Sunday, February 15, 2009

# 271: The Power of Love

All humans have a basic need which many times is not apparent. That need is to be loved with unconditional love. Then there are some people who will deny that they have that need. And others will say, what else is new?

The word love is used in many, many different ways. Most will not fulfill the need this post will be referring to. Interestingly, the word love, which is the dearest word in existence, can be the most misused and abused word of all.

The love a mother has for her newborn could be one of the strongest forms of love. The love parents have for older children is also a strong love. Of course, the love between husbands and wives many times is a strong love. But in these days of freedom of expression, marital relationships quite often have a fickle type love.

Because of the many different degrees and types of love, it can be a complex and versatile subject. It seems because of the need for love by all people and our inability to receive the love we desire, inward conflicts are created. If somehow those inward conflicts could be done away with, peace and joy would be widespread throughout the world.

Here is the problem: the love we really need cannot be given to us by others. The reason is that we unknowingly desire to be loved by whomever, the same as we love ourselves. For sure, no one would have the audacity to actually admit such a need.

In our attempts to fill that love cavity, we are groping at many worldly things like relationships, fame, fortune and countless numbers of worldly things and attitudes that promise us love, happiness and peace of mind. But it is sad to say that there are no material things or people in the world who can love us as we desire, or better yet, as we need.

Don’t fret; there is a way we can acquire the love that can make us feel and know that we are being loved to the greatest degree possible. It can only come from God. How so?

“God is love.” 1st John 4:16. Those three little words that surpass knowledge, when grasped by belief, can do more for the world population than any thing, position, attitude, etc. that is available. By God teaching us that He is love--love is a spiritual substance--means that He has more than enough love to give all of us as we need and desire. That sounds great, but how does it work?

As we all know, the main benefit of living as Christians is to gain eternal life. And yet, there are many benefits for us while we live here on this earth. These benefits far outweigh the difficulties of obedience to some of Christ’s teachings, such as Philippians 2:3: “. . . but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Also. Luke 12:33: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” 1st Corinthians 10:24: “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others,” and many more similar verses.

Since God is love, it is His nature to love all people, good and bad. Luke 6:35: “because he [God] is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” 1st Timothy 2:4: “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.” 2nd Peter 3:8: He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Also, Acts 14:17.

The point I am attempting to make is that if God hated those (His enemies) who displease Him, He could not expect us to love our enemies. Matthew 5:44: “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Romans 12:20: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him: if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” The only thing is that if God’s enemies and ours don’t change and have faith in Jesus Christ, love for them will eventually come to nothing.

Before God’s love can work in our lives, the first thing we must do is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. If that commitment is valid, God’s love for his own children allows Him to actually share His Holy Spirit and His Divine Nature with us. Without these Godly attributes, we could do nothing.

The love God has for those of us who love Him cannot be described in human words. Nevertheless, I will attempt to describe it to the best of my ability with the Godly wisdom God gives.

First and foremost, when we receive God’s love, it is of such great quality to the point that we won’t need the love or admiration of any humans, even though it may be nice to have. In other words, His love for us fills our love cavity to the degree that completely satisfies. As I mentioned previously, before God’s love is received, no matter how much we were loved by whomever, it could not suffice completely.

His love for us makes us feel invincible. Why I say that is because as we feed on that love, His care for us is similar to how an infant feels when it is nursing. It is a feeling as if nothing can harm us, even though bad things may come our way. They come as a means to strengthen us, in our Christian faith. But even in these unpleasant circumstances, we feel safe and secure. God’s love protects us from being swayed by the devil’s worldly enticements, and thus falling into one of his ironclad traps.

Since we live in the world, but are no part of what the world delights in, the things worldly people desire are not what we desire. For that reason, we are not jealous or envious of what they earnestly strive for. They can’t understand why we are not jealous or envious of what they have. In fact, we feel sorry that they need so many worldly things in their attempt to unknowingly satisfy their need for fulfilling love.

God’s love liberates us from the fear of death. Death is no longer our enemy. Hebrews 2:15: “and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” As for me, personally, passing away from this world will be an extremely joyful day. But when I go, I pray it will be for promoting the truth as it is described in the New Testament, (NT) (a martyr). Only one present situation: God needs as many people as He can get to further the work of His Son, and I may be one of them. That work is to continue the work Christ started: to recruit as many people as possible to His cause, and to destroy the devil’s work. 1st Peter 2:21: “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” There are many verses that teach the same principle. 1st John 2:8: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

When we have genuine love in our hearts for God and our fellow man/woman, it is almost impossible not to do the right thing in every occasion.

With God’s love in our pockets, so to speak, we don’t need to impress others with things that make us feel better or as good as the next person. God’s love has that much power over how we live.

God’s love working in our lives through His Holy Spirit teaches us by His ability to infiltrate our thinking process. It is actually putting holy words into our minds. This phenomenon must be experienced to understand what I am talking about. Luke 12:12: “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” John 14:26: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” 1st John 2:17: “and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things...remain in him.”

When we are acutely aware that God’s love is what we all need to guide us in the paths of constructive Holy living, stress in our lives is a thing of the past. Without daily stress--which we don’t call stress anymore--it is like living in a world filled with joyful children. This lack of stress is one of the best changes that has occurred in my life. Without stress, we can live with joy in our hearts at all times; when we have continual joy, this evil world is much more bearable.

When we know and are experiencing how much God loves us, the outcome is a feeling of security in all situations. I don’t mean financial security, but the security that we are in good hands at all times. And that security gives a feeling of peace and tranquility of mind.

When the words, divine love, and obedience to NT teachings are put into action, that is the fulfillment of God’s law of love. Put another way: when we obey the teachings in the NT, we in essence are displaying our love for God along with receiving His powerful love for us.

To the contrary, to say we love God and do not obey His NT teachings, we are deceiving ourselves.

Let’s make this perfectly clear: the NT is a book of love; our love inspired by God’s powerful love is the fulfillment of Jesus Christ’s appearance on earth again with power. We as Christians are taking the place of Jesus Christ; we have His Spirit, His mind and His love to empower us with the most difficult task in the world: living as genuine followers of Jesus Christ. 1st Corinthians 2:16: “But we have the mind of Christ.” Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Considering all we were/will be given, I believe an appropriate and demanding name for us should be ‘clones-of–Christ-in-the–making’. If that was the case, it is certain the majority of people who call themselves Christians or followers of Christ wouldn’t dare to take on such a challenging handle. Don’t you agree?

Looking at Christianity from God’s prospective, His love and divine nature are, by all means, the most sacred and valuable attributes/gifts given to men/women, and that makes His religion unique.

We cannot love others the way we are required, until we have love to spare. And with all the powerful love God has for us, we will/should always have an abundance of love. Love is a spiritual commodity.

God’s love gives us the desire to keep our hearts and minds on Godly things to the greatest degree possible, as much as the circumstances in our lives will allow. God’s love is unfailing to the faithful. He can’t be any different since He is love. His love will bring us into eternity. However, His love for those who don’t believe must be put aside at the judgment to give them the life they cherished while on earth: life without God.

Yes, whatever hell will be like, for certain it will be the complete absence of God and His creation. The NT speaks quite often of hell being a place of continual fire; that may be so. I personally think that hell, without God or His creation, will be a place of complete darkness. Why I say that is because several scriptures use darkness as evil or the total absence of God, whereas light is symbolic of God and good.

God’s love is the most powerful force in the universe and the least sought after. He created the universe as it is because of love. It was absolutely necessary for Him to find a way to continually share His love; His love has no ending since He is eternal. If somehow He stopped seeking intelligent beings to love, then God would cease to be a God of love. Love must be shared; if one has it, it cannot be contained.

The powerful love God has for us gives us courage and audacity to speak the gospel message in truth and not just selecting pleasing sections. Propagating just the ear-tickling sections could be one of the most serious crimes against Christ. Isn’t that the type of religion that is popular in many churches?

The more active we are in spiritual matters, especially in actively promoting the cause of Jesus Christ, the more realistic God’s love will be in our lives. That probably is the reason why many people are not living in God’s love. We experience God’s love through faith/the belief process. If we believe we have it, our lives will correspond with that belief. What I mean is God’s powerful love is not fulfilled/fulfilling until it is put into action. No action, no love.

In ending, let us take advantage of God’s powerful love; when we do, our lives will change 180 degrees. God gives it to us free of charge for the taking. Even if a complete book was written about God’s love, and we agreed with it, His love cannot be known until we start to experience it by action. Then we will know with certainty that what is written herein is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

This post is the loftiest and most uplifting thus far published. I hope many will take it to heart, especially those who are serious about their devotion to Jesus Christ. God promises we will never regret it. I have never been so appreciative of God’s love until the writing of this post. It has been a great blessing for me. I pray that all Christians will also be blessed after reading this post. Experiencing the power of God’s love is the answer to our unspoken discontent. Amen!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Post # 270: Who’s In Charge?

Who is in charge of what is happening in this world? Some may say that this doesn’t seem like a legitimate question. The answer seems to be those who live on this earth; that means you and me. If that is true, what are we doing to make the world a better place?

Since God created the world for its inhabitants, he gave us the responsibility to live in a way where all people live together peacefully and happily. But not all people live that way. Before God created the earth, He knew what an ungodly place this world would be. That doesn’t mean He created evil. Because humans naturally have free will, He had to allow this situation.

At the same time, God knew that there would be a few people who desired love and goodness for all people. These are the ones that live and love through the faith they have acquired through Jesus Christ. Since they are a small minority, they have little, if any, impact on what is going on in the world. That seems to say that ungodly people are in charge of things. This doesn’t mean these ungodly people are cruel or unfair; they just go with the flow of what the world says, which is enjoying the pleasures of life.

Can we call God the culprit who is responsible for all the self-centeredness that is rampant among all classes of people? Absolutely not! Again, if God could somehow create humans without free will, He would have nothing but a bunch of mindless puppets as his offspring. This tells us that God desires that the only people to be with Him for eternity are those who are actively engaging in making every effort to promote the cause of Jesus Christ, which is to have an active love for God and all people, especially the needy.

Another activity that is necessary but almost nonexistent, which could have made this world a better place, was/is for all people who claim Christ as their Lord to expose and thus attempt to destroy the deceptive work of the devil. That evil brute has his hands in every conceivable activity, group, etc. He leaves no stone unturned. Not one human being is exempt from his enticing power. Warnings: Matthew 10:16. “I am sending you like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Also, for us who are actively continuing Christ’s work, take note of these warnings from Jesus: Matthew 7:6. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

Satan the devil knows that he and all who knowingly and unknowingly follow him will eventually be all for naught. And still, his hatred for God and all who follow His ways is so great, regardless of his end; he doesn’t want a single person to go to heaven to be with God and all His holy ones. That could be his most powerful incentive. With that kind of power at his disposal, all of us, regardless of our station, are susceptible to his pleasant enticements. And you will never guess who are his pride and joy: those who call themselves Christians, especially the clergy, but are not. Please take this statement seriously.

Therefore, the answer to who is in control of this world seems obvious: Satan the devil. There is a verse that seems to verify what Satan said: Luke 4:5-7. “The devil led him [Jesus] up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me it will all be yours.” The only thing is that his control of the world has been and will be temporary. That word temporary may mean several hundred years or more, but those who overcome all his tricks will live forever. My guess is that the way things are out of control and happening so quickly, Christ and the end may come in the next 50 years, although Jesus and most of His disciples believed the end would come in their lifetime.

As to who has been in control of the world situations, for the last eight years it has been George Bush and his sidekick (tricky Dickey). All that he did was to put the frosting on the cake that has been cooking in this country for many years.

To get sidetracked just a little, I ask, will America with its gloomy economic situation and the pending global warming—to which we have been the main contributor--among other serious challenges, be able to make magic out of our next-to-worthless paperbacks? The Feds print paper money, with nothing behind it except the goodwill of our country, as if there is no tomorrow. And what about our 11 trillion dollar debt, which may climb 3 trillion or more by the end of this year? If China and Japan are carrying half of our country’s debt at this time, it won’t be too long before they will own it all. Truthfully, they can have it; they can’t make it much worse than Georgie boy has already done.

Come to think about it, a prime cohort of the devil regarding who is in control of this world is not only our national debt but also our personal debts. Debt means we want what we shouldn’t have and can’t afford. And guess what? The chickens are finally coming home to roost. Can you believe that before the twentieth century, debt was literally unheard of, or unavailable? Some countries still live that way.

Although I am not a fan of the Book of Revelation, there is a section in the eighteenth chapter that points to America as being ‘Babylon the Great’. Read it to see if you don’t come to the same conclusion. After reading that chapter, you can understand why I said that the end might be in the next 50 years. Here is a verse that gives a sneak preview: Revelation 18:2. “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great.”

Finally, though it doesn’t seem that way at the present time, when all is said and done, God Almighty will be in control when He takes his own children up to heaven to be with him for all eternity. After all, God is just allowing all the evil in this world to continue for just a little longer, and He knows the final outcome. That final event is the only purpose for the existence of this world and all the ungodliness that has transpired for the last several thousand years.