Thursday, August 27, 2020

Receiving and experiencing the Extravagant, irresistible Love of Father God

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us... 1 John 3:1a NKJV

 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11 NKJV 

 In our last study, we began looking at the great Love of Father God. We saw what makes this Love so irresistible. We saw His great Love brings forgiveness. No matter how far we've fallen or bad we've messed things up His forgiveness is already there. 

 We saw that His Love brings transformation. That without any accusations and browbeating this extravagant Love alone when received brings about real transformation. We saw this Love gives the gift of no condemnation. This is what makes this Love so irresistible.

 Continuing in examining this Love, let's see the other two areas that make this Love of God so irresistible. Let's examine what makes this Love so extravagant.

The irresistible Love of God empowers

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 theend of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NKJV

 The Lord is telling us when we receive His Spirit we receive the Power of God. God in His great Love grants unto us His Spirit. Think of this. God in His great Goodness and Love bestows His Spirit within us and upon us. 

 Look at the life at the Apostle Peter. He was always eager with his words. He told Jesus he would never leave Him. Yet Peter's actions didn't match his words. Look at this account in Matthew's Gospel

 Peter didn't have the strength inwardly to stand for Jesus and declare he knew Him. Peter felt like a failure. He felt like he didn't belong. He had denied and forsook Christ. Let me tell you though about another aspect that makes this Love that empowers so irresistible, it also brings restoration.

 Look what happens when Jesus arose and the angel gave a message to the disciples seeking for Jesus. Take note the angel gave a specific word to Peter. God had Peter on His mind. His Love was thinking of Peter. 

 God's Love has specific words for you. Words that bring hope. Words that bring comfort. Words that bring life and wholeness. Words that bring restoration. Words that bring healing and empowers you to overcome. 

 Jesus brought about restoration to Peter. When Peter received this empowerment from on High, the Baptism in the Spirit, there was no denying Christ. He boldly proclaimed the risen Christ to a multitude

 This Love empowers us. It emboldens us to walk victoriously. It makes us overcomers. It turns victim mentalities to victor mentalities. We see triumph not defeat. This Love of the Father is so extravagant and irresistible. 

 The irresistible Love of God heals and makes whole

Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Matthew 4:24 NKJV

 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. Matthew 12:15 NKJV

And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. Matthew 14:14 NKJV

 This irresistible Love of the Father heals and makes whole. God and His Love is the reason why He heals. So often traditional religion only attributes miracles and healing to Jesus simply so He would prove His deity.

 They proclaim Jesus only healed when He walked the sandy shores of Galilee because He needed to prove He was God. He needed to prove He was the Messiah. Is this true? 

Yet He warned them not to make Him known, Matthew 12:16 NKJV

 Jesus has just healed the multitude. What a great chance to prove to all He was the Messiah. To prove He was God. Yet Jesus tells them don't say a word. 

 Jesus right here tells us the reason for His actions on Earth. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, wrought miracles, and brought supernatural provision not to prove anything. He did these great works because He is love. Because the Spirit was upon Him to do good and free those under the oppression of the enemy. He did all these things because He was representing a Good Father who so loves us all. Love, the irresistible and extravagant Love of God is why Jesus heals.

 God loves you and desires your wholeness too. God is a Good God. He longs to bring life and peace. He longs to bring healing to you. He purchased our healing in the Finished Work. Why? Because God so loves you too.

 In summation, this Love of the Father is so Good. Receive this great Love. It is truly immeasurable. It is irresistible and extravagant. This Love is for you!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Irresistible: Receiving and experiencing the Love of the Father

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us... 1 John 3:1a NKJV

 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11 NKJV

 God's Love. Many speak of it. Many sing about it. Many quote passages about the Love of God. Yet, how many have actually experienced the Love of the Father? How many have received the Love of the Father?

 Too often we see believers struggle in their walk. They struggle with their identity. Many still seem to be plagued by thoughts of lowliness, poor self-image, and low self-esteem. Why? Because though they've received Jesus' free gift of Grace they haven't fully known and understood and received fully the great Love with which God loves them.

 The Love of the Father is great. It is matchless. There is nothing like it to compare. He loves us with a furious, passionate Love that will never be quenched. His love is unconditional. His Love meets people right where they are. His Love shows up in the fiery furnace, His Love parts the seas so we can walk on dry ground, His Love takes our place, paying the full price for our inheritance and redemption. This is the Love of the Father.

 To help people receive and experience the Father's Love let's examine this Love. Let's see what happens when this Love is welcomed, sought out, and received. Let's see why this Love is irresistible.

 1. The irresistible Love of God forgives

God and His great Love brings forgiveness to even the most unworthy. To those even the world and religion say is unworthy. 

47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7:47-50 NKJV

In Luke 7 we see an amazing account of the Love of the Father and forgiveness. A woman with a bad reputation, a sinner, one who was not living right, who was living in and practicing sin, sought out this Love. She welcomed it. She received it and found forgiveness. 

 The beauty of this Love is that forgiveness has been purchased for all who will simply receive it. No matter how far you've fallen His great Love is there offering forgiveness. This Love forgives the worst of us and makes us accepted and approved. This love is irresistible. 

2. The irresistible Love of the Father Transforms

God and His great Love transforms the lives of all those who receive it. He takes us from sinner to saint. He takes us from unrighteous to Righteous, being made the very Righteousness of God in Christ.

 In Luke 19 we see an amazing account of how this Love welcomed and received brought forth transformation. 

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; Luke 19:8-9 NKJV

This is amazing, irresistible Love. Zacchaeus, without any commands, or orders from Jesus, made a change. The Love of the Father met Him right where he was. He went to his home. Jesus didn't wink at his wrongful practices and dishonesty. He didn't excuse it away. In fact, He didn't even mention it. 

 Jesus, the Love of God in action, just showed up. He showed Zacchaeus the Love of the Father. That Love received transformed him. He at that moment realized he was no longer going to cheat and mistreat people. That's Godly transformation. No condemnation. No browbeating him for his transgressions. Just the extravagant, irresistible Love of the Father manifested and welcomed and received. 

 3. The irresistible Love of the Father gives the gift of no condemnation

In John 8, we see a powerful example of the Goodness and Love of the Father. A woman was brought before Jesus caught in the actual act of adultery. She was guilty. It was as clear as if they caught the act on security camera footage. There was no denying her guilt. Yet what was Jesus' response?

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:7, 10-11 NKJV

Jesus gave this guilty woman the gift of no condemnation. If Jesus gave this guilty woman the gift of no condemnation how much more will the Love of the Father bestow this great gift upon us in the New Covenant? The irresistible Love of the Father brings restoration and wholeness to all who receive it. It removes guilt and shame and the burden of condemnation. It gives Grace and mercy which brings about transformation and right thinking. 

 In summation, we see just a few reasons why this Love of the Father is so irresistible. We will continue in our next study seeing the other two reasons why this Love of the Father is so irresistible. Receiving the Love of the Father brings wholeness and peace. It reveals to us our true identity and our worth to God. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem cannot stay when we receive this extravagant irresistible Love of the Father. 

Image by kalhh from Pixabay 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Why Tongues? Even more benefits

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 20 NKJV

We've been in an extended series answering the question of why tongues? That is why speak with tongues? Why pray in the Spirit? What's the point in praying with words you can't even understand? 

 Again, traditional religion and mindsets rooted in unbelief dismiss praying in other tongues as mere gibberish. That it is an act of emotional babble. It serves no purpose and has no power or benefit to the believer in Christ. The Word reveals clearly that this is an untruth. 

 So far in this study, we have seen eleven amazing benefits of praying in other tongues or praying in the Spirit. With so many benefits how can anyone conclude tongues are mere emotional babble? That it offers no benefit for the Christian?

 With that let's continue examining even more benefits of the powerful prayer language God grants to those who desire the fullness of the Spirit.

12. Praying in the Spirit offers us a powerful way to offer praise and worship to the Lord.
 Paul's instruction reveals we can pray in the Spirit as well as sing in the Spirit. Praise and worship in the Spirit bring our devotion to a much higher level. Tradition mistakenly assigns the definition of singing in the Spirit as singing with just a little more energy, gusto, and vigor. The Scripture is clear singing in the Spirit is to sing in tongues. Paul references singing spiritual songs and hymns and making melody in our hearts towards the Lord.

 As we shared in our last study, our praise, our worship, our thanksgiving is given total expression spirit, soul, and body when we lift up prayers in the Spirit. This benefit takes our praise to higher heights. Not suggesting that those who aren't filled with the Spirit and pray in other tongues can't offer praise to God. Just stating that praise and worship in the Spirit is a powerful method to express our thanksgiving and adoration to God. 

 Prayer and praise in the Spirit capture our heart's expression of love and honor and devotion to Jesus. Again it finds its full expression of praise. This benefit takes our praise to deeper depths and opens the door to the supernatural and flow of the Spirit in our midst.

 13. Tongues act as a doorway to the supernatural, flowing in the gifts of the Spirit and operating in signs and wonders. 
 Mark 16 reveals Jesus' plan for the ministry of the Church to operate in signs and wonders. He includes speaking in tongues as one of these signs. Throughout the book of Acts, we see many miracles and mighty signs and wonders manifested by the Church. None of these began to happen until the believers had received the Baptism in the Spirit and spoken in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. As we just mentioned about praise and worship in the Spirit, tongues are the open door of all the supernatural power of God. 

 The supernatural begins with being made a new creation in Christ, passing from death to life. Having all sins forgiven, past and present, and future. Being made the Righteousness of God in Christ, eternally secure in Him. It continues as one receives the fullness of the Spirit, being immersed into the Spirit Himself and speaking out a heavenly language. It culminates when we continue regularly praying or speaking forth this heavenly tongue and the Spirit begins manifesting Himself through us to bless and transform and bring wholeness to others. 

   14. Praying in the Spirit enables us to bypass our natural mind and our own thoughts and agendas or ideas and pray God's plan.

 It is clear from Paul's Epistle when we pray in the Spirit our understanding is unfruitful. In other words, tongues eliminate the potential selfish or self-seeking motives in prayer. We are able to bypass natural thinking and tap into Heaven's wisdom when we pray in the Spirit.

 So often our desires and wants can scream louder than what God is saying or doing at the moment. For example, you hear of a job offer that may pay more but at what cost? More time away from family. Relocation away from all family. Removing you out of a fellowship of believers that has helped in your spiritual growth and brought restoration and wholeness to your family. 

 The natural mind may only be focusing on a larger paycheck. Praying in the Spirit helps bypass that natural mindset and looks to God for His wisdom in the situation. In the natural, a bypass diverts us around and away from traffic congestion, and slower travel times stuck in big city traffic. Prayers in the Spirit bypass our own traffic congestion of natural wisdom, emotions, and the sensory realm and takes us straight into the Father's heart and mind on the situation. There is so much benefit to this Grace gift of praying in other tongues.

15. Tongues are God's plan and will for all believers. 

Mark's Gospel reveals the words of Jesus. This is His best and will for all His Church. Tongues? Blame Jesus! Paul's Epistle echoes the same sentiment. It's always been the Father's highest and best for His Church to operate in the power of God. When we receive this free gift we are fulfilling His plan and desire for the Church. This is not to say God is disappointed or looks down on those who have yet to receive. The Finished Work is what completes our identity, not any Spiritual gift.

 In summation, in these studies, we have listed fifteen benefits of praying in the Spirit. Don't allow the enemy or religious tradition or negative experience deter you from receiving all God has for you. This gift of the Holy Spirit infilling and accompanying prayer language belongs to you in Christ. Simply desire it and ask for it and you will receive it. This power and these benefits are for you.               


Image by michel kwan from Pixabay 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Why Tongues? Some more benefits

        But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 20 NKJV

 We are continuing in our study, asking the question of why tongues? What is the purpose and point of speaking with/praying in other tongues? Why should we speak with tongues?

 We have detailed seven benefits so far as to answer the question, why pray in the Spirit? Praying in the Spirit brings a rest. Praying in the Spirit brings refreshing, for your whole man. Yet with all these benefits religious traditions of men still oppose and resist the bestowed blessing and benefit God gives His people.

 Again I say, tongues are not mere gibberish. Tongues are not emotional babble. Tongues are supernatural. Tongues are not natural. Tongues are not intellectually realized and understood. The natural, carnal mind, can't understand the supernatural power of God.

 Will you allow the Spirit to take charge? Will you give Him the reigns and allow Him to guide and direct your life? Will you freely receive all He has for you?

 Yielded to the loving Lord Most High, let's examine some more of the great and wonderful benefits of praying in the Spirit.

8. When we pray in the Spirit we are stimulating our faith or trust in God.
 Jude reveals by praying in the Spirit we stimulate our faith in God. This intimate prayer reminds us we can rest in His all the time goodness. We can put our full confidence and trust in Him.

 Faith is being fully persuaded that both what God has said in His Word and the work finished in Christ is truth and is ours right now. Praying in the Spirit stimulates this Faith in God. Praying in the Spirit helps bring clarity and understanding of what it means to be fully persuaded. Praying in tongues brings to our remembrance our total dependency on God. 

9. When we pray in the Spirit we are recharging our whole spirit soul and body. 
 Paul teaches when we pray in tongues we edify ourselves. This word "edifies" in the original Greek means to build up, to repair, to restore. It also connotes the idea of promoting growth in wisdom, Grace, and blessedness. It is equivalent to recharging a battery. We are energized, recharged in our total being by praying in the Spirit.

 We are recharging our whole man not just our spirit man. Yes, we receive a fully recharged spirit when we pray in the Spirit. We also though recharge our soul and our body. 

 We recharge our mind and will and emotions to be more Christ-centered when we pray in the Spirit. We break strongholds of wrong thinking as we pray in the Spirit. We build up our bodies as well. That is we receive health and wholeness as we pray in the Spirit for we are plugged in if you will, to the healer Himself. 

10. Praying in the Spirit enables us to give thanks well. 
 As Paul teaches about the proper exercise of praying in tongues amongst the unlearned, he reveals a great truth. Prayer in the Spirit enables us to give thanks well. Our worship is taken to a higher dimension with tongues. 

 Thanksgiving is a powerful tool for the believer. When we give thanks no matter the situation we are in we have supernatural peace. We can abandon fear and hopelessness and put our trust in Christ more fully. When we give thanks unto God we are putting Him into remembrance of all He's done for us. 

 Now don't get religiously ridiculously goofy. We don't give thanks for evil or tragedy. We don't give thanks for the trouble, for God didn't send the trouble, we just give thanks amid the trouble. We don't thank God for the illness. We give thanks because we know Jesus is the healer, and here's a chance for Jesus to show forth His healing power. 

11. Praying in the Spirit magnifies God. 
 The book of Acts reveals to us when we pray in tongues we magnify God. We know God doesn't actually become physically larger. It just means He becomes bigger to us. His love, His wisdom, and guidance and Word become bigger within us than whatever we are facing. In our worship and devotion, we magnify Him. We're able to offer our good Father praise and worship and thanksgiving in the Spirit.

 Praying in the Spirit enables us to focus on God more perfectly. We can turn off and tune out all the distractions of life as we pray in this supernatural language. So in essence God does become bigger in our eyes and thinking. 

 Again we see such marvelous benefits of praying in other tongues. This amazing gift that's been made available to all, to whosoever will may simply ask for it. Don't allow religious tradition to rob you of experiencing this marvelous gift.

 In summation, we see more and more benefits of praying in other tongues. We must never allow fear or the religious traditions of men to keep us from receiving all God has for us. Yes, it is not the natural way to pray, it's the supernatural way to pray. Certainly, the enemy and religion want to keep you from receiving all God has for you. Don't let the defeated devil nor deceived religious traditional minded folk keep you from partaking of all God has provided. 

Image by Gerhard Janson from Pixabay