Wednesday, October 28, 2020


 God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.                                                                  I John 4:13

Never has been an element of God so maligned and misrepresented as the Spirit of God!  It's a shame, given that this entire chapter of 1 John is the one which says, "test the spirits" so as to know the Spirit of God and then proceeds to tell us the markers, the evidence of this Spirit:

vs 2 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body.

vs. 6 If someone who "belongs" to God tells truth about him.

vs 12 If we love each other, God (by implication His Spirit) lives in us and God's love is brought to full expression in us.

vs 13  When Jesus is claimed as the Son of God, which is his rightful relationship with God.

Throughout these verses, love is the outcome of these guides to the Spirit's presence.  If any of these truths lead to any hate or deception, then they are not properly held truths.  To "hold" these truths rests in our ability to align our lives with the reality of a living God who inhabits his people.  The result will be known truths about the nature of God, which in its fullness is the expression of God, which is seen in the comradery, the family nature of the body of believers.  There will be no fear and no hate.

Most translations call this love for "brothers" or "brothers and sisters."  The Greek is adelphos, literally meaning someone who has shared parents or a shared ancestry.  It comes from a household word which means "womb."

The closeness we are to hold for each other indicated here cannot be overstated.  And the damage sin has done to the original family and many others cannot be ignored.  For some, the animosity between siblings is devastating.  Sibling rivalry is a common theme for many.

How do we then learn sibling love?  From the power of our acquired status as children of God.  Paul says it eloquently and connects life in the Spirit again with love:

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.  And you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  Instead, you have received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.  Now we call him, "Papa."  And his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children.

And since we are his children, we are his heirs.  In fact, together with Christ, we are heirs of God's glory..."  Romans 8:14-17a"

Adoption and heirship is  powerful in New Testament culture.  Adoption is more powerful legally than sonship in the Greek culture (Romans is written to Greeks): it is irrevocable.  It is a message we need to hear.  God will not give up on us and he wants our joining of spirits to give us all privilege of sonship, the greatest legacy of which is love.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Love is a Lifestyle

 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion - how can the love of God be in that person?  

Dear ones, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.  Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.

1 John 3:17-19

Compassion rules the day when it comes to God.  Love is the hallmark of the Christ way!  Sharing out of your plenty is always a good course.  This is because love is not a theory, not just a good idea.  It is a lifestyle. 

Make love your way of life.  Love in deed:  make it your business, your product, an act of labor.  And make it the basis that represents the truth about your life with Christ.  This truth is a visible reality that is objectively seen and is done with excellence, candor and with purity.  It seeks not its own extolment - just love's cause.  It is an honest presentation of the love in the heart of a person.  

Let there be no doubt what feeds and drives your life.  God's love in you makes it possible for your to purely love others, for you cannot give what you do not have for yourself.  So, if you want to love others well, garner the love of God thoroughly for yourself:

     - Let your roots grow down into God's love (Eph 3:17)

     - Have the power to undersand how wide, long, high and deep God's love is. (Eph 3:18)

     - Seek Christ's love with faithfulness. (Eph 6: 23, 24)

     - Receive the Holy Spirit, which God intended to use to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:5)

     - See the proof of God's love for us in that God sent Christ to die for us, while we were yet sinners. (Romans 5:8)

     - Fear nothing!  Love wins over all earthly powers! Rest in the triumph of love! (Romans 8:38, 39)

When God's love is completed in you, your love for others will be complete.