Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Keep Yourself ..In What? (Part 2)

Why should you keep yourself in the Love of God? Because God said to and there is no other acceptable way. We know what Jude did not mean here in his book. Jude didn't at all mean for us to keep ourselves in such a way so as to make God love us. God already does. But some effective lies of Satan even in our day are, "Why bother seeking the Lord when He doesn't even love you anymore?" or "You've got to work a lot harder to earn it."  

Yes, Jude didn't mean for you to do many good works and be religious or nice enough to earn God's love. It can't ever be earned via striving and good deeds. We've already heard God address this in other parts of His Bible. Yes, we let God's Scriptures interpret Scripture before the best of men do that. God's perfect love is so there for you already. It remains unsought, unearned, undeserved, and unconditional.

You and I cannot run anywhere to escape from God's sight or His love. He accepts you and cares about you hugely just as you are ..and will also change you as you cooperate.

Guilty Adam and Eve both tried to hide, but their feeble fig-vegetation just couldn't do the job. Hiding out—that's the natural thing that we feel like doing. The Bible says, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings" (Gen. 3:7).

The Bible does not say that you cannot put yourself outside of the love of God. It says, "For God so loved the world that He gave…" (Jn. 3:16a).
"The world" that God loved—sinners like me—wasn't earnin' His love, wasn't out seekin' His love, wasn't deservin' His love, wasn't about His love at all. The world that God loved was about self-seeking and sin. The Lord didn't push, didn't impose, didn't coerce, didn't manipulate, didn't say "If you will just live up to my standards I will give a flip about you." No, He just loved us in spite of it all and did somethin' about it.  

The Lord still loves the people of this world just as they are and now tell us to do somethin' about it, in the midst of their wicked insubordination to His divine order and government. He hates their sin and will judge all sin, but He still loves us all the same. He even loves the ones He already knows will one day chose to reject His Son and go off into Hell.   

Have you ever lost the first glow of love after once being red hot aglow with love for Jesus before? How long was it until you repented? The Spirit can help you learn from that mistake.

Please keep yourself in His love and not lose it ever again.  Please be encouraged in Him today. He has demonstrated His love for you and still wants to demonstrate that precious love by bestowing His special blessings and favor upon your live and ministry.

Question. What three attitudes in verse 11 can restrict a person from God's special blessings? Jude tells us. 1) Hatred of any person, 2) Greed, and 3) envy. Steer clear of em!

Cain hated his brother for no good reason. Balaam saw in his mind's eye if you will, what he wanted most and he went after it. He became mastered by greed so that he enticed the children of Israel to fall into sin. We all can foolishly compare ourselves with others or start coveting what God has given them our own hurt. Inwardly, Korah was very envious and this led to overt prideful rebellion.

What delegated authority is flawless today? None. They never have been in any age. And this fact alone can become a major test for believers working together.. or if you're working under a fake Christian leader.

Perhaps you haven't murdered anyone and feel so above everyone else. Have ya ever gotten angry at your brother, at a relative, or at a coworker?

John says, "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him" (1 Jn. 3:15, niv). Meditate upon that in all the translations.  

Jesus said, "You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.' But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell" (Matt. 5:21-22, nlt). 

Fratricide is as ugly as it gets. Really! Cain was a brother-hater, a killer (see Genesis 4:3-8).

Be angry at the evil ..sure.. but sin not! There's a time and place for rebuking those sinning. There is a time to wisely expose sin, but always keep yourself from people-ward hate and anger. Greedy but gifted Balaam could sure lay down some lovely prophecy, but he enticed God's people to majorly blow it, (see Numbers 22-24). Keep yourself from the love of money.. always!

Korah was a leader and minister with his eyes on the high positions of others (Aaron and the appointed priesthood), but what happened? He forfeited his own position—totally lost out (see Numbers 16). Keep yourself from ministerial comparing and envy, even if there appears to be blatant nepotism, cronyism, or any type of favoritism!

That doesn't mean you must hang long-term with sicko and abusive leaders in a sicko church. Avoid bad partnerships and commitments.

Keep yourself from spiritual sickness and never be self-confident or trust in your flesh.

Guard against hatred, greed, and envy, for these things are out of harmony with God's powerful love. If these things fill your life, you cannot enjoy the fullness of the benefits that God wants to bestow upon you.

The rich blessings of God (and I don't mean they must be material riches), cannot be entrusted to you if these evil things are hindering what the Lord wants to accomplish.

Be warned and admonished today to keep yourself "in," no matter who goes "out"—no matter how you feel or what happens around you.

Married folk, you remember what it felt like as a single person after you met your future bride and how you both refused to ever fall out of love. What a gift! Commitment to God and your spouse is so great. But don't forsake that first bloom of wonderful glowing emotions and love with your first love, Jesus Christ. He did so much more by washing all your sins away! 

Don't lose what you've gained after being rescued out of the bondage of the sin. Don't ever be ripped off by the thief, Mr. Lu-Cifer. Hatred, greed, and envy will indeed rob you of so much that the Lord has already done and still wants to do in the future ..through you. Forgive people. Stay sweet instead of bitter.

Bloom on brother and sister. Send roots downwards and bear fruit upwards. Might sound funny, but bloom on into all that God wants you to become. I'm thinking about different levels of fruitfulness here. 

Reach your full potential spiritually by properly responding to God's grace that'll keep you in God's love!

Does grace doesn't act independently of responses? No. Though God's grace is extended toward you, you must respond to the grace of God if you're to benefit from that grace. All privileges bring different missionary responsibilities if you will. We are blessed for a purpose, but responsibility not acted upon can destroy you. 

Love is an attitude, love is a prayer, for someone in sorrow, a heart in despair; Love is good will for the gain of another, Love suffers long with the fault of a brother. ~Anon.

God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love.. in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. ~Hebrews 6:10

The Father wants each of us to fulfill our respective callings, to finish our race well. We do this trusting the love of our Author and Finisher of faith. See First Peter 1:5 which explains how.. "you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

See how God uses that term "kept" in 1 Timothy 5:22 "Do not.. share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure.", or in 1 John 5:21 where God says, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.", and then in James 1:27 where the believer is to, "keep oneself unspotted from the world."

Need reviving or restoration? Need a Savior? Just turn and call out to Jesus. 

Beloved, be not like the perverse false teachers. Be in Christ's will holdin' to His Bible beliefs not their's, building yourself up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit as you look for Christ's mercy. On some peeps have compassion with discernment, and others rescue with holy fear, dragging em out of the fire while hating even the garment defiled by the flesh (vv. 20-23). Listen, you can be more in love with Jesus today than ever before! Get real with God and keep yourself in His love, but remember the spear-chucker, Saul, and how he played the fool erring exceedingly.. and how Samson messed around unto blindness, or how David and Peter erred but also humbly recovered. Remember, repent, repeat your first works in the Spirit. I want you to do your part daily by faith.  
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