Love one another

Do we truly love our fellow man or are just walking through the motions? It’s a question that I ask of myself and you. One that if we are truly followers of Christ, that we should be doing on a daily, moment by moment basis. I read in my devotional from Phil Ware this morning about how we are suppose to be loving to all people, not just selected ones. I don’t know about you, but I am convicted as I have not done so. I have not only been disobeying God, but I have failed to keep His commandment of Loving others as I Love myself.

Read the following devotional and see what you think.

“Love Each Other!” — A Year with Jesus for 11/09/2015
Note from Jesus
Dear Beloved,

You are the Father’s child!

You are precious!

The Father adopted you into Our — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s — family. I paid the purchase price for your adoption. You are a blood-bought and blood-redeemed child of the King of Glory!

Despite your lack of perfection, you are a precious child in the Father’s family.

So is every other person who is a Christian!

The point of these words is simple. We love you. We love all your brothers and sisters in our spiritual family. We expect you to love, accept, help, receive, and value your brothers and sisters as much as you hope We will love, accept, help, receive, and value you.

Love one another!

Verses to Live
John was known for his teaching about love. He taught about the Father’s love for a lost world (John 3:16-17). He proclaimed My love for My disciples as well as My expectation that My disciples will love each other (John 15:12-17).

What follows is a collection of verses from 1 John about God’s loving you and your loving each other as brothers and sisters. Read these words. More than reading them, let them linger in your heart and commit to living them. Love one another; not just in words, but from the heart demonstrate love for each other! People will recognize that you are My disciples because of the way you demonstrate My love with each other (John 13:34-35). Not only that, but your love is one way for you to reveal God to your world (1 John 4:12).

My loved ones, in one sense, I am not writing a new command for you. I am only reminding you of the old command. It’s a word you already know, a word that has existed from the beginning. However, in another sense, I am writing a new command for you. The new command is the truth that He lived; and now you are living it, too, because the darkness is fading and the true light is already shining among you.

Anyone who says, “I live in the light,” but hates his brother or sister is still living in the shadows. Anyone who loves his brother or sister lives in the light and will not trip because his conscience is clear. But anyone who hates his brother is in the darkness, stumbling around with no idea where he is going, blinded by the darkness.
(1 John 2:7-11)

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us — He calls us children of God.
(1 John 3:1)

The central truth — the one you have heard since the beginning of your faith — is that we must love one another. Please do not act like Cain, who was of the evil one. He brutally murdered his own brother. Why would he do something so despicable? Because his life was devoted to evil and selfishness, and his brother chose to do what is right.

Brothers and sisters, don’t be shocked if the corrupt world despises you. We know that we have crossed over from death to real life because we are devoted to true love for our brothers and sisters. Anyone who does not love lives among corpses.

Everyone who hates other members of God’s family is a murderer. Does a murderer possess the beautiful life that never ends? No. We know what true love looks like because of Jesus. He gave His life for us, and He calls us to give our lives for our brothers and sisters.

If a person owns the kinds of things we need to make it in the world but refuses to share with those in need, is it even possible that God’s love lives in him? My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love.
(1 John 3:11-18)

His command is clear: believe in the name of His Son, Jesus the Anointed, and love one another as He commanded. The one who follows His teaching and walks this path lives in an intimate relationship with God. How do we know that He lives in us? By the gift of His Spirit.
(1 John 3:23-24)

My loved ones, let us devote ourselves to loving one another. Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Because of this, the love of God is a reality among us: God sent His only Son into the world so that we could find true life through Him. This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins. So, my loved ones, if God loved us so sacrificially, surely we should love one another. No one has ever seen God with human eyes; but if we love one another, God truly lives in us. Consequently God’s love has accomplished its mission among us.
(1 John 4:7-12)

We have experienced and we have entrusted our lives to the love of God in us.

God is love. Anyone who lives faithfully in love also lives faithfully in God, and God lives in him. This love is fulfilled with us, so that on the day of judgment we have confidence based on our identification with Jesus in this world. Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.

We love because He has first loved us. If someone claims, “I love God,” but hates his brother or sister, then he is a liar. Anyone who does not love a brother or sister, whom he has seen, cannot possibly love God, whom he has never seen. He gave us a clear command, that all who love God must also love their brothers and sisters.
(1 John 4:16-21)

Response in Prayer
Father, I know that Jesus taught that all people would recognize that we are His disciples because of our love for each other. Help me as I commit to demonstrating my love to my brothers and sisters as fully and completely as You have loved me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

I know that I need to improve in this because I have a young man across the street from me that I have not been very loving to and have had problems with. Playing the childish games of ringing door bells and running away and destroying property. Which can be very irritating, but being a Christ follower I have allowed myself to become just like him and get angry and irritated because he persists in playing these childish games when should be focusing on his own life.

So I’m going to make an effort into changing my thoughts about him and show him the love that I should have been showing him in the first place. As the bible says, hate the sin, love the sinner.

So if I’m going to be a true Christian as I claim to be then I need to do what is right in the eyes of God and not man.

How about you? Care to join me in this? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Be Holy!

In a world where being holy is not acceptable, because we are to act perfectly, I find that in my devotional reading this morning that, that is what Christ is wanting us to be.  More holy in Him.  Now I find myself wondering how that would be perceived in this world, but as the devotion states that we are aliens in exile and that we are not to be apart of this world.  Read the following devotion from Phil Ware and see what you think and if it does not touch your heart as it has done mine then maybe you need to seek Him and rededicate yourself back to Him.

We find ourselves in a world where we are told that we are not holy, but that is the opposite of what Christ thinks of us.  We are Holy in because we are His brothers and sisters in Him.  We are children of God.  What a great feeling that is.

“Be Holy!” — A Year with Jesus for 11/02/2015

Note from Jesus

Dear Holy One,

You are a saint! The term means “holy one.” That is what you are because of your redemption purchased with My blood. I have made you a “priest” and part of “a royal order of priests who offer up spiritual sacrifices.” Like“living stones” you are being “assembled” into the holy dwelling place for Us — Father, Son, and Spirit. To be a saint means that you have dedicated and set apart your life to live for the Father’s purpose in your world.

I know a common saying in your world is, “I’m no saint!” However, if you have been reborn into My family, if you are truly My disciple, then you are not only a child of the Father; you are also a saint! You are a person living for God’s purposes and seeking to reflect God’s righteous character and gracious compassion in your life. You are part of My holy people who are a “royal order of priests, a holy nation … so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.” Don’t downplay what I have made of you. Don’t shortchange the role I have asked you to play in a world of darkness and decay.

Peter’s point in the verses below is clear: Be holy! Live up to who you are!

“Be holy in all you do” because of Who your Father is: He is holy, so you must reflect that holiness in all that you do.

Be holy because you know the “price was paid to redeem you” from your old life that led to destruction. Your redemption price was paid by My “precious blood” when I offered Myself as the “perfect and unblemished sacrificial lamb.”

Be holy because you have been reborn through the living and enduring “word of God.”

Be holy because “you have tasted and found the Lord to be good.

Be holy because you are part of “a holy order of priests who offer up spiritual sacrifices.” You are being“assembled into a spiritual” temple where We live.

Be holy because you are “chosen” and “royal” and “holy”! As Peter says it, you are “God’s own”!

Be holy because “you don’t belong in this world. You are resident aliens living in exile” among people who don’t understand you or appreciate you. However, as they get to know you, as they see your honorable behavior, as they witness your holy life, and as you live obediently to My will, you will be light to their darkness and salt to their decay (Matthew 5:13-16). Your influence upon the world around you will matter.

Be holy. Live up to who you are. Be who the Father has made you based on your faith and rebirth into Our family. Even if you suffer for your faith, be holy in the face of suffering knowing that your example and sacrifice will influence others to know Me and be ready for My return.

Verses to Live

The following collection of verses comes from 1 Peter chapters 1 and 2. Peter wrote to folks facing trials and persecutions. He knew their suffering, especially suffering for doing what was right, was unfair. His first answer, the answer that I shared in My note yesterday, focused on praise. The disciples needed to rejoice in their living hope they had in Me. Today’s verses are Peter’s reminder to them of their new and exalted identity as My people, purchased by My sacrifice, and called to a clear purpose — “so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.” Tomorrow’s verses will emphasize that if they were going to suffer, they needed to make sure they suffered for doing what was right and not for doing what was wrong.

So get yourselves ready, prepare your minds to act, control yourselves, and look forward in hope as you focus on the grace that comes when Jesus the Anointed returns and is completely revealed to you. Be like obedient children as you put aside the desires you used to pursue when you didn’t know better. Since the One who called you is holy, be holy in all you do. For the Scripture says, “You are to be holy, for I am holy.” If you call on the Father who judges everyone without partiality according to their actions, then you should live in reverence and awe while you live out the days of your exile.

You know that a price was paid to redeem you from following the empty ways handed on to you by your ancestors; it was not paid with things that perish (like silver and gold), but with the precious blood of the Anointed, who was like a perfect and unblemished sacrificial lamb. God determined to send Him before the world began, but He came into the world in these last days for your sake. Through Him, you’ve been brought to trust in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him for the very reason that your faith and hope are in Him.

Now that you have taken care to purify your souls through your submission to the truth, you can experience real love for each other. So love each other deeply from a pure heart. You have been reborn — not from seed that eventually dies but from seed that is eternal — through the word of God that lives and endures forever
(1 Peter 1:13-23)

So get rid of hatefulness and deception, of insincerity and jealousy and slander. Be like newborn babies, crying out for spiritual milk that will help you grow into salvation if you have tasted and found the Lord to be good.

Come to Him — the living stone — who was rejected by people but accepted by God as chosen and precious. Like living stones, let yourselves be assembled into a spiritual house, a holy order of priests who offer up spiritual sacrifices that will be acceptable to God through Jesus the Anointed.
(1 Peter 2:1-5)

But you are a chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received it.

Beloved, remember you don’t belong in this world. You are resident aliens living in exile, so resist those desires of the flesh that battle against the soul. Live honorably among the outsiders so that, even when some may be inclined to call you criminals, when they see your good works, they might give glory to God when He returns in judgment.
(1 Peter 2:9-12)

Response in Prayer

O Father, forgive me for not valuing who I am in Jesus. Forgive me for not living up to what You have made me and declared me to be. Too often I get caught up in the day-to-day messes of my world. I so easily forget that You have put me where I am to be a witness to Your grace, mercy, and redemption. I need strength to be bold. I yearn for holy wisdom. I long to boldly proclaim Your wondrous grace that has delivered me from my darkness into Your “shimmering light” of salvation and purpose. I ask for this strength and courage in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do my best to live like this and spread the good news of Christ to everyone that I meet.  How about you?  Care to join me?