CHRIST LIKE LOVE

What does “love” look like?

The problem with discussions of love in most Christian circles is that “love” is too often undefined.

I would assert that biblical love is Christlike love. Or, as Paul states:

with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

“For our sake, He (Heavenly Father) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus, of course, demonstrated what this love looks like when He went to the cross. Consequently, a person who is transformed by biblical love is a person that consistently lays down one’s life for others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,Philippians 2:5-9

Biblical love surrenders power for the sake of the other

Christ’s display of this kind of love on the cross also demonstrates what true power looks like. Christian power, in other words, is loving the other so much that one is willing and prepared to die for the other.

This means that in the kingdom of God power is manifested in love—self-sacrificing love! This kind of power stands in stark contrast to the way power works in the world.

CHRISTIAN GROWTH IS MEASURED BY LOVE

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.Philippians 1:9-11

Christian growth is built upon the foundation of God’s love. This love is the sacrificial love that God showed when He gave His Son. It is the same love Jesus showed when He went to the cross. It is the same love that God tells husbands to show to their wives. It is not sexual love, it is not emotional love. It is sacrificial and giving love. Christians can only grow by demonstrating love. These marks of maturity are ways that a Christian exhibits the love that God called us to share with others.

This is a prayer for maturity, and Paul begins with love. After all, if our Christian love is what it ought to be, everything else will follow. He prays that they might experience abounding love and discerning love. Christian love is not blind! The heart and mind work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment. Paul wants his friends to grow in discernment, in being able to “distinguish the things that are important.”

Christian love must be rooted in wisdom from God’s Word if we are to love both God and man in greater ways.

Paul is praying for the Philippians to have spiritual eyes to see with spiritual insight into the lives of people around them regarding how they were to apply God’s love. Knowledge and discernment must be kept in balance. Both are equally important. Grow in too much knowledge without discerning the Holy Spirits leading and a Christian’s love becomes too hard, unteachable, and legalistic. When a Christian learns from both the head and the heart, the Word and the Spirit, then the Christian has balanced growth.

I pray that in these last days as persecution of Christians increases we may be able to show the love of God to those that the Holy Spirit leads us. Jesus told us that the harvest is ripe but the workers few. I pray that you and I will be among the workers called. It will be a difficult but rewarding task as we will know the Holy Spirit’s leading. We will know we are in the centre of His will for us and nothing else will matter.

THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF LOVE

The Bible reveals that the essence of God Himself is equated with love, meaning quite simply that genuine love is not known apart from God.

Paul reveals the ultimate expression of God’s love in these verses.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?Romans 8:32

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Romans 8:35

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

Our God has not only expressed His love for us verbally but expressed it in action in a profound way. The Father by sending His Son. The Son by taking on mortality and dying for us. The Spirit by coming to indwell each believer to enable us to live the Christian life. In perfect Trinitarian unity the Godhead expresses His love for us.

PRAY AS JESUS AND PAUL DID – FOR UNITY

JESUS PRAYED THIS PRAY FOR ALL BELIEVERS BEFORE  HE WENT TO THE CROSS

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved MeJohn 17:20-23

PAUL PRAYED THAT WE MAY GLORIFY GOD TOGETHER

“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.         Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the Glory of God” Romans 15:5-7

Listen to Craig Groeshel deliver a great sermon on “Unity” and see what a church can achieve when it embraces Jesus command. Unity is not the same as uniformity. Unity with diversity.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

Consider how easy it is to tell the religious faith of many people in the world by their dress or actions. One religion’s members shave their heads, wear saffron-colored robes, play musical instruments, and chant and sing in public. The faithful of another religion stop and kneel for prayers, wherever they are, five times a day. Another religion’s orthodox members wear black coats and hats, white shirts, and have long, curly locks of hair or beards.

hindusburqa image

There is only one mark Jesus asked His followers to display to the world: the mark of love. He told His disciples,

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)

It is not if we dress or speak a certain way or act religious in a certain way, but if we have love for others. Loving people the way Jesus loves people is the true mark of His followers. Love is the highest kingdom value (see Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 13:13).

Let our love and service for Christ be translated today into love and service for others.

Help solve the refugee crisis – 7 Steps Aussie’s can take.

This article by David Leyonhjelm, Contributor, The Daily Reckoning makes a worthwhile contribution to the problem. I am sure you won’t agree with all of his suggestions but it will challenge most of us.

“Calls to solve the Middle East refugee crisis have been loud but vague; so here’s my guide to dealing with the situation compassionately and effectively.

Image result for pics Syrian refugees

Invite a refugee family to stay at your place: Contact the Refugee Council, Uniting Church or Red Cross to offer your spare room to someone in need. After all, just going to a rally or signing a petition is a bit vacuous. When you said, ‘welcome more refugees’, didn’t that mean you would welcome them? Or did you think that someone else would do it?

Employ a refugee, or let someone else do so: Most refugees want to work. If you’re not in a position to offer a job, don’t prevent others from doing so. Many lack the language or skills to jump straight into a $17.29 an hour gig, yet would gladly take a job that pays more than welfare. Exempt refugees from the minimum wage. Many Australians who dislike welfare-dependent refugees would be more welcoming if they paid their way via employment.

Cut foreign aid: Doubling our refugee intake would cost a billion dollars, but if we cut foreign aid by the same amount, taxpayers who worry about the cost of helping foreigners would have nothing to complain about. We’d still fund short-term humanitarian assistance, because cutting a billion dollars from foreign aid still leaves billions more. And we’d do more good for foreigners by bringing them here than channelling cash to corrupt local elites.

Think global, act local: While there are millions fleeing the Middle East, there are also millions fleeing trouble spots closer to home — Burma, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Taking refugees from our region would do as much good as from Syria (although persecuted Christians from Syria should be fast tracked*). And realistically, we have more capacity to assimilate Buddhists, Hindus and Christians to our way of life and liberal democracy than we do Muslims.

Let economic refugees pay to get here: Plenty are fleeing their homelands because of mayhem and poverty, not persecution. Instead of them paying people smugglers to get here, and our Government then paying the people smugglers to send them back, we should accept economic refugees for a fee — to prove to sceptical taxpayers that economic refugees need not be a budget burden, and would ensure those most able to hit the ground running in the workplace are the ones who choose to make Australia home.

Let people in as interim second-class residents: Australians would accept a much higher intake, if migrants did not immediately have access to taxpayer‑funded welfare, healthcare, housing and education as citizens. They would also accept a much higher intake if the hurdle to obtain citizenship were higher. Some will argue that they don’t want a two-tiered system in Australia, but if we ask potential migrants if they want to come even without access to our social welfare system, I’m pretty sure what most would say.

Be the best we can be: Economic development and growth isn’t just in our own interest. It means we can afford to be the most altruistic country on the planet. So listen to those who want to approve developments, cut red tape, remove industry protectionism, and get resources out of the public sector into the private sector: they’re the most compassionate Aussies around.”

* comment by me

You have a FATHER who loves you perfectly. Do you know HIM?

Expelled from the Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve expelled

Adam walked and talked face to face with his FATHER in the garden of Eden. Adam knew GOD as HE knew Adam – there was no separation. Adam knew his value and the proof of that value was his assignment to be like HIM, to partner with HIM having dominion over all of HIS creation.

GOD’S enemy, Satan (the father of lies) knew the FATHER’S one desire is for HIS children to know HIM. The battle has always been over intimacy in its purest form, between the ONE who is love and the ones who were created to receive HIS love. This battle had its front lines in the garden of Eden. One bite of the supernatural fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil set into motion questions that would emanate from every human from Adam and Eve forward: “Is HE good or is HE evil?” and “Can HE be trusted?” Doubt was inspired by the mind of reason that had limited perspective based on a lie.

Generations later the battle continues to rage as GOD’S children wonder if they are loved and valued. We, the sons and daughters of GOD who couldn’t be more loved or valued, live as orphans with rejection complexes that cause us to look at every circumstance as proof of whether our FATHER loves us rather than going straight to HIM to experience HIS love for ourselves.

“In this the love of GOD was manifested toward us, that GOD has sent HIS only begotten SON into the world that we might live through HIM.” 1 John 4:9

The world lives as if GOD does not exist and if HE does, HE really watches from a distance to see how we’ll do without HIM.

Nothing could be further from the truth but you won’t know that GOD can be known and experienced until you dare to believe that HE wants to be known. You can gain access to all of HIS supernatural solutions to your problems.

Intimacy is a choice. It requires time and desire. Intimacy with the FATHER produces the knowledge of GOD, in which you know that HE is good and can be trusted. The choice is yours, start living eternal now.