God's Love IS Good News!

When you start thinking about God's love for us where do you begin? I sometimes start in a place that some might find a little bit unusual.

One of the most amazing things to read in the new testament, at least to me, is the commission that Jesus gave his followers. Now when I mention Jesus' commission most people think of Mar_16:15-18.

Mar 16:15-18 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

This is the usual text that is quoted but the one that I'm thinking of now is simpler yet conveys the same message with a further insight. it's in John 20:21-22.

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

This tells us the same things because we know the things that Jesus did. He came to bring us good news of the kingdom of God and to usher in a new relationship between God and us. Also, as proof of this, he came with signs and wonders like healing and casting out demons. This is how Jesus was sent, but what this passage brings out is that Jesus sends his followers out with the same authority that he had from the father. It has to be, because we are being sent out as the Father sent Jesus and key to all this is receiving the Holy Spirit!

So when I'm thinking about God's love I cannot help thinking about the GOOD NEWS that he has given us and wants us to pass on and the manner that true believers will be able to deliver that message; with the same love and faith and grace and power..

Now some will find even this hard to believe but there are other passages in scripture that are almost never mentioned which as children of God we ought to know better because they show us what we are in Christ. Take for instance this scripture in 1_Joh 4:16-17.

1Jn 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

This tells us that the love we have and have to share is God's love and we have it "Because as Jesus IS, so are WE in THIS world!

I will leave you to believe as much of this as you want to but notice it does not say "As Jesus WAS", though that would be good! Nor does it say "So will we be in the NEXT world"!

That is why we are able to do what Jesus has commissioned us to do with signs and wonders; because as we dwell in the love of God we are reflecting the fact that we have IN US the same love, and faith that is in Jesus and so can access the same grace and power that Jesus has.

2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

We indeed have access to the grace of our Lord Jesus, the full love of God and our fellowship 24/7 is with the Holy Spirit who fills us with his power and will bring all these (and even more) things to our remembrance as we are stayed on God.

As you read the first letter of John, chapter 5, we see how God's love empowers us to follow in the steps of Jesus. It's having God's love that enables us to obey his commands. Some have it the other way around and think that by obeying God they show that they love him. The problem with this mindset is, it does not realize that it's not possible to obey God's commands in oneself. Like the ancient Israelites they think that, "All that God has said they will do"! But that's a boast that we cannot keep. You can learn more about that in the article on grace and law in ancient Israel's journey.

When we come to the proper understanding that we need God's grace in order to do his will we are at the start of our spiritual journey!

And, to access God's grace and overcome we need faith.

1Jn 5:4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.

This is why we must not fall prey to ideas and beliefs which are spread in order to reduce our faith in God. Satan will try to do this because without faith it is impossible to please God, as it says in Heb 11:6.

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

God is a rewarder of those who seek him. Not sometimes according to how he feels, but always. It's faith though, that manifests what God has provided.

Jesus provided all that we needed over 2000 years ago and it's been stored up waiting for us to draw against it. God is spirit and what has been provided is in the spirit also. That's why we need faith!

Faith is needed for salvation. Jesus died for the sins of the world and ALL our sins have been forgiven but until we put faith in Jesus we are not saved. It's there in the spirit realm and faith operating through grace applies it to us in the physical realm.

It's the same with healing. ALL our healing has already been provided in the spiritual realm. Faith is the substance that enables you to 'see' that it's there in the unseen storehouse of God and pray/say it into the body of the person needing healing.

It's ALL there in the spirit, but if you don't believe; or if you have unbelief; then you won't 'see' it with the eyes of faith and you will not be able to receive it or release it for others.

We have all been given the same measure of faith (the faith of Jesus) but we need to maintain and increase the amount of this faith that we display and also reduce any unbelief that we might have. And, God has provided his word to show us the way to go.

We all also have been given the same measure of the Spirit (John3:34) bearing in mind that as Jesus IS so are WE in this world. And when He comes into us it is in the role that Jesus played in the lives of the disciples, which is the role the Spirit played when after Jesus' ascension he came to live IN the disciples.

In his love he has given of himself so that we will have all the help that we need to to grow in grace and knowledge and manifest his love and the faith of Jesus.

Joh 16:8-11 When he comes, he will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment- of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and of judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Here we see God's love displayed towards us. The Holy Spirit reproves us of not believing in Jesus Christ. That is the BIG sin. That we do not put faith in Jesus, trust him, build a close relationship with him and as a result we do not experience the (full) power and love of God. The Holy Spirit points us to our greatest benefit - "Christ in us the hope of glory"!

Next, the Holy Spirit reproves us of righteousness. Notice he does not remind us and convict us about unrighteousness which is how some read this scripture! Rather he reminds us that we are the righteousness of Jesus. Since Jesus is not alongside us as in his earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit in us reminds us that we are clothed in Christ.

And thirdly, he convicts us of judgement, though not ours! He reminds us that it is Satan who has been judged while we have been forgiven. We should be reminding Satan of his outcome and not allowing him to make us feel weak, useless and condemned!

See the love that God shows toward us? Everything he does is to draw us closer to him. And as we love him more we will grow up in him more.

God has great plans for us. All the blessing of God are YES to us in Jesus. Notice not because we keep the law, but through Jesus. No-one can keep the law perfectly to get the blessings; trying to be righteious by the law only brings on you the curse.

We can have a look now at some of the promises in Deut 28 :3-12 which we can have because of Jesus' finished work on the cross and no other way. It's only by faith. Below you'll see just a sample of these.

Deut 28:3-6 You shall be blessed in the city, and you shall be blessed in the field. The fruit of your body shall be blessed, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, the offspring of your oxen, and the young ones of your flock. Your basket and your kneadingtrough shall be blessed. You shall be blessed when you come in, and you shall be blessed when you go out.

Deut 28:10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of Jehovah, and they shall fear you.

You can read all of them your self but these give you a small view of the GOOD plans God has for his people. You will be blessed wherever you are. God's power to help in time of need is not limited to a place. God will bless your work and everything that you put your hands to do. You will have the food that you need and will be blessed whether you are in your home or in an area in which you don't feel comfortable. And because you acknowledge him and honour Him then He will honour you amongst the people that you have dealings. And of course, there are many other blessings written in God's word which are ours for the asking, but to the Israelites were only a dream and part of the curse since they could not attain them!

Now does this mean that things will never get tough for you? No, it doesn't.
Does this mean you will never have trials and persecution? No, it doesn't.
In this world you will have tribulation, but Jesus Christ has overcome the world.

You must maintain your faith in him and live in that ever growing loving relationship that we mentioned earlier. It's by faith that we access the grace in which we stand (Rom 5:2) and reach and receive the expected promise of the kingdom of God.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

It's because we don't understand how much God loves us that we don't have the faith in him that we should! God's thoughts towards us are only for our good. The blessings he has reserved for us and which we can receive by faith are so many that the sample above merely scratches the surface. And all of these blessings are available to us because God loves us.

In 1 John 4:7 we learn that it's when we know God and his love that we are able to love one another.

Also in 1 John 5:2 we see that it's when we know the love of God that we will be able to love our brothers and sisters as we should.

Do you want to build better relationships in your church? Love God more!

Do you want to have better relationships in your marriage? Love God more!

If you know God and are born of him you will be able to love as God loves (1_John 4:7).

If God dwells in us and his love is perfected in us we will love oneanother (1_John 4:12).

If we dwell in God and he dwells in us we will live in love (1_John 4:16).

On the other hand in 1 John 4:8 we find that when we don't have an understanding of God's love for us and don't know God, then we are not able to love as we should!

1Jn 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Basically then, to love as God loves you need to get to 'really' know God! Then, when you understand and appreciate how much love God has for you and is showering on you, that will cause the love of God to be spread abroad by you!

When you know God and his love then you will love God and you will put your faith in him. You will be able to express more of the 'faith of Jesus' that is in you. And faith will give you access to God's grace. And grace will teach us how to live righteous and godly lives.

Once we let God's love become a reality to us we will have the power to live holy lives pleasing to him.

Tit 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Secure in the love of God and knowing that we have within us the faith of Jesus and through that we access the grace to stand and do God's will, we can appreciate how we are able to fulfill the commission that Jesus has given us.

John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

God is love. He loves us with a love we find it hard to believe; it's so far above our love. When we learn about it we think it's almost too good to be true news. But when we give ourselves to him, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit to abide in his love, we come to know him and his great love and are well able to know and follow his heart.

1Jn 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

All because God is love. It may seem almost too good to be true news, but it is Good News!


Paul's Thorn In The Flesh. Click Here.
God's Sovereignty and Our Healing. Click Here.
Grace and Law in Ancient Israel. Click Here.
The Heart Of God Click Here.

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