Of The Father
Jesus Prayed For You
Expression Of True Love
A Merciful God
Restored By Grace
Access To Grace
Hope Love And The Holy Spirit
Greatest Gift Of All

God’s Mercy

(Romans 11:28-36)

Mercy in the love of God
Mercy in the love of God

It is the will of God that He show mercy to all mankind.

God is love and because He is love, He shows true and complete love and He will be absolutely merciful to all mankind if they will seek Him out.

There are many people in the world today who make this statement. “If God is a God of love, why do so many people suffer?” If we know that God is love, which He is, and if He is a merciful God, which He is, then there must be some other explanation. And there is, so let's look at it.

Continue reading “God’s Mercy”

Knowledge

(Romans 10:14-17)

Do you want to be stronger in your faith? Do you want to stand in the faith with the strength that Abraham had when he was prepared to sacrifice his son and heir but fully convinced that God would provide a solution when he was tested?

Hungry for knowledge
Hungry for knowledge

The faith that we Christians hold as we come to Christ and grow and mature in Him is not a blind faith. The gifts and revelations we receive from God as we walk in His ways with Christ Jesus are given by grace but we must learn how to use His gifts to serve Him and to grow ourselves.

God’s will for His people is that they mature and be strong in the faith. There is much to learn as we walk with Jesus and much to believe as the mystery of the words of God written in the Bible He has given us is unravelled. All of this is thus boiled down to the pursuit of one thing.

Continue reading “Knowledge”

If God Is For Us

(Romans 8:31-32)

When I was a little kid there were times when I wished I had an older brother who would step in and protect in those situations I would get into scrapes with other kids. It didn’t happen often but sometimes I used to wish I could say, “I’m getting my big brother!” And scare the nasty kids away.

God...a better protector than your big brother
God…a better protector than your big brother

But as I was the eldest child in the family…it never happened. I had to fight my own battles and sort out my own issues. I had to work out how to placate my childhood opponents, and sometimes it didn’t work and I got my fair share of scrapes. Such is life.

But now, as these scriptures testify, I have that “big brother” I always wanted who will stand in and help me. And He will do much, much more so let’s look at what the promise is in these couple of verses.

Continue reading “If God Is For Us”

Wages Of Sin

(Romans 6:23)

There are a few scriptures in the bible that are so well known that they have moved into common usage amongst both Christians and non-Christians alike. This verse is one of those which says,

The wages of sin
The wages of sin

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now like many scriptures that are taken into common usage, it is often not taken fully or correctly. Too many people look at the first seven words and forget the rest. Even more, the meaning of the words is often not fully understood. So let us look at this verse to consider some of the shades of meaning that we can draw from these words and especially the hope that this verse offers.

Continue reading “Wages Of Sin”