ALL MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN RACE

 

race prideJames 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

 

What makes certain people feel more important than other members of the Body of Christ? What makes one group of people to feel superior to another group of people. What leads us to concentrate on our rights instead of our responsibilities? What produces hardness of heart to where we’re insensitive to others’ needs and withhold love? What is the root to all contentions which leads to unforgiveness because it causes impatience with others? It is pride which is the root nature of what led to the Fall of mankind into sin.   Pride is an over high opinion of oneself; exaggerated self‑esteem; conceit; and haughty behavior resulting from this. It is excessive belief in one’s own worth, merit, or superiority. It is the number one resister to the grace of God. God resists and opposes the proud, haughty, or stuck up person. The word “resisteth” is a military term that actually means to set oneself in battle array against. God in effect is resisting the one resisting Him. We live under grace, yes, but we also have responsibilities under grace and that is to stay humble.

 

It is sad that we are still dealing with racism and prejudice not only in the world, and America, but also in the Church. Racism is the belief in the superiority of one’s race over another race. That’s silly since we all came from Adam and Eve. There are not many races, there’s only one race, the human race. Racism is rooted in pride and it is race pride that leads to racism. There is a division constantly being incited in our nation and it would be wise to recognize it is not fueled merely by human beings. There is a spirit realm many seem to pay no attention to (Ephesians 6:12). The spirit behind division always works to magnify difference.

 

In Christ Jesus there is no difference among us. We are all one in Christ Jesus though our spirits may be clothed differently. We all have a different color of clothing and thank God for dark clothing, thank God for light clothing, thank God for yellow clothing, thank God for red clothing, but that isn’t the issue, the issue is what is on the inside.  It doesn’t matter what color clothes (skin) you have on, you are the Body of Christ. In the Spirit there is no difference.  Ephesians 2:13-14 says, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” He is our peace for he hath made both one, Jew and Gentile and man with God again. He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us.

 

It took the Spirit of God through the work Jesus did on the Cross to break down the barrier between Jew and Gentile for them to become one in Christ in a Body called the Church. The Church was meant to be the end of racism and the beginning of a new nation, a new people, a new creation race called the Church. Of course, we know God recognizes three ethnic divisions of the human race, Jews, Gentiles, and Church of God (1 Corinthians 10:32) with regard to His covenant plans. God’s overall plan was to make us one as the Church but I like what I heard a great evangelist say, “There’s only two races on Earth; the one racing toward Heaven and the one racing toward Hell.”

 

There is not a more deceptive sin than the sin of pride. It is a sin that everyone else can see a person has a problem with but the last person to find out about it is the proud person. Satan is the original source of pride and to walk in humility is to resist the very nature of the one who caused the Fall. On this day when we celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we all ought to reflect upon the Biblical truths he stood for and rid our hearts of all forms of pride.

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THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS

 
 
Matthew 22:36 40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
 
Throughout the Scriptures we are told to do many things all of which are important to our walk with the Lord. The Lord desires our prayers, our faithfulness, our service, but above all else, He desires our love, devotion, and affection.
The two greatest commandments of all is to love the Lord our God with: all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and then love our neighbor as ourselves. It is only as our love is wholly centered on the Lord that He can safely send us out to serve. It is as our love is centered on the Lord there flows from within us a burden and compassion to serve human needs. All the law with its 614 commands and all of the prophets with all of their instruction and wisdom hangs upon these two commandments.
 
It was once said, “The fruit of a Christian is another Christian,” meaning that we should be producing other Christians. But I would change that to the fruit of a Christian is a Christian life, and the fruit of a Christian life is another Christian. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16) but people should also be attracted and drawn to the Christian life we live. Jesus said we’d be known that we are His disciples by the love we show to one another (John 13:34, 35). If we are not living the life, if the Light is not shining out of us and we are walking in darkness, then no one will be drawn to our darkness. We need to start living the life and walk worthy of our calling as Saints and Christians.
the two great
Love has many characteristics and attributes that I could name but I’d like you to think of these four: love has devotion, sacrifice, pursuit, and time.
 
1. LOVE HAS DEVOTION – to give up one’s time, energy, or oneself to some purpose, activity, or person. Suggests the giving up or applying of oneself with the seriousness or earnestness evoked by a formal vow, commitment, or promise.
2. LOVE HAS SACRIFICE – the act of giving up something valued for the sake of something that has a more pressing claim. You give up something you love for something you love more. Anything or anyone you are willing to sacrifice for will at times cause your lifestyle to be changed and your priorities to be re-arranged.
3. LOVE HAS PURSUIT – to chase: to follow in order to overtake; to strive for; to seek after.
4. LOVE HAS TIME INVESTED – we make time for what we love. We adapt our time and adjust our time for what we love.
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BEHOLD WHAT MANNER OF LOVE GOD HAS FOR YOU

 

behold what manner of love god has for you1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 

The Spirit of God through the Apostle John exhorts us to behold, look upon, and contemplate the love of God to man. He does not attempt to try to describe the length, breadth, depth, and height of it but just to behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed (given, gifted, granted not earned, merited, or even deserved) to make us sons or children of God. The world and all those who do not know God do not respect this or approve of us because they do not know the firstborn Son of God, Jesus. We are not going to be sons of God some day but we are sons of God now with a future hope of becoming glorified in body like Jesus was. The is our “Blessed Hope” that occurs when Jesus appears for us (Titus 2:13).

 

We are children of God by faith in Jesus (Galatians 3:26) and we have been fully vested with all the rights of children of God. Galatians 4:1-7 describes this as receiving the “adoption of sons,” or literally “the placing of an adult son. The right of adoption is not like we use the word adoption today but rather in those times in that culture they adopted their own children in a vesture, entitlement, or right of passage ceremony in order to be vested with full benefits, rights, and privileges. This all happens for us the moment we are born again as children of God for as children we become heirs of God (Romans 8:14-16) and joint heirs (co-equal) with Christ (Romans 8:17). An heir is someone with a right or title to inheritance.

 

To fully appreciate the love God has for us we must look at our inheritance. As sons of God we have rights and title to a spiritual inheritance that (we have or are):

 

  1. If children then heirs Romans 8:14-16.

 

  1. Heirs of God Romans 8:17.

 

  1. Joint heirs (co-equal) with Christ Romans 8:17.

 

  1. Heirs of the world Romans 4:13.

 

  1. Heirs according to the promise made to Abraham Galatians 3:29.

 

  1. An inheritance predestined by God’s purpose/will Ephesians 1:11.

 

  1. An inheritance of the saints in light Colossians 1:12.

 

  1. Heir of all things Hebrews 1:2.

 

  1. Heirs of salvation Hebrews 1:14.

 

  1. Heirs of the righteousness by faith Hebrews 11:7.

 

  1. Heirs of the Kingdom which is and is to come James 2:5.

 

  1. Heirs of the grace of life 1 Peter 3:7.

 

We need to look at, behold, meditate upon, and study these truths. It is one thing to be entitled to an inheritance but another thing to experience its benefits. God made us able to be partakers or to share in that inheritance (Colossians 1:12) and the word of His grace is able to not only give us initial entry into it but also how to experience in this life what we’ve been entitled to (Acts 20:32).

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HOW JESUS DEFINED LOVE

how jesus defined loveLove is a subject and a word that is frequently used in the world and in the Church. In many instances it is defined in terms as an emotion, feeling, and sentiment. This is appropriate when describing human love, brotherly love, familial love, and physical love but the Divine love of God is much more than that. It is not primarily a feeling or emotion though it can create feelings and emotions.

 

When Jesus talked about love He defined it in terms of an act, actions, and obedience. John 14:21, 23, 24 says, He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…. 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. Our love for God is not a mere feeling but will be seen in our actions and obedience to His Word. The one who is saved obeys God’s Word or you could say saving faith results in obedience. Romans 1:5 calls it the obedience of faith or the obedience that comes from both a saving and a living faith.

 

Our love to God and to others was made possible because He first loved us. First John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” God first loved us and God’s love toward us was not passive, a mere sentiment, or a feeling but was seen in an act or an action. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Love was seen in the act of Christ dying for us while we were at our worst, or yet sinners. First John 4:9 agrees with this definition of love as an act when it adds further illumination by saying, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

 

Jesus said that this love was how He loved us and is a part of a new commandment we were to obey. It was to be a distinguishing mark that men would know and recognize that we were one of His disciples John 13:34, 35. We experienced it and are able to express it so it can be seen and known. The Spirit of God through Apostle John said that this love would be how we would know we were saved, born again, new creations in Christ or know we passed from death to life because we love the brethren 1 John 3:14.

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THE GOD KIND OF LOVE

the god kind of love
 
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.
 
The greatest capacity we have to get along in a world full of hate is in us when we got saved. The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us (Romans 5:5). We use the word “love” in our lives to describe many things like, “I love football,” or “I love pizza,” or “I love you.” God has not left us in the dark about what love is and the characteristics of His love. It is much different than the world’s view of love as defined by different Greek words most often used like “eros,” which is physical, sexual love; or “phileo,” and “philadelphos,” brotherly or friendship love, to be a friend to or to have fond affection for; “storge,” a kindred or familial love, affection and love for one’s kin.
 
His love is defined by the word, “agape,” which is a divine, supernatural, spiritual love – unconditional, merciful, giving, sacrificial, and initiating. It is the love displayed in God sending Jesus to pay the price for our sins to give us eternal life (1 John 4:9, 10). First Corinthians 13:1-8 defines this Divine love in characteristics and tells us what this God kind of love looks like when it is poured out through us. God’s love is:
 
1. Longsuffering (Long tempered – forbearing of evil – patient of wrong)
 
2. Kind (It is of a friendly nature, generous, hospitable, helpful, warm-hearted, and good)
 
3. Envies not (It does not desire to deprive another of what one has)
 
4. Vaunts not itself (It does not boast, brag, make a parade or strut itself overestimating one’s own importance)
 
5. Is not puffed up (Not high-minded or full of pride)
6. Does not behave unseemly (Act in bad taste, improper, or in violation of what is right)
 
7. Seeks not its own (It is unselfish not demanding its own way to the detriment of others)
 
8. Is not easily provoked (Not irritable, touchy, fretful, resentful, thin-skinned, or easily offended)
 
9. Thinks no evil (Does not keep score or inwardly rehearse ill treatment. Holds no grudges for it does not ponder and dwell upon wickedness)
 
10. Rejoices not in iniquity (Has no pleasure in any act contrary to God’s norm which is righteousness and holiness)
11. Rejoices in the truth (Loves highest loyalty is to truth)
12. Bears all things (It endures, remains steady, constant without complaint. It can get under the load and bear it and it is a shield against hardships)
 
13. Believes all things (It is not stupid, unwise or undiscerning but its tendency is to put faith in others)
14. Hopes all things (It can persist in hoping and holding on for others even at times against all odds expecting grace to conquer and win)
15. Endures all things (It can remain brave, confident and courageously persevere. It is opposite of running in frantic panic. Never loses heart or gives up when people fail, abandon, disappoint or forsake. It endures frustration and it does not vent it out on others)
 
16. Never fails (is not insufficient in duration or is unsuccessful in effectiveness)
 
Are you flowing in the love of God and is the love of God flowing through you?
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THE CAPACITY OF THE LOVE POURED INTO US

the capacity of the love poured into usRomans 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.

 

If you are a child of God, the greatest capacity and potential you have to live and get along in a world full of hate is already poured into you when you got saved.  It is the love of God shed abroad in your heart Romans 5:5. Capacity is a measurement of space (the ability to contain, hold, receive, or absorb) and capability (makes capable or what makes something have potential, ability, and capability).

 

A simple way to think of capacity is that it makes capable whatever is poured in it can be poured out. The Bible says in Romans 5:5 the love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost… (to pour forth; to bestow; shed forth (abroad); to gush out; run out; spill).

 

This love is also linked to or defined by the truth of Scripture (1 John 3:18) lest we define it only as a good feeling.  It is a love that does not rejoice in iniquity, moral wrong, or unrighteousness but rejoices in the Truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). It has no pleasure in any act contrary to God’s norm which is righteousness.

 

What is the capacity of the love of God or what is it capable of?

 

  1. An UNCONDITIONAL capacity –no matter what people do or do not do.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

  1. A MERCIFUL capacity –no matter how unlovely and undeserving they are.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 

  1. A GIVING capacity –no matter if we receive anything back.

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.

 

  1. A SACRIFICIAL capacity– no matter if there is nothing in it but cost to us.

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.

 

  1. An INITIATING capacity– no matter if anyone loves us first.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

 

This is the capacity of every new creation in Christ 2 Corinthians 5:17 because they have the Divine love of God shed abroad in their heart (Romans 5:5).

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SILENCE IS HURTING US

silence is hurting usColossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

 

The silence of many preachers today to speak the truth of God’s Word as it relates to the culture war going on in the world and in America creates a vacuum that is filled with the spirit of error, the spirit of antichrist, (1 John 4:3, 6) and the spirit of the world (1 Corinthians 2:12). The mass media are filled with the ideologies of the day they get from the philosophies of men, political parties, education, media, and a fallen culture. The Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul instructed us in Colossians 2:8 to beware of these ideologies as they will lead us away from the faith as captives. “Beware (take heed; the root word denotes “the ability to see,” as distinct from blindness; scrutinize; perceive) lest any man spoil you (lead you away captive) through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Col0ssians 2:8).”

 

America is flooded with ideological “ism’s” that are destroying our founding principles as a nation and corrupting the Christian faith (relativism, humanism, liberalism, secularism, progressivism, socialism, multiculturalism, globalism, Marxism, antinomianism …). Instead of earnestly contending for the faith and challenging the accepted thought of the day many preachers only talk about what makes people comfortable.  Sad to say many are reluctant to share God’s truth addressing the issues of our day. They seem to be addicted to nothing but making people feel happy in their messages instead of the Supremacy and Pre-eminence of Christ over all the evil of our day.

 

We as a nation are reaping the consequences of that approach especially in our younger generations who are uninformed about the choices put before them. We can no longer just remain neutral because those that oppose truth are not content to let us believe what we believe and they believe what they believe. They are on the attack and are assaulting the truth. The Old Testament believers fought the “ites” (Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites Exodus 3:8) but our war is with the “isms” and we are not taking much ground.

 

Our voice needs to be heard in the mainstream and outside of our Christian bubble. Dietrich Bonhoeffer who pastored a church in Germany during the spread of Nazism and the rise of Adolf Hitler said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” He was one of the few to actively resist the racist actions of the Nazi regime. I would say it is time to contend for the Christian faith (Jude 3) in the world full of “isms.”

 

Jesus defeated everything the devil could use to deceive mankind and is the Sole Possessor of absolute truth. It is in Christ that the fullness of the Godhead bodily resides not in the ism’s of the world’s culture. It is in Christ where we are complete in Him Who is the head of all the principalities and powers that are the spirits behind the ism’s of our day. How can we remain silent?

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