Posts Tagged ‘conditions’

Abiding and Abounding Love

August 25th, 2017

Nothing lasts without God as its source and center.

“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love.” 1 Thess 3:12 NKJV

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Abiding and Abounding Love.”

Loving and being loved is essential to a healthy, happy life. After listing multiple, essential Christian graces – compassion, kindness, humility, patience, gentleness, and forgiveness – Paul added, And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Read Colossians 3:12-14 NIV. All else is incomplete without sincere love at its heart. Love contains and completes all other Godly virtues. Love for God and one another is the crowning grace of all else. But love is never easy all the time.

Conditions complicate love. Sometimes without realizing your having done so, you may have thought to yourself, “I will love you, as long as you ( fill in your conditions ).” Love with limitations will always be taking inventory, making sure your conditions are being met. Provisional love will neither produce nor protect strong marriages, nor safe homes, nor solid friendships. Conditional love cannot hold people together when misunderstandings inevitably arise or when the blush of love’s emotion wanes.

In contrast, Jesus’ love for you is unconditional, just as He commands you to love others. “Now I am giving you a new commandment: love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 NLT. That is a high standard, but a lesser goal will not sustain your faith in all times, nor friendships for a long time, nor love for a lifetime.

Do you want to know God’s practical benchmarks of love in daily life? God’s Word says what love is and love is not. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NLT. Did you notice the last characteristic? “Love endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever!” Even when you feel like it won’t; it will. Forever does not begin in eternity. Forever begins now and reaches across and throughout eternity.

“I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NKJV. Such persevering love rests on the firm foundation of His own love for you. “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in Him I put my hope.” Lamentations 3:22-24 TEV.

Nothing lasts without God as its Source and Center. This is my prayer and hope for you today. “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NKJV. Love will not endure unless God originates and sustains it. God is the only source of abiding and abounding love. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.” John 15:9-10 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you that out of God’s wondrous love, you will love always.

Christian Communications 2017

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Promises and Conditions

November 25th, 2013

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19 NIV.

Sometimes, where you are is not where you need to be.

My thoughts and comments today are about “promises and conditions.”

Promises are rarely unconditional. Inevitably, there will be one or more conditions inherent within a promise. With God, every promise is more grand and generous than you imagine, but there is usually a precondition to be met or an expectation to be accomplished by a willing heart. The commitment that God has made to you eternally is accompanied by expected and appropriate responses from you. “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19 NIV. The providential will of God is reserved for those who are first “willing and obedient.”

As I think through Scripture, I find the principle to be common. IF . . you forgive, you will be forgiven. Matthew 6:14 NIV. IF . . you give abundantly,you will receive accordingly. Luke 6:38 NAS. IF . .  you have faith, you can please God. Hebrews 11:6 NKJV. IF . . you desire to follow Jesus, take up your cross daily. Luke 9:23 NKJV. IF . . you thirst, come and drink. John 7:37 NKJV. IF . . you love Jesus, you will obey. John 14:15 NIV. IF . . you confess Jesus is Lord, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NIV. IF . . you endure hardship, you will reign with Him. 2 Timothy 2:12 NLT. IF . . you confess your sins, He is faithful to forgive. 1 John 1:9 NIV. My Biblical examples are extensive but not exhaustive.

Moses brought Israel to the border of the land of God’s purpose and provision – a land providing bountifully all they would need – cities, houses, wells, fields, vineyards, and flocks and herds – but they feared the giants more than they desired the sufficiency and surplus there and more than they believed God’s promise and power. Many of them even spoke of returning to Egypt.

When God appeared to Joshua after Moses’ death, His direction to Joshua was succinct, “Get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give. [There] I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:2-3 NIV. (Also read Vs. 4-9 NIV). Everything good and plenty awaited them. What an incredible promise of inheritance and destiny. The conditions? They had to cross a swollen, flooding river and walk the land promised to them. The fledgling nation was once again at a crossroads in the purposes of God. Maybe you are at a place of decision in your life.

There are two practical observations of Joshua’s and Israel’s situation that I think are relevant to yours and my crossroad times.

(1) You have to leave where you’ve been, to go where you need to be. You may feel safer or more comfortable where you are but that doesn’t matter if that’s not where His blessings wait. Your spiritual life is a journey, from faith to faith and from glory to glory, into the greater purposes of God.

(2) You have to go where you are supposed to be, to receive what God promises to give. The promises of God are given and fulfilled on God’s terms, not yours. God’s promises and their conditions remain, “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.”

My prayer for you today is that you will be content only in the center of God’s purpose.

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