Archive for January 5th, 2016

The God Series

The God Series Part 1 By Dr. Joyce Oliver

Learning How to be like God and Understanding Your True Identity In Him

When we got saved, we became like God, our Father. When we understand who we are, we should live like it and treat other people like it.

Love Like a God
Love is your choice, and no one can take it from you. For example, God chose to love you; He sacrificed His Son, Jesus, because He wanted to. He chose to love us in spite of our sin. No one can make you not love them. In the world, men and women pay for love by works, but God’s love is free; it can’t be purchased. When you stop loving someone, your power to be like God is diminished. Remember He loves people in spite of what they do or don’t do.

John 13:34 (The Message Bible)
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.”

1 John 4-7 provides a true definition God. The Lord sent Jesus so that we may love and live through Him. His love healed the whole world. If we use our love the way He indented, we can heal people, too! Did you know that most sickness is rooted in a lack of love? When babies are born, their health is directly affected by their mother’s loving touch or lack of. Now, it takes faith to love human beings, but as Christians, we can love people in spite of how difficult or unlovable they seem to be.

Romans 8:35 (The Message Bible)
35 Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

Love is your choice.
Jesus’ power to conquer came through His love. Love is not earned. It is being honest even when the truth hurts. Love is not giving only gifts; it’s not about materialism. Love listens. It obeys God in spite of pleasing others. Love is checking on people and not ignoring, neglecting, or abusing them. Christians should love freely with all people, and love people when they don’t have the “look”. Just because a person doesn’t fit on the fashion model runway, that has nothing to do with their heart, talent, or potential. Never disrespect people (as if to act) like God is not in them.

We should love everyone that is in our access. Jesus talked about this in His story about the Good Samaritan. As people are brought in your life, deal with them, you were assigned to love them. This includes family, coworkers, neighbors, and even those random talkative strangers you run into at the grocery store. Now as we choose to love people, we should certainly do it in the wisdom of the Lord. You have the ability to love everyone, but there will be some people in your life that you may have to love from a distance. We cannot force ourselves on anyone, so if circumstances require you to have distance from a person, that’s okay. In your heart and in your confession, you can still display the love of God.

Who Should We Love?
• God
• Matthew 22:37 (The Message Bible)
37 Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.”
• The house of God
• The family of God
• Our Neighbors
• Our Mates
Ephesians 5:25-29 (The Message Bible)
25 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. 26 Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, 27 dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. 28 And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor – since they’re already “one” in marriage. 29 No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church…..

As you should love and be devoted to your spouse, this does not mean that you should love him or her into sin. For example, if your spouse is against you going to church, or tithing, as a Christian, you are expected to obey the Bible. Even if your spouse is asking you to do something contradictory to the scriptures, you still should obey the Lord.

The Unspoken Culture of Infidelity
In talking about the love of God, here is one area in marriage that I cannot ignore. There is a problem of Christian men who cheat on their wives. I call it the “spare tire theory”. The world has taught men that it is okay to have a spare woman on the side in addition to being married. Having a spare woman on the side, is not based on God’s love. In fact, it is selfish, and it is human idolatry. When a husband enters into an adulterous relationship, his wife becomes insecure. She feels the shift in her husband’s emotional focus. Unfortunately, this theory has crept into the hearts of many Christian men. The way of the world is not for you, man of God. You belong to the Lord Almighty. On the other hand, wives should not give their husbands a reason to cheat (for example, by lack of love). To sum up my point, in the midst of marital crisis, husbands and wives have the ability and choice to love one another.

1 Corinthians 13:1 (The Message Bible)
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

Luke 6:32-36 (The Message Bible)
32 If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. 33 If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. 34 If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. 35 “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never – I promise – regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. 36 Our Father is kind; you be kind.

The Many Definitions of Love
Love requires work. It’s giving of yourself. It is protection and forgiveness. Love is sacrifice and investment. It’s accepting people for who they are and letting them be free. Love is honor and respecting a person’s God given authority. It is service and building each other up. It’s showing compassion. Remember to love the middle people, the forgotten people, and the poor. Love the elderly, the weak, and those who can’t give you anything. Love is your choice.

Dr. Joyce Oliver

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