Archive for the ‘God’s Love’ Tag

As I Have Loved You   Leave a comment

As I Have Loved You – Article – Andrew Wommack Ministries

Imagine the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. He has communion with His disciples and washes their feet. He reveals that Judas is the one who will betray Him. He tells the disciples that He is leaving and they can’t come. Then, He speaks these words:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)

By virtue of the fact that this would be, in part, His final words to the disciples, they had to be very important. And notice that what He said to them was in the form of a command, not a suggestion.

I am sure that everyone reading this letter has read or heard this passage many times. But in reality, most do not think that this is something they can actually do. It’s a goal that they may strive to reach with gritted teeth, but usually with little success.

It begs the question—would Jesus give His disciples a command He knew they couldn’t keep? The answer is obviously no, so why is it so hard for us today to love other people? Could it be this simple—we can’t give what we don’t have?

The majority of churches are teaching that God’s love for us is conditional. They are misrepresenting His love, and it is one of the main reasons that we as Christians are so judgmental and harsh toward other people. Consciously or not, we tend to treat people the way we believe God is treating us.

We must understand that God does not love us because we are lovely. He does not love us because we read the Bible, go to church, pay our tithes, or do our best to keep the command to love others as He loved us. The truth is that He loves us without conditions. That’s huge!

I grew up in a Baptist church where all that was preached was the message of evangelism. They made me feel like I had to pay God back for saving me by leading others to Jesus. It became such a part of me that I used to say this: “The sole purpose for our existence here on this earth is to lead somebody else to Jesus.”

Then the Lord spoke this to me—“If evangelism is the sole purpose for your existence, then what about Adam and Eve? They had no one to lead to the Lord, no Sunday school class to teach, no one to pray for, and no physical need of any kind.” The answer can be found in Revelation 4:11— Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

The original purpose of all creation was to give God pleasure. And that is still God’s purpose. Adam and Eve were created for fellowship with God. He wanted someone to love and for them to voluntarily love Him back.

God’s purpose for creating human beings was all about relationship. But religion has succeeded at turning us from “human beings” into “human doings.” When that becomes the focus, we begin to tie God’s love for us to something that we do for Him. I did! But that was never His plan.

Over the years, I have prayed for thousands of people. The vast majority of those who come forward begin by telling me about their spiritual lives: “I’ve been praying, fasting, reading the Bible, and attending church, but I’m still not healed.” They don’t realize it, but they just told me why they weren’t healed. They’re pointing to what they are doing instead of what Jesus has done.

The same is true about our relationship with the Lord and with other people. We have come to believe that God loves us and acts on our behalf based on our performance. Therefore, we hold others to the same standard—our love for them is in direct proportion to their works, or how they treat us.

Romans 5:8 says, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God’s love has never been or ever will be conditional. He loved you at your worst, and most Christian churches would agree with that initially. They believe you are saved by grace through faith, no matter your history, but that is often where grace stops and religion starts. And religion always puts the emphasis on the external.

Once you’re saved, religion says you must live holy, and the evidence of your holiness will likely be judged by the standards of your church: Do you dress the right way, do you say the right things, are you leading people to Jesus, and most important, are you tithing—just to give a few examples.

That is not how God sees us. God looks on the heart. First Samuel 16:6-7 says this:

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Samuel was going to choose Eliab to replace King Saul because of the outward appearances. But God was not looking on the outside. The church today is judging believers in the same way. You might carouse in secret on Saturday night, but as long as you come to church the next morning well kempt and well dressed with a check in your hand, you’re accepted because you have the appearance of holiness.

Under the New Covenant, God is still concerned about your actions and behavior. It’s not okay to lie, to steal, to commit adultery, or any other sin. However, He knows that those are nothing more than the byproduct of a relationship—or the lack of one—with Him. So, He is focused on your heart.

As long as you believe God is judging you according to your performance, you will never fully receive His love. Love is a decision, and God decided to love you even though you didn’t deserve it. There is nothing you can do to earn it or deserve it, so just receive it as a free gift.

When you understand how much God loves you, it becomes easy to love others. And when you love others as He has loved you, your behavior will change toward them. If you loved your mate the way that Christ loves you—unconditionally—you would never commit adultery. If you loved your neighbor as Christ loves you, you would never steal from them or bear false witness against them.

How does the world know that we are disciples of Christ? John 13:35 says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Did you know that the first-century church evangelized the known world in thirty years? They didn’t have television, the internet, smart phones, or texting. But they loved one another, and that love was so evident; it attracted people like honey attracts bees.

A Pharisee who was a lawyer asked Jesus this question: “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered this in Matthew 22:37-40.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Pharisees wanted Jesus to name the most important “Thou shalt not,” and instead, Jesus spoke “Thou shalt.” Many believers are still living under the Old Testament Law mentality. They are trying to earn the love of a God who already made the decision to love them unconditionally.

Once you begin to understand how much God loves you, love will flow out of you toward others like rivers of living water.

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1077

KNOW AND BELIEVE GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU   Leave a comment

KNOW AND BELIEVE GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU – Joseph Prince

1 John 4:16; And we have known and believed the love that God has for us…

You may know that God cares for you and loves you, and that He demonstrated His love for you by dying on the cross for you, but do you believe it? It is one thing to know about the love that God has for you, but another thing to actually believe it in your heart.

It is one thing to know that the sun shines on us during the day. But it is another thing to believe that the sun is still shining even though we don’t feel its warmth and all we see are dark clouds. Sometimes we are slow in believing God’s love for us when we are going through a tough time. But God wants you to know and believe that He loves you in the midst of the deal falling through, when that job is slow in coming, when the boss is fault-finding or when your child still refuses to come home.

In the midst of the pain, He wants you to know and believe that He is wholly on your side defending and taking care of you. And if God, the most powerful being in the universe, is for you, can anyone or anything come against you successfully?

Perhaps you feel like you have messed up big time. God wants you to know and believe that though others may be angry with you, He will never be angry with you. Neither will He condemn you. The sum total of His anger against your sins fell upon Jesus at the cross. So He wants you to know and believe that He will never punish you because Jesus was punished in your place.

When you feel unworthy because you have just blown it for the umpteenth time, know and believe that your heavenly Father still offers you the gift of no condemnation. So come boldly to His throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace. (Hebrews 4:16)

My friend, know and believe that since He loved you and died for you while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8) at your worst and ugliest, how much more is His love for you now that you are His beloved child and the righteousness of God in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Posted November 6, 2014 by Free From Burdens in Uncategorized

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God’s Kind Of Love – Article – Andrew Wommack Ministries   Leave a comment

God’s Kind Of Love – Andrew Wommack

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:7-8).

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 hard to believe when we should be seeking a greater revelation of God’s love for us. Then, faith would just naturally work.

Just a few months after Jamie and I were married, we were in a desperate situation. I had quit my job, believing that the Lord wanted me to go into full-time ministry. The result was that we were hurting financially. It had been days since we had eaten. We had nothing but a few Cokes that a friend had given us and a bag of Fritos that we had been rationing out. Our faith was beginning to waver. We were fighting with all we had, to believe that the Lord was going to supply our needs, but our circumstances and empty bellies were screaming unbelief at us.

One morning, Jamie took our last fifty cents and our car and drove to the laundry mat to do some laundry. While she was gone, I did some serious business with the Lord. I was crying and saying, "Lord, I don’t understand. I would give my right arm to feed Jamie. I believe You love us more than I love Jamie, and yet You aren’t taking care of us." I had let circumstances blind me to God’s love. That’s the main reason my faith wasn’t working.

The Lord spoke Luke 12:32 to me very clearly. That verse says, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Suddenly, I realized my unbelief was because I had forgotten how much God loves us. God delights in our prosperity (Ps. 35:27). He gets no pleasure from watching us starve. As the revelation of God’s love for us came flooding over me, all doubt that our needs would be supplied was instantly gone. When Jamie returned from doing the laundry, I told her that we were going to eat meat that day.

We had Fritos and Coke for lunch. We skipped supper because we were tired of Fritos and Coke. At church, a friend asked us to stop by his apartment after the service. We thought, "Maybe they are going to feed us." We stayed and talked for over an hour, but there was no food. As we were leaving, however, the man gave us loads of fish that he had caught. He also gave us all the vegetables to go with them. We rushed home, and Jamie fixed us a feast. Just a few minutes prior to midnight, we ate meat to our fill. The next day was my birthday, and a woman in the church gave us a large box full of porterhouse steaks. We went from a starvation diet of Fritos and Coke, to having enough steaks for a month in just a matter of hours because love made my faith work.

When our friend gave us the fish that evening, he told us that he had sent his wife by our apartment earlier that morning to deliver the food. Our car was gone, though; so she supposed we were not there and didn’t stop. The only time that car was gone all day long was when Jamie went to wash clothes and I was praying in that apartment. At the exact moment that I got a new and fresh revelation of God’s love for us, our supply came through. It took us a few hours to see it, but God moved instantly. He wanted to supply our need more than we wanted Him to. My lack of faith in His love hindered Him. As soon as I opened up to His love, my faith revived and He supplied.

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, "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" (Eph. 3:14-19).

Notice in verse 18 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.

In verse 19, 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. First Corinthians 13:13 says, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (God’s kind of love).

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. I’ve had hundreds of married couples essentially tell me, "They don’t deserve my love." However, the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news of the Gospel is that we don’t get what we deserve. Praise the Lord!

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 lovely.

Religion is one of the biggest propagators of the conditional-love-of-God lie. Most "Christian churches" teach that God’s love for us is conditional, based on our performance. If we pray, go to church, pay our tithes, etc., then the Lord loves us and answers our prayers; but if we fail, then the Lord won’t answer our prayers. That’s not true.

There is a disease in the church that I call "spiritual dyslexia." Dyslexia is where a person sees things backwards. A dyslexic person sees the word "god" as "dog". There’s a huge difference between God and a dog; yet dyslexics don’t see it.

"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.

Posted November 4, 2014 by Free From Burdens in Uncategorized

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The Lord Is Able And Most Willing   Leave a comment

This weekend I was around a several people (Christians) who talked about how to get more money by way of disability. Their claims were true based on their sickness and issues. Most were not trying to get money for fake sickness, but a few did. This couple was suggesting another couple to lie. It was one of those type of lies that really wasn’t a lie. Bottom line, it was deceptive and a lie. I was also suggest to go so I could get money for my back problems. But, I want healing. The Lord said if I’d do that, it cancels my faith for healing. I would have traded in my healing for a couple of hundred dollars a month. Then, I asked these people a question, “what if you get well”. I received snarls and growls (so to speak). I was rebuked for mentioning healing. Why would I want to get well when I can get money; was their replies.

If we don’t want healing, I don’t think we are fully aware of God’s love for us. To reject what He has provided for us isn’t wise. I can understand if a person is just not knowledgeable, but to reject it so you can get money is foolish. This isn’t directed toward anyone who desires healing and don’t know how to get it. I totally understand that. But to know about healing and refuse to hear about being made well, is foolish. The people I was around rejected it because they wanted money. I was looked at as I was a fool for asking such a question. What’s sadder is, some of the people there were leaders in the church. One a pastor, an elder, a deacon, an evangelist. The Bible tells people in James 5:14; “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”. How can you go to those in that church for healing if they aren’t utilizing what God instructed them to do. In the past I’ve went to two of those individuals for healing and they laid hands on me. I used to wonder why never got healed and just thought it was just me. They are double minded. They believe God can heal, but if money is involved, why would you want healing is their thinking. The problem with that, if a deadly sickness comes will you have to power of faith to believe for healing. I pray for God to open their eye to His word, which is the truth. So many of our brothers and sisters are blind to the truth of God and chose to sell themselves to what satan gives, which is lies, sickness and death. They are blind. I was too. Let’s pray for our fallen brethren and pray for their eyes to be opened. Peace and blessings to you all.

The Lord Is Able And Most Willing – Joseph Prince Ministries

Matthew 8:3; Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

When you see someone receiving a miraculous healing or financial breakthrough, do you ask, “What about me, Lord?” I believe that the leper who came to Jesus must have asked the same question.

He must have heard or seen from a distance, since he was not permitted to be in public places by the law, how Jesus had healed the sick. So he had no doubt that Jesus could heal him, but he was not sure if Jesus would. He said to Jesus, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2) He was confident of the power of God, but not the love of God for him.

Like the leper, maybe you don’t have a problem believing that God can give you your miracle, since He is Almighty God. But you are wondering if He will do it for you. My friend, let Jesus’ actions and answer to the leper settle this question once and for all. He stretched forth His hand, touched the leper and said, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately, the leper was healed.

I want you to notice that Jesus touched the leper. He could have healed him from a distance with just a spoken word. He had healed others this way as in the case of the centurion’s servant and the Syro-Phoenician woman’s daughter. So why did He touch the leper?

Jesus knew that for so many years, the leper had been cut off from his family and society, so he must have been feeling dehumanized. I believe that Jesus touched him to make him feel human again, to make him feel loved and accepted again. His touch was His love language to the leper.

Can you see God’s heart of love here? Can you see how much He loved the leper? That is how much He loves you! The day that you come to know God’s heart of love and believe that He wants you blessed more than you want to be blessed is the day that you receive your miracle!

Beloved, catch a glimpse of God’s heart of love, and you will believe that He is not only able, but also willing to make you whole!

Posted September 30, 2014 by Free From Burdens in Uncategorized

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God Wants His Children Well And Joyful   Leave a comment

God Wants His Children Well And Joyful – Joseph Prince Ministries

John 14:9; Jesus said to him, “…He who has seen Me has seen the Father…

Imagine the following scenario: A father tells his little girl, “Come here, girl. Mummy says that you have been playing by the roadside. Is that true?” “Yes, Daddy. I am sorry.” “Sorry? How many times have I told you not to play near the road? Come here! Lie down on the road and stretch out your legs!”

Daddy drives his car over his little girl’s legs. You can hear the sound of bones being crushed and the poor girl screaming in pain!

“Now, darling, you know that Daddy loves you. And Daddy did that to teach you a lesson, that playing by the roadside is dangerous.”

You are probably shaking your head in horror by now, wondering which sick father would do that. Yet, there are many Christians who believe that our heavenly Father does the same thing. They say that He gives people sicknesses, accidents, earthquakes and death to teach them lessons.

But Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” Jesus is the nature of God in action. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus or God going about healing the sick. If God wants some people sick, then there should be at least one incident in the Gospels where you see Jesus saying, “Behold, your complexion is too lovely, receive leprosy,” or “Blindness is good for you. Remain blind.” But no, never once! In fact, Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil”. (Acts 10:38) That’s the heart of God.

As a father, if your child is sick and in pain, your heart just wants him well. How much more your heavenly Father! My friend, God does not give your child a sickness to teach both of you some lesson or to glorify Himself. To think so is to talk out of a warped mind bound by religion! And Christianity is not a religion. It is a loving relationship with your Father in heaven.

Beloved, hear God speaking this to your heart today: “I will never punish you for your sins because they have been punished in My Son’s body. I do not wish you ill. I will not take away your child or give you a car wreck to teach you some lesson. My heart always wants My children well and joyful!”

Minister God’s Love   Leave a comment

MINISTER GOD’S LOVE Andrew Wommack Ministries

Luke 19:8 "And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold."

LUKE 19:1-8

Zacchaeus was rich but Jesus made no demands for him to give away all his goods to the poor as He did with the rich young ruler. Zacchaeus had already repented and money was no longer his god, as was revealed by his actions. It seems that Zacchaeus was going above and beyond the requirement of restitution as stated in Mosaic law by offering to give half of his goods to the poor and to repay fourfold for his theft.

Publicans were hated by their fellow Jews. They were especially despised by the religious Jews as the epitome of sinners and Jewish religious laws prevented devout Jews from keeping company with any publican. To eat with a publican was unthinkable as the Jews considered this actually partaking of the publican’s sins. This is why the people reacted so adversely to Jesus eating with Zacchaeus.

Jesus did not eat at Zacchaeus’ house to participate in his sin but to extend mercy and forgiveness to him. This is always the criterion whereby we can judge whether or not we should be involved in a certain situation. We must not participate in other men’s sins, but the Lord doesn’t want us to retreat to monasteries either. We are the salt of the earth (Mt. 5:13), and to do any good, we have to get out of the "salt shaker." If we can be in control and minister the love of God, then we are right to associate with sinners. But when we are being controlled by the ungodliness of sinners, we need to take control or withdraw.

Posted August 27, 2014 by Free From Burdens in Uncategorized

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Have You Taken Your Love Break Today?   Leave a comment

Have You Taken Your Love Break Today? – Joseph Prince Ministries

John 15:9; “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

In your workplace, you probably take coffee breaks, lunch breaks, tea breaks and definitely toilet breaks. Why not do the same in your spiritual life—take time out for breaks, especially love breaks?

What is a love break? It is the time you take to enjoy and feed on the love of Jesus for you. At any time during the day, wherever you are, find a quiet spot and feed on the love of Jesus. Just sit down and talk to Him. Say to Him, “Thank You, Jesus, for loving me. Nothing is going to happen to me that You don’t already know about. Jesus, when I could not save myself, You died for me. You gave up Your life for me. What else will You not do for me!”

Such love breaks are typified in the Old Testament by Aaron the high priest and his sons eating the breast of the animal sacrificed. (Leviticus 7:31) The breast of the animal speaks of the love of Jesus. Today, you are a priest to God. (Revelation 1:6) So spend time feeding on the love of Jesus for you, and see yourself nourished, strengthened and sustained by His love. Jesus is our High Priest today. This means that His food is in loving us. He enjoys loving us and is also “nourished” by His love for us.

But do not forget that the breast was roasted by fire (Leviticus 7:35), which speaks of God’s judgment on Jesus as He hung on the cross because He was carrying our sins. So as you feed on Jesus’ love for you, see Him loving you at the cross. When things around you are not going well, do not allow the devil to say to you, “If God loves you, how come these things are happening to you?” My friend, interpret God’s love for you based on the cross, not on your present circumstances.

During the day, when you are hard at work, when busyness sets in, when problems pile up or when discouragement comes, just stop everything and take a love break with Jesus! Let Jesus love you. Let yourself enjoy being loved by Him. Lean on His bosom, abide in His love and be nourished by His love for you!

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