It seems that every time I talk about love I get people who get offended. If I say God is love, someone will say he is judgment and justice. So what is love? God is love according to John. Paul states, He chose us in Him before the foundations of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in Love.
Before the foundations of the world God choose you to be found in Christ so that you might experience his love.
So what is love again? God! So he is the definition of LOVE. But wait, there is another definition of love in the bible. The love of this world. To love this world (it’s fallen state) is to be a enemy of God. Its the way that seems right to a man. It leads to death. Its about fulfilling yourself apart from God.
There is a love that is not good because it is not of God. See you can never love God with all your heart with this love. This love is more about you getting to heaven then it is about relationship and knowing the eternal God. Its more about survival and escaping judgment then its about being in the arms of a loving Father.
This love will never satisfy the Father. There is only one love thats worthy enough, holy enough, perfect enough…Its Jesus! God can only receive himself. So I can only love God with all my heart by first allowing all of Gods love to transform me. This is what John meant by saying, “we love Him because He first loved us!”
His love is transformational! Once you have received this love nothing can ever separate you from it. Life, death, satan, nothing can stand against it. His love is what holds the universe together. For God so loved…
See God is love! Now some will say he is holy. Thats truth. Gods love is WHOLE (holy), love is JUSTICE (Just-if-i-had-not-sinned), love is judgement (he loved creation so he destroyed the power of darkness). Love destroyed all sin so humanity without excuse could receive his love, so they might become one with God. See, how could God hate himself? See you are his image. Sin and death destroyed it but God reconciled it through the cross for those who believe. Why would you want to return to death when Christ has come to give you life. Sin has been destroyed through this act of obedience.
This truth is not only positional but it is pursued. Christ is the sabbath rest. We are to cease from our works and we take on his finished work. We allow his transformational love to purify our hearts.
So Gods love is fire. I find when John the baptist said he will baptize you in Holy Spirit and fire, that this was a baptism of his love. When the fire of God hits you, you desire nothing but his presence. You become perfect as he is perfect (Matt 5:48), Holy as he is Holy (Col 1:24), As he is in heaven so are we on this earth (1 John 4:17). Goodness and mercy follow you. You hate sin and desire righteousness! GLORY TO GOD!!!
Jesus did not spend his days obsessing over Caesar! He was about His fathers business. The next president is not going to determine the spiritual direction of this country… The church will! For good or bad. Saints doing nothing but fretting over the times will never save a soul.
If you’re questioning in your heart whether you have an offense or not ask yourself this, “why do I feel the need to justify myself?”. Remember that love keeps no record of a suffered wrong.
Jesus never had to justify himself. His love actions proved that he saw the value of man apart from performance. Grace and truth, manifested through love will always be the test of our faith. Our ability to love in spite of the offense is what makes us Christ like.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”… -Leonard Cohen
As a recovering perfectionist, I used to struggle with being perfect and doing perfect. All futile attempts. But my awareness of my weakness and need allows room for God to break through, to me and through me.
That’s how His glorious light gets in. Jesus clothed us in perfect grace, righteousness and belonging and still extends the invitation to partake of kingdom life that is at hand daily when we look to Him.
Dispose all pride of self and place confidence in Him who will build something more beautiful than you could have achieved of your own. In your weakness, He is strong. It’s where the supernatural, wisdom, strength, and breakthroughs are attained. The resurrection, repentance…life. Realize that you don’t have to be perfect to be found perfect by Him and to live greatly. Beauty spills out of people who offer themselves and imperfectly rest on a perfect savior.
His perfect light, shining through imperfect vessels. – Cessna Kelley
I came not to baptize with water, but with Holy Spirit and fire – Jesus
Many say they want the baptism of Holy Spirit, but many do not understand the fire. The Holy Spirit empowers you to manifest holiness through the fire (trials and suffering).
A great illustration is Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego! They were literally baptized in fire because of disobeying the king who commanded them to bow to his god. Because they would only bow to the true God (Jehovah) they were thrown in a fiery furnace.
They chose to walk in holiness and become living sacrifices to the Lord. Because of their love for God and making him Lord of their life, Jesus came and manifested himself in the furnace, making himself Lord over their circumstances.
Holy Spirit was never promised to us to make us comfortable but to comfort us and empower us in the middle of our fiery sufferings. In these moments our hearts are made manifest and we see what we really believe. Many in America would never die for their Jesus because their Jesus is a formed theology made in their image. We want a Jesus with a lamb on his back not one with fire in his eyes.
There is a baptism of fire! It is a glorious thing. This refining of the heart and purifying of the soul. We need Holy Spirit to overcome…not just so we can roll around on the floor and have a good time. If the times of refreshing of rolling on the ground do not produce holiness then all you have is a emotional experience.
The Father wants not just a bride who is spotless and holy in the spirit but one who walks out the faith producing fruits of holiness in the soul and body. I see so many trying to find the right method or trying to think good thoughts about Jesus…but all those actions fall short of the glory that comes through encountering his presence.
If the so called good news your hearing only boast about your identity apart from denying yourself…it’s false! We are to boast only of the Father and Christ.
If the focus is all about grace apart from faith…it’s false! Without faith it is impossible to please God.
If everyone is included in his death, burial, and resurrection apart from believing…it’s false! All have died with Christ but not all have risen into eternal life.
If hell is none existent or just a place of refining till repentance…it’s False! God created hell for the devil and his fallen angels and man chooses to accompany them because he choose darkness over light.
The Holy Spirit is not here to make you drunk, wacked, wasted, high, and any other fleshly adjective you can come up with. He is here to reconcile your heart and body into Sonship. Falling in his presence is revelatory. Heaven is invading you with Gods goodness to take you into greater levels of repentance.
God is love and his love is holy. He hates sin! He desires his people to be love and their love also to be holy. That means love is not a casual slap on the back or even a quick judgment. It’s a ministry of reconciliation!
It all starts with “God is Good, and your mercy endures forever!” Seek him. That means get off your phone, turn off the tv. Choose relationship and stop trying to multitask God in your live and then question while there is zero power flowing into you life. Today make a choice to choose Jesus. The only way, truth, and light!!!
There was an a great revelation that was brought to my attention the other day. It comes from the story of Samson. Samson was anointed by God as a judge over Israel and one who was to deliver them from the bondage of the Philistines including killing thousands with a jaw bone of a donkey. He did mighty exploits for God in hopes that Israel would find their dependence in God.
God did set a few boundaries for Samson not to cross. One was that he was never to drink wine and the other was not to cut his hair.
One day Samson met a woman named Delilah. She was paid by the Philistines to find his weakness so they might over take him. In a moment of weakness he revealed the source of his strength. Just so you know it had less to do with wine and hair and more to do with obedience. Delilah then cut his hair while he slept and he lost the anointing for his supernatural strength and the enemy overtook him and cut out his eyes.
Later as he was being held prisoner by the enemy they asked if Samson could be brought out for a celebration that they were having so that he might perform for them while they mocked. So he entertained them in his shame. Later unknowing to the enemy his hair began to grow back and his anointing came with his cries of repentance and he pushed the pillars that supported the building the celebration took place in causing it to collapse on himself and the enemy killing them all.
There are a couple of things I want to mention about this story.
1. The gift and callings are without repentance but the anointing is optional. What I mean is when we live in the boundaries of humility and worship unto God our gifts and calling find power through the anointing.
2. The anointing always has boundaries. Operating outside of the anointing is costly and often leads to death. Read the story of Saul. God places boundaries for us and to maintain the integrity of his gospel. Repentance will always return his anointing but not all the time with the same measure.
3. Disobedience will blind you. After Samson lost the anointing he still tried to perform under it. I see many men who do the same. They try to operate in the gifting apart from the anointing not knowing that their disobedience has blinded them to the fact that they have walk from Gods covering leaving them to only perform not for Gods people but for his enemies. The anointing is here to perform Gods exploits for the deliverance of His people. Performing apart from Gods anointing only entertains those who choose to be Gods enemy.
This story is so important to the body of Christ today. We need the anointing, his supernatural power. It’s what brings the gospels to life and empowers the believer to live as Christ did on this earth. But disobedience carries consequences. It does not remove his love but it does remove his power until we walk back into humility.
“So it happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, “Call for Samson, that he may perform for us.” So they called for Samson from the prison, and he performed for them. And they stationed him between the pillars.”
Judges 16:25 NKJV