Category Archives: Love

How To Love God, How To Love others, How To Love Yourself

The Ministry Of Goodness

The Ministry of Goodness

            I am in tears as I write this because the Lord has taught me something that has changed my perspective on everything and everyone. This simple thing, if you apply it to your relationships, will change the hearts of those around you. It is the ministry of goodness.

What is goodness according to the Bible?

Goodness – The state or quality of being good. Moral excellence; virtue. Kindness, generosity, excellence of quality. The best part of anything.

Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

All fruits of the Spirit are expressions of God’s goodness, righteousness and truth.

Ephesians 5:9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth,

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            I have a brother that is 18 years younger than I. By the time he was 2, all the other siblings were grown and off to college or the military. My parents were financially secure by then and absolutely spoiled the kid, not giving him the same discipline the other siblings had received. He grew up an entitled and confused child with anger issues and was constantly in trouble.

            By the time my little brother was in his early 30’s he had been in jail or prison 12 out of last 13 years. Everyone, including me, had written him off as screw up and had pretty much given up hope on him ever changing. He was a professed atheist and prison had really messed with his mind.

            The whole family would continually tell him what he needed to do to “get his act together” and we were all quick to point out his mistakes and explain to him why he made them. I would write him in prison to encourage him and let him know I loved him but the conversation would deteriorate if I mentioned God and he would lash out at me with terrible accusations that made me question his sanity.

            Finally, I had given up writing to him in prison because he would write back saying what a fool and a hypocrite I was, bad mouthing God with a language that can only be learned in a super max prison. He read everything he could while in prison to prove that there was not a God just so he would have some ammunition to use in our next conversation. His hatred and accusations toward me and God had hardened my heart towards him. I was done being ridiculed for my faith from a lowlife convict. I’m just being honest, that’s where I was at.

            I had been praying for him over the years and I was at the point where I was going to pray one last time and turn him over to the devil. I saw in 1 Corinthians 5:5 where the apostle Paul delivered such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. I felt like this was my only option and even talked with a few pastors about the situation and they agreed.

            As I was contemplating this and asking God if this was the right thing to do, God spoke to me and said, “Show him My goodness.” A few scriptures immediately came to mind when He said that. In Romans it says that the goodness of God leads men to repentance, and in Exodus when Moses asked to see God’s glory, God said “I’ll show you my goodness.”

Romans 2:1-4 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

Exodus 33:18-19 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” 19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.

            God was showing me that if I wanted my brother to change, to repent from his ways, that ministering goodness was the only thing that would work. My constant judging of him was actually making it worse. I was so conscious of his sins that it made him even more sin conscious of them, perpetuating his wrong behavior. I saw that sin consciousness isn’t just about you being conscious of your own sins, but the sins of others also. In fact, if you are conscious of the sins of others, its a big indicator that you are conscious of your own. But that’s another lesson.

            I decided to listen to God and change my approach. I wrote him a letter telling him how much I loved him and believed in him, magnifying all the good qualities in his life, speaking to his potential and not his past. I encouraged him not to give up or be too hard on himself, acknowledging that I too had made some terrible mistakes and that I respected his moral right to believe anything he wished. I apologized for being hard on him and I let him know I was there to love and help him in any way I could.

good3            I didn’t mention God once in that letter, and for the first time in years he responded with sincerity and humility. He acknowledged his own weakness and opened up about some of the struggles he wrestled with. Sure, he used some foul language and made some rash comments that didn’t set well with me, but I didn’t respond to it, I overlooked it. Over the next 19 months, prior to his release, I just continued to love him and be good to him even when he tested it with his accusations, bashing God and badmouthing my faith.

            His pattern of behavior for more than 13 years was: Get released from jail or prison, behave for two to three months, and then do something completely off the wall stupid and go right back to being incarcerated. I am happy to say that the pattern has changed.

            My brother has been out of maximum security prison for ten months now. He has regained his driver’s license that was lost ten years ago. He is working a steady job, he is starting his final semester of welding school and has already been offered a position at a local company with great pay and benefits. He is a different person and it is obvious to the whole family. He is still a professed atheist but that will soon change. He has already started to make the turn. That’s what repentance means, to turn from something, to something or someone else.

            I am thankful for my little brother, and I am thankful that God kept me from giving up on him. I am so grateful that He showed me a better way, a higher way, His way.

1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

            Preaching the Word means nothing if you don’t live the Word. Instead of telling people about God we should introduce them to Him through our submitted life. The ministry of goodness can be the most powerful evangelistic tool available if sincerely embraced and lived.

Perhaps the most famous quote from St. Francis of Assisi is:

“Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.”

            I think St. Francis had a revelation of what I am talking about. In fact, I am just now catching up with him. Consider the words of Jesus:

Mark 10:18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.”

            In this passage even Jesus was acknowledging the fact that all goodness comes from God, the Father. Jesus said, “I only do what I see the Father do.”

John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

            Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus was anointed with the Power of the Spirit the following manifestation was goodness and healing toward all.

Goodness is an expression of love, and God is love. 1 John 4:16

            I have also used the ministry of goodness on my children to correct wrong behavior and quench a spirit of pride and rebellion. I have applied this to other strained relationships in my family and in the church. Without fail I have seen the fruit of peace, restoration, joy and spiritual growth in every relationship.

            God’s way to turn people to Him is a good way. It opens doors of communication, disarming any antagonism and gives you a license to speak into the lives of others and present the Lord to them in reality, not just in word.

Question: Are you living the gospel or merely preaching the gospel?

Question: What ways can you yield to God’s goodness?

Question: Can you describe a sin consciousness?

Question: What relationships in your life could be improved by you being good to them?

The Smallest World You Will Ever Live In Is The One You are The Center Of.

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           If you ask most people what the opposite of Love is the common answer is Hate. However, hate is not the opposite of love, selfishness is.

Love, The God kind of love that we see in the Bible, is described in detail in the book of 1st Corinthians.

1Corinthians 13:4-8a Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

          This passage describes SELF-LESS behavior toward others.

          Our original design was to live for others. We were created in the IMAGE of God. That doesn’t mean 2 arms, 2 legs, a head, and a torso. It means that we were designed to be LIKE HIM. And what is God like? John tells us.

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 

WOW! What a loaded statement! GOD IS LOVE!

          Love isn’t just what God does, it is who He is. It is His nature, His character, His IMAGE. We were created to be like Him, LOVE. Love opens up realms of possibilities and allows us to see things from a higher perspective. The world becomes a bigger place when we are always seeking to help and bless others.

           Love expands our influence and broadens our impact. Love makes room for others, love seeks to be someone’s answer to prayer. Love looks to sacrifice for the benefit of others.

          Selfishness on the other hand seeks his own benefit at the expense of others. Selfishness puts “me” first, closing the door on the blessings of relationship. Selfishness withholds and hides from others. Selfishness cheats and connives to make sure he gets the best, the most, the greatest. Selfishness creates a very small, insignificant world of his own. Selfishness stands alone in a house made of straw, built on a foundation of sand where he can be king of his pathetic little kingdom. It is a sorry existence, and the smallest possible world one could possibly live in.

          When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, the proper response is to lay down your life for Him. That means laying down your life for others just like He did.

          To overcome in this life we must be self-less. We must love people with His love.

Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Revelations 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 

            What’s love got to do with it?  …Everything!

Start Where Jesus Finished

          What does that phrase mean, “Start where He finished?” I heard a minister say that some months ago and the phrase stuck with me, although I wasn’t quite sure what it meant. After some meditation on it, I believe I understand.

 cross2         Jesus was on the earth for approximately 33 years. His intent and focus was singular. To restore mankind back to his original created purpose. To do this He had to show the greatest act of love ever known to man. He paid a terrible price and laid down His life for us so that we could be restored. I remembered that on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.”

John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

          What was finished? He still hadn’t descended into hell to pay the price for our sins. He still hadn’t ascended to the Father and presented His blood on the mercy seat. The Holy Spirit had not yet been restored to man. So what was finished? The act of love necessary to fulfill all those things previously mentioned. He laid down His life to obtain all that for us. cross

          That my friends, is where we must start, where He finished, laying down our life and picking up our cross. This is the only road that leads to full Kingdom authority. This is what it takes for our relationship with the Father to be completely restored. Jesus did his part, now its our turn.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 

John 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 

To live this Christian life successfully, to its fullest, we must start where He finished, at the cross. This is the only way we truly overcome in this life.

Revelations 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

JC

How You Love Determines How You See.

Love for God’s word brings the abiding presence of God into your life and gives you Heaven’s perspective.

John 14:23  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

          Love for truth opens your eyes to more truth, and changes you perception of reality. You move from a worldly perspective to Heavens perspective. We must fight every day to maintain heaven’s perspective.

Love for people changes yours, and other peoples perception of yourself.

John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

          How you treat others not only effects how others see you, but it greatly effects how you see yourself. How you see yourself greatly effects you ability to believe.

Love for God changes your perception of Him because He manifests His love to you.

John 14:21 …”He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Nothing solidifies your faith more than God manifesting Himself to you in a personal way. You move from “believing in Him” to knowing that He is real and He loves you.

Love for God and people empowers your faith.

Galatians 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

         Love is to faith, as gasoline is to a car. Love supplies the dynamic energy to make your faith become a reality in your life.

JC

 

 

 

Are you a Servant or a Son?

          This is a loaded question, I know. Most Christians immediate response would be an emphatic, “Both!”

          That is the right answer on the surface, however, to truly answer that correctly, you must ask yourself the question, “Why do I serve?” because your reason for serving determines your view of who you are in God’s eyes. You see….

A Servant serves FOR approval… A Son serves FROM approval.

          A servant has the mentality of owing the service. A son serves because he loves, and knows that he is loved.

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 Identity does not come from ministry, ministry flows out of identity.

DOING FLOWS OUT OF BEING. SON IS WHO I AM SERVE IS WHAT I DO.

JC

 

 

JC

Loving God, What Does That Look Like?

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When was the last time you came to God  just love on Him and be close to Him?

          I have three sons of varying ages who are completely different from one another in their personalities, likes, and interests. Each one is unique and I thank God that, He made them that way. I love each one equally and show no partiality to any one of them. They all know that I love them and I know that they love me. This is an understood fact and we all express that love to each other all the time. We live with an awareness of that love and we are conscious of the fact that the love we have will never change. There comes a time though, as they walk through their day-to-day life that the knowledge of that love is not enough.  They need to experience it.

          They need one on one, face-to-face interaction. They need a loving touch, they need to share thoughts and emotions and spend intimate personal time with me. They need to know that they are special to me and that my love is for them is real. There is a wonderful exchange that takes place in these times. I become sensitive to their needs and desires and reaffirm my love for them. It solidifies our bond and their faith in me as a loving father. It enriches and strengthens the relationship that we have.

          Each of my children likes to experience this love in different ways. As they age and their interest changes, our time together begins to look different also. My 13-year-old likes to go to the gun range and I teach him about shooting techniques, safety and responsibility, preparing him for manhood and the challenges that are ahead of him.

          My 10-year-old likes swimming, nature  and art. We enjoy each others company and I see the joy in his face when we are alone together. I encourage him to develop his gifts and artistic talents. My youngest, the 6-year-old, likes to crawl up in my lap and play silly little games. These games may seem insignificant to some, yet to this child it is one of the most important parts of his day and if we miss that time together he tells me about it. This time together is very important to him … It is also very important to me.

 lov2         As believers we need this intimate time with our Father, God. It is not enough to walk through life just knowing about the Love of God, we must experience it. The most important relationship that we have is with our creator. If we invest in this relationship, it pays dividends in all other relationships, making them richer and stronger.

          These times I described with my kids are all very important to me. Your personal time with God is very important to Him too. Is it important to you? As you grow as a Christian these intimate times with God will change and evolve to match your level of maturity and the life lessons that God knows are important to you at the time. No matter where you are in your walk with God, always approach Him as a child. Don’t take for granted that the most amazing thing available to you through Jesus sacrifice is your ability to stand before God like a child with no guilt, condemnation, or shame. Jesus made fellowship and intimacy available through His shed blood. His sacrifice was made so Father – Son relationship could be restored.

Luke 18:17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.

         lov5 I think we tend to get in rut with our “devotional” time and make it mechanical and impersonal. We come to God with a list of prayer needs and a plan to study, or read a certain amount of scripture and we never connect with Him personally. We go through the motions with a legalistic, works mentality, believing that its the right thing to do in order to be a “good Christian.” The truth is, very little fruit comes from actions like these. This is not relationship, and it does not promote growth and change, instead it perpetuates a legalistic mentality which quenches the grace of God and hinders the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

The Significance of SAYING

          Are you a good communicator? Careful, tactful and wise with your words? Or are you one of the many people that need to carry around a roll of Duct Tape to keep you from sinning with your mouth and saying things you regret? 

          Oh, I am not pointing fingers at anyone, I have been known to need some of that miracle-working, silver sticky stuff myself.

          If you truly are a servant of Christ, you immediately feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you say something that hurts people or tears them down. If you go for long periods of time and don’t experience those little pricks of conviction and correction in your heart, I would suggest to you that you are not even trying.

          We all have room to grow in this department; I don’t care how mature we are. One of the most important things we can learned is to trust our heart. Our heart (spirit man) has a direct line to God’s heart and mind, and the source of all wisdom and knowledge. If we take a moment to check up on the inside before we speak, we would see an immediate change in the quality of our communication, as well as the quality of our relationships. This is a principle that Proverbs makes very clear.

Proverbs 15:28 ~ The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.

In others words, give your heart a little time to tell your mouth what to say. 🙂


          Our words carry enormous weight, and can carry severe consequences. More than we sometimes think. They have the ability to impact people for a very long time, shaping and molding who they are and influencing the direction and path that they take. The bible says that faith comes by hearing, (Romans 10:17) So we should ask ourselves; “what are my words making people believe about themselves, and how are my words shaping my own beliefs?

          Words can build courage and strength or they can discourage and weaken. They can minister grace and life, or pain and death. They can build and edify, or they can tear down and destroy. They not only communicate, they also create. 

Luke 6:45 – A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

          What treasure have you been storing away in your heart? Did you even know that you had a store? Whether you know it or not, your heart is being filled with something. The things that you give attention to, look at, and hear fills your heart, and whatever you are full of comes out when you speak. A minister once told me, ” When you get squeezed with problems, what’s inside you WILL come out.” It is so true. So, when a Christian gets squeezed Christ should come out.

          God’s Word is the obvious choice if we are to store treasure in our heart. His Words are spirit and life, they are health and medicine, they are full of grace and they are truth. When you are full of God’s Word your communications carry a part of HIM with it. Your speech becomes a tool that God can use to build you up and impart grace to others.

Ephesians 4:29 ~ Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

The best definition of grace is:

“The divine influence on the heart, and its reflection in the life.”

          There are few things more rewarding than to know that you have been used by God to influence another person for HIM. To impart His grace and leave that person better off than before you spoke to them. Man! It just doesn’t get any better!

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“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Every day, we are shaping reality for ourselves, and others who hear our words. The choice is ours. How will our words impact others? How will your words impact YOU and your family? Are you determined to make progress in this area? Do you see the need?

I have a little saying that I try to live by. As my wife will attest, I don’t always do it, but I’m still growing, PRAISE GOD! The saying is this:

“Before you speak, make sure it is an improvement on silence.”

          Just doing that one little thing will keep you from all kinds of grief.

          The Word of God is full of commands to keep His word before our eyes and in our mouth. It’s clear that words must be treated as a stewardship. I will leave you with two of my favorite scriptures on the importance of stewarding words. Be blessed!

Joshua 1:8 ~ This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Proverbs 4:20-22 – My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.

How God’s Love Works With Your Faith

Your ability to live and operate by faith, is in direct proportion to your revelation of the Love of God.

 1 John 4:19 ~ We love Him because He first loved us.

          Concerning faith, we must believe first before we receive. Our ability to believe and receive by faith is tied to how much Love we have for God.

Some people have a real problem receiving anything from God, while some receive virtually everything they pray, and believe for. I have never been able to answer the question; “Why?” until the Lord revealed to me a powerful truth about His Love.

We are all probably familiar with this passage:

Galatians 5:6 ~ For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth
any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

I have been taught that if you want to have strong faith then you must have a strong love walk. And that is true, but what does a strong love walk look like? You can learn about love, read books on how to express love, try to love more or love better, but all those efforts are vain if don’t know how to RECEIVE love. This is tied directly your understanding of how much He loves you.

If you judge God’s love for you on the basis of how you are performing, you will never be able to receive His unconditional love.

Receiving love always comes before giving love. God set it up this way. Your ability to receive things by faith is in exact proportion to your ability to receive God’s love.

Romans 5:5  says: “the love of God is poured out in your hearts by the Holy Spirit…” but you must learn to receive that love before you can enjoy it or give it away. It is the same with healing; 1 Peter 2:24  says: “By His stripes you WERE healed.” Past tense! But you will NOT enjoy healing UNLESS you RECEIVE it.

Do you see the correlation? Healing is an expression of His love for you. To receive healing is to receive His Love. If you can’t receive His love, you cannot receive His healing. It is not a faith issue, it is a love issue. This works the same for peace, prosperity and every other promise in the bible. His promises to us are expressions of His love for us. We MUST receive His love if we are to receive His promises.

Folks tend to get stuck in condemnation and a twisted, self-inflicted torment. Thinking that God is upset with them and is withholding from them because of their poor performance. That is such a lie of the enemy. The Devil wants to erode your self-image to the point that you see yourself as a worthless piece of wasted flesh with no value what so ever.

Remember that the value of a thing can only be determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. God loved you so much that he paid the highest price imaginable for you.

You have been BOUGHT OUT by the blood of Christ, so don’t beat yourself up because you are not sold out to Him.

Know that you are always God’s Priority, not His option.

          We serve a good God! A loving God! I see now how faith and love work together. I am clear why faith works by love and this is what the Lord said to me:

“I have commanded you to love Me with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30) Understand that this is the same way I love all my people … with all My heart, all My mind, all My soul and ALL My strength. Your ability to receive anything from Me hinges on your ability to believe and receive the love I have for you.”

If you have a problem expressing love, then you need to receive HIS love for you. If you have a problem receiving things by faith, then you need to receive HIS love for you.

 Don’t measure and judge God’s love for you on your limited experience with it. Even an earthly parent’s love pales in comparison to His great love for you.

Now we can better understand Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3.

Ephesians 3:17-19 ~ that Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

To be filled with all the fullness of God, you must receive the fullness of His Love.

Blessings to all, 

~ Jack ~

~ Love, The 4 Part Harmony ~

I was rocking back and forth in my chair with my eyes closed as I was listening to the last song on my favorite worship tape. I had been singing to the Lord and praising Him  for almost an hour and His presence filled the room. The tape ended and I was  smiling from the inside out as I enjoyed the sweet silence and communion with  my master. Tears of joy were running down my cheeks and my heart was so full of emotion that I wasn’t quite sure how to express it.

With eyes still closed and the tears now flowing I said “Lord I love you so much”. He then spoke to my heart very distinctly, “How much do you love me, Jack”?  “I love you with all my heart, Lord”. He said “Jack that is not enough”.

My eyes popped open and I realized that God was trying to show me something. When God asks a question, He is obviously not looking for information. He then brought to my remembrance the passage in Mark 12:30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

I saw instantly that loving God with all my heart was only one-fourth of the love commandment. One fourth…25%! I thought to myself, “Man that is weak”. I began to consider what it might mean to love the Lord with my mind and my soul, and how to love Him with strength and realized that I really wasn’t sure. I asked the Lord to teach me how to love Him with these other parts of my being and He began to open my eyes and show me what true love really is.

After the Lord’s correction on how I loved Him, I began to pray and ask questions. “How do I love you with my mind and soul Lord”? I realized that the first thing to do was to define love as the bible teaches it so I took some time and really solidified what love is in my understanding. Immediately I began to see that my ignorance and the church’s ignorance on this topic was glaringly obvious.

Without going in to exhaustive word studies, hermeneutics and exegesis I will just rely on the printed text. You see it is very simple. God is love.

1 John 4:8 ~  He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.

Love is a 4 part harmony, and when all four parts are expressed in fullness I begin to understand more of who God really is…..and more of who I am.

We see in Romans that He has put inside us everything we need to properly respond to Him with love. He has put His own nature, His character, the essence of His being inside us, giving us every opportunity and every necessary tool to connect with Him in intimate relationship.

Romans 5:5 ~  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

This love He has placed inside us has many qualities and characteristics, which is expressed in 1 Corinthians 13, the famous “love chapter”. But you will notice that the chief characteristic of love is giving.

John 3:16 ~ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Love is not merely a feeling or an emotion, although it will produce both. Love is a commitment of devotion that is directed by our will. Love is an action word. Not just a noun but also a verb. Love does, love doesn’t just say. Love invests. Love thinks of giving first before any thought of receiving.

So now we must realize that to love God with the mind, soul, and strength, we have to figure out how to give those parts of ourselves to Him. This is a long teaching so I will just leave you with a few thoughts to get the gears turning in your mind. You will be able to figure out the rest.

I find it interesting the soul and mind are separated in the text. I was always taught that the soul was the seat of the mind, will, and emotions, yet here they are separate. Here are the words as defined in the original text:

1) the heart ~ (kardia)

Denotes the centre and seat of spiritual life, the middle or central or inmost part of anything, even though inanimate.

2) the soul ~ (psychē)

The seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions. The (human) soul in so far as it is constituted that by the right use of the aides offered it by God it can attain its highest end, the soul regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life. The soul as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death.

 3) Mind ~ (dianoia)

The mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring, understanding, way of thinking and feeling. Thoughts, either good or bad.

4) Strength ~ (ischys)

 Abilities, talents, gifting, force, strength, might.

Since the greatest expression of love is to give, ask yourself this:

Am I giving all of those aspects of my life to God? Am I withholding parts of my life from Him? God has invested in you by putting His love in your heart (Romans 5:5), He expects a great return on His investment.

~ How much does God love you?~

God_loves_you1

God loves YOU … with ALL of His Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength… and He loves YOU as he loves Himself.

god_loves_you If that were NOT true … He could NOT ask you to do the same. But He did …

Mark 12:30 ~ 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Luke 10:27 ~ And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

smile god luv u