16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:16-19 [KJV]
One of the most misused and abused words in our language is “LOVE”. This word has many meanings and manipulative motives. We are very cavalier with this word. We can say: “I loved that meal we had last night.” Often, we can use it to manipulate and control others by saying this word. For example: “I love you, but…” Often times we can use this word without even recognizing the significance of its true meaning. The power of true Biblical Love is dynamic, enduring, and eternal. The epitome of Love is found in the above verses. “God so loved the world, and He gave Christ…” (John 3:16 paraphrased) Love is really an act of preference. We can love the lovely while withdrawing from the undesirable. God’s love is transformative. Let’s determine to love others as God has loved us. (John 13:34-35) Let us remember that God loved us while we were sinner. God loved us enough to die for us -- because we were sinners. (Romans 5:8) In love God transforms sinners into saints. Let us receive and share that Transformative Love. Grace is an act of love. Cults always respond with the word “but” in order to make you question God! God continually offers grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9) What is the difference? Cults come to intimidate and to redirect you from Divine Grace to judgment, intimidation, and submission -- lest you be cast out of their exclusive group! (John 10:10) Jesus defines love by His own self-definition to Nicodemus, a very devout Israelite. Jesus points out that God has come in love to save. It is a matter of grace through faith. (Romans 5) What then is our obstacle to Divine love and grace? The obstacle simply is lack of faith! If you believe, you are not condemned. Lack of belief results in our abandonment of God. What is the motive? It is our love for self and selfishness. It is called darkness. Jesus said we choose to love darkness rather than the Divine light of love, mercy, and grace. (John 3:18-20)
God’s love, God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s measure of faith in itself is sufficient to allow us to live our lives in the Spirit. God gives grace and extends that grace to allow us to obey His commands. (John 14:23-27) 1 John 4 addresses God’s love to us. John’s definition of God is found in a short phrase: “…God is love.” (1 John 4:8b) That is sufficient provision for His sons, for His daughters, and for the world. Thank you God for your love!
Love, Grace, and Blessings
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IN LOVE 2018!!!