Let LOVE Be Your Aim
Is God Magic?
From the Heart of Dr. Rexella Van Impe
He couldn't understand how anyone -- not even God -- could love everyone. After all, there are so many of us, and some of us are so unlovable. To a child's way of thinking it would take nothing short of magic to be that loving.
You and I know that God is much more than magic. He's our all-powerful heavenly Father! In John 13:34,35, Jesus said to His disciples, 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.
Jesus knew how unlovable people can be. He knew how unappreciative, unkind, thoughtless, selfish, quick to judge and criticize, and very mean we humans can act. Even within that intimate circle of the twelve disciples, there was envy, jealousy, and even murder. And these were the men upon whom Jesus was counting. The spread of the gospel depended upon the disciples showing love to each other and to others. So to these men, only a few short hours before His crucifixion, Jesus gave the supreme command, "Love one another." And it should be our number one priority today.
But that's just it. We don't love one another as we should. In fact, a good many of us Christians are downright unloving much of the time. So how do we get the love of God in our lives?
Where do we begin?
I heard of a woman whose husband was very outgoing, charming, and loving to everyone outside his home. But, often, to his family he was moody and irritable. He wasn't always outgoing, charming, and loving to them. In fact, his moodiness and his venting his anger and frustrations on his wife and children were destroying the love within his home.
One day in an effort to help him see what he was doing, his wife asked, "Honey, why don't you save some of your charm for us?" That took courage, but it helped.
Of course, we all need a place where we can let some steam off, let our hair down, and kick our shoes off and relax with those who will understand and not misjudge us. But there must be a balance whereby we also remember to show our love. Continual unloving mistreatment of those dearest to us will drive them away.
I've heard such sad stories through the years of how people's hearts have become hard and cold because the love they once had for each other had not been nurtured.
Our example is Jesus. I'm sure He didn't always find it easy to show love. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are (see Hebrews 2:18). When the self-righteous Pharisees tried to trip Jesus up, it would have been easy for Him to withhold His love from those who were cruel, arrogant, and unjust. But Jesus never yielded to that temptation. He showed love in the most impossible of human situations. Jesus was love in action. He demonstrated His compassion over and over again in His dealings with those who desperately needed help, healing, and forgiveness.
Let love be your aim
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not [love], I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [love], it profiteth me nothing.
[Love] suffereth long, and is kind; [love] envieth not; [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [Love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. And now abideth faith, hope, [love], these three; but the greatest of these is [love] (1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13).
What a beautiful description of love! This chapter describes love in three ways -- what it is, what it isn't, and what it does.
- very patient and kind
- enduring, without weakening
- able to bear up under anything
- ready to believe the best of others
- loyal no matter the cost
- a growing thing -- growing out of God's love for and in us.
- jealous or envious
- boastful or proud (inflated or puffed up with pride)
- conceited and arrogant
- touchy, fretful, or resentful
- rude and haughty
- irritable or easily provoked
- selfish and self-seeking
- glad about injustice.
- rejoice in the truth
- not hold grudges
- hardly notice when others do it wrong
- not demand its own way
- hope all things
- stand its ground in defending someone it loves
- not fail -- does not fade out, become obsolete, or come to an end.
How loving are you?
The Bible has so much to say about love. Here are some other verses to help us understand the nature of real love. First John 4:8 says, He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. That verse says God is love. That is His nature. He is a heavenly Father who has divine compassion. And if we are His children, we must love, too -- and not just those who love us, but even the unlovable. Jesus said, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven...For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?...Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:44-46,48).
One day a so-called expert on Moses' law came to Jesus to test Him. He asked, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
Notice Jesus' reply: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
The man, wanting to justify his lack of love for some people, asked, "And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:25-29).
You see, he was so much like us. He wanted to love the lovable, those who were easy to love. But Jesus said we are to love without discrimination, the way He loves us.
It's never too late
I want you to know that Jack and I love you. Our prayer is that you will learn to speak the truth in love and fully grow up in Christ (see Ephesians 4:15) so that the world will know that you, too, are one of Christ's disciples.
Jack Van Impe Ministries
Troy MI 48007
Let Your Light So Shine Before Men....
The Power of Your Presence
Jesus said in Matthew 5:16,
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
The way you let your light shine is just being yourself around people. Witness everywhere you go through your life, and use words, if necessary.
You can sow seeds just by showing people that you are real. Some people call it friendship evangelism: being a genuine friend, touchable, genuinely caring for people, just letting your light shine.
Jesus also said you are a city set on a hill. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nobody lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. You and I are to live a life that brightly shines the gospel to the unsaved.
I read a story years ago about a guy who had his doorbell hooked up to a big buzzer in the back room. The buzzer was really loud. He wanted to change it and put a light there instead that would illuminate when somebody pushed the doorbell. So he rigged it up to do just that.
The problem was the light would barely illuminate. He could not figure out what was wrong, so he called an electrician friend. His friend looked at it and told him, "Oh, you don't understand. It takes more power to shine than it does to make noise."
That is very true. Jesus said, "Let your light shine." Without having to necessarily confront people, they will just notice something different about you. If you are walking with God, it is reflected in your attitude, your work ethic, and your countenance. It is a discernable difference that will lead some people to ask about your faith. You will be able to sow seeds just with your presence.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God
Hidden Secrets In The Bible
Hidden Secrets In The Bible