Tag Archives: love

APRIL 20 – The Blessedness of Unity


APRIL 20 – The Blessedness of Unity

Psalm 133:1  A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 

2  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 

3  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. 

Unity, often discussed, difficult to attain. Unity is so important in the work of the Lord. There are times where dis-unity causes the work of God to be hindered. Unity promotes and encourages the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should be united in Sentiment. Sentiment is a tender feeling or emotion for others that are engaged in the work of the Lord. It is that part of mankind where joy is shared by all and death is mourned together and those that leave our union brings great sadness. This sentiment is coupled with a union of feeling. This feeling brings a confidence among those that are in union. When we are in union with sentiment and feeling, we will be united in effort. When we are united in effort, the Lord’s work will be accomplished.

Church union is very important. The Church must be united in the teachings of the Scriptures. We must agree on core doctrines that relate to God, Jesus, and the Church. Without this union on Scripture, there is division which hinders the work. Unity is strength. Where there is unity there is strength to do the work. Unity brings happiness. When all are pulling the yoke together we have a unity of purpose that brings us together to pursue a goal. Where there is unity, there is love. A love that overshadows the work that is done for the Lord. Through all of the discussions on God, Church, and Doctrine, we should have unity even in our disagreements.

May we unite for the sake of the work of the Lord.

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MARCH 26 – Happy is the man


MARCH 26 – Happy is the man

Job 5:17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 

Punishment looks to the past and past deeds. It looks to the law that was broken and the penalty of punishment that the infraction brings. Chastisement looks to the future to bring an effect to the mind of one that will benefit them and raise the character and moral standard of one. It is a correction to the path and the deeds of one of the children of God.

The one that sends chastening to us is a Holy Righteous God who loves us and desires the best for us. “Whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:12. Here we see the origin of chastening is held in the Divine love that God has toward us. Within this chastening, we find the mercy of God in that we were not destroyed.

The chastening is upon fallen man. We have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We do find that in repentance, we have been cleansed and forgiven. Yet as long as we are in this carnal body, we will stray, say things we should not and do things we should not. Because of this God will use an instrument to chastise us. Ii might be a calamity or some kind of trouble. There certainly will be affliction that will get our attention.

Chastisement is not because God is cruel. God does this out of love and mercy to reform man. Make man more like Jesus. The purpose is to cause us to eliminate some bad things in our life and to add some Godly things to our life.

Happy is the man whom God correcteth because this is a sign of being a child of God. Have you ever been chastened? If not, check your salvation.

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CONQUERING THE COSMOS


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
CONQUERING THE COSMOS

A supposed contradiction in scripture presented to this writer a few years ago goes like this: God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. . .” contrasted with “Love not the world . . .” I John 2:15. Are we to conclude then that the Bible is telling us to not love what God loves? That is contradictory. Well, think with me a minute.
God created a cosmos (order of things). It was so perfect, so beautiful, so desirable from every viewpoint. Its zenith was manifest in Eden when the climax of creation (mankind) was made the federal head of it.
Willful transgression by the federal head, caused the entire cosmos to be cast down. From that casting down, the Lamb slain was the plan of God to redeem it unto Himself. Rev. 13:8. Thus were the works finished from the foundation of the world (casting down of the cosmos). Hebrews 4:3.
Inasmuch as mankind was made from the earth and installed as the federal head of it, all of creation became subject to his actions. When sin entered into mankind, it changed the then known and wonderful cosmos of peace and life into a cosmos operating on the laws of sin and death. Moreover, all of creation was subjected to that disastrous decision of man, and it groans, awaiting its liberation which will occur in the final liberation of the people of God in the resurrection and rapture heralding the beginning of a new age. Romans 8:19-23.
That being said, thoughts return to the supposed contradiction, and how these thoughts apply to it. God loves the work of His hands. When all the work was finished, He beheld it, and it was very good! Gen 1:31. It is then the purpose of God to redeem His work from the “cast down” state to the fullness of His plans for it during the millennium, and on to the ultimate goal of it in the heaven ages to follow.
It is the cosmos that God so loved, and that Jesus came to redeem. However the cosmos that the Bible commands us to not love is the present one of sin and death. It is destined to eternal removal from the presence of God. Of it, John wrote, “Love not the world (cosmos) neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15.
Alas, we are all in the cosmos and doomed with it except for the success of the second Adam, Christ Jesus. Being born from above and following Him involves one in a dimension of life unknown to the present cosmos. It is an earnest of the inheritance that is to come in all of its unspeakable joy, peace and beauty. As the decision of one man cast down the cosmos and all in it, so through repentance and faith in the work of one man, Jesus, one escapes the laws of sin and death, and is admitted to the wonderful laws of life in the redeemed cosmos!

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WHERE THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS LEARNING


William Andrew Dillard

PARSON TO PERSON
WHERE THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS LEARNING
Love is a highly prized dimension of life, but unfortunately, considered to be a non-essential to the majority of the world. Some would say, “Now hold on there, preacher! Psychologists insist that love is essential to wellbeing.” Well, injecting “well-being’ into the thought creates a different equation, but just think with me for a minute!
In the great love chapter of the Bible, I Cor. 13, Paul said he might speak with the tongues of men and of angel without it. He went on to say that he might possess the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and knowledge, even possess such faith as to move mountains without love. He could be kindly minded toward the poor, and become a sacrificial martyr without love. But all of that would be for nothing…FOR NOTHING! It is love that survives, that preservers, that counts for something both in time and eternity.
Love is not static! It goes to the depths of problems. It is active in longsuffering, promoting others, hoping, believing, enduring, bearing all things. It rejoices not in iniquity, but in truth! Let the meaning of these words be applied then to the average Christian in modern times. Do they fit well, or seem to be all out of kilter with the status quo?
Most any churchgoer will tell you he loves the Lord; loves His Word; loves His church, but these are words; too often hollow words. Hollow words find their satisfaction in detached, mostly ritualistic, habitual actions of religion which are void of personal communion and growth in the grace of God and His inexhaustible Word. It is sad! Certainly, one can live in the same house with a spouse; provide material things, and appear to be the envy of the world, but not have love for that spouse or the true meaning of a home. This is often true in describing professing Christians. One might do well to ask himself how much time he has spent in prayer or in reading the Holy Word lately. One would do well to ask of self just when was the last time personal faith was shared outside the walls of a church house? One would do well to ask himself, when was the last time he actually learned anything at all from the Bible that had not resided in his consciousness previously?
Consider that a small child was given a wing pin by a pilot in an airport. He proudly proclaimed to his mother that he was now a pilot. His mother replied to him that in his eyes he was a pilot, and in her eyes he was a pilot, but in the eyes of a pilot, he was no pilot at all. Could this also illustrate the status of many professing church members. It is easy to say, “I love the Lord,” but love is not static. Love is active. Where love is, there is growth, progress, learning!

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ONE VERSE PREFERENCE


 Parson to Person

ONE VERSE PREFERENCE
If I could have in my possession only one verse of the Bible, which one would it be? Hands down, it would be John 3:16. It is so comprehensive that it pretty well covers all the bare essentials for fallen mankind. It is the key to evangelism. Think about it with me!
It begins, “For God.” Here is the presentation of the eternal, creator deity. There is no need to try to prove God. He doesn’t! He is, and it is literally the fool who does not know this.
It continues, “So loved.” Here is the essence of what God is. I John 4:8 says “God is love.” There is one God. He is the creator and eternal judge, and His essence is love. That draws me.
“God so loved the world.” Here is the object of His love: the inhabited world. It is unlimited to the world of men. As a part of that, I am then the object of His love. I am grateful, and I rejoice!
“That He gave.” Love is giving. Love is sacrifice by its own definition. God, the Creator is a giving God, not a taker. Rather than quake in fear, I run to Him in expectation.
“He gave His only begotten Son.” Love gives! It is not a trivial gift. It is not an expensive gift that would be trivial compared to His universal riches. It is His only begotten Son. The gift is the one and only expression of mankind who could pay the penalty of sin and did so from the depths of His essence of love and grace. It is as the scriptures put it, an “Unspeakable gift!”
“That whosoever.” What a wonderful word! Whosoever includes me! Whosoever excludes no one. The invitation to goodness, righteousness, life is indeed universal to the offspring of Adam.
“Believeth in Him.” The required prerequisite to everlasting life is to believe in Him. One might quibble about the degree of belief under consideration, but the term “believeth” is present tense, and means to trust for that which is eternal, and over which no mortal has control or authority in himself.
“Should not perish” Here is the opposite outcome for failure to believe in Him. Moreover, it is a divine statement that such belief produces the opposite of whatever ideas may be associated with “perish.” But for God, to perish is absolutely, universally certain!
“But have everlasting life.” Life: goodness in awareness minus any of the evils associated with present earthly life and sin. Life! Everlasting life! It is perfection, immortality, awareness in total righteousness without interruption or end. The very idea is overwhelming, but this is the greatest story ever told, the greatest gift ever given, the greatest hope of any human heart.
If I could have only one verse of scripture in my possession to love, live by, and share with others, it would be John3:16

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The Priority of Love  


 

1 Peter 4:7-9

“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins” 1 Peter 4:8.

 

Emergency! The end of all things is at hand! What does Peter advise us to do to get ready for the end of all things? Pay attention and pray, but above all things, love one another in sincerity.

Paul said that Jesus is coming back, and the most important thing he wants Jesus to find is church members who love each other(1 Thess. 3:12, 13). At the Judgment Seat of Christ, love will be the measuring stick to evaluate all our motives. Did we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind? Did we love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves?

Love is a supernatural, magnetic energy that draws the world to Jesus. The world knows we are His disciples if we love each other. Our love one to another helps us overlook the minor faults each of us have. This does not mean that love excuses and tolerates sin. It means we are all sinners and regardless of our sins, we love each other. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John4:20, 21).

 

 

JUST SAYING

God tells us that love is the fulfilling of the law and prophets. We should grow in the fruit of the Spirit,  and that would cover a lot of bases as far as  pleasing God is concerned.

Robert Brock

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HEBREW HONEYCOMB


 

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

 

Author: William Andrew Dillard

 

From the living pages of ages past, comes the encapsulated foundation of acceptable life among men on earth. It is called the Ten Commandments. Some would say the commandments were a part of the Mosaic Law, which has been fulfilled, and no longer in force. Right, and wrong! Jesus did fulfill the Law and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross, Col. 2:14-17, but what is removed from us today is the present penalty of the Law, not the principle. Think with me!

 

In the initial writing of the Law, the one governing neighborly relationship is stated: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor; Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s house, wife, servant, ox, ass, nor anything that thy neighbors. Exo. 20:16-17. Later, this was appropriately summarized as “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” First, to love God supremely, then to love one’s neighbor as one’s self is said to be the summation of all the law.

 

The question then arises from some who quibble over such things for self justification is: “who then is my neighbor?” This very question was posed to Jesus by a lawyer, and is recorded in Luke 10. It is here that the story of the good Samaritan is related. A man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed, beaten and left half dead in the road. It is ironic that a priest passed by and refused to help. Also a Levite, those who produced the priests, also observed and passed by without helping. It was the lowly Samaritan who took care of the unfortunate traveler, and paid for his medical care. When Jesus posed the question, which of these three was a neighbor to him who fell among thieves, the answer was obvious and so stated: he who showed mercy on him. Jesus’ pointed reply was that they, and us, should go and do likewise.

 

The position God’s people occupy on this planet is that of an ambassador. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Cor. 5:20. Representatives of heaven on earth who are reconciled to God see others in need as their neighbor, and they respond accordingly. It is the right thing to do. It is the godly thing to do. It may not be one’s opportunity to help another who has fallen among thieves, but there are so many other areas of life that manifest a need for help. Chief among those is the obvious need to share the gospel, the great love of the Creator/Redeemer with those who have been wounded by sin. There is no shortage of them. Do you love your neighbor?

 

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By Love, Serve


 

Galatians 5:13, 14

 

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another,” Galatians 5:13.

 

 

In many countries, other than the United States, the cast social system still exists. In the Christian community equality must be taught among believers. Even in the Lord’s churches, the lower classes in these societies tend to serve the more affluent.

 

While the cast social system is not so obvious in our country, it does exist somewhat. Therefore, we must guard against its influence in the Lord’s churches. We do often have a problem with servanthood. It is not so much about being served as it is about serving. It seems our backs, necks and hearts are too stiff to bow in service to others. Because we are freed by grace, we are by love to serve one another. The Bible commands that we not only love in word but in deed also. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

 

What does Christian service look like? Serving may take many forms as long as we are putting others above ourselves. It can be as simple as praying for someone or picking up the phone and calling to check on the sick or shut-ins. Whatever our servanthood looks like, it must be done with love overflowing blessings onto others.

 

 

Beverly Barnett

 

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The Great Commandment


 

Matthew 22:36-40

 

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment,” Matthew 22:37, 38.

 

The religious elite gathered around Jesus, Sadducees, Pharisees and scribes. All of them were experts in their own eyes in one area or another in the Law of Moses. There, before them stood God in the flesh, the original giver of the Law. Foolishly, they thought they could trick Him.

 

The men of this religious club were responsible for dividing the Law into two categories, greater and smaller. But God assigned the importance when He gave the Law to Moses. It began with and where we all should begin recognizing that everything begins with God. Then, after He has been correctly seated on the throne of our hearts, we will love Him with all our heart, soul and mind, which is the précis (sum total) of our whole being.

 

Loving God first and foremost puts everything else in our lives in clear perspective. If we love God first, then loving our spouse, our children and others will be a much easier job. If we love God first, then obeying Him will not be a difficult task. If we love God first, then the financial restraints of God’s work will be removed. If we love God first, our faith will be strong and following Him will be an adventure and not a challenge.

REFLECTION

Loving God first is the foundation of all other commandments. Let us love Him with all our being with the entire ardor possible as His children.

Beverly Barnett

 

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Abounding Love


 

Philippians 1:9

 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment,” Philippians 1:9.

 

Our key words here are ‘more and more’ in other words flourishing love. This is rich, full and overflowing love for others. We love them for God’s glory, not our own.

 

We love to hear stories about anonymous donors giving away their fortunes to unsuspecting people. God loves kindness but instead of donating money, He had rather, instead, we donate His love. Sometimes, in spite of our command to love God first and then our neighbor, we get caught up in our own little self-centered world. Suddenly, we become the most important person in it. That is dangerous. Soon, we will become our own worst enemy because love not shared will become stagnant and die. He wants our love for Him to grow and grow, and as it does, we will love Him like we should. Then, His love will overflow onto other people.

 

Finally, as love grows, it is not to be ignorant. It is to be wise and discerning. You cannot make a person accept your brotherly love if they meet you at the door with a gun or threaten you with harm. In that case, dust off your feet and move on. There are other people who need the love of God and will accept His love. As a result, they will accept the love of others.

 

 

REFLECTION

 

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you, (1 Thess. 3:12).

 

Beverly Barnett

 

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