Love and Power

Ephesians 3:19   (KJV)   19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

One of the ways we can be filled with all the fullness of God is by knowing the love of Christ. Although his love is beyond full comprehension, it isn’t beyond partial comprehension. And God has given us the wisdom we need so we can keep growing in Romans 3.19 - Love and Powerour knowledge and understanding of His love: in its width, length, height, and depth. God want us to live out His fullness; we want to live out the fullness of life and power that He gives us. Knowing, experiencing, living out and living in the love of our Lord Jesus has a direct correlation with living out God’s life and power.

Some believers often have “unspoken” preference between power and fruit of the Holy Spirit; they emphasize one over the other. Perish the thought that I’m implying what they’re doing is wrong. Personally, I conscientiously try my best to teach the importance of both. Both have its merits, both are important to God. Both are connected. God strengthens us with His Spirit and invites us to a greater understanding of His love so we can live in His strength and power, and do so with love as our motivation.

People, especially the lost, need to see the reality of God. In our particular generation, there are many who would no longer listen to reason. There are so many who are set in their beliefs—reasonable or unreasonable. Many are no longer open and willing to dialogue. Blindness is so prevalent. Lies are rampant, acceptable, and promoted in order to support and push their beliefs and agenda. It’s in this milieu that manifestations of unconditional love and miraculous power of God through us may have greater impact. Reason, love, power—all these are important; God has given and made them all available to us; we utilize all of them, and we grow in all of them.

 

Spiritually-Minded

Romans 8:6   (KJV)  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

As God’s children, we think godly thoughts. We enjoy life and peace now, and we’re looking forward to life and peace with our Father for eternity. We understand we still have choices. We believers don’t lose our free will even after surrendering the throne of Competitionour lives to our Lord Jesus. We choose the focus of our thoughts. We’re also very much aware of the huge implications and repercussions of our choices. Our heavenly Father doesn’t spoil His children.

I pray that this won’t be an issue of intrigue; my prayer rather is that it will be a thought to at least ponder on. Jesus has already borne the penalty of our sins on the cross. In fact He Who knew no sin was made sin for us. That Jesus has taken the death penalty for us is an absolute truth. What is this death then that results from being carnally minded? It’s easy to choose one and reject the other. In doing so, others explain away whatever they prefer to reject.

Forbid the thought that they would question the efficacy of the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice, so the trend is to deal with the death that results from carnal-mindedness. We’ve heard others interpret and teach that as death of a physical kind. And there’s no doubt, some sinful or even wrong choices can reap physical death as a consequence. But although there’s truth in it, it also misses the fact that physical death also comes even to the spiritually-minded people.

On the other hand, if the consequence of our godly thinking is life of the physical kind, what’s the necessity since we’re already physically alive? Unless it simply means continuation of our physical existence in our present condition, the other and I believe the more logical conclusion is that it also refers to life of spiritual kind. This becomes obvious when looking at the context of the passage. The entire chapter deals very much with our spirits. Without disrespect or preference of any denominational distinctive, we can safely conclude: 1. It’s absolutely and undeniably true that Jesus paid the sin-penalty of death; 2. It is also absolutely true that to be carnally minded—having our sinful nature control our mind—is or leads to death.

Whatever each of us believe; we may not all agree on one line of understanding, but the non-negotiable mandate or exhortation we can all agree and focus on is this: shun sinful nature that produces sinful thoughts, and yield to the precious Holy Spirit Who produces good, spiritual, right, and godly thoughts.

Vengeance isn’t Ours

1 Samuel 24:12   (KJV)   12 The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

We can trust God’s justice; justice will be served, either here or in eternity.  Vengeance on our part is non-negotiable; vengeance belongs to the Lord; it’s never ours to exact.  To not see justice right away doesn’t mean it won’t happen. True, even our very own justice 1 Samuel 24.12 - Vengeance isn't Ourssystem—even those who do their best, even those who really approach it without biases—make mistakes. God’s justice makes sense of His call for us to love our enemies and be good to those who wrong us.

We’ve heard it repeatedly: “Life’s unfair.” There’s truth in that statement, if this is all there is in life, if there’s no existence beyond earth, if there’s no Sovereign Ruler Who will judge everyone someday. Sometimes we see His justice executed right away with our very own eyes; sometimes, He seems so quiet. But we rest assured in the fact that it’s not over until He says it’s over, until He gives His last Word.

We don’t want to personally avenge ourselves and hurt people; that’s not a prerogative left to us, and understandably so. Why? It’s because most often, we don’t really aim for justice, we want to do worst. Besides, we don’t know all the factors at play. We don’t really know the entire motivation, the details of the situation, weight of the temptations and provocations.  God alone can be trusted of perfect justice. For now, we act and react the way He tells us to: with love and mercy. With those, we can never go wrong.

Life and Legacy

Genesis 49:33   (KJV)   33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

Before he passed away, Jacob pronounced blessings upon his sons and commanded them some. He’s one of the most named patriarchs—often mentioned in identifying our Lord. We hear it often written or said: “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  With this genesis-49-33-life-and-legacynobility, he’s still just a man; with his humanity, he was godly, and that matters. He acknowledged God, and passed that knowledge on to his children.

We all share in this appointment with death, at different times, and different ways—except those who will be alive when the Lord Jesus returns. We’re all given this wonderful treasure of time. We have great opportunities to fill it up with good and beautiful things, great experiences and memories. The part we’re entrusted to occupy is very different from each other. Some find theirs more difficult than others. Not all are born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

With all the differences and similarities, we are all blessed with opportunities to be a blessing—to invest in other people’s lives, dreams, and destinies. We don’t always receive all we pray for; we don’t always get the life we aim for, but we all enjoy God’s undeserved and priceless blessings—the most precious of which is He Himself. He is the greatest “Possession” we ought to not miss and the greatest “Legacy” to leave to our children and others. We obviously don’t own the most luxurious palaces in the world—we don’t need to, but we, as treasures of clay, are possessors of the greatest Gift all of us have or ought to have. He’s the Gift that keeps on giving. With the golden but limited time and space we and our children have, we fill these sacred endowments with the most and best: Him. We continue learning, living, and teaching. And the Gift goes on.

Hindsight

Genesis 45:5   (KJV)   Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

In the common scheme of things, there were reasons to grieve and to be angry with themselves; they sold their very own young half-brother Joseph just because of their envy, jealousy, and hatred. They caused much deep and prolonged heartache to their father. genesis-45-5-hindsightNow, that brother is in a position of power to exact vengeance. Joseph literally could have ordered to have all their heads separated from their bodies. Praise God, Joseph, saw from the perspective of the supernatural.

There are many questions in life we won’t know the answers for until many years after, when events have flowed and ran its course—hindsight, that is. We may not know why some people are extra-especially drawn to us, and why to some, we’re their bête noire—people they dislike. We may not know why those who are supposed to love us hurt us, betray us, sell us out. We may not know why people are banished from our presence, why we get into accidents no matter how careful we are, why tragedy happens even to the best of us, and why seemingly good things happen to the worst of us.

But we do appreciate divine surprises; they always outdo our expectations. We see how God turns the worst of situations into the most wonderful of experiences. We’ve heard it repeatedly: God turns our tests into testimonies, our trials into triumphs, and the victim into victors. His divine maneuverings are definitely what makes for adventurous existence. His wisdom is indeed much greater than our wisdom, His thoughts much higher than our thoughts, His ways much better than our ways. We don’t always figure out the reasons for the inexplicable twists and turns that are very challenging to face, accept, and navigate. But we trust Him. He Who has given us life—both temporal and eternal loves us; He preserves us, directs us, and leads us to life’s greatest adventures. We’re not sad; we’re overjoyed; we’re not angry; we’re ecstatic.

Life of Light

Luke 11:36   (KJV)   36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

A life described to be full of light sounds very beautiful. The good news is: this isn’t just a pipe dream; this can be true. Our entire being can be totally bright. Our bodies can be offered as pure living sacrifice to God; we can make a covenant with our eyes never to look luke-11-36-life-of-lightat anything with lust; we can renew our minds so that our beliefs are correct and our thoughts are completely surrendered to the authority of God’s Word. We’re not part darkness part light; we’re children of light—through and through.

Life surrounded and saturated with light is incomparable. It’s very easy to associate it with wonder and peace. In the middle of a very dark world, we’re under a direct heavenly beam, shining down on us, affecting our entire being. There’s no space for or trace of hypocrisy in our conduct. We live in the light; we don’t engage in works of darkness; we don’t have to hide anything; we don’t have sinful and shameful hidden secrets weighing us down. This may sound very lofty, and yes it does when bragging about self. But we glory in Jesus alone. He’s the One making all these things possible.

Lord, we understand that left to ourselves, we’ll continue to find ourselves as victims of our own weaknesses, imperfections, and sinfulness. You’re the Light of the World illuminating our own world. We lay ourselves restfully under a flowing heavenly fountain of light continually falling on us. Our world’s bright—in and out—because of You. You drive away darkness from us. Now, we project this light brilliantly; our desire is to get the world to clearly see the good in and about us, and by doing so, lead their sight and focus to Your glory—the Father of lights in Whom there’s no variableness neither shadow of turning.

The Light of the World

John 8:12   (KJV)   12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

God wants us to see clearly, knowing where we are, with a clear sight of our destiny—the wonderful future He has prepared for us. He doesn’t want us lost, groping in darkness. He john-8-12-the-light-of-the-worldmakes sure our paths are lit well; He Himself is the light that illuminates our world and brightens our lives. (Thank You Lord). He leads the way where we should go. We—His followers are sure of our steps; we avoid stumbling and falling.

It’s difficult to move in darkness, much more to walk in it or live in it. But darkness is real; darkness abounds, and there are many of us who are still there. There is darkness in the mind: people are plagued with debilitating worries, erroneous beliefs, and destructive opinions. We have darkness in our hearts: many are sad, angry, and ashamed. There is darkness in our world: we see chaos, pride, hatred, and unbridled lust.

Praise God, we’re free from darkness. The Light of the World shines so brightly, showing us the way to go, and we walk forward with confidence. That’s the reason why we found our way to eternal life in the first place. He fills us, surrounds us, and leads us. He’s so much a part of our lives, so close to us that we as His followers share in His “light” nature. We are also lights of the world. He’s the great big universal infinite Light and Light Source; we’re the localized light—much smaller, but lights nonetheless—lights shining brightly as well.

Because we as believers live in His light, we see Him. Because of His light, we see ourselves clearly: we see if we’re clean, or if we have smudges, spots and stains. We’re honest about our real condition, and we address the problems. Because of His light, we’re living out our purposes well, and we’re journeying forward towards our destiny—joyfully.