Let Love Shine ! While They Whine !

I was reading my bible this morning when the Holy Spirit illuminated verses 5 and 6 of the Love Chapter of the Bible, I Corinthians 13.  It is a chapter most believers are familiar with… for it is read at many weddings… but this passage isn’t just for interaction by couples. This passage is telling true believers what operating in God’s definition of love looks like.  It reveals the importance of this attribute being exhibited by a believer in today’s modern society.  As a matter of fact, our spiritual gifts aren’t worth anything without this love being witnessed by society as they look upon each of us individually. Together…we can make a difference…for we can operate in love within our own sphere of influence…and live this definition.

So…let’s read these specific two verses as they describe love:  I Corinthians 13:5-6

Love…. “does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.”

Here is an easy question for you: Does Society today reflect this kind of Love? 

We can all emphatically say,  “No Way!”

After all, we all just experienced, via the media, the Charlottesville riot this past weekend.

Does Society as a whole behave rudely?  Yes!

Do they seek their own? Yes!

Do they think evil? Yes!

Do they rejoice in iniquity/sin? Yes! Like never before. No one calls sin SIN as the scripture does. Society is uniting in their acceptance of iniquity, and fighting for their rights to continue in it!

What about “rejoicing in the truth“?

Do they rejoice in the truth of God’s word? No!

Do they rejoice in Christ Jesus, the Savior of the Word, who says He IS the way, the TRUTH, and the life? and that no man comes to God the Father but through Him?  No!

Modern society is seeking to deny even basic truths like the institution of marriage, of male-female gender, God’s right to tell them, as their creator, what is good and what is evil? The absolutes of right and wrong are replaced by opinion and societal brain-washing! Evil is continually in man’s thoughts…and it doesn’t take anything to provoke someone to anger and violence! We’re getting pretty far from the truth when we want to erase our own history from existence.

And yet…. Doesn’t Society talk about Love?  … They sure do! … ALL the time!

The fact of the matter is, modern society, while condemning and persecuting believers who stand up for the truth, are calling those who agree with God “unloving”, when in actuality, their definition of love is a lie!  Love is neither tolerance of evil nor acceptance of the evil doer who is harming those around them by their evil ideology or works. Never being allowed to share an opinion different from them is not love.

Society has been operating under a false definition of love and we, as a whole, are therefore being destroyed from within. Not only the USA, but also other countries. They, who for the sake of this “false definition of love” have let people full of hate and division and immorality into their boundaries, which has now lead them to inner destruction. Lawlessness abounds across the land, and believers are really the only group of people who can remain hopeful, joyful, and loving amidst the chaos. Why? Because we have Christ within… and greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world. Amen?! (smile)  This is why we can follow verse 7 of love’s chapter: “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  Did not Christ exhibit that kind of love? and we abide in Him…hallelujah!

Love is being kind and patient, not being envious, or proud, or boastful, yes….but this is an attitude of our own hearts God speaks of.  As a nation, we must place love for GOD and for HIS WILL above all “tolerance” of an evil doer. This takes wisdom and knowledge of the truth. Once reborn by the blood of Jesus Christ, we depend upon the Spirit of God and our Bible to be read and understood, to follow after Jesus. It IS a narrow way! And not all who say Lord Lord even are going to find that narrow way, but those who Obey His Will and find their righteousness in Christ. Becoming a believer is free, it is of grace not of works, and totally makes us all “even” in the sight of God. No group is better than another within the body of Christ. We find equality at the humble foot of the cross looking up to Jesus, who alone is worthy of greatness. Yet Believers, we are “higher” than Society, for we are already eternal and seated in the heavenlies with Christ Jesus (as far as our position), and we CAN affect lives all around us, by our own individual life lived in LOVE and OBEDIENCE, for Christ lives in us. We can Shine! We can allow Christ to be glorified through us. Through our life of true love.

John 17 is an awesome prayer, prayed by Jesus Christ to the Father, and he is praying for us, Believers!! He says he “doesn’t pray for the world” but for us! He prays for us, because He is “glorified in us”, not in them. (See verses 8-9 of John 17)

Believers, we, as we let true love grow, as I Cor 13 defines it, and allow our hearts to pray for and build up one other …and speak out for God’s will and edify with words of faith…following after Jesus…we can begin to shine while they all whine!

I happen to believe if our light, collectively, becomes brighter, and our love more visible, that the lost will come to us to find the answers in this dark world and find hope and freedom in Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

To conclude:

Does society today reflect true Love? NO!  Even unbelievers are realizing that Trump is not the blame for everything in society that is going haywire! Although he is continuing to be blamed for every evil work. What he has become is an excuse for lawlessness, and a license for others to go their own way, for they can blame someone other than themselves, the evil of their own hearts, and their own lack of true love.

It’s time to stop the blame game and start the love from above!

Believers, Make a loving stand! Know your word! Tell the truth! Be true to yourself in Christ! Don’t deny the truth to be falsely loved by them. Don’t be bullied into embracing their false definition of love! All this compromise has produced nothing good… so let’s try another strategy! Let’s love them to the truth! Let’s share the true definition of love with them!

Love never fails! (I Cor 13:8)

Let’s allow Christ’s love to show outward to all. We won’t be behaving rudely…we won’t seek our own…we won’t be easily provoked…we will think no evil…we will not rejoice in iniquity…we will rejoice in the truth.  Amen?!! (smile)

Now is our time to shine! While they whine!

Don’t let them condemn you, a believer, saying that you do not know how to love, just because you speak the truth! Love rejoices in the truth! Amen?!!

I am writing this article to dispel the lies/confusion of the “love” that society is speaking of!  Believers, let’s not get sucked into a false definition of love.  We just observed from these two verses alone, that society as a whole is not operating in God’s definition of love. Men have become lovers of themselves! They know how to whine! Not shine!

But I say, Let us SHINE, and While they WHINE!

II Timothy 4:18 gives you a promise to hang onto. Remember this verse as you look around you and things seem to be completely lawless, chaotic, and fear would like to replace love within you:

“And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

Written by Beth Ann Smith, August 17, 2017

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PLUG IN …for it’s IN and THROUGH Christ IN You

 

A Believer’s Foundation for Power is Love.

PLUG IN to the revelation of Jesus’ love for you. We must work FROM God’s love, not FOR God’s Love.  John, the disciple of Jesus, is an example. He loved Jesus, because Jesus first loved him, and he had realized this.  We, today, are also told in I John 4:19 that “…we love Him, because He first loved us.” This…John’s personal revelation of Jesus’s love FOR him, as a friend closer than a brother, caused John to be the ONLY disciple who was able to go to the cross with Christ. He had the love within him to “involve himself” in that which concerned Jesus. Why was he there? Because he loved Jesus! The bond between them was LOVE, not duty, servitude, or expectation. Christ knew that John’s same love toward him would go outward toward others, and his mother was considered one of those others.  Christ, in fact, in turn, entrusted his own mother to John. John 19:26 says, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”  Interesting to note, that John is the one who is writing this narrative, so truly he had revelation that he was loved BY JESUS. This is why he LOVED Jesus. In John 13:34 Jesus, in fact, gives the command to all his followers: “…that you love one another, AS I have loved you, that you may also love one another.”  In looking at this verse another time, I realize he could have just said, love one another as I have loved you. But notice, added to this are the words, “that you may”.  The language of empowering. Then I perceived that this is indeed the secret of our “ability” TO Love. This ability to love outwardly comes from an awareness and experience of Jesus’s love for us individually first. He who knows me best, loves me… so I can then risk loving others, no matter what the cost. Do you think John thought of the risks associated with him being at the cross with Jesus? OR… Do you think he thought of Jesus’s need to have his friend’s support during his time of pain and suffering? I believe he saw both, but the latter, his desire to be there FOR Jesus, caused him to die to self-preservation. He wanted to LOVE Jesus back… Not only receive that which he needed FROM Christ. I believe this is the same motivation that will reside in martyrs during these end times. We will stand up WITH Christ! We will become desirous to be in defense of Christ’s honor, and fellowship in His sufferings, for we LOVE Him and believe in all He lived for. We understand that it is His Life which gives us eternal life, so we will not Deny Him.

I think of even small ways we may show our love for Christ. For instance, when I’ve heard a person swearing by using the Lords name in vain. It bothers me, not because I’m judging that person for using bad language. No! …it bothers me because I love Jesus so much!  I hate hearing His Name so dishonored. It’s a love FOR Jesus that activates my righteous indignation. Yet it’s also my love FOR Jesus, and knowing Jesus’ love FOR that person, that keeps me from losing my cool and being unkind to that one who speaks his name in vain ignorantly. Love for Jesus is demonstrated in both reactions…the internal and the external. My love for Jesus may cause me to be silent, or sometimes cause me to kindly say to that person: “Could you refrain from using Jesus’ name that way, for I love Him dearly. He is so worthy of us all giving honor toward His Name.”  When I’ve spoken that lovingly and respectfully to coworkers in the workplace, my coworkers in turn respected my love for the Lord, and did not speak his name in vain…at least in front of me. Love went full circle. They realized I wasn’t judging them, but I was LOVING Jesus.

LOVE is the foundation for all God and Christ did, and continue to do in our lives

Laying his life down and enduring the CROSS was Jesus’s “demonstration” of his love for you and me… and God’s demonstration of love was to give His only son for us all. So too, our love for God and Christ comes from the true revelation of the Cross. Thus making the cross the centrality of Christianity. There is no being a Christian without the cross. The blood spilt by Jesus was necessary to buy us back from the Kingdom of Darkness and place us into the Kingdom of Light…an act of pure love and great grace. Once IN the Kingdom of Light through acceptance of Christ into our lives, we abide there in the intimacy of relationship…the relationship of love, which motivates our lifestyle and responses and focuses in life. We experience LOVE everyday as the Lord answers our prayers, gives us knowledge of Himself, and fills our lives with blessings and goodness.

A Believer’s Knowledge of God and Christ Activates Faith and Power

Jesus REVEALS God’s “good” nature. Col 1:15 states that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God”. He is “the radiance of the God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature”. Hebrews 1:3. Jesus showed us all that God wants to heal us, not afflict us. Jesus’s main ministry of love was to heal people and to deliver people, destroying the works of the enemy in operation. If God has the ability to create us, Jesus revealed He also delights to recreate…or to make us whole. A man BORN blind was healed and his sight restored. Why? To bring glory to God. So why didn’t God just make him with good eyes to start with, we question. And I wonder…Was the demonstration to show us that Jesus can change, and re-create, for he is God too, that which God has already formed? He who was born blind could now see. Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. A storm was allowed by God, the disciples becoming fearful, but Jesus could command and calm the storm. He could change what God did already. Those born a certain way could be reborn? physically and spiritually? People could be made whole if they call on the Name of Jesus? This is the mighty power of our Jesus, a power given to him by His Father, God. Do we realize Christ is not the suffering man on the cross still, but that he is ALIVE, and intercedes at Father’s right hand for you and I, for he has been in bodily form and knows man’s weaknesses and sufferings?… thus bringing change to what God may have already allowed to take place in our lives? We believers have the love and discipline of a Father AND the love and the grace of a brother? And we must not forget the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, and the one who dwells WITHIN the believer. He takes what is of the Father and the Son and gives that TO US. Without HIM there would be no power or ability to be Christians. The Godhead operates in complete ONEness…in agreement…in unity…yet are distinct in their operation. The Son surrenders to God the Father, and we surrender to the Son, and the Father exalts the Son, and the Son exalts us. And the Holy Spirit empowers all this operation and plan, and He is himself God!

We, as believers, must allow the Spirit of Christ, within us, to operate… Then we ARE empowered…and the Kingdom of God comes within and advances outward.  The Holy Spirit is all about the principle of “in and through Christ.”  Believers who focus on their own ability or inability will always fall short of a supernatural lifestyle. It’s not about us… it’s about Him, Christ in and through us, via The Spirit…referred to as the Spirit of God… the Spirit of Christ. We must be baptized in the Spirit… in other words, totally surrendered and immersed in His power, realizing he is a person, and God himself, dwelling within our spirit. He is Spirit, and speaks to our individual spirit, thus making the intimacy of relationship within possible.  We must invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. We ask for Him. We surrender to Him. He takes what is of God and Christ and reveals it unto us in REALTIME. It is not history.. it is in the present. It is a relationship taking place on the inside and walked out on the outside. Yet the Spirit doesn’t speak of himself, he speaks as Christ. Christ is alive in us through His Spirit…the HOLY Spirit. This is how we distinguish him from other spirits. He IS holy. He will speak in alignment with the Word of God. He will never contradict Christ, for he is Christ’s spirit. Why did Jesus have to ascend into heaven before his Spirit could come to man? Because a man’s spirit resides in his body until he has died. Jesus’ spirit resided in him when he walked the earth. Now his spirit can live in us. Jesus had to become fully spirit to then have us, who are IN HIM, to be ONE WITH HIM in spirit. Believers we are spirit, and we worship HIM, our Lord, in spirit and in truth. The reason we lose sight of problems when we are truly worshipping, is that we become as one in spirit with Christ. Our flesh gets out of the way. And God inhabits the praises of his people. It is truly glorious. The Spirit of God takes the word of God and gives it meaning and interpretation. Just as lovers exchanging a love letter; …it’s the man and woman involved who understand the language of their letter…with its nuances and innuendo…not a stranger reading it.  A particular sentence could mean many things, but because one person loves the other person and knows their heart when they say the sentence, they will have the true meaning of what is meant. So too, it is this way with the Spirit interpreting the word of God for Christ’s lovers.

PLUG IN

Now, very important, we ourselves must experience relationship with the Godhead, to be used to bless others, do good deeds, heal and deliver, and do the works of the Kingdom.  Jesus must be abided in, and He in us, to be walking the walk and talking the talk.

  • It has nothing to do with my works, it has everything to do with HIS Work through me.
  • If I focus on my ability or inability, nothing will take place. I will fall short, because without Him I can do nothing.
  • I participate with Jesus and he gives me the honor and privilege of working WITH Him.
  • My job is to believe that God is really good at his job! This gives faith. We all have been given a measure of faith.
  • I must PLUG IN. As a branch adheres to a vine…nothing in itself giving it life, or power, or ability to produce fruit. Jesus said, “I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever lives in me, and I in him, bears much fruit… however apart from me (cut off from vital union with me) you can do nothing.” (I John 15:5) 
  • The Lord showed me personally today that a more modern way to think of this is to think of ourselves, as believers, as a USB plug-in, for most of us know how those work. Like a USB plug-in, we have no power in ourselves, yet put into a power source, it is usb driveable to receive from its source, and transmit that power, or information, to another. Interesting about a USB drive… it can plug into all that’s inside the computer and have full access to it. That vital information can then be copied down into the drive, and then that USB plugged in elsewhere to convey that information. (Perhaps this is what my article is doing for you…taking what I have received, by plugging in, and now conveying it to you! ) I have a fan platform that my usblaptop sits upon. It is run by USB plug alone.  When plugged in, the fan runs…but only if the computer is on, for its my source of the power. If it doesn’t stay plugged in, it will not run, for there is no other power available for that fan to run on.
  • Do I need power myself, or to give to others?… as with the USB plug?
  • Or do I need Wisdom and Revelation for myself, or to give to others?…as the USB drive?
  • Which USB plug should I activate?…and for what purpose?
  • May we realize we have BOTH available to us as believers. We can choose to receive. We can choose to give out.
  • In fact, we even have USB charging stations now, don’t we? Where we can power up more than one of us USBs at a time… Maybe this is what “fellowship” and “church” is all about.

I hope you can see with your mind’s eye what I am trying to share. It is the principle of IN and THROUGH Christ. We must be IN Christ so that he may work through us. That which he activates in us then is able to be activated toward others. Let me just share a quick little writing that I did as I was meditating on this:

  • Jesus’s peace IN me, allows his peace to be given out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus joy IN me, enables his joy to shine out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s character IN me, allows his nature to flow out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s love IN me, allows his love to work THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s healing in me, allows his healing to flow through me, that others may be healed.
  • Jesus’s faith activated in me, allows his faith to flow out through me to perform miracles.

In other words I must ALLOW his work IN me….so that He can work outward, through me, toward others.

It starts with me, myself, plugging in. Ideally, I will ABIDE in Him…not unplugging and then plugging in, etc… But remaining in him.

If I unplug to plug in to others, as a USB would do, it is temporary, and then I must be careful to plug back in, so I can receive power or wisdom myself. If we keep plugged in, however, we can keep the power flowing onward.

Now for a final spiritual picture…using technology as an analogy…becoming more like a Bluetooth than a USB! (*this will make little sense unless you’ve read this article up to this point)

bluetoothnetwork

I believe this should be the goal of every believer: our reaching maturity in Christ…i.e. we stay linked up and plugged in, all the time!  Let me explain. For those who may or may not know…a Bluetooth is a device that is paired to another device. The two become as one. They access the same controls and do the same things. It’s direct. It’s real time. For example, my cell phone here at the house, is paired to my home phone system via Bluetooth, enabling me to get cell calls throughout the house, from where various phone handsets ARE PLUGGED IN.  So, with a louder ring, I can hear the incoming call and not miss a call, and so that I can grab a handset in various parts of the house too, so that I don’t miss a call. All phones are plugged in and paired up.  Well friends… if we are paired to God and Christ via the Holy Spirit ….at all times abiding…we are become as a Bluetooth device.  Our listening to God and our reaching out to others will be at the same exact time…real time.  We don’t have to wait to act. We don’t have to pray about the will of God for days…we will instantly know His mind and heart on a matter. We will hear His Voice and know his Will right here and now…linking people together in purpose…and in power.  We aren’t plugged in sometimes and unplugged at other times, as with a USB. Modern day has given us this “picture parallel” of Jesus’s prayer of John 17…”that they may be one, just as we are one… I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity… so that the world may know that you sent me…and loved them even as you have loved me.”  

My dream is to have us all mature, communicating as being linked Bluetooth devices… paired to the Lord.. AND to one another, that indeed WE may be ONE. Never a missed opportunity, never missing the voice of God trying to get in touch with us.  Our intention and aspiration, so that the world will see Christ Jesus in operation, giving us power and wisdom and authority in His Name …and that He would be given the glory due him as such an awesome Lord and Savior!  Christ IN us, the Hope of Glory…the mystery hidden until now!  And that all would see God, as all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, and as Love… His power holding us all together in his wonderful and amazing purpose and plan: the plan of redemption and grace, and restored fellowship with our Creator!

SO, to summarize in one sentence:

Let is all be alert…and allow Christ to operate IN and THROUGH us!  That Jesus’s own prayer of John 17 may be answered!

It takes us, in cooperation with The Holy Spirit, to make this answer come about, staying PLUGGED IN to Christ! That He can do His Works THROUGH us….

IN and THROUGH !

Written by Beth Ann Smith, October 31, 2015 (Colossians 1:25-29) http://www.theimageofchrist.com

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