Archive for the ‘Unconditional Love’ category

Assurance for the Fainthearted

December 28, 2011

Everybody is prone to doubt. The devil does all he can to steal confidence from the Christian. If he can get us to doubt our salvation, God’s goodness or the efficacy of Jesus sacrifice he can get us to give up.

John’s first letter serves to bolster our confidence. The phrase “we know” occurs no less than 14 times in the brief letter. The Christian needs assurance to face the struggles of living in a wicked and fleshly world. So John lists for us things we can know and how we can know them.

(1) “Beloved, now are we children of God, and what we shall be has not yet been manifested; we know that if it is manifested we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

(2) “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14).

(3) “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, …”

(4) “… We know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).

(5) “We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked [one] does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).

(6) “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked [one]” (1 John 5:19).

(7) “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding that we should know Him that [is] true; and we are in Him that [is] true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

(8) “And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

(9) “… But whoever keeps His word, in him verily the love of God is perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).

(10) “Little children, it is [the] last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is [the] last hour” (1 John 2:18).

(11) “And he that keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given to us” (1 John 3:24).

(12) “We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

(13) “Hereby we know that we abide in Him and he in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

(14) “Hereby know we that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2).

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It is too bad that we live in fear and doubt when God has told us we are winners, over-comers and conquerors. We we can boldly stand on ground given us by the captain of our faith. Don’t draw back but forge ahead in your faith reaching higher, richer and better blessings with every new success in the Lord.

Heaven and salvation is ours to lose if we so choose. Don’t let that happen.

Assurance for the Fainthearted

December 28, 2011

Everybody is prone to doubt. The devil does all he can to steal confidence from the Christian. If he can get us to doubt our salvation, God’s goodness or the efficacy of Jesus sacrifice he can get us to give up.

John’s first letter serves to bolster our confidence. The phrase “we know” occurs no less than 14 times in the brief letter. The Christian needs assurance to face the struggles of living in a wicked and fleshly world. So John lists for us things we can know and how we can know them.

(1) “Beloved, now are we children of God, and what we shall be has not yet been manifested; we know that if it is manifested we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

(2) “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love [his] brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14).

(3) “And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, …”

(4) “… We know that we have the petitions which we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).

(5) “We know that every one begotten of God does not sin, but he that has been begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked [one] does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).

(6) “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked [one]” (1 John 5:19).

(7) “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding that we should know Him that [is] true; and we are in Him that [is] true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

(8) “And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).

(9) “… But whoever keeps His word, in him verily the love of God is perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5).

(10) “Little children, it is [the] last hour, and, according as ye have heard that antichrist comes, even now there have come many antichrists, whence we know that it is [the] last hour” (1 John 2:18).

(11) “And he that keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given to us” (1 John 3:24).

(12) “We are of God; he that knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

(13) “Hereby we know that we abide in Him and he in us, that He has given to us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13).

(14) “Hereby know we that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments” (1 John 5:2).

.

It is too bad that we live in fear and doubt when God has told us we are winners, over-comers and conquerors. We we can boldly stand on ground given us by the captain of our faith. Don’t draw back but forge ahead in your faith reaching higher, richer and better blessings with every new success in the Lord.

Heaven and salvation is ours to lose if we so choose. Don’t let that happen.

You Will Mess Up, What You Need to Know When You Do

September 27, 2011

The Devil really loves to blind us to simple truths. When he can get us to forget the nature and work of God he can discourage us enough to give up. Don’t let that happen. You should treasure these thoughts in your heart so you never forget them.

  • You are loved by God (Eph 5:1; John 3:16)
  • He showed his love when we deserved it the least (Rom 5:8).
  • There is nothing in this world or the heavens that can separate us from God’s love (Rom 8:38-39).
  • The sacrifice of Jesus blood covers all the sins we confess before God (1 John 1:7-9).
  • You can repent of any sin and God will remove it from you (Acts 3:19).
  • Once a sin is forgiven it is gone for good you’ll never be held accountable for that sin again (Psalm 103:12).
  • It’s not to late to change and follow Jesus (Heb 7:25).

Confession and asking for forgiveness brings back the “joy of God’s salvation” (Psalm 51:23). It restores us to God’s grace and mercy. Sadly, we can easily forget that when we head away from God into sin.

The Devil is a liar (John 8:44), he deceives you into living below the privileges given by Christ. Don’t let him win when you falter and sin. Instead, turn your heart toward God and bask in his forgiving grace. God loves the contrite and penitent (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2). He is overflowing with love for all of us (Psalm 51:1). He is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), including those who have fallen back or fallen away.

Restoration and full fellowship comes to all who seek God’s forgiveness. No matter what your sin is God’s kindness, grace and mercy is greater.
God is calling today, he is pleading with us to come partake of His mercy and love. What are you waiting for? Come home today!

Ways to Help You Help The Hurting

May 24, 2011

Our world is filled with people who carry burdens we never even know about. Nearly everyone you meet is bearing some sorrow, hardship or pain that may not show outwardly but nonetheless hurts indescribably. God wants us all to care about our fellow man whether they be friend or enemy. In an effort to help us be more aware here is a quick list of ways to bring cheer and support to others.

  • Be mindful of the lonely, extend a smile and a cheer bringing word.
  • There will be many who will slip our attention if we don’t watch carefully.
  • When people talk, listen to what they are saying. Often this is the kindest thing we can do for someone who is hurting.
  • As the old saying goes “walk mile in their shoes.” try to imagine what you would feel if you were lonely, poor, hungry, dirty, homeless, friendless.
  • Look carefully and compassionately into people’s eyes as they talk to you. Often tears are just below the surface of a brave facade. Don’t let an opportunity pass to give help just because someone is masking their hurts.
  • Learn to spend time with people who need you. Our retirement centers, hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food banks, and many other places are filled with people who need human contact and compassion even more than food, clothing and shelter.
  • Give without expecting a return of gratitude. More often than not people are embarrassed by kindness freely given. They don’t really know how to respond. You are planting a Christ-like seed of love that will in time grow gratitude.
  • Look past the sins of the past and present to see the potential of a sinner saved by God’s grace. Don’t let your hatred of sin cause you to hate sinners. People lost in sin are in bondage, under the influence of the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world. You can only expect that they would live below the calling of Christ.
  • Realize you are not a police man over the gift once given. It is guaranteed that some people who receive blessings from you will misuse them. However, that is for God to judge. You’ve done the good by blessing.
  • Be especially careful of people’s privacy. If you are fortunate enough to share in carrying a burden count it a privilege that someone let you into their lives. Let them choose with whom they want to know their struggles and problems.

It is in giving to others that we serve the Lord. Opportunities usually come in ugly packages called problems. Those opportunities when taken will provide untold benefit to the giver, the receiver and the Lord’s Kingdom now and for evermore.

Dear Lord, Open my eyes and heart to every opportunity you send my way. Never let my selfishness hinder the goodness you intend to be done through me. Through Jesus I ask this prayer.

Joe Chase

North Loop Church of Christ

Gladewater, Texas

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What Kind of King?

September 21, 2010

Have you ever thought about how Jesus, even though He is King of kings, is different from any other king we know.  When we think of a king we think of several things that just go with being a monarch.  Yet the Jesus we meet in Scripture is far different.

  • Kings have palaces…Jesus had no home or place to lay his head (Luke 9:58).
  • Kings expect to be served…Jesus “humbled himself and became a servant” (Philippians 2:5-11)
  • Kings declare war…Jesus is “prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
  • Kings garner land for their kingdoms…Jesus reigns in the hearts of men (Colossians 1:27)
  • Kings rule by force…Jesus controls by love (2 Corinthians 5:14)
  • Kings work you as slaves…Jesus offers an easy and light burden (Matthew 11:30)
  • Kings enslave…Jesus sets you free (John 8:36)

Jesus is so different from what we think a king should be that often people miss the fact that he is king.  How many kings do we know of that would…

  • wash his servants feet
  • seek the hurting, weary, blind, miserable, maim to give them comfort
  • go after an enemy with the love of a father
  • seek the lost like a shepherd does the erring lamb
  • make a home for each of his citizens
  • grant all debts paid in full
  • redeem the criminal
  • love the unlovable?

King Jesus has done all of these things and more.  It is hard to imagine anyone not pledging allegiance to Him.  Its hard to believe there are people who are ashamed to mention his name (Matthew 10:32,33).

Perhaps we should rethink what a true king is.

Listen to Him today!

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
(John 15:13)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ”
(Matthew 11:28-29)

Lonely No More

April 19, 2010

Loneliness plagues us even though we live on a planet with over 6.5 billion people. In fact some of our loneliest times are when we are in a large crowd.

Paul stood alone on several occasions yet he tells us that he was never abandoned or forsaken by God.

“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth”
(2 Timothy 4:16).

God abides with those who abide in Him. His interest in us is deep. All of our needs are known to Him before we ask for help.

If you are lonely today take time to remember that God is nearby those draw near to Him (James 4:8).

The Beautiful Cross

March 31, 2010

This title may seem to be a paradox. How could something so horrible be beautiful? How could something that brought such pain bring so much joy? How could something that killed bring life? How could the curse bring blessing? The cross is beautiful because of the One who died upon it and the reason he did. Without him being rejected by God we could not be accepted. Without his suffering we would have no relief. Without him being struck down we would never have been exalted. The cross of Jesus truly is beautiful to those of us who have put our faith in God’s grace.

Calvary is the focus of the ages. From Adam to the apostles looked for it’s coming and the grace that it would bring. From Golgotha until the Judgment we look back to it for the peace it brings between us and God. God’s predetermined will was the sacrifice upon a cruel cross the Christ appointed before the foundation of the world. The cross is the foundation of all that God did throughout history and continues to do until Christ comes to receive the faithful to heaven.

The beautiful cross of Christ stands as a beacon to all men to come for healing of our sin-sickness. It calls to us to lay down the burden of sorrow and pick up the wings of joy. The life bought for each of by the blood of Jesus is God’s precious gift to everyone willing to follow the lamb where ever he goes.

Joseph D. Chase