Helping People Triumph in God's Best

Love!

Jesus Loves You

The Apostle Paul made this point in Ephesians 3:19.  It says,

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Knowing God’s love surpasses mere head knowledge, and it always results in us being filled with all the fullness of God. I could say it this way: If you aren’t consistently experiencing the fullness of God, then you aren’t consistently experiencing God’s love.

Many people would argue with that. They would say that they know God loves them but that they are just under their circumstances at the moment. My answer would be, “What are you doing under there!” The Bible says we are to be above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).

When we are enjoying God’s love, everything else pales in comparison.  No problem can compare to the unsearchable riches of God’s love. It’s like the old song says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” That is absolutely true.

Every Christian has the head knowledge of God’s love for them, but because of wrong thinking, it seldom translates into an actual experience. There are things (primarily religious teachings) that dilute and weaken that revelation of God’s love.  I’m just going to call those things “Roadblocks.”  These are things that attempt to block or at least hinder your perception of God’s love for you.

So, before we talk about the goodness of God’s Love, let’s expose some of the false myth’s and misunderstandings about it.

One of these roadblocks is:  The Sovereignty of God.  Wrong thinking about this is one of the biggest problems people have in experiencing God’s love. If you believe God is the One who is causing all the problems in the world, it will definitely affect your relationship with Him.

Let me illustrate it this way: What if you thought I was the one who killed thousands in the September 11 terrorist attacks, caused the tsunamis that devastated Asia, and destroyed New Orleans with a hurricane. On the other hand, what if you thought I was so heartless that I would cause babies to be born with birth defects and people to suffer terrible things like murder and rape so I could teach them a lesson. If every evil thing in life were my fault, how would you feel about me?

There isn’t a civilized nation on the earth that wouldn’t have me killed, if they could prove I was behind all these things. Yet this is what the Lord is being blamed for every day. It’s even written in our contracts―major natural disasters and tragedies are called “acts of God.”

This isn’t a true representation of God. God loves us!  God is not the source of our problems. Understanding the sovereignty of God correctly is so important. Anyone who doesn’t get this right will never truly appreciate God’s love. It’s impossible to feel good about God if you believe the accusers that depict Him as evil.

Another roadblock is: Misunderstanding God’s Unconditional Love. That is a radical concept. Nearly all of religion links God’s love and acceptance of people to their worthiness. In other words, God’s love is proportional to their performance.

Some Christian religious groups, after presenting salvation as a free gift of God’s grace, turn right around and teach new believers that their continuing relationship with the Lord now depends on their performance. If they don’t live holy, go to church, read their Bibles, and pay tithes, etc., then the Lord won’t bless them or answer their prayers.  Now, there are certainly benefits to doing things in a Godly way, and you will grow more spiritually if you read your Bible, but participating in these things, or NOT participating in them will not change God’s Love for you!  His love for you is constant!  That’s why we need to run to God and not away from Hime when problems arise in our lives.

The “Performance Based” kind of thinking will block a person from receiving the love of God. When their performance falls short, and it always does, their own hearts will condemn them. They just can’t believe God could love them. The truth is that God’s love for us has nothing to do with our performance.     He loves us because He is love, not because we are lovely.  (1 John 4:8)

Understanding that God’s love is unconditional will revolutionize your life. It certainly has mine.

There are many ways that Satan uses to try to block the revelation of God’s love for us. One of the most subtle, and therefore the most deadly, ways is that he has deceived us into thinking that God’s love for us is tied to our performance. We think we have to do something to earn God’s love. We have to merit God’s love. That is not what the Bible teaches.

In the natural world, you get what you deserve. Employers don’t hire you based on their love for you, . . . . . You have to perform! If you perform badly, you are punished or fired. The same thing is true in most relationships.  However, the Good News of the Gospel is that we don’t get what we deserve.   VIDEO

Another major roadblock to experiencing God’s love is this: How can a holy God love unholy people?  God is a Spirit, and if we are going to truly connect with Him in worship, we have to do it through our new born-again spirits (John 4:24). When I found out who I was in the spirit, it changed my life forever. Understanding that is what allowed me to finally accept God’s love for me.

Personally, I had a misunderstanding of God’s love for me, even before I was born again, I would pray to God and beg him not to return in any kind of rapture. I had heard about the rapture, and was certain that I was not ready, so I spent a lot of time begging God not to do that.  Then, there was a period in my life after I had received the Lord, that the opposite was true. I would spend hours at night, crying out to God, begging him to return that night. The reason is, I was so certain that I would not be able to keep up a good performance in his eyes, so I needed him to return while I was clean at that moment.  I was really wanting to use the rapture as an escape plan, and that was it. It was just a safety net. I had completely bought into the concept of performance mentality, hook line and sinker.  Why did I do that?  Because that’s what religion taught me.  If you are good enough, then God will love you.  If you will just perform flawlessly enough, God will do good things for you and bless you.

Once I discovered that God’s love was a free gift, not based on my performance, my whole life changed.  But, I guarantee you if we could spend time and talk to each of you in this room tonight, we would find plenty of you that believe this way. You’ll even make sure that you’ve prayed an additional sinner’s prayer before you go to bed at night, so that if you die, or the Lord returns in the night, you won’t be found in sin, and miss heaven!  Tell me it’s not true!  It puts you in this constant mode of making sure that you’re right with God at that moment so that you won’t miss the second coming of the Lord, and miss heaven.  And, since you have not yet figured out how to stop sinning, this whole process remains a constant battle. You need a fresh understanding of God’s love!  God is not after you to beat you up or condemn you or throw you into hell, but on the contrary, God loves you with an everlasting love, and only wants good things for you. Religion has crept in, raised its ugly head, and deceived so many.

I am firmly convinced that a lack of seeing ourselves “in Christ,” is the root of all unbelief and failure to experience God’s pure love.

Much of what people believe about God’s rejection of us comes from Scripture. They use Old Testament scriptures as the basis for what they believe, not understanding that Jesus forever changed God’s dealings with mankind.

They don’t understand the difference between the way God dealt with people under the Old Covenant of the Law and the way He now deals with us through Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:19 says,  “To wit, (or to know) that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”  Did you hear that?

Under this New Covenant, God is not imputing our sins unto us. That is the exact opposite of what happened under the Old Covenant. This is explained in detail in the New Covenant, and yet the body of Christ as a whole has missed this truth. The vast majority of Christians are still under sin consciousness, the very thing that Old Testament saints longed to be free from.

They saw our covenant by faith and prophesied about the superiority of the New Covenant that God would make with mankind.   Here is is in                        (1 Peter 1:10-12  . . .  2 Slides). Yet, modern-day Christians aren’t taking advantage of all the benefits of God’s love available in that New Covenant. God’s people truly are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

Once you understand how much God loves you, it will compel you to allow God’s love to flow through you. However, there are many misunderstandings about what that means and how to do it.

God’s Kind Of Love

1 John 4:7-8 says  “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.”.

Most of us think that we really understand the love of God, but our experience proves otherwise. We feel lonely, depressed, discouraged, and defeated. Every one of these negative emotions would be turned to positive by a proper revelation of God’s love for us.

As for loving others, most of us would admit there are some people who are very difficult to love. Since we do not fully understand God’s love for us, we fail in loving others. We can’t give away what we don’t have. If we receive a full revelation of God’s love for us, it becomes easy to love others with the love that we have received.

When we struggle to believe that God’s promises to us will come to pass, that’s unbelief; but the root of that unbelief is a lack of love. Galatians 5:6 says faith works by love. That means love is the driving force behind our faith. Remove or diminish love, and faith ceases to be what it should be. Many of us try so hard to believe when we should be seeking a greater revelation of God’s love for us. Then, faith would just naturally work.

Luke 12:32 says, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Have you forgotten how much God loves you? You know, God delights in our prosperity (Psalms 35:27). He gets no pleasure from watching us starve or go through desperate situations.  As you realize God’s love for you more and more,  all doubt that your needs would be supplied will instantly be gone.

There is more than just a superficial knowledge that God loves us. In Ephesians, chapter 3, Paul prayed that the Ephesians would get a greater revelation of God’s love for them. He said in Ephesians 3:14-19    “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”       Wow!

Notice here that God’s love isn’t just one-dimensional. There is height, depth, length, and breadth to it. Many Christians only see God’s love as they would see a painting, in one-dimension. They’ve never seen the multi-dimensional reality of God’s love.

Paul said as we experience God’s love, which is superior to mere knowledge of God’s love, then we would be filled with all the fullness of God. What a statement! Are you lacking in any area of your life? If so, you lack a revelation of God’s love. Experiencing God’s love equals fullness.

I’ve said all of this to say that a deep revelation of God’s love for us is the most important thing we can receive. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

God’s love for us is unconditional. That is, God doesn’t love us because of some virtue we possess. God loves us because “God is love” (1 John 4:8), not because we are good enough, or deserve it.

Andrew Wommack brings out this point:  There is a disease in the church that is called “spiritual dyslexia.” Dyslexia is where a person sees things backwards.  A dyslexic person sees the word “god” as “dog”.

“Spiritual dyslexia” has a similar effect on people. Those infected with this “spiritual dyslexia” see scriptures backwards. For instance, 1 John 2:3-5 says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

A dyslexic Christian sees these verses and says, “I want to know God, so I must keep His commandments.” These verses are saying just the opposite. Keeping God’s commandments is a result of knowing God. You can live a holy life without knowing God; the Pharisees proved that. However, you can’t know God without living a holy life as a result. When God’s love is perfected in us, keeping God’s Word will be the result (verse 5).

Any attempt to reverse this order is “getting the cart before the horse.” It won’t work; and yet this is what the majority of Christians are trying to do. They are seeking to know the Lord better by living a holier life. It’s just the opposite. Experiencing God’s love more will produce a holy life.

This dyslexic condition has caused many to tie God’s love for them to their performance. When they do well, they let God’s love for them flow. When they do poorly, they condemn themselves. They think God is condemning them, but He’s not. In many cases, it’s not even the devil condemning them. Satan has caused them to believe a lie, and they are condemning themselves.

We all need a greater revelation of God’s unconditional love for us!

God’s Kind Of Love In Your Marriage

There are very few things in our world today that were ever a part of God’s perfect plan for mankind. The elaborate government systems, with all their checks and balances and laws, would not be necessary if it were not for the corruption that sin produced. The monetary system, with all the buying and selling, would not be necessary in a sinless world that did unto others as they would have others do unto them. And many other things that we consider institutions in our society were never intended by God, but simply are ways of trying to cope with and control the perversion that entered the world through sin.

But one thing that God established while man was still in a sinless condition and said that it was not good for man to do without was marriage. Genesis 2:18 says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet [or sufficient] for him.” A perfect man who had none of the pressures or problems that we know of today still was not complete without a mate. And it was not Adam who approached God about the situation and asked for a companion. Adam didn’t know what he was missing! It was God who initiated the whole thing because that was His perfect plan.

Christians today have put very little effort into our marriages, and therefore, we have gotten very little out of them. We have had our vision of what a blessing God intended marriage to be, dulled by the sorry examples of marriage we see around us today. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” This is what has happened over the years. Most couples have no idea of what God intended marriage to be, so they settle for the same substandard relations that they see others experiencing. They think conflict is just a part of marriage; and any couple that coexists without major outward battles and arguments is considered to be ideal.   After all, everybody is having trouble with their marriages today, right?  Wrong!

I am pleased to announce that not everybody is having trouble with their marriages today! The Lord is moving mightily in this area, and regardless of what the rest of the world experiences, Christians can have God’s best in their homes. God instituted marriage, so He certainly knows how to make it work properly. The only reason two out of three marriages in America end up in divorce is because the people involved don’t follow the instructions God gave concerning marriage. It is that simple. The solution is not easy, but it is that simple.

What does God say about marriage? From Ephesians 5:22-33, we get quite a bit of instruction. Certainly one principle that is interwoven throughout them all is love: God’s kind of love. It is important that you realize that God’s institution of marriage will only work with God’s kind of love.

I have found that in many Christian Couples, even those baptized with the Holy Ghost, are still operating toward each other with the same carnal love they had before they were Christians. In many cases, they have started trying to apply God’s love to their brothers and sisters in the body and have developed a “burden for the lost,” but are virtually the same in their relationships with their mates. God’s kind of love has to be applied to our marriages too.

One of the most striking differences to me between the world’s love and God’s kind of love is that you can teach yourself to operate in God’s love. Titus 2:4 says that the older women are to teach the younger women “to love their husbands, to love their children.” Carnal love is completely motivated by the emotions or senses, but God’s love comes from the heart, and although the feelings are definitely affected, they don’t motivate or deter God’s love.

Carnal love is usually characterized by a naked, little, fat baby who goes around shooting people with arrows to cause them to “fall” in love or to “fall” out of love. That simply is not true love. God’s love is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That is the way God is (Hebrews 13:8) and God is love (1 John 4:8). People who love one minute and then their mood changes and they act the opposite way the next minute, simply don’t operate in God’s love. You may feel like reacting in anger, but you can choose to operate in love.

Many people are confused about this and think, I can’t act like I love them when I don’t feel it. Oh, yes you can! God’s Word tells us to even love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). It is a command. He didn’t say to do it if you felt like it. If you will choose to do what God tells you to, your feelings will follow. You can teach yourself to love with God’s kind of love.

A person who is truly born again desires to do what God says but doesn’t always feel like it. Our feelings have been corrupted by our old lives before we came to Christ. Now that we are in Christ, we have His promise that our spirits have been totally changed (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have become like Him. Galatians 5:22 says that love is a part of the fruit of the Spirit.

We have God’s love in our new man. However, our feelings are not automatically changed. Our feelings will continue to act like they were taught to act until we subdue them and bring them under the control of our spirit man. It is not hypocritical to act in love when you don’t feel it. It is actually hypocritical to act on what you feel instead of who you really are in Christ Jesus.

God’s kind of love is a choice that you make on the basis of what God said, and then act on it in faith until it becomes a reality in your spirit, soul, and body.

If you can receive this basic truth about God’s love, then you can begin to be consistent in your love to your mate because your love is based on a choice that you have made, not on the way they act. This is the root cause of nearly all strife in marriage. Everything is fine until one partner does something wrong to the other, and then the feathers fly. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t treat us that way? Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Praise God! God’s love wasn’t based upon what we had done for Him or what we deserved but upon His choice to love us. That is all! We didn’t do anything to merit God’s love. He just chose to give it. We can choose to receive that kind of love and then give it to others in the same way.

Another way to say this is that God’s love is unconditional. Jesus didn’t wait until we were worth it or had repented before He gave Himself for our sins. He gave Himself for us while we were yet sinners and living a life of rebellion against Him. His love was extended toward Hitler just as much as it was toward us. The difference is our acceptance or rejection of it, not His offer of love. God’s love is unconditional.

We have to put this unconditional love of God to work in our marriages. If you live with a person for any length of time at all, you are going to find fault with them. If your love isn’t unconditional, then you will begin to give them what they deserve, . . . . which is trouble. And you can rest assured that when you make a mistake, you will reap what you have sown.

Our mates, who see us at our worst, have to give us mercy, not justice. Failure in this area is the root of most marriage problems. Many couples actually use their conditional love as a weapon to try and motivate their mates to do things. That will destroy a marriage. If the thing that keeps your mate in line is a fear of your exploding if they mess up, then you are tormenting them.                     That’s what 1 John 4:18 says, “Fear hath torment.” You may see some results through that method, but it’s a fact that you are building resentment and rejection in them, and sooner or later, it will explode. God’s love is unconditional.

God doesn’t love me “IF,” He just loves me!

It doesn’t matter what you do, good or bad, His love for you is constant.

If the devil and his princes had known what kind of Love would be unleashed on this earth, they never would have crucified the Lord of Glory!

(1Corinthians 2:8)

Talk about regrets.

His love for you in absolutely unfailing!  That’s not a license to sin, people were already sinning just fine!

God loves you, Through thick or thin – And I’m not talking about your weight or size.  He loves you, Come hell or high water.  His love is unchanging, unwavering, it’s absolute, complete, and entire!

There’s no “catch,” no fine print, no holds barred, no if ands or buts, it’s no joke, and has no strings attached.  It’s outright, pure, supreme, total, unlimited, unqualified, and unrestricted.

God’s kind of love should compel you to love Him back the same way, and to apply this same love to your spouse!