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Archive for January, 2013

Be Love-Part 1

Be Love-Part 1

Fact: As God is in you, He will help you to love people. Love is a decision—not a feeling. Everybody needs love. Actions of love are learned and are not determined by human instinct (Titus 2:2, 1 Corinthians 13).

God is Love. It has become a Christian cliché’, but it’s the Word of the Lord. Every time that we show the love of God to people, we get a harvest of what we need or desire, so that’s why it is important to understand the significance of love. Love means to commit to acting in a way that promotes the joy and wellbeing of another. Further, this means that we should show love when we feel like it, and when we don’t (Luke 6:35). Our goal should be to model the love of our Father in every situation. Did you know that God is kind to the unkind and ungrateful? His plans are to prosper us–not hurt us. Therefore, we should reflect this character to those that are around us. (John 3:16, 1 John 4:7, Psalm 8:4, Romans 5:8, Jeremiah 29:11). Love is who we (Christians) are—not what we do. Love is not weak; instead it is all powerful (1 John 4:16-17, Psalms 91:9-14). And the intensity of our love cannot be diluted. With every loving act is a reward and harvest.

Harvests of Love
When you commit to love others, that is proof that you love God. When you master being love to people, the rewards are great! Walking in love results in abundance (Galatians 6:7), maintaining an atmosphere of love (Ephesians 3:18), and your growing in strength. You will no longer be ruled by unforgiveness, bitterness or anger (Matthew 6:15, Matthew 22:36-40, Romans 13:8-10).

Walking Effectively in the Love of God
As representatives of Christ, His character should be evident in our lives. As we walk in His character, we should do it in wisdom as well. Below are some things to be mindful of as we share the love of Christ with people around us (2 Corinthians 5:15, 2 Corinthians 8:9, 1 Peter 2:24, Matthew 26:28).
· Love people without losing control of yourself.
· Does your showing love line up with the Word of God?
· Is your showing love a priority?
· Does your showing love interfere with doing God’s work?
· Are you showing love out of desire or need?
· When you show love, is a pattern of disobedience involved?
· What does God say when you pray?
· When you show love, is there any fear?
· When you show love, are you walking in unforgiveness?

Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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21 Question Test of Spiritual Maturity
 
Establishing the Kingdom Family
Fact: Families are God’s idea, and they have a purpose.
 
Have you ever observed families in where several people teach, are doctors or are musically gifted?  That is not a coincidence; instead it is a divine gift from the Lord. He gives families dominant gifts so that they can fulfill their purpose as a unit.  And since we all come from a family, He has predesigned a divine plan for us to complete as a family unit.
 
The Contemporary Family
In modern culture, family is about success and child worship.  Many families are strict about educational values yet lax about church and spiritual growth.  For instance, when children head off to college, one of the most important things parents should do is find a church home for their child. Another example is that many extracurricular activities are held on Sundays which pulls children away from church.  The world culture is the enemy of the kingdom family, and it will pass away. 
 
1Timothy 3: 4 (Amplified Bible)
He must rule his own household well, keeping his children under control, with true dignity, commanding their respect in every way and keeping them respectful.
 
Matthew 24:45 (Amplified Bible)                                                                                               Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time?
 
The Kingdom Family
As the coming of the Lord draws near, it is important for families to abide (stay) in our Father’s house.  We live in an age that loves intellect, self-fulfillment, comfort and pleasure.  In addition, the devil is a persistent salesman marketing his deadly products to all who will listen and buy.  He always tries to slither into our spiritual homes.  However, if the Lord resides in our homes, then we are safe. We remain secure by staying under the Word and being faithful to coming to His house.
 
1 John 2:15 (Amplified Bible)                                                                                                     Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
 
Matthew 7:24 (Amplified Bible)                                                                                                                             
So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.
 
When looking for a godly example of a family leader, look at Abraham.  He directed his life after the Lord; that’s where the Israelites originated from.  His obedience caused future generations to prosper.  Just like the Israelites, every family has a purpose as to where they should be and what they should be doing to advance the kingdom of the Lord. The leader of the families makes sure that they don’t get lost in the culture of the world.
 
Acts 17:26 (Amplified Bible)
And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes).
 
Foundation of the Kingdom Family
Yes, we live in the world, but not by its principles.  The Bible is our guide.  Below is the structure for God’s family.
 
1.      Godly Marriage (Ephesians 5:21-25)
·      A godly husband should be able to carry the weight of providing for and protecting his family while being willing to pay the price of being the leader in the home.
2.      A godly wife is a reflection of her husband; she is his harvest.
3.      In each home, there should be an authority who will be accountable to God for how the children are raised. Children should be pointed towards the Lord. 
4.      Godly parents nurture the child in their lives.
 
1 Samuel 1:20-24
20 Hannah became pregnant and in due time bore a son and named him Samuel [heard of God], because, she said, I have asked him of the Lord. 21 And Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow.  22 But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there as long as he lives. 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems best to you. Wait until you have weaned him; only may the Lord establish His word. So Hannah remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her, with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin bottle of wine [to pour over the burnt offering for a sweet odor], and brought Samuel to the Lord’s house in Shiloh. The child was growing.
 
Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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