Archive for the ‘Love of Jesus’ Tag

Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, And Colossians   Leave a comment

Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, And Colossians – Article – Andrew Wommack Ministries

The driving force behind all that I’ve done and taught is an absolute assurance that God loves me. He didn’t just love me before I committed some of my stupid acts, or He won’t just love me in the future when I get my act together. He loves me right now, independent of any worth of my own. It’s an unconditional love, not based on my performance. Therefore, I am assured it will continue.

God’s love for us is based on Him being love (1 John 4:8), not on our being lovable. That’s wonderful news that most Christians and people in the world have not heard. Most people think that they have to do something to earn God’s favor; therefore, not many people have much hope of ever measuring up.

The Gospel, as it is being presented today, actually drives people away from the Lord. Instead of telling people what the Lord has done for them, people preach about what we must do for the Lord. Many people are told that God’s acceptance and favor are conditional, based on them measuring up to His standard. This is not the truth. God’s true nature and love have not been accurately portrayed.

The only thing that God demands of us is faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. This is such a radical truth that evokes such a response of love from us that the rest of the Christian life is nothing but a response to what Christ has done for us, not an effort to get Christ to respond to us. Praise the Lord! That’s awesome!

The Apostle Paul is the one who really brought this truth to light. Jesus demonstrated the grace of God as no one ever had before, but the Apostle Paul is the one the Lord used to give an understanding of this truth in Scripture. Paul shocked the religious people of his day by proclaiming justification apart from performance. The religious leaders couldn’t comprehend this. How could they control people if they couldn’t demand performance in exchange for God’s blessing? What would make the people do the right things?

Paul’s answer to these questions was that their love for God would compel them to live holier accidentally than they ever did on purpose. Love is a greater motivator than fear of punishment or rejection; however, the leaders of Paul’s day and the majority of the religious leaders today have totally rejected these claims.

It is commonly preached that God withdraws from us when we do wrong and draws closer as we do better. That is just another way of saying that He gives us what we deserve.

Of course, none of us really deserve anything from the Lord, so there must be a little bit of grace mixed with our performance to make this palatable to the masses. In Romans, Paul makes it clear that this theory doesn’t wash. Romans 11:6 says that it’s either all grace or all works, but not a mixture of the two. We are either acceptable to God based on what we do or on what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us — not a combination of the two. It has to be one way or the other.

The deadliest weapon against the true Gospel is not a total denial of its claims but an addition of other terms or conditions to the only thing that Jesus demanded: faith. Faith in Jesus plus nothing equals total victory. Faith in Jesus plus anything else equals failure. Our faith in Jesus alone is the key to experiencing all of God’s best.

This was the whole thrust of Paul’s teaching in his letter to the Galatians. The Christians in Galatia had received Christ as their Lord through Paul’s ministry and were genuinely saved, but legalistic Jews convinced them that faith in Jesus alone wasn’t enough to be in right standing with God. They were also told that they needed to live holy, according to the Jewish standard of holiness, or they would be lost. Paul attacked that doctrine with a vengeance.

The book of Galatians is one of the hardest hitting books in the Bible. Paul doesn’t mince any words. He tells it like it is, in almost brutal terms. He didn’t do this to hurt the Galatians but because of his great love for them. He considered this truth of the grace of God to be the heart and soul of the Gospel; therefore, any compromising on this issue was unacceptable. There is no true salvation apart from absolute faith in Christ alone. It was Paul’s great love for the Galatians that compelled him to invoke curses on any who would pervert the Gospel.

The book of Ephesians is a much gentler letter, but it proclaims the same great truths. Paul starts this letter with a prayer for the Ephesians, that they would receive wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of what they have in Christ. We have already been given everything in Christ. Why should we try and work for something that we already have? That doesn’t make sense. It’s just a matter of believing and receiving, not working and earning.

In Ephesians, Paul reveals that we are saved by grace through faith and not of ourselves. He also reveals that experiencing the love of God will fill us completely with all the fullness of God. If we aren’t experiencing the fullness of God in our lives, then we aren’t experiencing God’s love in its entirety. The unconditional love of God is the key. Actions are a byproduct of love, not the other way around.

Paul didn’t promote ungodly living. He promoted a relationship with the Lord independent of our worthiness. Once an individual comes into relationship with the Lord by faith alone, it becomes the nature of that person to live holy as love becomes the motivator. In the book of Ephesians, Paul exhorts the Ephesians to live holy, but from the positive motivation of love instead of the negative motivation of punishment that is so common today.

The book of Philippians gives tremendous insight into the personal life of the Apostle Paul. This letter was written to Paul’s biggest supporters and some of his best friends in the ministry. He praised God for their partnership in the Gospel, and he bared his heart to them. He revealed that he was not only willing to die for the sake of Christ, but he was actually looking forward to doing so. He was actually in a struggle as to whether he should stay in this world so he could preach the Gospel or just go on to be with the Lord, which he would much rather do.

How could Paul say such things? How can a person reach a point to where their own life is not the most important thing to them? Paul gives the answers to these questions to his friends in Philippi. He learned how to be content. It didn’t come naturally. He chose to be the way he was. The key was that he had died. You can’t threaten, intimidate, or kill a dead man. Paul was dead to himself and alive to God.

How did this happen? It was through the love of God. Paul had such a revelation of the unconditional love of God that it caused him to die to himself and to all his own desires. The love of Christ constrained him to live the way he did. No law could ever do that. No rule or regulation is worth dying for. It was the personal relationship he had with the living Lord Jesus Christ that caused him to count all of his accomplishments as dung in comparison.

Although written from prison, Paul’s letter to the Philippians has more references to joy and rejoicing than any of his other letters. Paul told us to rejoice in the Lord always. Just in case this seemed so impossible that people would think Paul surely made a mistake, he said it again. It is only when we find our identities in what Jesus has done for us, and not in what we do for Him, that we can experience joy unspeakable and full of glory.

In the book of Colossians, Paul reminds the believers in Colosse that they have already been made worthy to partake of the inheritance Christ bought for them. They’ve already been placed in Christ’s kingdom and are heirs to all His benefits. Understanding this is the foundation of faith. All the deception that the enemy uses against us violates this fundamental principle. Understanding our completeness in Christ as a total work of grace voids the power of the devil. The only real power the devil ever had against us was our sins. They have been dealt with through the atoning work of Christ.

We are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We aren’t headed toward victory. We are coming from a victory — Christ’s total victory over the devil. Colossians is a powerful book that describes victorious Christian living.

These four letters that Paul wrote reveal some of the most powerful truths about the grace of God in the Bible. They provide practical understanding as to how God can love us unconditionally and still be just. Feelings fluctuate, but facts fix our hearts in truth. These letters will help establish you in the unconditional love and grace of God.

Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, And Colossians – Article – Andrew Wommack Ministries

As I Have Loved You – Article – Andrew Wommack Ministries   Leave a comment

Please listen to this teaching series on: http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1077. You will be blessed beyond your expectations.

As I Have Loved You – Article from Andrew Wommack

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 artworthy, 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.

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!

The Veil is Torn   Leave a comment

THE VEIL IS TORN – From Andrew Wommack

Luke 23:45 "And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."

The veil spoken of here reached from the ceiling to the floor, from wall to wall, and separated the Holy of Holies from the holy place in the temple. Solomon’s temple was 30 cubits high (1 Ki. 6:2), but Herod increased the height to 40 cubits according to the writings of Josephus, a first century historian. Therefore, depending on what standard you use to convert cubits to feet (there is uncertainty as to exactly what a cubit equaled in our feet and inches), this veil was somewhere between 60 feet and 90 feet high.

It is significant that this veil was rent from top to bottom (Mt. 27:51; Mk. 15:38). No man could have torn the veil in this fashion. It was definitely God that rent the veil. The time when this veil was rent corresponds exactly with the moment Jesus died.

Hebrews 9:1-9 tells us that the veil separated the Holy of Holies, where God dwelt, from the rest of the temple, where men dwelt. This signified that man was separated from God by sin (Isa. 59:1-2). Only the high priest was permitted to pass beyond this veil, and only once each year (Ex. 30:10; Heb. 9:7). This symbolized the Christ who would enter into God’s presence for us and make an atonement.

The moment that Christ died, the veil was torn in two, revealing that the sacrifice had been made and that there is no longer any separation between God and man. Jesus tore the veil, that is to say His flesh (Heb. 10:20), in two and opened up a new way unto God through Himself.

Know And Believe God’s Love For You   Leave a comment

Know And Believe God’s Love For You – From Joseph Prince Ministries

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).

Our Help In Time Of Need   Leave a comment

Our Help In Time Of Need

Hebrews 4:16; Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

If you are facing a challenge right now, I want you to know that you have a standing invitation from your heavenly Father to come boldly to the throne of grace to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.

The phrase “help in time of need” means that you get healing when you are sick, provisions when you are in lack, restoration when your relationship with a loved one breaks down, and favor when news of job cuts or bad prospects are rife.

“Pastor Prince, how can I come boldly when I have been a lousy Christian?”

You can come boldly because you come to God by the blood of Jesus Christ and not by how you have lived your life. So whenever you come into God’s presence, you don’t have to be afraid that your sins will be exposed because the blood of Jesus has removed every one of them. God does not see even one speck of sin in you because He sees only the blood of His Son, which has been shed for your total forgiveness and acceptance.

My friend, when you have failed and need mercy, God’s Word assures you that you will find mercy when you come boldly to God. Mercy means that you don’t get the bad things you deserve, such as condemnation, poverty, failure, loss and even death.

And mercy is not the only thing that you will obtain when you come boldly to God. You will also find grace. Grace means that you get the good things that you don’t deserve, such as health, protection, anointing, favor, good success and life more abundant.

So come boldly to the One who loves you passionately, unconditionally and with an undying love. Come boldly to Him who knows everything about your situation and has the solution. He has wisdom far beyond that doctor you highly respect, that lawyer you greatly honor and the best experts you can consult. Beloved, come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in your time of need!

God’s Love Makes You Strong   1 comment

God’s Love Makes You Strong by Joseph Prince

Ephesians 3:19; …know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

If you were to thank God for something today, what would it be? For me, it would be thanking God for giving me Jesus. For when I see Jesus on the cross, I see the love of God overcoming everything for me. It causes me to say, “Thank you, Jesus! I love you, Jesus! I worship you, Jesus! Bless you, Jesus! Hallelujah!”

And as we worship and celebrate the love of Jesus in our lives, we will find ourselves changed, and we will see the mighty power of God displayed for us and through us.

This was the case in the life of David. His personal times of worship, of being absorbed in God’s love for him, changed him from a mere shepherd boy to a lion killer, bear killer, giant killer and finally, a king over Israel.

Now, no one on earth, no matter how strong he is, let alone a youth, can come against a lion and prize open its mouth to snatch back his sheep which the lion had carried away, unless God’s anointing is on him. And this was indeed what happened to David the shepherd boy who went after the lion, caught it by its beard, struck and killed it, and thus delivered the lamb from its jaws. (1 Samuel 17:34–37)

My friend, no man can truly enjoy living in this world without God’s strength in his life, God’s favor in his work and relationships, God’s protection for him and his family, God’s increase in his finances, and God’s health and healing for his body. Likewise, no woman can survive emotionally, socially or physically without God’s tender touch, loving presence, sweet assurance and words of life in times of need.

Beloved, as you feed on Jesus’ love for you, you will be filled with the fullness of God. Like David, God’s anointing will begin to operate powerfully in your life. And when you encounter spiritual lions, even the devil himself — when he comes like a roaring lion against you, your loved ones or your possessions — you will grab hold of his mouth and tear him apart!

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