What is the measure of His love?

We do not love everybody the same. We love in different ways. We love our friends, but we love some more than others. Perhaps some friends have a better connection with us, while others have been our friends longer. We love our family members but there is the Uncle we hardly knew and then there is the cousin who has been our best friend. We do not love them the same or in the same quantity.

So how does Jesus love us? Let us put Jesus to the test.

When someone loves us we would expect them to hear us and speak to us. Jesus is the friend that is never too busy and never gets bored. He is patient and always hears us when we pray. He speaks to us in three ways, His word (the bible) , through His messenger (preacher, teacher, counselor etc.) (2 Timothy 3:16–17) and directly to us (our conscience, dreams, visions, experiences, and even audible). He always speaks to our needs and with the power to change all circumstances and see us through all difficulties.

When someone loves us we expect them to want to be with us faithfully. Jesus said in his word that he would be with us until the end. His presence though spiritual is real. Sometimes we are too busy and our lives too full to know that He is there. But He patiently waits until we are ready. He also said that he has gone to prepare a place so that we can be with Him forever. When someone wants to be with you forever that’s love(Matthew 28:20, John 14:1-3) !

When someone loves you they care about your needs and wants. They don’t necessarily give you everything you want, especially if like a loving parent they know what’s best for you. But they do listen, please you when it is good for you and care for all your needs. Jesus said ask and ye shall receive (Matthew 7:7-8). He also said that God would provide for all that we need if we could just seek Him first (Matthew 6:31-34).

Before someone can have a great and genuine love for you they must truly know you. How well does He know you when he is the one who formed you(John 1)?  How well does He know you when he has seen all that you do, say and think? How well does He know you when he has always been there from the beginning (John 1)? He knows you better than you know yourself.

If all this does not prove the love of Jesus, He did pass the greatest test of all. For the greatest love is revealed when someone gives his life.(John 15:13) . Jesus proved His love without a doubt by his horrific death. Taking a bullet would have been enough, but he went through so much more.  The bible reveals that he was beaten, whipped, forced to carry a cross, and nailed to the cross (Matthew 27). There he hung barely able to breathe.  He did it to save us. He did not have to. He volunteered. We cannot forget that He made legions of demons flee (Mark 5:9-13), conquered death (Matthew 28) and commanded the storm (Mark 4:35-41). He could have easily protected Himself but chose not to.

His death paid the price for our sins, so that we may be forgiven, if we only believe. (John 3:16-17) Sin condemned us to eternal damnation, but since we are forgiven our eternal home is in paradise with the one who loved us since the day He created us. Jesus loves us with the fullest and greatest love we will ever know.

 

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Hard to please everybody

Nobody wants to be unpopular. Most of us by nature like being part of the group. We therefore seek the approval of the group. It stands to reason that the ideas and opinions of the group will affect us. This is of course known as peer pressure. This is not unique to teenagers. It is part of the human experience. However living our lives constantly seeking the approval of others can be a challenge. You can make some people happy some of the time but you can’t make everybody happy all the time. Usually somebody, or perhaps a multitude of people, will not approve of our attitude or our actions no matter how well intended they are.

Jesus came into this world because of love (John 3:16) and spent his life doing acts of love. Multitudes followed Him in hopes of benefiting from his work. (Matthew 8:1) However Jesus still had plenty of critics. Some groups in particular, the Pharisees and the Scribes could never be pleased.

If Jesus freed someone from demonic possession, they would accuse Him of working with the devil. (Matthew 12:22-37) It didn’t matter that the person’s life was changed for the better, the crippling condition removed and the misery over.

On other occasions the Pharisees would accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath. (Mark 3:1-6) Such was the case of the man with the withered hand. The Pharisees were really angry this time and plotted how they could destroy Jesus. This man had suffered with this sickness; most likely making it impossible for him to take care of himself or be productive in any way. Jesus did not charge him. It was a pure act of kindness. But it was on the Sabbath!

Forgiveness was definitely a “no no” for the Scribes. The fact that Jesus was changing the lives of immoral people and helping them to live a life closer to God was of no importance. Jesus would forgive and would often add “now go and sin no more.” The Scribes, who thought Jesus to be only the son of the carpenter, accused Jesus of blasphemy. (Matthew 9:1-8)

Jesus did not change his behavior to silence the critics. He was on a mission and He felt there was only one person He had to please, God. (John 6:38, John 5:19, John 4:34) We too should not live our lives as if it was one big popularity contest. Although it is natural to want to please those we love, our greatest concern must be doing what is right, simply because it is “right.” God whose will is for us to live righteous lives is the only one we must always be sure to please.

 

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Screaming (Prisoner Of War)

His Daughter Writes

Prisoner in prison cell

My spirit is screaming at the top of her range
She’s tired and angry from being bound by chains
My spirit is fighting to stay with God
On a path to freedom
Fighting for righteousness
During a really bad season
My spirit is beautiful and belongs to God
And anger from oppression
Keeps me at odds
With the enemy of which I cannot see
Who is constantly taunting and tormenting me
Where I have tried and tried to find some help
Where I’ve tried to keep control of myself
Where I’ve called and prayed to God to release me
Where His blood is my Witness to constant feelings of impurity
The attacks have failed to stop and to cease
But I have noticed a change of character in me
I WILL BE DELIVERED
I declare and I decree
See I have grown closer to The Most High inside of me

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Mainstream Media Mum on Atrocities Against Christians

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Silence

Can the press be complicit in crimes against humanity?  Or is it obstruction of justice?  How else to account for their failure to report the ongoing bloodshed and carnage inflicted upon Christians in the Middle East and North Africa?

Regardless of whether the mainstream media’s culpability is a sin of commission or omission – malevolence or malpractice – the result remains the same.  Christians are being massacred and the world is oblivious.

Earlier this month, a representative from the Vatican appeared on Capitol Hill before a House subcommittee to discuss the “flagrant and widespread persecution” of Christians in the Middle East. One of seven speakers, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, noting that this growing threat targets all those who practice Christianity, Arab or not, explained that Christian communities in Syria are being decimated and worshippers kidnapped, shot or beheaded if they refuse to convert to Islam.

Capture.-JPGAs January came to a close, a delegation of Christian…

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Resisting sin

Jesus taught his disciple many lessons. He knew that he was going to leave them with a great mission; to go into the entire world spreading the gospel, changing lives, seeking the lost and making more disciples. (Mark 16:15-16) One important lesson was the Our Father. This was intended to be a model for them to follow. One of the lines is “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Matthew 6:5-14) He knew the disciples and all of us were destined for failure and in need of constant forgiveness. Jesus knew he was about to leave them and that soon after they would be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4) The Holy Spirit would give them great power and yet Jesus knew that they and all of us as well would find it difficult to remain perfect at all times. (Acts 1:8)

Paul also explained this problem. He said that sin was in us. (Romans 7:13-20) No matter how strong we are, no matter how much we try, we are still in this world and must contend with our flesh. Therefore we are still capable of falling into sin. This is a constant danger. The devil like a lion is looking for who he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8) That would be us, he is looking for.

What can we do? Our desire is to live a life that is pleasing to God. Should we wait around waiting to fail? Should we live however we please and just repeat the “Our Father” every night?

Since we are sincere Christians it is imperative that we be on the offensive. We must live our life aware of the devil’s attacks. How can we do this? First and foremost we must diligently work every day to increase our understanding of what pleases God. This happens as we study scripture. When we study scripture our faith increases as well. (Romans 10:17) We therefore become stronger Christians.

Jesus also gave us another solution. He once spoke of the power to rebuke demons and he told the disciples “This one only comes out through prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21) If prayer and fasting can give a servant more power to contend with the devil then certainly it will help us in all matters. It too will draw us closer to Christ. How do relationships grow stronger? They grow stronger with communication. This is what prayer means to us. Prayer is our vehicle to communicate with God, strengthening our relationship with Him.

We also know that idle time is a dangerous time. It is when we allow the devil to tempt us and fill us with thoughts that are not pleasing to God. Idle time allows us ample opportunity to focus on what we don’t have. Consider David who casually walked about his temple with nothing to do only to be tempted by seeing the naked Bathsheba bathing. (2 Samuel 11:1-5) We should look to close the door on the devil by occupying ourselves in productive tasks, primarily serving God and the needy.

Remaining sinless is impossible. We have all fallen and will fail again. But sin certainly does not have to consume our lives. We can greatly reduce its hold on us and the likelihood of failing God, through much prayer, study of scripture and occupying ourselves in worthy endeavors.

 

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