Thursday, September 11, 2008

God's Will and Loving People

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God,
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. . . .
He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God because God is love. . . .
If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us
1John 4: 7-8, 12
You will never have to choose between doing the will of God and loving people. You will never have to choose between walking in the will of God and walking in the love of God. They are the same thing.

Your Testings

From a testimony by Uncle Joe, early 1960's.

"Your testings make you bitter or better."

What Looks Good to You?

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
1Chronicles 16:29

"Then I heard something like the sound of a large multitude,
and like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of strong thunderings,
saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad! Let us give glory to Him because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready!
John, in Revelation 19:4-5
"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
John, in Revelation 21:2
Some folk are put off by the children of God when the Spirit falls on them and they respond with joy and praise. But it looks pretty to me. The world is impressed with lovely buildings and somber religious ceremonies. But I would rather see the Spirit fill somebody and feel their relief, or hear their shout of victory than to see the glittering gold and "priceless" antiques of the Vatican any day. The power of God on one of His saints is beautiful, a real work of art; but lovely treasures of earth gained by making false claims and teaching false doctrines about God hold no attraction to anyone in love with Jesus.
What attracts your heart? What really interests you? What do you think is worth your time? We frail mortals attract the attention of God. Our welfare is what most holds His interest, and caring for us occupies all of His Son’s time, day and night. When we are faithful to God, we are happy, and when we are happy, we look very good to Him. (Paul even suggested that those who walk in the Spirit smell good to God!)
When the bride of Christ is prepared for him, she has adorned herself with the beauty of holiness, and she looks good to Jesus. I wonder if it is possible to attract him so much, to be so full of peace and joy, that he would desire to come for her early? I wonder if the bride could become so beautiful to the Lord that he could not bear to be away from her any longer, and he would ask the Father if he can come for her now? I know that Paul said God was ready to avenge all disobedience, when our obedience if fulfilled. And Peter said that we could hasten the coming of the day of the Lord. Could it be possible that Jesus is just waiting for his bride to make herself irresistible?

Emptying Yourself

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, existing in God’s form, did not consider equality with God
as a prize to be seized upon;
instead, he emptied himself, assuming the form of a slave,
made in the likeness of men
Paul, in Philippians 2:5-7

To save us from death, the Son of God in heaven emptied himself to come here and be like us. He divested himself of all that he had in glory with the Father and was "made in the likeness of men." In return, the gospel demands that we follow the Son’s example. We must repent, which means to empty ourselves to be made like him.
This emptying of oneself is a requirement, for we must be filled with the Spirit in order to be made like Jesus. But as Uncle Joe once said,"God doesn’t fill up anything but empty vessels."
Sister Donna also made a remark one time that says the same thing in others words. She said, "The only good you are to anybody is how alive you are in the Spirit." Isn’t that true? Isn’t our value to others really measured by our closeness to God, who loved the world so deeply that He gave up His only begotten Son for our sins?
May God help us live close to Him so that our lives will truly benefit others.