Tag Archives: Deuteronomy 30:6

Love Begins With God

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DRAWING WATER FROM THE WELL

1 John 4:19 NKJV

“We love Him because He first loved us.”

Love must begin somewhere and it began with God. God loves you because He chooses to love you. It is a decision He has made. None of us deserve God’s love, still He chooses to love us. Because of God’s love for us, we can love Him. Love can be described as a feeling of great affection that causes us to give to and do things for another person. God showed His love for us in a wonderful way. He gave the most precious gift that He could give – His own Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died to take away our punishment for sin forever. Believing and acting upon this truth about Jesus allows us to become part of God‘s family. When we believe on Jesus, He changes our hearts. God pours His love into our hearts and that love overflows to others. It is through the power of His love that we can love Him and others.

 

I. Love Of God

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

“The Lord has appeared of old to me , saying:

‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you…’ ”

God’s love for us goes on and on. It has no end and it will never stop. His love is everlasting and it will continue throughout eternity. There is nothing that we can do or say that would make God love us more or less. He loves us with an unconditional love. God is like a loving parent who speaks with fatherly affection to his children, even when they are disobedient. God loves us just like we are but He loves us too much to leave us the way that we are. His desire is that everyone will be saved. However, the choice is ours and ours alone to make. Since God’s love for us is everlasting, if we turn away from Him He longs for us to return. We must always remember that God loves the sinner, but He hates their sin. His desire for the person that has backslidden to repent and to return to Him.

 

Jeremiah 3:14 NKJV

“Return, O backsliding children,’ says the Lord; ‘for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.’ ”

II. Love For God

Matthew 22:37 NKJV

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

One day the Pharisees gathered around Jesus to ask Him some questions. They had hoped to catch Jesus in a lie or untruth in some way. They did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God and they wanted to prove it to all the people. One of the Pharisees, a lawyer, asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment. He was testing Jesus to see how much He really knew about the Law of Moses. Jesus answered him by quoting the greatest Jewish confession of faith called the Shema. It means that we are to love the Lord with our whole being – our heart, our soul, and our mind.

 

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NKJV

“Hear, O Israel: ‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Require means to have need for, need, want, command, order, or demand. God requires for each one of us to love Him.

 

Deuteronomy 10:12 NKJV

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Loving God is not something that we have to “work at”. God Himself will work in our hearts so that we will love Him. He will cause us to be totally devoted to Him. The more we get to know God the more we love Him. Also, the more we know God, the more we will want to know Him.

 

Deuteronomy 30:6 NKJV

“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”

III. Love For Others

John 13:34 NKJV

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

We are to choose to love others – not because of who they are or how they act. Rather, we are to choose to love them because of God’s love for us. People naturally love themselves. Since we love ourselves we are concerned about our welfare and we want the best for ourselves. According to the commandment in Lev 19:18 we are to love others the same way that we love ourselves. We should also be concerned about their welfare and we should also want the best for them.

 

Matthew 22:39 NKJV

“And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

When we love others the way that God wants us to others will know that we are disciples of Christ. God’s love for us is unconditional and our love for others should also be unconditional.

John 13:34-35 NKJV

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Leviticus 19:18 NKJV

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudges against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Our love for others will flow out of our love for God. They go hand in hand. If we don’t love others we really don’t love God. God has commanded us to love others.

 

1 John 4:20-21 NKJV

“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.’ ”

1 John 5:1-2 NKJV

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandment.”

IV. Our Obedience Shows Our Love

John 14:15 NKJV

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Our obedience to God shows our love for God. If we truly love God we will obey Him and His commandments. When we love God we will personally know God. When a person does not obey God it shows a lack of personal knowledge of God therefore, it also shows a lack of love for and to God.

 

1 John 5:3 NKJV

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

God’s love demands obedience. However, God’s commandments are not hard to bear, heavy, or oppressive. In reality God’s commandments bring freedom, liberty, and privileges to the believer. As we obey God’s commandments we reflect the image of God.

Dear Father,

Thank-you for first loving me and for giving me the most precious gift that You could give. Thank-you for changing my heart and filling me with Your love. May I love You with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind. May I know You more and more. By the power of the Holy Spirit, fill me with a love for others. Cause me to desire to obey You and Your commandments.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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Relationship Or Religion?

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Relationship Or Religion?

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        Samuel had worked in the temple for many years before he knew God in a personal and intimate way. Today there are people who are in very similar situations. They know about God, but they do not know Him personally yet. They have a form of religion, but not a relationship. They have not truly experienced an intimate relationship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. As a small child Samuel was taken to the temple to live. He was to help the priest. Samuel was around the presence of God (in the temple), but he had not experienced any form of an intimate relationship with God until after God spoke to Him. When God first spoke to Samuel, he did not even recognize the voice of God.

          Today, there are many  that are doing things for God (working and ministering to others) and in God‘s name, however they do not know God. They might have said the sinner’s prayer with their mouth, but they do not have a true relationship with God. A relationship with God is made up of love, respect / reverence, and obedience, not an encounter with man or of works.

Religion is made up of rules, regulations and meaningless rituals. Religion is hanging around the cross but not taking up your cross.

Samuel worked hard in the temple, doing many things (in the flesh), but it was not until he had a personal encounter for himself with God  that God was able to use him as a prophet of God. Only after Samuel was intimate with God, could God use him to speak for Him, not just about Him.

I. LOVE – We must love God, others and ourselves.

1. Love God. Everything that we are and that we do centers around our love for God.

Psalm 31:23  NKJV  

‘Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.”

Deuteronomy 6:5  NKJV  

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your should, and with all your strength.”

Deuteronomy 30:6  NKJV  

“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”

          We must love God with our whole person – with everything in us. Out of our love for God, everything in our life will flow. Love to God is much more than a feeling. It is obedience, loyalty and service. It is putting God first in your life.

Joshua 22:5  NKJV  

“But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

2. Love Others. We are commanded to love others as we love ourselves.

Mark 12:31  NKJV  

“And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’…” 

John 13:34-35  NKJV  

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 John 15:12-13  NKJV  

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” 

          We are not only to love others as we love ourselves, but we are to love others as Jesus loved us.

A. Jesus love us so much that He left His home in glory to come to this earth to live as a man, then die for us. He gave everything that He had for us.

B. Jesus loved us so much that He put God’s desires and plans before His own for us.

C. Jesus loved us so much that He took upon Himself sins and sicknesses for us.

D. Jesus love us so much that He accepted rejection and ridicule for us.

E. Jesus loved us so much that He placed our needs before His own.

F. Jesus loved us so much that He looked into our hearts not at our outward appearances.

G. Jesus loved us so much that He wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed to be seen with those that seemed to be poor or those that were outcasts of society.

3. Love Ourselves.  God loves us, therefore we should love ourselves too.

II. RESPECT AND REVERENCE (The Fear of the Lord)

When we respect God we will hold Him (His thoughts, His Word, and His desires) in high regard. Respect will cause you to give honor to whom it is due therefore, if we respect God we will give Him the honor that is due unto Him. We show respect by (and through) our actions, thoughts and words. Respect for God will also cause you to esteem Him (to think highly of).

Reverence is a feeling of deep respect, mixed with wonder, awe, and love.

III. OBEDIENCE

Obedience to and love for God go hand in hand.

John 14:23  

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘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.”

          Jesus was obedient to the Father, even to the point of death. If our heart is to be “like Christ” we too must be obedient to God. Not just occasionally obedient, but all the time.

1 John 2:6  NKJV  

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

          Abide means to submit to, to stay or remain, accept and follow out, remain true to, continue to live or dwell, or reside. Abiding is habitual (doing something by habit, regular, steady, often done, usual, or customary) obedience. As we obey Christ, He will make His home in us. We are to obey because we sincerely desire to do so. When we truly love God it will be a joy for us to follow Christ in obedience. We can never repay God for all that He has done for us but we can show our love by being obedient.

Conclusion:

A relationship with God that is made up of love, respect / reverence, and obedience is birthed out of an encounter with Him (spirit), not an encounter with man or of works. Religion and all its rules, regulations and meaningless rituals is often birthed out of an encounter with man (flesh).

Saul was a very religious person before he encountered Jesus Christ. He knew all of the Jewish traditions and rituals and he was very zealous in his carrying out what he thought was right. He was sincere, but sincerely wrong. After his encounter with Jesus, Saul was a different man. He began to have a relationship with God made up of love, respect and obedience.

Jesus is returning for those that have a personal and intimate relationship with Him, not those that are religious. Just because a person grows up in church and attends the services and activities of the church it does not mean that they are part of the bride of Christ.  Like the wheat and the tares are growing side by side in the world (and in the church), so are those with a relationship with Christ, and those full of religion and tradition.

Matthew 13:24-30  NKJV  

“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tears?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ”

          Samuel grew up side by side working with Eli’s corrupt and religious sons in the temple until he had a personal encounter with God. After Samuel began to have a real relationship with God, God separated him from Eli’s sons (the sons died). God has not called us to fill a servant’s place but into a relationship with Him.

John 16:9-17  NKJV    

“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, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.’”

Birthing A Desire For The Presence Of The Lord

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Birthing A  Desire For The Presence Of The Lord

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And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One is to be born will be called the Son of God.”  

Luke 1:35  NKJV

     Just as the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and placed a seed within her, He is overshadowing a remnant and placing within them a seed for spiritual awakening. A desire for a deeper intimacy with God has been placed within. A  desire for the manifest presence of God (the glory of the Lord) is growing within them. The church is pregnant with a spiritual awakening and the enemy is out to abort it.

Man was created to have intimacy with God. God desires for us to be devoted to Him.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all yours trength.” 

  Deuteronomy 6:5  NKJV

“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the  Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”  

Deuteronomy 30:6  NKJV

     We were created to worship and minister unto God. He desires for the church to awake and have a personal relationship with Him. When we have an intimate relationship with God, we will reflect the light of Jesus Christ.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” 

  Isaiah 60:1-2  NKJV

     As the days of this earth draw to a close, we are instructed to draw closer and closer to Him. He desires for us to be surrounded with His glory- His manifest presence. He desires for us to have a greater intimacy with Him, because He loves us so much. The glory of the Lord will be our defense. Our intimacy with God and our worship to Him will be our only shield (protection / strength) from the things that are going to usher in the end-times.

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” 

Hebrews 10:25  NKJV

     There was great persecution in the early church, and there will be great persecution at the end of the church age. The early church grew and prospered despite great persecution and opposition because the glory of the Lord was upon them. They experienced the power of the breaking of the bread and corporate worship. They were truly in love with God.

God has a group of people that have been like Mary. They have sat at His feet and worshipped Him. God has a remnant of true worshippers.

“So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a  besieged city. Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.”  

Isaiah 1:8-9  NKJV

“The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty  God. For though your people, O Israel, be as the sands of the sea, a remnant of them will return; the destruction decree shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts will make a determined end in the midst of all the land.”   Isaiah 10:21-23  NKJV

“Yet I will have a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries.” 

  Ezekiel 6:8  NKJV

        No matter how bleak or bad things seems, God always has a remnant. Even in the driest, most desolate places God has a remnant.

“The Lord said: Surely it will be well with your remnant; surely I will cause the enemy to intercede with you in the time of adversity and in the time of affliction.”  

Jeremiah 15:11  NKJV

     God’s remnant is called to be fruitful and increase. In the natural realm fruitfulness and increase comes through reproduction. God desires His remnant of worshipers to produce other worshipers. You produce what you are.

“But I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to the folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.”   Jeremiah 23:3-4  NKJV

     Pregnancy (reproduction) causes changes in the natural and in the spiritual realm. There will be a change in appetite, nutritional needs, and activities. There will also be an increase of danger.

I.  When you are pregnant your appetite is different.

The things that you use to desire are no more. The things that gave you pleasure before no longer do. You have new cravings and desires. The remnant is hungry for the things of God. Their appetite for holiness can’t be quenched. They become hungrier for the glory of the Lord. Worldly pleasures hold no attraction for them. Just as a woman who is physically pregnant plans most of her activities around the expectant birth and new addition, so does that of true worshipers. The remnant of true worshippers’ life style is one of love, worship and devotion to God. It should be their goal to reproduce what they are. Their activities should be planned with the goal in mind.

II.  When you are pregnant you have different nutritional needs.

Your body cannot get enough milk-your body needs more and more nourishment, including an increase of milk. When God is trying to birth  desperation for worshipping Him through you, you need more spiritual nourishment.

a.) You can’t get enough of the Word. Shallow sermons and sermons designed to tickle the ear leave you hungry and wanting. Only the meat (fatness) of the Word will satisfy you.

“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that whichsatisfieth not?  Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

   Isaiah 55:2

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.”   

Isaiah 55:1-2  NKJV

     b.) You hunger and thirst after righteousness.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”  

Matthew 5:6  NKJV

III.  When you are pregnant there will be a change in your activities.

Your activities are different. If they are not, they should be. You are carrying something precious inside of you. You must take precautions to protect the new life growing inside of you. So it is with the remnant also. Our activities should be different than the rest of the world. We should allow the Holy Spirit to guide us concerning our activities. The Holy Spirit is our teacher.

“However, 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  NKJV

     We could also say that the Holy Spirit is our birthing coach.

IV. When you are pregnant there is an increase of danger to your body.

Sometimes in the early stages of pregnancy, a woman will not realize that she is pregnant. There is danger in not knowing that you are pregnant. Your dangerous lifestyle might not change, or you might not receive the proper nourishment that your baby needs in the early stages of development. You might not seek the attention and care of a physician, thus jeopardizing your life and that of the unborn.

There is danger when the remnant of true worshippers don’t know that they are pregnant. When God’s worshippers are oblivious to the fact that they are  to birth a desperation for God into the body of Christ the church is in trouble. When we don’t seek the attention of the Great Physician we are jeopardizing our life, the life of the body, and the “unborn spiritual awakening.”  Satan looks for every opportunity to abort the “birth” of desperation for God.

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in

Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.” 

  Joel 2:32  NKJV

     Now is the time for the remnant of true worshippers to call out to God like never before.

Conclusion:

We need to listen close for the Holy Spirit to say, “PUSH!” As a woman goes into labor, she will begin to feel her muscles contract. She must work with her muscles and push at the right time. She should not try to hold the baby back because it could cause damage or even death to the unborn baby.

When the Holy Spirit is telling us to push (to birth) what has been placed in us, we must work with Him. We must be obedient. If we try to hold in or hold on to what God has placed in us we can kill it.

The remnant of true worshippers is pregnant with a desperation to worship the Living God. They long to look upon the face of their Bridegroom. They long to feel His embrace, and to smell His fragrance.

The remnant of true worshippers is lovesick and pregnant. We long for His presence because of who He is! Now is the time for the true worshippers to rise up and cry out to God. God is looking for a people that will worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”   John 4:23  NKJV

     If a natural family doesn’t birth new life, the family will die out. So it is with the church. If the remnant doesn’t birth a desire (desperation) for intimacy with God it will die out. The church will cease to be what God desires. Religion will replace intimacy.

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Take head and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the

Sadducees.’ ” 

  Matthew 16:6  NKJV

     What was the sin (leaven) of the Pharisees and the Sadducees? Just like the Hebrews that left Egypt, they had replaced a personal relationship with the Living God to just knowing about Him.

God’s number one reason for bringing them out of bondage was so they could worship Him. He longed to have an intimate relationship with each of them. He desired for all the people, not just the tribe of Levi, to minister unto Him. He longed for His glory to overshadow each of them personally.

When religion replaces intimacy we will raise up a generation that knows all about Jesus, but does not know Jesus personally.

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice

lawlessness!”  

Matthew 7:23  NKJV

     Religion kept the Israelites in bondage to the world (and sin), thus they never saw the promised land. The people never experienced the manifest presence of God on a personal level.

God has entrusted His remnant to birth a desperation for Him. As a remnant we need to:

a) Be aware of the appetite that God has put within us.

b) Receive the proper nourishment

c) Line our activities up with the Holy Spirit

d) Go to the Great Physician often.