A New Commandment

“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.”

John 13:34‭-‬35 GW

Dear lady, I’m now requesting that we continue to love each other. It’s not as though I’m writing to give you a new commandment. Rather, from the beginning we were commanded to love each other. Love means that we live by doing what he commands. We were commanded to live in love, and you have heard this from the beginning.

2 John 1:5‭-‬6 GW

Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings.

Romans 13:8 GW

The heart of the Gospel is the message that God loves us.

This love was revealed in Jesus Christ.

He died for us while we were yet sinners.

He has given us the ministry of reconcilation.

God reconciled us back into relationship with God by sacrificing the sinless One in our stead.

The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

The veil was torn, from top to bottom, when Jesus died.

It was a sign that it was God who removed the veil between us and Him.

It’s God’s intention that all people be saved by faith in Christ Jesus.

Faith comes by hearing.

And hearing by the message of the Gospel.

The revealed Word of God.

The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

But it’s the unequivocal truth.

What motivates us to preach the Gospel?

Love.

Do you remember what it’s like to be lost in sin, with no hope?

Do you remember how it felt when you first received the Good News?

It was like a weight had been lifted.

It was like the lights came on.

Finally, everything made sense.

Knowing the truth will set you free.

The Gospel needs to be demonstrated with power.

An intellectual understanding of Christ will not save you.

You need to encounter God.

And once you encounter Him, you need to follow Him.

If you don’t follow Him, then where are you going?

When Jesus called His very first disciples what did He say?

As he was going along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the sea because they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish.” They immediately left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1:16‭-‬18 GW

Jesus invites you to follow Him.

He invites you into a new way of life.

And He teaches you how to evangelize the lost and make disciples.

Those who respond reap the reward.

God initiates the relationship.

If you love Him, you will follow Him.

You will obey His commandments.

And He will lead you into all truth.

The truth is, God is love.

He loves us so much, He sacrificed Himself so that we could stay in relationship with Him even though He is holy and we are jars of clay.

Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses.

And then He gave us a new commandment.

Love one another, as I have loved you.

Wash each other’s feet.

Remove the stains of the world from each other.

Be sanctified.

Be made holy.

Be perfect as He is perfect.

He didn’t give us an impossible task without giving us the means to accomplish it.

He gave us the Holy Spirit.

The power of God.

Living inside of us.

Preach the Gospel.

Cast out demons.

Heal the sick.

Make disciples.

Any questions?

Knowing Jesus

“You know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14:4 GW

Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 GW

Brothers and sisters, because of the blood of Jesus we can now confidently go into the holy place.

Jesus has opened a new and living way for us to go through the curtain. (The curtain is his own body.)

We have a superior priest in charge of God’s house.

We have been sprinkled ⌊with his blood⌋ to free us from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with clean water. So we must continue to come ⌊to him⌋ with a sincere heart and strong faith.

We must continue to hold firmly to our declaration of faith. The one who made the promise is faithful.

Hebrews 10:19‭-‬23 GW

Jesus is the way to Heaven.

Jesus is the way to the Presence of God.

Jesus is the way into the Holy of Holies.

I was mulling over some ideas and concerns in my head this morning and the Lord spoke to me, “You have access to the Father.”

That gave me pause to reflect.

As a doer of the Word, sometimes I get so caught up in doing, that I fail to slow down and rest in God’s holy Presence.

I need to remember that He is the One that does the work.

My job is just to be obedient.

That takes a lot of the pressure off of trying to figure out how to wake everybody up and get them on mission.

I want to charge ahead.

But we only have a remnant army.

The masses are sleepwalking through life, hypnotized by the cares of this world.

I couldn’t care less.

All I care about is serving God and pleasing my Master, my Lord, my Savior.

He set me free from a life of sin.

Sometimes I forget where I came from.

What He brought me out of.

Last night, I contemplated the cry of the evangelist’s heart.

A voice crying out in the wilderness.

There is a better way.

Love one another.

That’s what He commands us to do.

Why do we feed the homeless?

Because it reduces the crime rate?

No, that’s a side effect.

Because they’re human.

And if you’re human, you know that being hungry isn’t a good feeling.

You don’t want anyone to be hungry if you’ve got a heart.

I feed them because I want them to live another day.

Maybe today.

Maybe tomorrow.

One of these days, God’s going to work a miracle in their hearts and minds and clean them up and set them free.

But if we don’t feed them and keep them alive, they may never live to see that day.

We would be robbing them of God’s blessing.

I don’t want to be the guy that does that.

Scripture tells us again and again to take care of the poor.

It’s good for them and it’s good for us.

Love everyone equally all the time.

That’s the heart of God.

But you cannot love unless you know God, because God is love.

And the only way to get to know God is by knowing Jesus.

God already knows everything about you.

Your past, present, and future.

How much do you know about God?

God is infinite and eternal.

There is no end to God.

And yet, someday we’ll fully know Him as He fully knows us.

That day will be in Heaven as we forever dwell in His Presence, abiding in His love.

Jesus,

Save me.

Save me from myself.

You’re all I want.

You’re all I need.

You’re all I ever want to be like.

Make me more like You.

Empty me of myself.

And fill me with Your Holy Spirit until it overflows and gushes out of me like rivers of living water.

In Your Name I pray.

Father, make it so.

Amen.

Because I Live

Jesus replied to them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I can guarantee this truth: A single grain of wheat doesn’t produce anything unless it is planted in the ground and dies. If it dies, it will produce a lot of grain. Those who love their lives will destroy them, and those who hate their lives in this world will guard them for everlasting life. Those who serve me must follow me. My servants will be with me wherever I will be. If people serve me, the Father will honor them.

John 12:23‭-‬26 GW

If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am.

John 14:3 GW

“I will not leave you all alone. I will come back to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. You will live because I live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father and that you are in me and that I am in you. Whoever knows and obeys my commandments is the person who loves me. Those who love me will have my Father’s love, and I, too, will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:18‭-‬21 GW

Jesus is the Son of God.

He is the firstborn of many brethren.

Salvation is not possible unless Jesus died and rose again.

He was the perfect seed.

He was sown and died.

And because He died and rose again, the Holy Spirit was sent to invade the hearts of earthly men.

There is no life apart from Christ.

In Christ, we have the abundant life.

Unless the Holy Spirit awakens and empowers you, you will be in the dark, excluded from the life of God.

The Word of God is living and active.

Jesus calls us His brothers and sisters.

Those of us that do the will of the Father, that is.

We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.

We can do the same things that Jesus did.

And we will do even greater things.

Think of it this way: before the resurrection, there was only one Son of God.

Now, there are many sons being brought to glory.

God multiplied Himself in us by having Jesus die on a cross and raise from the dead and ascend into Heaven.

How does that work?

By obedience.

Jesus only said and did what the Father told and showed Him.

That’s where we need to get to.

Our old approaches to ministry have failed because they were birthed out of the mind of man.

Everything man touches dies.

Everything God touches comes to life.

We live and breathe and have our existence in God.

Christ is poured out through us.

We must fully surrender to God’s guidance to be fruitful.

There is a constant temptation to think that we have the answers, the plans, the power.

No.

God is the answer.

God has an eternal plan for salvation.

And all power has been given unto the Lord.

He is our King.

He acts through us.

When we empty ourselves of self, then we can be filled with Christ.

Our identity is an illusion.

We do not belong to ourselves.

We were purchased by the blood of Christ.

Have all your plans failed?

Good.

God’s got something better for you.

It’s called a life of faith.

What if you were part of a family business?

When you started each day, would you just go off and do your own thing?

Or would you meet with your Father and see what today’s plan was?

That’s how we’re supposed to live.

In constant communication with the Lord.

Sit at His feet and learn from Him.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.

Knowledge puffs up.

Pride goes before a fall.

We must humble ourselves and seek the will of the Lord in all that we do.

He is the builder of His Kingdom.

He is the builder of the Church.

Man is nothing in His eyes.

Who are you to counsel the Lord?

Yet, we have the mind of Christ.

Don’t ask God to bless your plans.

Ask God what His plans are and pray that they come to pass quickly.

Your Kingdom come.

Your will be done.

On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Man is rebellious by nature.

The carnal nature is opposed to God because it can’t submit to God.

If you’re operating in your flesh, you will fail miserably.

If you’re operating in the divine nature, nothing can stand against.

We are vessels for God’s glory.

He is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh.

The blessing of Abraham is upon us.

⌊Christ paid the price⌋ so that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to all the people of the world through Jesus Christ and we would receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:14 GW

God’s Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance.

The Kingdom of God belongs to us.

Father in Heaven,

Thank You for sending Your only begotten Son to take our place on the Cross.

Thank You for the Holy Spirit, by which we are adopted into Your family.

Give us willing hearts to serve You wholeheartedly.

Remove every obstacle that gets in the way of our relationship with You.

May our fellowship and communion be pure and without end.

May we come to the place that You prepared for us.

May we see You face to face in Heaven.

Unashamed, because You live.

In the Name of Jesus we pray.

Amen.