Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ABIDING IN HIS LOVE - All Things


As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
John 15:9

Before you can abide fully in the love of Jesus Christ you first have to understand
  1. how the Father loves Jesus and
  2. how Jesus, in like manner, loves you.

THE FATHER LOVES THE SON
Perfect, intimate love is a love that shares everything. This is the kind of love that is demonstrated between the Father and His Son, Jesus the Christ. Everything that the Father is, and everything that the Father has, is also the Son's. The Father, in His love, gave all things to His Son with nothing lacking.

In the beginning of time God had said, "Let Us make man in Our own image, and let them have dominion over....all the earth" Genesis 1:26. The first Adam had all things on earth, just as the Father had all things in heaven. The only exception was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When Adam disobeyed God's command, the consequences were loss of intimate communion with the Father, and dispossession of all things that the Father had so freely given to him. However, Jesus, the Last Adam, came to earth and regained for us all that was destroyed and lost when the first Adam sinned.
  • The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. John 3:35
  • The Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does... John 5: 20a
  • All things have been delivered to Me by My Father… Matthew 11:27a
  • And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church…Ephesians 1:22
THE SON LOVES YOU
1. Everything that is in a vine flows freely into its abiding branch so that the branch has the same DNA – and therefore the same attributes – as the vine. The vine gives the branch everything that it needs to sustain its life. In the same way Jesus, the True Vine, gives you all things when you abide in Him…
  • He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32
  • If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7
2. Jesus has made provision to take care of all your essential daily needs.
  • Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:25, 33
3. The Father, through Jesus, gives you everything you need for your spiritual, emotional and material success throughout your entire life.
  • Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue… 2 Peter 1:2-3
4. Before Jesus left the earth He made sure that you would have access to everything that you need to know.
  • But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
  • When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13
  • All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He (the Holy Spirit) will take of Mine and declare it to you. John 16:15
Pause for a few moments and take inventory of your life. Are there areas in which you are not experiencing the "all things" that Jesus promises? Could it be that you have not yet fully accepted the love of Jesus in those areas? For example, is there dis-ease that has been plaguing your body for some time? Are there ongoing problems with interpersonal relationships? Are you experiencing continued lack in a particular area?

If a branch is not completely embedded in its vine source it won't receive all things. Similarly, if there is a crimp or a disconnect in your soul caused by fear, unbelief, indifference or disobedience, then you will not receive all things that Jesus wants to give you out of His overwhelming love! There can be nothing blocking the flow of the Lord's love to you - a love which comes in myriads of ways....healing, protection, reconciliation, provision....the list goes on and on. 
Receive all things the Lord desires to give you. Abide in His love!

Monday, March 29, 2010

ABIDING IN HIS LOVE - Continuous Communion


As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; 
abide in My love. 
John 15:9

Before you can abide fully in the love of Jesus Christ you first have to understand
  1. how the Father loves Jesus and
  2. how Jesus, in like manner, loves you.
THE FATHER LOVES THE SON
The Father was in constant communication with Jesus. He showed His beloved Son all the things that He, the Father, was doing in heaven, so that Jesus could manifest those things in the earth.

Remember that Jesus had to learn how to live as a human being. He grew in wisdom, and He learned obedience through the things that He suffered. The earth life was completely different from what He knew in heaven.

As such, Jesus dared not start His day without first seeking the Father’s will concerning it. He would not go out on a mission unless it was directed by the Father. He would only heal those whom the Father directed Him to, and He would only speak the words that the Father gave Him to speak. He didn't do things just because He felt like it, or because He was moved by His emotions. Since He was in constant communion with the Father, Jesus manifested the Father’s will perfectly.
  • Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” John 5: 19,20
  • But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”  John 5:17
  • I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 5:30
  • Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34
THE SON LOVES YOU
Jesus is in constant communication with you. He sent His Holy Spirit to show you what the Father is doing in heaven, so that you could manifest those things in the earth. That is why He taught us to pray that God's Kingdom would come, and that His will would be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Without the Father Jesus could do nothing; without Jesus you can do nothing.
  • “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
David knew the importance of God’s word. In Psalm 138:2 he declared, “You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” ‘Word’ here is translated as ‘utterance, speech, saying, promise or command’.

It stands to reason, then, that when satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, Jesus quoted the Word of God.

It is imperative that you know what God says to you personally through the Scriptures, so that with every temptation you face you will give an appropriate response from the Word of God.
  • But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
Jesus Himself is the Word made flesh. When you abide in Him, and He in you, then He, the Living Word, gives you all that you need. Jesus Himself is your daily Bread.
  • And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:35
  • Give us day by day our daily bread. Luke 11:3
It is also imperative that you know how to discern the voice of God as He speaks directly to you, Spirit to spirit. He also speaks through you, spirit to Spirit.
  • But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2: 9-10
  • Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
Jesus never had a bad day and He never experienced failure. I believe it is because He remained in constant communication with the Father who was His closest Friend. The Lord, in His love, desires that you have that same kind of success each day. He sees the big picture and He also knows the intimate details, so He has a specific plan and strategy for you to follow every day. 

Learn to discern when He is prompting you to come to Him. It is different for each person. Don't get stuck in repetitious prayer! You wouldn't want someone saying the same thing over and over to you would you? Why, then, should Jesus accept it from you? He wants intimate relationship, not routine.
 
Observe how young children communicate. They are constantly asking questions, talking about what they observe and how they feel. Jesus wants you to come to Him with that same kind of innocence and openness. 

Too many believers commune with the Lord when they awake in the morning, but leave Him out of the rest of their day. Best friends are in constant communication, and Jesus wants to be your best friend. I believe that He also wants you to be His best friend. We'll discuss this further in an upcoming article.

At the beginning of your day ask Him what He would have you think, say and do. I even make it a habit of asking the Lord what He wants us to wear when I'm preparing to go out. I am aware that He is in me, and I am in Him, and that everything should be a reflection of who He is, including my apparel.

During the day be sure to keep tuned in to the Spirit's frequency so that you can discern what He is saying to you moment by moment. He will guide you into all truth, and will show you what you need to know. Talk to Him, even about seemingly unimportant things. Practice communing with Him while you are going through your day. Tell Him what you are thinking about. Tell Him when you are anxious or angry or excited. Learn to thank Him promptly. Ask for His help when you're uncertain. (When I'm doing a sudoku puzzle and can't find the answer, guess Who I ask!) He is interested in every aspect of your life. You aren't required to assume a religious posture and close your eyes. You can be in a crowd and still commune with the Lord intimately. I enjoy having silent, secret conversations with the Lord when others are around. That's what best friends do!

Before you go to bed commune with the Lord again. Thank Him for being with you, and be specific about the things that He did for you on that day. Evaluate your day with Him. Practice open, honest sharing with Him..........after all, He already knows! Talk with Him about the successes you had, the challenges you faced, and the changes that still need to be realized. He loves this kind of interaction and it will build greater intimacy between you.
Practice continuous communion with the Lord and you will abide in His love!



Monday, March 22, 2010

ABIDING IN HIS LOVE - Filled with His Spirit


As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 
John 15:9

Before you can abide fully in the love of Jesus Christ you first have to understand
  1. how the Father loves Jesus and 
  2. how Jesus, in like manner, loves you.

THE FATHER LOVES THE SON

     Immediately after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, the Father began to demonstrate openly His love for His Son. Before His voice thundered from heaven that Jesus was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased, the Father sent the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove to rest upon and fill Jesus. In His great love for His Son the Father knew that Jesus, who was fully human, could not fulfill His mission on earth without the Holy Spirit. So Jesus came up out of the Jordan empowered to handle anything and everything because the Holy Spirit was with Him and in Him. 
  • Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. Luke 4:1
  • Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. Luke 4: 14, 15
The Holy Spirit never left Jesus during His time here on earth.
  • …God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38   
After Jesus’ mission was complete, and His lifeless body lay in the tomb the Father, in His love, sent His Holy Spirit to raise His Son from the dead.
  • But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you Romans 8:11
THE SON’S LOVE FOR YOU
1. Before He sends you out to fulfill your unique mission here on earth Jesus, like the Father, does not send you alone. He makes sure that His Holy Spirit is with you and in you.
  • But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8
  • In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise… Ephesians 1:13
2. Just as the Father showed Jesus all things, Jesus in another demonstration of His love, sent the Holy Spirit to teach you everything you need to know.
  • But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
  • ...when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13
3. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will not leave you. He is with you always.
  • If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever... John 14:15, 16
4. Wherever the Holy Spirit is, Jesus and the Father are there also. They are One in you.
  • I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18
  • If anyone loves Me he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our home with him. John 14: 23
5. It is the Holy Spirit who transforms your thoughts so that your words and actions reflect the character of Jesus the Christ.
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5: 22, 23
6. When you are tempted to worry Jesus assures you of His love by saying…
  • God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
7. Jesus knows the limitations of our human language so the Holy Spirit is there when you don’t know what to say.
  • Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
8. The Holy Spirit empowers you to do what is beyond your natural ability
  • But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
9. Jesus, in His love, gives you life by His Holy Spirit.
  • But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
What love Jesus shows you and me in imparting His Holy Spirit!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

ABIDING IN HIS LOVE - Predestined for Love

 
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 
John 15:9

Before you can abide fully in the love of Jesus Christ you first have to understand
  1. how the Father loves Jesus and
  2. how Jesus, in like manner, loves you.

THE FATHER LOVES THE SON
     The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are inseparable. They are One. The Father is a God of love. Everything that He is, the Son and the Holy Spirit are also. What a perfect picture of love flowing freely from the Father to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; from the Son to the Father and to the Holy Spirit and from the Holy Spirit to the Father and to the Son! It is a flawless, complete love that never wanes in its intensity – a love that existed before time began and will continue for all eternity!
  • Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24
Like Father, like Son...

THE SON LOVES YOU
     Jesus loved you before the foundation of the world! Imagine that! Before anything existed – the trees, the animals, the stars and all of the rest of creation – Jesus knew you intimately and chose to love you with the same perfect love that the Father has for Him.
  • Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:16
  • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, Ephesians 1:3-5
  • For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29
  • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For 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 8:35, 38, 39
Rejoice in the fact that Jesus has been loving you since before the world came into being….and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it! You were predestined to be loved by Him!
Abide in His love!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ABIDING IN HIS LOVE - Love on Display



As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 
John 15:9

Before you can abide fully in the love of Jesus Christ you first have to understand
  1. how the Father loves Jesus, and 
  2. how Jesus, in like manner, loves you.

THE FATHER LOVES THE SON

One way that the Father showed His love for Jesus was by publicly affirming Him

Crowds of people had come from Jerusalem, Judea and surrounding areas, and were being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Pharisees and Sadducees were there at the riverside also. Here comes Jesus, and John baptizes Him in the presence of all those witnesses. Suddenly the Holy Spirit descends on Him bodily like a dove, and they all hear the Father’s voice declare, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

On another occasion when Jesus was with Peter, James and John and was transfigured on the mountain, the Father affirmed His Son, saying to the disciples, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Luke 9:35

No one who heard these awesome words coming from on high could possibly deny the love that the Father had for His Son! Like Father, Like Son...

THE SON'S LOVE FOR YOU

In the same manner, Jesus shows His love for you openly and publicly. He doesn’t keep it a secret.
  • He took the blame for every single thing you have ever done, are doing or will ever do, just so that you could experience the intimate relationship with the Father that He enjoys.  Jesus' love superceded His own human desires, and His public crucifixion was the ultimate demonstration of His unreserved love for you.    
    • “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
    • “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42
    • Jesus also causes people to witness the blessings He bestows on you. Scripture proves this.  
      • ‘But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:  “ When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”’ Ephesians 4:7,8
      • “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6:3,4
      • “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6
      • “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:17,18
      • “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-13
      • “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” Luke 6:35
      • ‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.’ Colossians 3: 23,24
        What an awesome, conspicuous,  public love Jesus Christ has for you!! 
        Abide in His love!

        Tuesday, March 2, 2010

        INTIMACY WITH GOD - PART 8 - You in Him; He in You

        “If you abide in Me, 
        and My words abide in you, 
        you will ask what you desire, 
        and it shall be done for you.” 
        John 15:7

        This verse conveys the intensity of Jesus’ love for you when you engage in intimate union with Him.


        IF YOU ABIDE IN ME...

        As we discussed previously, abiding in Christ involves total surrender of your flesh and of your self-life. It is becoming completely immersed in everything that is of God. There is no putting on the Christian faith one day and then taking it off and living like a heathen on other days. There is no putting on a show in public while privately living a life that is different from what you profess. It is complete joyful abandonment to all that He is.


        ...AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU...

        Jesus’ words are His commands, not His suggestions. His words are also His promises. When the Word of God lives in you it takes up residence in every area of your life. In other words, the Word is not a guest or a mere visitor to be used or entertained on occasion, at your convenience. Rather, the Word is the owner of your life, and you live by what the Word says.


        YOU WILL ASK WHAT YOU DESIRE AND IT WILL BE DONE FOR YOU.

        When you abide in Christ and He abides in you, you relinquish your thoughts, your ways, your attitudes and your desires for higher ones – His. Understandably then, when you ask what you desire, you will be asking according to His will and not your own.

        I cannot help but think of two lovers when I read this verse. Christ is the most passionate lover in the entire universe! After all, He is the Creator of true pure love!

        Two people who are passionately in love live only to please the other! They cook each other’s favorite meals, buy their favorite fragrance, even sacrifice their own needs in deference to the other – all to keep the relationship fresh and vibrant by giving the other the desire of his/her heart.

        Christ longs for intense intimate union with you. Do you crave the same with Him?

        Picture Him – the One who is everything and owns everything – entering your house (your life). He is no guest here, so there’s no need to hide the 'dirty laundry' of your failures, or to sweep the 'dust' of your sin under the rug. Not at all! In fact He helps you to clean house and then keep it clean! What a lover!

        See Him take off His outer garment and His shoes as He enters the ‘living room’ of your daily routines. Take a deep breath, knowing that the Master - Your Husband -  is at home and all is well. See Him freely roaming through the ‘bedroom’ of your heart where your innermost thoughts lie. He climbs into the ‘attic’ of your mind where forgotten memories, both good and bad, are tucked away. He enters the ‘basement’ where your unspoken desires are. In each room He speaks just the right word of instruction, correction or comfort - always with pure unconditional love. This is The Word abiding in you.

        Hear Him finishing your sentences as only One who knows His lover intimately could! Before you call He will answer (Isaiah 65:24). Watch Him laugh when you laugh. It’s really His joy that you feel, and it gives you strength you didn’t know you had (Nehemiah 8:10)! See the tears in His eyes when you hurt, for truly He is touched by the feelings of your infirmities (Hebrews 4:15). Now sink into His arms, lay your head on His breast and listen to His heart until yours beats in cadence with His.

        This is the way life could be if you abide in the Lord and His words abide in you. You live to please Him, and He lives to please you! You in Him, and He in You!
        Copyright © 2015 AudreyCharles. All rights reserved.