Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Put on Love

 Jesus responds to a Pharisee questioning Him about the greatest commandment with the Royal Law;

"And He said to him,"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40

What an amazing world this could be if men and women embraced these commands. When God is at the forefront of our mind He influences our choices, decisions, and moods. You will find yourself being much more humble and kind.

 The world we live in does not desire to follow Jesus or His commands. We find ourselves living in a fallen world influenced by the fallen angel Satan himself. He distorts the truth, brings about greed, jealousy, hate, cruelty and complete selfishness. He has the opposite effect of Jesus love by causing all kinds of trauma, discouragement, and distrust. He blinds the minds of human beings from witnessing the goodness that God desires for them. Fortunately, God sent His Son Jesus to cover this sinful nature with His atoning blood and opens our hearts and minds to God's glorious light.

When we finally come to the end of ourselves and call out to the Lord, He immediately responds by sending His Holy Spirit to lead, guide, heal, restore and provide in a plethora of ways. His marvelous Word helps our limited understanding to grow, change and blossom. He chooses us because of His great love, not because we have earned it or impressed Him in some way. I love the following scripture because it shows us that we are a work in progress, His work;

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." Colossians 3:12-14

God's Holy Spirit produces real and lasting love in our hearts. By reading the Word of God and spending time in conversational prayer with God, He helps us, equips us, encourages us, to become more like Him. Our character changes and wonderful fruit replaces the rotten, decaying parts of our very soul.

Ask yourself, are you gentle and patient with others? Are you holding onto a grudge, a hurt or disappointment, that is causing unforgiveness in your heart? Do you find yourself complaining about others, pointing the finger? Are you harboring jealousy or envy toward someone, which in turn embitters your own heart?

If any of these questions zero in on a situation that is contrary to Jesus character take it to the Lord in prayer. Ask the Lord to help you to forgive, let go, be cleansed and ask for the infilling of His Holy Spirit. He desires to restore you to uninterrupted joy so you may live above the unfair circumstances that have befallen you in this sinful world.

God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, working together as one, desire you to be clothed in His love. He says in the scripture to literally put it on. This is a daily choice. Examine your heart with the Lord' help. Be honest with yourself. Pray to be rid of any bondage that has been holding you as prisoner. Accept the freedom that the Lord holds out to you. 

If you are believing and following the Royal Law you will walk in the perfect bond of unity. You will be unified with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Your desire should develop into a yearning to walk in unity with the Body of Christ which of course includes fellow Christians. True love never disappoints.

Todays takeaways:

* Know the Royal Law

* Recognize Satan brought sin into the world and Jesus came to restore it

* God has chosen you, you in turn need to choose Him

* Examine your heart, be cleansed

* Walk in love that comes from above


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Ask Your Heavenly Father

Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:7-11

Jesus was teaching the people here in what is known as the Sermon on the Mount and people were astonished at His teaching because He taught with such authority. It is recommended that you read chapters 5-7 to capture all of His teaching.

He began to teach them the Lord's Prayer and was giving an illustration on being persistent in prayer when He came to the place where we He encourages us to ask, seek and knock. What a wonderful privilege our Father has given to us His children that we can come to Him and ask what we have need of. Many times throughout the Gospels Jesus encourages us to ask. But do we? Oftentimes asking our Father is the last thing we think of. In chapter 6 verse 8 it says, ... your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. He wants to hear us!

I love the illustration that Jesus uses here because when teaching about the aspect of asking God for something that you need, He teaches in the context of a son asking his loving Father and that He is a good Father. He will give us good things!

Nowhere else in the Bible is God referred to many times as Father, your Father or Heavenly Father as in the Sermon on the Mount. Go ahead, count them. It seems as though God wants us to know that He is our Father and He loves to hear from His children. So ask, seek and knock!

💙 Dan