Love Never Fails

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:8 (NKJV)

During World War 2, we had some great Generals leading fighting men to keep our freedom in this country. General Eisenhower became President of this country soon after he retired. This country will never forget Generals Patton and MacArthur.

There were two men they tried to get rid of at the start of the war. One was an Air Force Pilot. They turned him down for the Navy because he was too tall. When he went to the Air Force, he was turned down for being underweight. After he gained the weight, they finally waived his height and allowed him to fly. You can see the rest of James Stewart’s story in a movie called “Strategic Air Command.” What he has done for his country was not contained in the service. Jimmy Stewart dedicated his life to entertaining America.

The second man they didn’t want was a man who was too short and too weak. He was constantly sick and had only a fifth-grade education. This man was constantly risking his life for his friends. By the end of the war this man had more and higher decorations than any other man during World War 2. He then went on to dedicate his life to entertaining America. His name was Audie Murphy. You can see his story in the movie, “To Hell and Back.”

There was another man over 2000 years ago who was ridiculed and rejected by His own people. He came preaching salvation and they laughed at Him; His own people turned against Him. This man gave the ultimate sacrifice so undeserving people like you and I could be saved.

Jesus Christ came to this earth to demonstrate a love stronger than that shown by any other man ever. That love is still demonstrated every day.

Jesus died on the cross of Calvary to demonstrate that love, He paid the ultimate price for OUR sins and demonstrated the ultimate love.

These two men continued to show their love for their country through their acting. But in the end that acting came to a stop when they were old.

Christ, however, not only carried His love for all Christians to the grave with him; he also brought that love from the grave when he was resurrected. God’s (Christ’s) love continues today and will continue beyond the end of time. God’s love can never fail.

Without Love, I Am Nothing

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:2 (NKJV)

Before I started this blog, I wrote a book called “Forgiveness, the prelude to love.” While I studied the scripture for answers, I found out that all things lead us to love. Although there is nothing to pay to get love, there is a definite set of paths that you must take to get to the point of loving.

Just think of all the different loves we have in our lifetime. As a child we love our parents, we love our siblings, we love other relatives that we may have.

How many times have I heard someone who claim they are a Christian say, “I will forgive what they did, but I won’t forget?” They may as well not waste their time.

Forgiving is only half the process. We must follow the example set by God. We must also forget what that person did.

        Paul makes it truly clear in Hebrew 10:11, how the repeated reminder of a sin is fruitless. To truly forgive someone, we must also remove it from our heart so our mind can never remember it.

            No one ever said being a Christian was easy. God has never told us we would understand all His ways, He only wants us to trust Him.

            We can’t have salvation on our terms. Salvation is on God’s terms. Remember, we turned our lives over to Him.

 We must follow the example set by God. We must also forget what that person did.

As we grow into teens, we have other classmates that we learn to love. If we are well liked, there will be teachers, preachers, and bible students at church we become fond of. Yet if we combined all that love together, it would be no more than a speck on a wall in comparison to God’s love just for us. Why?

God’s love has no conditions. God was willing to die for each one of us. Which one of those whom you love are you ready to die for?

My Apologies

My apologies for not having a post for this weekend. Unfortunately, after getting my first Covid-19 vaccination shot, I had a bad reaction. For some reason, my temperature spiked to 101 degrees and my wife took me to the VA emergency room. While there, my heart took off at a gallop. So I will be spending the weekend in the hospital.

Hopefully, I will be at home in time to post next week’s word definition. Until then, please keep me in your prayers.

The Things Which God has Prepared for Those Who Love Him

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

I think the Bible Knowledge Commentary sums up verse 9 better than anyone else I have read.

The blessings of salvation were prepared by the Father, carried out by the Son, and applied by the Spirit (Eph. 1:3-14) to all believers who as a result, love God.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.
  1. God has been setting the stage for salvation since the beginning of time. Man was created to look, act, and think like God.
    1. God created man in His own image, Genesis 1:27
    2. God Breathed the breath of life into man, Genesis 2:7
    3. God has given us the “Mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
  2. All that God created; He gave to man. Genesis 1:28
  3. God demonstrated His ultimate love toward man by giving His only Son to die on the cross in our place. To pay for the sins we committed, Jesus was sacrificed. He had no sin.
  4. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was introduced to man. He was not given to man to judge man, but to lead man in the ways of God. The Spirit was given to help us understand God’s word, enjoy God’s love, and live a Christian Life.

Today our young people read these verses of scripture and they mean extraordinarily little to them. They cannot understand how we could own all this and not make a profit from it. In fact, we do make a profit, just not each individual.

Even those who are Christians have a hard time putting all this in perspective. We get hung up on, “what do I get out of all this?”

Simple, you get all that is listed above and a lot more. All that is listed above is already our responsibility, and there will be much more to come.

Christ stated in John 14:10 that the statements He made didn’t come from Him, they came from the Father. Why? Because the Father lived in Christ just as the Holy Spirit lives in the Christian today.

Paul and eleven of the twelve disciples were called Apostles, I too have that distinction because I also teach and preach the Gospel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t put myself in the same circles as those Apostles, but God does. I am a part of that circle of teachers and preachers because that is the way God structures the church.

I do not share the same physical father as Christ; however, I do share the same Spiritual Father. If I love my Spiritual Father as Christ did, the Holy Spirit will live in me just as the Holy Spirit lived in Christ (Matt 3:16-17). With the Holy Spirit to guide me and tell me what to teach and preach, how could I possibly go wrong? However, I do have to follow the commands.

How does one follow (obey) the commands, quite simple, you live the bible daily. If you are living the word of God daily, you will automatically follow the commands because they are a part of the bible.

I can live the bible the same way Christ did. I am in the Father and the Father is living in me.

Let me explain two things that people often get wrong.

  1. Christianity is not a religion; it is a Way of Life.
  2. God has already given us His love through the death of Jesus on the Cross. Now we must give our love to God by following His commands

If you are indeed a Christian, then you live in the Father and the Faither lives in you just as He lived in Christ. You are a part of God because God lives in you. AMEN!!

While We Were Still Sinners

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

Jack Goodall was a good man. He paid his bills on time and always put others first. There were those that would have told you not to have any financial dealings with Jack, he didn’t believe in the golden rule. He believed that you should get all the money you could from each customer.

Dan Harris took his wife to church any time she wanted to go. However Dan was a very angry man who didn’t believe in God. Dan loved to fight and was a big man. In other words, Dan was the man you definitely stepped aside from when you met him on the sidewalk.

Tom Patrick was not one to cheat people and he never let his temper get away from him. Tom believed in helping his fellow man all he could, However, Tom was a womanizer. He liked taking the ladies home from the bar and staying for a while.

Each one of these men had their “sinful ways” that defined their lives. None of the three men actually believed in God. However, none of them kept their families from worshipping any time they could.

One Sunday night, all three of the men took their families to a revival meeting at one of the churchs in town. There was a large crowd and none of the men wanted to stay, but they wanted to be with their families.

The preacher chose John 3:1-16 for his sermon that night. The preacher was at his best that night and each man’s heart was ready. When the preacher finished his sermon and gave the call to the alter, all three men walked to the alter and dropped to their knees and confessed their sins. They gave the sins to God and God demonstrated His love by giving them salvation.

Notice that God didn’t wait for them to change their lives before He gave them salvation. God didn’t make them go to some class to be saved. God didn’t wait for them to be saved before He loved them. No, God loved these men while they were still sinners. God gave them salvation before they confessed their sins. Just as the scripture says, God love and saved them while they were still sinners.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

God’s largest act of Love was to give His only son to die on the cross for the sins of the world. Not just for the people who was alive at that time, but also for the sins of the people who would be born in the future. Jesus died not only for those who were sinning then, but also for me, a person that would be born in the distant future.

God still loves the world, because He is still giving salvation to any sinner who will profess their love to Christ.

For He Dwells with You and Will Be in You

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

John 14:15-17 (NKJV)

Please forgive me, I would like to break this verse of scripture down to get the true meaning and unfortunately just how dumb I can be sometimes.

The first statement that Jesus makes here is, “If You Love Me.”

There are some that advocate that you begin to “Love” Christ the moment you turn your life over to Him. I will stipulate that this is possible, it is also very unlikely. The feelings we have for Christ at that moment is “faith.”

I was one of the people that was extremely fortunate and had a person who was a good disciple. He was good at explaining the things that had been taught in the wrong context and showing how to replace them.

By using Hebrews 11:6 he was able to teach me the difference between love and faith in God’s eyes.

After we demonstrate our “faith” and accept Christ as our Savior, then we are on the correct road to salvation. As we study God’s word and get to know God, our love for God and Christ begins to grow.

When we learn to love God and apply that knowledge, then we must complete our works. God’s love comes at a price. Christ said we must “Keep My Commands.”

When we apply the knowledge we have learned and demonstrate that we can keep the commands and choose to not sin, it is at that point we become Christians. At that point Christ said “he” would pray to the Father and ask for Him to give us another helper.

You would be amazed at how many teachers and preachers I have heard teaching the Christ was living in us, this verse of scripture says different and so does John 14:3. In this verse of scripture, Christ says he has gone to prepare a place for us. We will need this place when Christ comes again to claim us and take us with him. That is God’s Love Supreme.

There are many that will tell you that you receive the Helper (Holy Spirit) the moment you are saved. Not according to the bible. We must first learn God’s word enough to learn to love God and keep His commands daily. If you are following the commands all day, there won’t be time for sin.

When I was saved, I wanted everyone to see the difference in me, but that was not possible. They wanted to see the change last in me.

Remember, the world can’t see God’s love and grace. They can’t respond to the Holy Spirit because they can’t see that He is present. Christianity is a way of life that we must live daily. The results of living a Christian Life are what the world can see in you.

Whoever Claims to Live in Him

Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did

1 John 2:6 (NIV2011)

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:12 (NIV2011)

Stop for a moment and think about God’s Love and what it means to live in the Love of God. You are claiming to Walk with God, Understand God, Live your life in God’s Will. How can a poor human accomplish all that? Because we are Blessed.

Sometimes I go to the grocery store or one of the box stores and as I start to walk away from the counter, the person on duty says, “have a blessed day.” I immediately turn and ask what that means. It is rare for the person to even get close to the meaning. Usually they state, “it means have a happy day.”

The Greek word used in the Beatitudes for “blessed” is Makarios. Makarios is the poetic form of the word Makar

Makarios: “a prose form of the poetic makar, blessed one.  Blessed, blissful.  Biblically, one is pronounced blessed when God is present and involved in his life.  The hand of God is at work directing all his affairs for a divine purpose, and thus, in a sense, such a person lives coram Deo, before the face of God.” (New Testament Lexical Aids in the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible.)

To be blessed is when we can say that we look like Christ. We look like him because He is living in us. Since Christ never sins, then we cannot sin. Christ is always humble; therefore, we must maintain that image of humility and at the same time we must also love our neighbor enough to die for them.

When I was in the Navy, I saw men and women every day that were ready to go into battle. Everyone who is ready for battle knows there is a chance they might not come back alive; however, they choose to go anyway.

Many of these people did not go to church and had no time for the bible. Some of them were truly Christians. To tell them apart was hard. You had to talk with them and learn firsthand whether they were Christians or not. God is not even asking us to do something that the world won’t do. God is simply asking that we act like Him, so we can confuse the enemy

For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV)

People are really confusing when it comes to dealing with God. They say they are Christians (like Christ). They have the Holy Spirit living in them directing their lives every day (if they listen) and they have the mind of Christ. In other words, they have the ability to think the same thoughts that Christ is thinking, and you still hear them say they are going into their closet to ask God what He would do.

How many preachers and teachers have you heard say they will call down the Holy Spirit to guide them. Well, if you say you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit “in you.”

To know that God through the Holy Spirit is living in you, you must study the word of God and allow Him to help you understand it. In other words, don’t be dumb.

Accordingly, to have the mind of Christ you must know what Christ is thinking. If you study the bible you will find that Christ is the word of God.

The One Who Loves Me will be Loved by My Father

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:21 (NIV2011)

Do you own a bible? If you do, then you have the commands of God and Christ. They are all written in the bible.

Are you automatically responsible for the commands, just because they are in the bible? No! You are responsible for the commands only after you have repented of your sin and have accepted Christ as your savior.

When a person repents of their sin, that sin is lifted and room is made for the salvation of Jesus Christ, the new convert is given a gift bible by the church. This action represents two different parts of that person’s salvation.

  1. The church has just fulfilled the first part of this verse of scripture and they have helped the person being converted get and hopefully keep the first part of the scripture represented here. The church gave them the commands of God.
  2. Which of the commands are we, as Christians, responsible for? We are responsible for every command given by God from the 10 commandments given on Mt. Sinai to the birth of Jesus.
  3. Although Christ never gave many commands for us to follow, He did give a few. The commands given by Christ are just as important as those given by God. We are responsible for both.

Just because we have the commands in the bible doesn’t mean that we know them enough to follow them. This is where the work comes in. Now we must study that bible to find out what those commands are and how they apply to us.

Most of the good churches will assign someone to disciple the new convert to teach them “how” to study the bible. This usually takes 2-3 weeks. Once the disciple releases the new convert, they are on their own.

The study given by the disciple, in no way prepares the convert to be a Christian. That preparation takes a lifetime.

God’s first command (Exodus 20:1) states that we shall have no other God’s before Him. That is not a command that can only be done on Sunday morning. To honor that command, you must make sure (on a daily basis) that you have not allowed any other thing, including money, to come before God.

That new position you were offered in the firm will come with a big promotion, a raise in salary, and more responsibility. If you accept a new position that keeps you from going to church, then you have broken the command and the love God has been giving you is in vain.

You have allowed money, pride, and self-conceit to come before God. That breaks the command, and you can’t allow that to happen.

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12 (NKJV)

Christ said we must love one another. We must do this every minute of every day. If something happens to make us angry at someone, we must stop, forgive that person of whatever they did and love them. Notice that forgiveness comes first. Unforgiveness can block love and keep it from getting to the person it is directed toward.

If we follow the commands of God and Christ daily, then it makes being a Christian easy.

The most satisfying compliment I have ever gotten was when a man looked at me and said, “I see Christ in you.”

People are supposed to see Christ in you. Why? Because you, as a Christian, have the Holy Spirit in you (John 14:17).

Remember, Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is a way of life. You must walk beside God all day every day.

And I Will Pray the Father

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever

John 14:15-16 (NKJV)

Tom Brewster was in his mid-20’s when he surrendered to God. It happened at a Sunday night service one summer. The pastor immediately assigned someone to disciple Tom and help him on his path to being a good Christian.

There are many who believe that a person who surrenders to God is automatically a self-sufficient Christian and can go out in the community and preach to the multitudes. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

There are also some church congregations that believe a person receives the Holy Spirit when they are saved. The bible proves all this wrong and teaches us a vastly different truth. It is a lot of hard work and spiritual expectation to become a Christian.

When the pastor assigned one of the deacons to tutor Tom about the bible, he made a very profound statement, he said, “Becoming a Christian is not automatic. Becoming a Christian is hard work and patience. It’s not about how much you know about the bible; it is more about how much you show concerning your walk with God.”

Tom was confused. When the pastor saw his confusion, he changed his method of teaching. The pastor looked at Tom and stated, “In versed 15-16, there are 5 statements of things you as a believer must do to achieve just the firs level of belief.”

The pastor then broke down the verses in this manner.

  1. If you love me:  What does it mean to love Crist? To love Christ is to have the same love He had for us. We must remember that Christ loved us so much; He was willing to be hanged on a cross because he loved us. That type of love must be returned in kind.
  2. Keep My Commandments: God has given us a set of commandments that we must follow. These commandments are for our benefit and are non-negotiable.
  3. And I Will Pray the Father. Christ took it upon Himself to ask the Father to help us. Christ asked for nothing for Himself, He asked for help for the Believers that have turned their lives over to Him. Not physical help, but spiritual help.
  4. And He will give you another helper. Just think about how much God loves us.
    1. He Created us to be our friend
    2. He gave us a physical helper (a wife)
    3. He gave his only son to die for us
    4. Then He gave us another helper (The Holy Spirit our spiritual helper). The Spirit lives in us and is there whenever we need him.
    5. And through all this, He gave us each other to love.

There are many people who promote the idea that God has a magic wand that he uses when we need something. Nothing could not be farther from the truth.

When God gave us the church, it wasn’t to get together each Sunday and sing songs. He gave us a meeting place that we could gather and praise God for loving us enough to give us the opportunity to help each other.

When Christ was feeding the multitudes, He furnished the fish and bread, but it did not rain down from above, it was handed out by the disciples.

When we need it, God will always give us money or physical things through the church. God doesn’t use a magic wand, He uses His disciples

If you want to become a Christian, you must love God with all your heart. You must walk with God, work for God, and give your testimony by the way you live your life.

A Christian is Christ like; therefore, everyone must see Christ in you. AMEN!!

As I Have Loved You

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

One Sunday morning not too long ago, a preacher from the mid-west stood up in church one Sunday morning and asked how many loved the lord as much as He had loved them. Over three quarters of the church raised their hands.

The preacher then asked that ten of those who raised their hand come forward and stand in front of the podium. There were many who came forward and the preacher had to select ten of them and asked that the remainder of them be seated.

Suddenly the county sheriff and 5 deputies came into the room and asked the ten people selected to turn around and be cuffed. They refused. They wanted to know what was going on.

The preacher looked at them and stated that one of the members of the church was to be executed the next day and the judge said he would let him go if ten people would die in his place.

One of the church members stood and asked why ten had to die to save just one person. One of the deputies answered, to show that you have 10 Christians in this church. The person standing stated that they were all Christians. They had demonstrated that by coming forward. The preacher re-read the scripture and stated that you only demonstrated that you were a Christian if you were willing to die.

There are a lot of churches that run around calling each other brothers and sisters, but if you told them they had to die for one of them to prove their love, I wonder how many of them would fall short of being a Christian. I have heard several people state; well, you don’t have to be willing to die for someone to be a Christian. Read that scripture again. Jesus loved us enough to die for us on the cross and the scripture states “as I have loved you.”

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

John 15:9-10 (NKJV)

If we aren’t willing to die for one another, we can’t even abide in the love of God. We aren’t even keeping the commands of God. I’m not talking about the Jewish law; I’m talking about the commandments given by God.

Many people have a problem distinguishing between the Jewish Law and the Commandments of God. The difference is simple. The Jewish Law was given for the people to live by; The Commandments of God were given for us to live for.

It is up to each individual to search their own soul and find out whether they love God enough to die for their brother or sister. As Christ stated, that’s how you can tell they are Christians.

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