WE ARE COMMANDED TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER—PLAIN, NOT NECESSARILY SIMPLE

Each day should be a demonstration of what Gods’ love does for us and through us. Let others see His light shine through you. After all, we have been charged with the responsibility to do so.

~ Lisa Blair
@YouVersion

What is agape love, and why are Christians responsible for sharing it with others?

AGAPE LOVE

Agape love is the highest expression of love, it is selfless, pure, and unconditional. We are the recipients of God’s love, and as recipients of His love, we are freed through it. His agape love indwells in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our light that shines through us into the outside world. This love is demonstrated daily through our words, thoughts and actions. We can either interact using our carnal character, our attitude, as our guide, or display the virtues of Christ, that inform our behavior.

Jesus speaks about our attitude towards one another and how love is unconditional and expresses the nature of God, 1 John 4:8m NIV.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

VEIL LIFTED

The main reason unbelievers don’t see Jesus is because a veil is covering their hearts and their “spiritual eyes.” They cannot see Jesus through the veil. Their hearts are covered and their minds are blinded. Says who? Says God. He tells us in His Word, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4)  [Christian Post, Dan Delzell, Contributor. Turning To The Lord Lifts The Veil. July 2013]

We are charged with and commanded to love. We can longer view the world, our family, friends, and associates through carnal (human) eyes. The veil has been lifted from our eyes. We are commanded to love unconditionally. We can no longer focus on situations, or circumstances;we can no longer hate others, lie (little lies are often more deadly than pronounced lies because they are more difficult to discern), cheat, or steal. Stealing can include stealing someone’s happiness with foul words discrediting them, or frowning at them to unsettle their continence.

LIFE BY THE SPIRIT

Galatians 5 explains why we can no longer rely on our old behavior to govern our lives. My last Post was about being freed, we are free of our sins, because Christ died on the Cross for us and is now sitting at the right hand of God. Freedom comes at a cost, we must shed our old selves for our new selves. We are children of Christ, and we belong to a new family. This means we have to exchange our old behaviors for our new virtues. Paul wrote in Galatians,

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

ACTS OF THE FLESH, OUR CARNAL SELF

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Our carnal nature ensnares us to follow the world, we are bound to it. We are either God’s’ children, continually fighting against the carnal pull, or we are the evil one’s children embracing our own demise.

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

As Christians, we can strive to overcome our carnal nature, crucify our flesh and live by the spirit. This is accomplished by changing our attitude, our behavior, to align with the Fruit of the Spirit. As we do so, we mature and become more Christ-like through our walk.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

THE CLOSING POINT

God so loved us He gave us His only Son, who suffered for us in human form to experience trials, temptations and failures to free us of sin. Our suffering will never equal or come close to His, nor will our love for others, nonetheless, when we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we are bound to spread the Good News that is based on agape love. Our veil has been removed and we shed the shackles of sin. It is time that we love our neighbors and those of this earth as God does. My mother once told me, ” never hate, love everyone as God does, it is not the person but the behavior that keeps them bound to the flesh.”

Every person has the birth right of redemption if they received Christ as their Lord and Savior. As Christians, we continually receive God’s love, despite our sins. As Christians, we have been commanded to love one another unconditionally. No excuses. The world has been in turmoil throughout history. We are but a vapor that appears for awhile and then vanishes away, 1 John 4:14, paraphrased. Our Lord is the High Priest. He is eternal, and so is His Word. Again, we are commanded to love one another as He loves us.

References – Biblegateway.com; GotQuestions.org; The Christian Post; BibleHub.com

Scriptures: Biblegateway.com

Image – YouVersion, Bible.com; LAB PHOTOS

Freedom From Sin Requires Work

‭‭John‬ ‭8:36‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Once we have been freed, we are not to return to the servitude of our sin nature, our carnal man framed in lust, ego, material gains, and all that aligns with the evil one’s motives to destroy us and separate us from a Godly life.

Maintaining freedom from sin is a daily struggle; it is easy to slip back into our old ways like Peter who later became Christ’s (primary)Apostle. The beauty is that Jesus has freed us and; we have been given the gift of sanctification and redemption.

Not to sound preachy, but we must remain alert and operate in clarity to overcome the old shackles of sin and continue to live by God’s Will and His Way.

When we find ourselves falling prey to temptation, we must immediately self-correct. It is easier to do if the act or thought requires significant input, but much more difficult if it is subtle.

The new decade allows us to walk down the path of obedience, especially during this time of global uncertainty. We must always stay alert. We are Gods’ children. We have been freed by the Son. We are free from our shackles of sin.

Bible Fun Facts

Facts we should all know. Reblogged, ettingerwriting.wordpress.com. Thanks, David.

EttingerWriting.com

By David Ettinger

holy-bible

We’re living in challenging times, and the challenges for Christians grow more extreme by the day. But we’re not going to discuss any of that here. Instead, I dedicate this little offering to all lovers of the Bible. No opinions or issues here, just Bible facts (based on the King James Version). Here we go!

Old Testament Statistics

  • 39 books; 929 chapters; 23,214 verses; 593,493 words.
  • Longest book – Psalms; shortest book – Obadiah.
  • 17 historical books; 5 poetical books; 17 prophetical books.

New Testament Statistics

  • 27 books; 260 chapters; 7,959 verses; 181,253 words.
  • Longest book – Luke; shortest book – 3 John.
  • 4 Gospels; 1 historic book; 22 epistles.
  • OF NOTE: It was not until A.D. 1250 that the Bible was divided into chapters. Verse divisions were introduced to the New Testament in 1551, and the entire Bible in 1560.

10 Longest Books in the Bible

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A ‘Simple’ Opening Prayer for the New Year

This is my prayer for you as well.

EttingerWriting.com

By David Ettinger

There is some irony in the headline as the Bible passage I am about to quote is actually a benediction rather than an opening prayer. Simply put, the word “benediction” means “closing prayer.”

But when you think about it, I’d rather have the following few words be bestowed upon me every day of the upcoming year than as a closing thought for this expired one. When you read the prayer below, note just how pure and unencumbered it is. There is no pleading for material needs; no longing for miracles or other divine acts; and no wishing for the individual to do great things.

Rather, this elementary yet wonderful benediction/prayer should be the desire of every believer: to live in God’s glorious light every second, of every hour, of every day, of every year of life.

And so, I can think of no better way to express…

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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Christmas is a time to reflect and be grateful for Jesus’ suffering to save us. It is a time to be thankful for our freedom!

Lisa Blair

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

I am so grateful for all my  followers and visitors to my site. I am taking  this opportunity because without Christ, we would not be here today to celebrate His birth.

As so many have said already, remember – this is a time to reflect and focus on the goodness of Christ in our  lives. Let all stressful behaviors go; rest in God’s peace.

I wish you all a blessed and safe Holiday and Season. Looking forward to reading your Posts in 2020.

Guest Reblog: Don’t Wait Until the New Year to Put On the New Self

Ephesians 4:21-25
“if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.”

God has called us all unto Himself. This calling came with a great amount of joy as well as great amount of responsibility on our part. Christ never expected us to be perfect in this life. He did, however, expect us to try hard and never give up. I want to ask you today are you still trying to seek Christ with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength?

Brothers and sisters, this passage reminds us that if we have heard and been taught by God, which simply means if we have any kind of Biblical knowledge then that knowledge is truth in the name of God! So, the responsibility found in this passage is that we do 5 things with this knowledge.

  1. Lay aside our old self: You are a new creation in Christ. Stop acting like the old way was better. Remember this old way only leads to death without hope, without peace, and without love.
  2. Renew your mind: This is a constant process not to be done once and never again. Just as you are renewed each day with a good night’s sleep, renew your mind by living in God’s holy word daily. If not we can become rusty, bored, or stagnate in our walk with God.
  3. Put on the NEW self: Just as you put on new cloths daily, put on your new self and SHINE. That’s what Christ intended for you to do. SHINE with the righteousness He has clothed you in. Stop putting on the worldly cloths, they will never make you look like eternity hangs in the balance!
  4. Lay aside falsehoods: Just like putting on a new self, you can’t do that if you keep putting on old dirty cloths that were never meant to display Christ in you. If you keep letting the world distract you then you can’t enjoy what God is trying to do through you. So, in plain terms, STOP IT.    Lol
  5. Speak truth: Just as plants need water every day, so we must be poured into each day as well. If you speak truth into each other you will receive the blessing and be a blessing. Don’t dry up and expect to do great things. Go and get your self watered, and help water others! Be a blessing and you will in turn receive many of them yourself! Pray for each other, share God’s word with each other, fill each other up with God and not the world.

Just as the theme of this day, week, month, or even the rest of this year states, don’t wait to put these practices into place. God never intended for you to wait until the time was right to lives as you were called to live. Go out and make today the best day you can, and remember ETERNITY HANGS IN THE BALANCE. Go in God’s peace!