Love never fails, and faith works!
1 Cor.13:8 / James 2:17
Love never fails, and faith works!
1 Cor.13:8 / James 2:17
Every journey begins with one step.
You may have a long journey planned.
You may have a big project in mind or dream in your heart.
The whole thing could be compromised by doubt, sabotaged by fear.
We can be convinced it’s a God plan
but paralysed to start because of self doubt.
Eleven disciples stayed in the boat.
Peter got out of it.
The whole Israelite army shuddered at the sabre rattling Philistines.
David faced Goliath.
What was the difference?
David knew his covenant and was certain of the outcome.
He faced a one headed monster and finished the job.
Peter faced a two headed monster and only had partial success.
He overcame the doubt but fear overcame him.
Peter is a lesson in starting.
David a lesson finishing.
David neither doubted nor feared.
Matthew 14:22-31 / 1 Sam. 17
Love One another
The gift of Pentecost was that the Holy Spirit fell and brought unity.
Love was the vehicle.
The command: to love one other.
Number one is you!
If you don’t love ‘one’, how can you love ‘another?’
If you don’t love yourself it hinders your real love for others.
Why don’t you love yourself?
Do you look in the mirror and compare yourself to others?
Do you look into your heart and see failure, defeat,
As a man thinks so he is!
We are often harder on ourselves than we ever are on others.
But this is straying too close to judging to be comfortable.
Think of David. We know his failures.
But what does God say?
‘Here is a man after my own heart!’
So what does God see in you?
He sees potential!
He sees the you He made, and the you He intends you to be.
The enemy may call you ‘failure.’ That is condemnation.
If God called you failure, you would be, but He doesn’t.
He affirms you.
As He affirms us and sees the best in us,
so we are encouraged to view others in the same light.
If you don’t agree and line up with His verdict you are giving place to the enemy to destroy you and potentially damage your relationship with others..
Mark 12:29-31 Jesus replied, “This is the most important:
‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”…
We love because He first loved us.
Released to Love Him, we are enabled to love ourselves, and commanded to love others.
Grace and Law
How often our hearts are moved by compassion
Yet our minds can easily slip into judgement.
Our coming to Christ brought about a heart change,
but the word says we need to renew our minds
to come into the conformity of Christ.
How often have you felt an impulse to do good
then reason argues against it.
Paul sets out the way to victory
‘ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ Romans 12:1-2
He then outlines the code of conduct.
A tall order, only possible by the Grace of God.
Paul describes this tension in Romans 7
‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.(7:24-25)
GRACE: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Your Body is the temple for the Holy Spirit.
Picture Jesus cleansing the temple
by evicting the pollution of the money changers
and ordering the merchants to leave.
Now picture your body.
Is there unwanted distress or disease in it?
A foreign body,
something polluting the health of your temple.
Cast it out!
If the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you,
then that same power can take authority
and overturn this domination.
It a power struggle.
Beware ’squatter’s rights!’
1 Cor. 6:19-20
Jesus doesn’t always give us what we want,
He gives us what we need.
Like can’t and won’t.
Some say they can’t
but what they really mean is they won’t.
Phil 4:19/ Rom 8:5-10
Are you held captive by something stronger than your ability to escape.
A thought, a habit, a failing?
Has you heart been broken by seeing someone you love abandon their faith- walk and be enticed by the world?
Here’s your scripture!
‘Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of the warrior?
Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go?
BUT the Lord says, ‘The captive of the warrior will be released and the plunder of the tyrant will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you and I will save your children.’‘ Is. 49:24/5
Show us our part in this Lord, that we may become part of the answer not the problem.
Isaiah is Old Testament. Pre Christ. Post cross we have been given authority with the power of God within us.
2 Cor. 10:5. We have weapons mighty in God….
Darkness is anything
that tries to obliterate the light of God.
The light of God is Love. Truth.
Darkness is anything the tries to steal
or question this light.
It often manifests itself in fear.
Right from the start the darkness tried to question
Love and Truth. ‘Did God say?’
It often triggers fear.
Fear of something. Someone.
The worst consequence is being afraid of God.
How to overcome fear?
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.’ Prov. 3:5
The heart is the seat of affection.
The head of reason.
Antidote for fear and falsehood?
‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:…’ 2 Tim. 3:16/17
‘For what saith the scripture?
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him
as righteousness.’ Rom 4:3
It is the lambs that are in danger that the Lord seeks.
Those who have wondered off,
those who have got caught in snares
or fallen into pits they cannot get out of alone.
They need rescuing.
Picture the Shepherd finding the stray lamb.
Out of compassion
and knowledge of his land and sheep,
he knows where to look!
See him call to his dog to help in the rescue.
The well trained sheepdog only responds to commands.
He is incredibly alert;
anxious to please and obey the shepherd.
He only does what the Shepherd commands!
Who are you in the picture?
Are you the lamb?
Be sure Jesus knows exactly where you are,
spiritually, emotionally, physically.
By the power of the Holy Spirit
he will minister directly to you, spirit to spirit.
In the natural He will send assistance in human form.
Someone will be sent to come along side you,
either physically or prayerfully.
Are you the sheepdog?
Are you merrily rounding up the sheep regardless of instructions,
not stopping until you are exhausted?
But what has happened to the sheep?
Sometimes they take fright and are scattered!
Or are you well trained, following the example of Jesus,
who only did what His Father told Him?
A lot of wasted energy could be saved
for a greater reward done His way!
Been a Christian a long time?
Been reading the Word regularly?
Beware you could be taking it all for granted.
You could be skimming over the Word lightly
At times knowing many scripture by heart.
But is your faith activated?
Are you believing what is the almost unbelievable?
Is your life matching up to the promises made to you?
Are your hopes and dreams rooted in the Word?
If you take your eyes off the ball in any game
you risk losing!
Keep your eyes on the Word.
His Name is Jesus.
Keep your eyes on the promises.
The Promise Keeper is faithful.
Circumstances may suggest otherwise.
Whose report will you believe?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.