Roberta, Tina…what ya saying?


Roberta Flack – Where is the love? (I don’t know)

Tina Turner – What’s love got to do with it? (EVERYTHING!!!)

There is one, true nature of God clearly represented in and of the Word, and that is LOVE!

1 John 4:16 says,

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

In other word, God does not love, love is the nature of God, yeah God is love, inseparable! Jesus gave us the greatest representation of the true nature of God. Love, unbiased and free flowing. 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). After all, think about it, faith will be gone one day, because we will be with the one we fully trusted in. Hope will be gone, because we will see the Lord and being with Him will fulfill all expectations and aspirations, but love will never end. Love will exist forever and ever, because God is love eternal.

Believers should have more than just a superficial knowledge of God’s love. 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 one-dimensional. They’ve never seen the multi-dimensional reality of God’s love. It includes all space and time. It also encompasses all people. John 3:16 “For so loved the World…“ not just Christians, not just people of a specific culture, not just an explicit nation, race or creed. His love encases the world, His whole creation. Let me say this, anytime we see a preference of who is loved based on religious beliefs, color of skin or any other external factor, as believers you do not represent Him.

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. Experiencing God’s love equals fullness.

We think we have to do something to earn God’s love and we tether it, like a work contract to our human performance. I need to pray more, read His Word more, do Christian acts more. We have to merit God’s love. That is not what the Bible teaches. We are not employees of God. Our reward is not based on our job performance. God’s love for us is unconditional. Understand, God doesn’t love us because of some virtue we possess. God loves us because He is, not because we are.

Religion is one of the biggest broadcasters of the conditional love of God propaganda. Many “Christian churches” teach that God’s love for us is conditional, based on 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. There is no Biblical truth to that theory pertaining to the New Testament church. Remember we are no longer under law but Grace.

People who love one minute and then act the opposite way the next minute simply don’t operate in God’s love. God’s Word tells us to even love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). It is a command. He didn’t say to do it if you feel like it. A command given by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords does not generate an optional, what do you think, response.

Galatians 5:22 says that love is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. This is specifically speaking of the Holy Spirit; and our new man was born of the Spirit, so it has to be true that God’s love has been shed abroad in our spirits too. We have the capability to love as He loves. God’s kind of love is a choice that you make on the basis of what God said, and then you act on it through faith until it becomes a reality in your whole being.

Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth ( committed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love wasn’t based upon what we had done for Him or what we deserved but upon His choice, His free choosing to love us. We didn’t do anything to merit God’s love. He just chose to give it. We can receive His kind of love and then give it to others in the same way. The Word (John 13:35) says “By this shall ALL men know that ye are my disciples, my students, my apprentices, my representatives that you have love one to another”. What is the “this”? That we love one another, even as He has loved us. (verse 34)

His love was extended toward Hitler just as much as it was toward Billy Graham. The difference is our acceptance or rejection of it, not His offer of it. God’s love is unconditional. What about your love for the “world”? Can you walk in lock step with God “so loved the world”, recognizing that He is in you and you in Him which would indicate that you too should unconditionally love the world…and ALL of its inhabitants or are you caught up in this spirit of tribalism introduced by the demonic great opposer, Lucifer? I leave with this… 1 John 4:20-21, “If a man says, I love God and hateth (disregards and show little empathy) his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath seen? And this commandment (not suggestion) have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother (another creation of God) also.

Don’t Forget To Remember…


One of the situations we have today, not only affecting and infecting the United States but also across the world is the remembrance of history. The remembrance of how we got to the point of where we are. We have lost sight of connection and human brotherhood. Yes, our past has many injustices and atrocities that cannot be ignored, but when we choose to learn from them, we can garner added benefits.

Exodus chapter 1 gives us an example of how this ignorance of history can lead to the downfall of a nation. Exodus 1:6-8 speaks of the death of Joseph, of his brother and their generation. It speaks of the fruitfulness of the children of Israel and the prosperity of the Egyptian nation but there is a problem. The passage states that a “new king” arose which knew not Joseph. Joseph’s name means “Jehovah was added”. In other words increase, exceeding and continued abundance was added just because of the presence of Joseph. The reason that the nations of Egypt prospered was because of the children of Israel who lived and operated under the covering of Joseph. Yet all the “new king” of Egypt could see was a growing immigrant culture of people who were infiltrating his land while completely ignoring the benefits and fruitfulness that they were producing not only for themselves but the nation of Egypt as a whole. The unlearned “new king” instilled into the nation of Egypt a mindset of being overran by the “immigrant” enemy. The “new king” knew not Joseph. He did not know that Jehovah adds. Don’t forget to remember where all your blessings come from. How is it that the “new king” knew not Joseph? How do you not know your history. When the “new king” issued edicts to undercut and enslave the very people that contributed to the success of the nation, things began to falter. Where were the “new king’s” advisors? Were they also ignorant of Joseph? We sometimes tend to believe that new is better so we ignore the wisdom, the taste, the aroma of that which has been aged by time. When you as “new king”, fail to see the hand of God on your nation and how He through His own sovereignty is blessing you, you then begin to negate and forget Joseph. Soon you drift into a state of tribalism. It becomes an us against them, even within the same community. We forget it was the “us” along with “them which was added” that made the nation great, prosperous and fruitful.

Understand, in the seven Jehovah titles there is not one that illustrates that He brings division. It is the nature of Satan to bring the opposite of what the Father desires. Always with the addition of Jehovah connotation there is peace. The Father delights in adding, that it might be even more fruitful. Herbs, spices and salts adds to the flavor of the original food . How is it that we miss that concept in community, governance and yes even ministry? Wake up world. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Across the globe division seems to be the preeminent call for today. The word diversity does not mean division, it means variety, assortment, mixture, range and multiplicity. The nation  is strengthen when we remember Joseph, Jehovah was added. Jesus prays to the Father in John 17 His desire for us to be a s one even as He and the Father are one. If the message is division and “us against them” then we have failed to remember Joseph.  Don’t forget to remember…

 

 

After 3….. It is time to GET UP.


Let’s revisit last week briefly. Why do I say Wednesday Christ was crucified instead of the traditional Friday? Without getting into it too deeply, Passover as described in Lev. 23:4, 5 indicates on the 10th day of the first month, Nisan, [roughly equivalent to April on our calendar], every family of Israel was to take a lamb, without blemish, and separate it from the flock. On the evening of the fourth day the Passover lamb was killed, cooked, and eaten during the night. This feast begins the celebration of the exodus from Egypt. If the clock begins on Palm Sunday, and the day of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is day one. Wednesday is day four. Also remember the Jewish day begins at 6pm NOT midnight.

The period between ‘good Friday’ and ‘resurrection Sunday’ does not equal three days and three nights (72 hrs.). How can we show that as a timeline using what Jesus Himself called “the ONLY sign” that He would give indicating who He was? (Mat 12:39 – 40) How does Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday add up to make three days and three nights (72 hrs.)?  It doesn’t. Let’s look. Buried at sundown, (Good Friday (night)), Saturday (day) Saturday (night), Resurrection (Easter Sunday (day))…Total = One day and two nights! (36 hrs.)

The days on the Jewish calendar BEGAN and ENDED at sundown, not midnight. They viewed a day as NIGHT and then DAY, rather than viewing a day as DAY and then NIGHT as we do in the western culture.  This is important when it comes to counting the three days and three nights. But what about the need for Christ to be taken from the cross and buried before the Sabbath, you might ask.

The day following Passover began the feast of unleavened bread. The first and last days were “High Sabbath” days. “High Sabbath” days are mandatory rest and preparation days. This means Passover is also the “preparation day” for the “High Sabbath”. Jesus was crucified on Passover. His body was laid in the tomb just before sunset, when the “High Sabbath” of the Feast of Unleavened Bread began. His body lay in the tomb for the first three days of this feast.

 Three days and three nights – in the heart of the earth. Wednesday Jesus is on the cross from approximately 9am until His death, around 3pm. His body must be in the grave before the “High Sabbath” day, 6pm. Let’s look at the possible timeline:

The first night and day (Thursday): Wednesday 6pm to Thursday 6pm.

The second night and day (Friday): Thursday 6pm to Friday 6pm.

The third night and day (Saturday): Friday 6pm to Saturday 6pm.

Jesus is resurrected before sunset or sometime closely afterwards.

The women find the empty tomb very early on Sunday morning.

The women had to wait till the High Sabbath and following night passed, before going to the market to purchase the materials for His anointing. Then the second day they had to prepare everything. This was a long process and then they would have to again stop for the Regular weekly Sabbath to pass. The third night and day are the regular Sabbath.  At sundown, (on what we would call Saturday night), is exactly 72 hours after Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb – When the third night and day had passed – Jesus rose from the dead. 

The pronouncement He is NOT dead, He is alive.

Why 3 days? Why not 2 or 4? In thinking about this I believe it has to do with the belief widely held that the spirit of a “dead” body hovered around the body before three days. In that time span the spirit could renter the body, otherwise the death verdict was final. Looking back on the Lazarus event, in order to show the glory of God, Jesus delayed His going to Lazarus after receiving the news of his illness in order to allow for “3 days” to pass. Listen to His conversation with Martha and Mary, they truthfully declared that the “3 day” period has passed and Lazarus has been dead for four days. Perfect! Jesus declares to them “I am the resurrection and the life”. In other words, there will be no doubt, when Lazarus is resurrected (in the original Greek – “stand up”), that Jesus did it.

It was common for the family to visit the gravesite in Biblical times 3 days later for final verification of death. They would roll the stone away and check just in case. But in a similarity of His decision concerning Lazarus, Jesus was in the grave 3 days and night…dead. But He IS the resurrection; he is the “stand up”. As he declared “NO MAN” takes my life, I have the power to lay it down and to pick it up again or stand up. So after the 3rd, He “stood up”, and the verdict was given…He is not dead.

About 2 months ago here in the states (I believe in Mississippi), a man apparently died and was pronounced such by the county coroner. Just as the attendant in the morgue was going to remove the body from the body bag after many hours, the bag started violently moving and the occupant was fighting to be free of the that plastic stifling enclosure. Can you imagine how you would react if you were the attendant? Apparently, there was a misdiagnosis. But this man was not going to be content to be imprisoned and given over passively to that conclusion. There was still life to live.

That leads me to my final point. There are human abilities that we have and those abilities are accomplished through three means…thought, word or deed. There are times to where all three of those abilities sometimes cease to bring forth results. They are seemingly lifeless, inert and unresponsive. It is in that time when Jesus can call forth the resurrection, the “standup power” to the more abundant life. I know sometimes we can feel like our dreams, aspirations, calling, relationship, finances, health, has been lifeless so long that it as Martha said about her brother to Jesus, it stinks. But even after the fourth day when it seems like there is no hope, no way he is still the resurrection the standup and the life. The Word of God declares that He came to give us life and that more abundantly. The situation might appear to be dead and beyond our human abilities but Jesus the Christ is the RESURRECTION and the LIFE. So if it’s after your three day or even during your three-day death experience. Understand this, because He got up you to can get up. It is Resurrection day. Get up and LIVE!