Monday, November 5, 2018

Sharing Our Love With God

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Our article for this week is a very brief encouragement. Brethren, before you say, "I have heard and read this before; I don't need not go through this again", let me assure you that you most definitely need this message! The Lord called us into humble obedience with a childlike attitude (Matthew 18:3). Also, the apostle Paul reiterated that a repetitive message is for our benefit, because the more exposure we have to the word of God, the better our chances of being fruitful and denying the devil an opportunity to influence us (Philippians 3:1). Therefore, constant reminder and exposure to the word of God increases God’s Presence upon us, resulting in peace and unity with Him (Galatians 5:16-17; John 6:63). The Lord Jesus Christ recently revealed to me that many Christians are doing their best to be accepted by others, but not by Him. Truth is, it is easy to make ourselves attractive to people because the benefits we reap are immediate, while the benefits of our faith are unseen; however, they are just as real (Hebrews 11:1).

How to Love God

It is fairly easy to say that we love the Lord with all our being. However, God Himself tests our love for Him (Genesis 22:1-19). Admittedly, tests from God are never easy because our whole being is involved -- mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically (Job 19:13-27) and such tests will result in either making us become more determined to trust God or causing us to give up all together (or relegating into lukewarm mode) (Matthew 10:22). Not too long ago, the Lord told me in a vision that a lukewarm Christian bears no fruit as they are not actively exercising their faith. Instead, He said, their focus is on avoiding trouble and building up their own solutions through worldly wealth and friendship with worldly people whom they are afraid to correct and witness to (John 15:18-19). As you may have experienced, having bad company corrupts good character and opens the door to deception (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Furthermore, Daniel the prophet was focused on his relationship and obedience to God more than having time to befriend people who had no interest or love for God. Therefore, as a result of his love towards God, he accepted unjust suffering and the God he loved expressed His own love for Daniel (Daniel 10:11, 19), and He rescued Daniel (Daniel 6:3-24). You may be assured that Daniel worked harder and with honesty. His dedication to his work exposed the laziness and dishonesty of the other supervisors, so they devised a plan to oust him (Daniel 6:3-6 NKJV) and their goal was to destroy his Source of joy and peace. They tried to put asunder Daniel’s love for God, and in their deadly attack, they found out that he was courageous to choose death and that his love for God was inseparable. His friends were also found to possess a similar spirit of commitment (Daniel 3:13-27), as were the seven thousand (7000) men who did not bow to Baal, but held onto their love for God (1 Kings 19:18).

While most of us live in cultures where human rights are widely protected and respected, it is unlikely that we would face similar circumstances and challenges like some folks in the Old Testament, unless we live in counties that hate Christ and where Christians are persecuted (John 15:18;Matthew 25:45). We must acknowledge though, that it is the same old devil who worked in people then that is at work even today. In our day, he simply applies new sophisticated weaponry -- the tongue accompanied by blatant insults, lies and slanderous accusations piercing the souls of believers with heavy blows of doubt and faith decay, resulting in backsliding and lukewarm Christians. Today, many Christians are afraid to witness because they would be accused of imposing their faith onto others and for trying to make people meet "our" expectations. This is not really true; we merely express our faith and love to God and for them by encouraging and warning them of pending judgement (John 14:23; Matthew 28:19). We must remember that the gospel message is essentially to save sinful man from God’s coming judgment (Romans 2:3-5).

God’s Encouraging Love

Brethren, as a saved sinner myself, when I accepted the love of God by faith through the born-again experience, I literally experienced His abiding and enduring love and every day I find it invigorating (Lamentations 3:23). When we become Christians, we are taught the basics of the gospel, like how we ought to live and to trust God for our needs; this is is good and acceptable. However, as tests and trials are set before Christians, not only will our faith, patience and endurance be tested, but our love for God too (Deuteronomy 13:3). As a believer who has been around and witnessed the Lord’s faithfulness through Him answering my prayers, I have learned that as we love and honour Him through our suffering because of our love for Him (1 Peter 4:16), He never abandons His faithfulness and love for us (2 Timothy 2:13). Instead, He suffers with us, feeling our pain (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15) while allowing us to display our full love for Him through our unwavering commitment.

In a beautiful and encouraging message to Charis recently (April 22, 2015), the Lord gave us an assurance that He has seen the heavy laden Satan placed on us and that He will lift it. We are undeserving of such great love and mercy from our Heavenly Father. He is returning in great abundance His true love to us by letting us know that NOTHING can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39).

In my final encouragement to you, dear brethren, it pleases the Lord more when we are showing love and honour to Him more than just what we need from Him and in return through His blessings He confirms His love (Matthew 6:33). This is surely not an article to discourage you from asking the Lord to help you through your struggles! He wants to display His love to us by giving what we need, but we should show our love to Him through our commitment, like Jeremiah, Daniel and many other great warriors of our faith did.

In conclusion, we say that besides the foundation of our faith being Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11) and the heavy weapons to sustain our faith and salvation (Ephesians 6:10-18), we are not complete if we have no love for God and others as our opening Scripture commands (Matthew 22:39). As a final encouragement, remember the Lord told us that His Word and teaching carries equal weighting. In other words, God does not favour certain people, churches and denominations above others, nor does He favour one portion of Scripture above the other Scriptures. God has no partiality (Romans 2:11; Deuteronomy 10:17); all His Word is final and complete for our salvation. Those who lay a short-sighted view and emphasis on some doctrinal position on certain matters of faith are guilty of dishonouring the Lord and His Word. This position shows no love to God, is only for our own interest.

Have you been failing to love and obey God through tests and trials (John 14:15)? Have you been neglecting to exercise your faith by loving others as yourself and therefore finding yourself slipping into lukewarmness? If so, please repent and choose to stay strong and steadfast in the Lord (Mark 13:13). To receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed grace,

Brother Glenn and Preparing for The Kingdom Ministry Team.