As we approach Resurrection Sunday, I felt it was timely to talk about the Lord’s love for us. There are many out there who are distressed at this time and the one thing the Lord’s sacrifice should first suggest to anyone who is having difficulties or feeling down due to it feeling like there isn’t much love in the world right now is the hope that is in the redemption and salvation only He provides. This writing will mainly focus on the Lord’s love for us but for the new believers out there, I would like to open it by way of witnessing to you the truth of Jesus Christ.
It is my prayer that this reading will bless you as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Throughout many parts of the Word, we are instructed how to live our lives in righteousness. Several of these are the examples Jesus taught His followers and the gentiles alike when He lived on Earth in the flesh. Jesus never sinned, yet set the perfect example of how we should conduct ourselves in righteousness. God loved us so much He gave His one and only son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins by the shedding His blood on the cross. He was risen so as to give us life and anyone who believes in Him shall have eternal life. This is the definition of salvation. The belief -the faith, that Jesus came in the flesh, died for our sins and was risen and ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father and that He will come again to judge the living and the dead. If you believe the testimony above with your whole heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you are saved.
Romans 6:4 (NKJV)
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 10:9 (KJV)
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV)
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
1 John 3:2 (NKJV)
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 4:9-10 (NKJV)
9 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.
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I have to tell you all, I have been working on this entry for days. Not because I don’t know the Lord’s love for me, rather it is because I have experienced so many examples of His love and mercy in my life. I have done so much reflecting on the many situations I have faced and what I have felt in my heart, I was finding it hard to sum in up in such a way that I could explain it in writing. He tells me in my spirit that He will lead me to write this out. When you accept Him and you are walking in His ways, there is no clear cut way to explain Christ’s love because it’s just so infinite and vast it can’t be contained. Christ’s love for us is so deep, so tall, so wide, so infinite that I don’t even think we as people can truly put it into context; You have to experience it to feel it. There have been mornings I am listening to worship music for a while and I feel so overwhelmed with His presence it brings me to tears, especially with all the evil and hatred we see in the world and knowing He shed His blood for us so that our sins (which are many) would no longer be remembered -that we could be redeemed.
There is also the sadness in that love in that I genuinely care about others having the gift of salvation and still in this late hour so many will scoff, are unmerciful and hate what is good. As a servant of Christ and knowing what comes, it breaks my heart to see that so many still rebel and just don’t care. They are throwing away the perfect gift that is better than any worldly gift or feeling you could ever understand. This is what I ultimately have sought to convey by starting this blog, in that, you do have a choice to die in your sin or accept the gift of redemption.
I think of the many sins I used to commit and I reflect on the Lord keeping me safe from death or disease in all of it. Perhaps it was from the drugs I did when I was part of the Florida nightlife and staying up until sunrise (I was a DJ briefly in my early 20’s and heavily into electronic music), or the back-sliding after I had returned to Christ years later, when I went into a five year drinking binge and could finish off a bottle of rum in one night four times a week and had quite a few sexual rendezvous -a few times even with the same sex as I was trying to find myself. Thankfully I never went all the way with any of them but that doesn’t matter, it was still sin. Or could I think back on how He guided me one time when I ate a pot brownie and I had to drive an hour to get home and I made it safely, or was it the time of His mercy when I was driving back from the clubs and had too much to drink? Could it have been when those armed thugs put a gun to my head and took my whole paycheck while I was visiting a sick friend? Could it have been when I was moving out to Arizona and drove 2,390 miles on tires that frankly should have been replaced before I hit the road? It was ALL OF THESE. That is how deep His love was for me. THAT is how deep his mercy has been on me.
I believe as well, that the Lord was keeping me alive to do His will later in my life so as to give you these examples because what it demonstrates is that no matter what you have done you can be healed of your illness, saved from your transgressions. Though I committed many sins and that which I look back at now and view as disgusting and vile, the quality I always tried to hold on to was love. Love and mercy toward others no matter how wrong I felt I was dealt.
Even in situations where I was potentially in danger or treated what I felt to be unfairly, I still helped my friends. I can think of scenarios where I was kind and giving in so many regards so as to not have the favor returned to me or if it was, it didn’t feel all too genuine at all. -That’s not a judgment, just an observation. I have forgiven them but I move forward in putting on my new clothing in Christ and picking up my cross to follow Him in all His ways. Once you do, you tend not to dwell on the past too much. Why do so when you are experiencing the peace you are given in Christ our Lord? I think at first, letting go of everything was one of the hardest things for me to do. Coming to know that, everything I embraced was a lie by satan. I felt tricked. I felt duped. I was disgusted in myself but thus comes the redemption and then comes the peace as you fill yourself with Christ’s love by devoting yourself to Him.
As the reader, you may be asking yourself, ‘Whoa these are some pretty heavy and intimate details to share.’ Well to put it simply, I have nothing to hide. I have repented from all of these. If I do not open myself up to the one person who needs to hear that testimony, they may not be able to relate. They may not understand they are accepted. And, as the Word says, let he whom has not sinned throw the first stone. Nobody is better than anyone else. I learned through trial and error but I still did it because I truly desired to change, especially when the Lord came to me and knew how empty I felt -that I was feeling like I had no reason to exist anymore. I wasn’t suicidal but I was feeling pretty depressed. That was another example of His love and mercy for me I can testify of. That testimony is on my About page if you would like to read it and I hope you do because it too is encouraging.
John 8: 3-11 (NLT)
3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Matthew 9: 36 (NKJV)
36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Matthew 11: 28-30 (NKJV)
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
In James 5:16, we are told as Christians to confess our sins to each other and I do not view myself as anyone more special than you. Someone has to do it and I am not too proud to admit that though I treated others fairly well, I still sinned. Honesty is the best recipe. I was not saved through my own doing, Jesus saved me. He healed me. I write these to bring to light and demonstrate that no matter what you’ve done, it’s not too late to experience the love of Jesus and His mercy. That is why He came to die for our sins and is our Lord and Savior. It’s never too late to call on Him, to seek His forgiveness, to do His will -unless of course, you wait until the very last minute, which, that window of time is closing. The signs are all around us which I have written on now many times. It is my job to lead you to Christ by my own testimony and example as we as people can easily relate to one another and conclude that if I could do it, so can you.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
James 5:16 (NKJV)
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Romans 8: 38-39 (NKJV)
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lamentations 3: 22-26 (NKJV)
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
Ephesians 2: 2:13 (NKJV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
John 10:11 (NKJV)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Romans 4:24-25 (NKJV)
24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
The love of Jesus shows us His mercy and brings Him the glory because He already knows our future and how it ends. These promises fulfill His love. Think of how much repentance He has granted us. Think of what He went through so that you and I are saved. Is that not His patience? Is that not His love? Separately, consider the promises He grants us, as His disciples, in His Word. Consider the authority He gives us in living out His will for us. Here are a few of them. All He asks us to do is to keep His command of love in our hearts toward each other. Here are some verses with regard to the above;
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (also known in KJV as charity)
1 John 4:20 (NKJV)
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NKJV)
8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
Ephesians 3: 17-19 (NKJV)
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NKJV)
8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
John 13: 34-35 (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 14: 2-4 (NKJV)
2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
John 14: 15-18 (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
John 15: 4, 7, 9-11 (NKJV)
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
Luke 10:19 (NKJV)
19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Matthew 28: 18
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Mark 16:17-18 (NKJV)
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Romans 12: 9-13 (NKJV)
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
True love for others is caring for them and that they find their salvation. Being patient with them. That is why we do outreach because we know the truth in Jesus Christ and we do not want to see them destroyed in their own devices. We seek that they come to redemption by knowing the Love of Christ. This is what it means by ‘really love others.’ It doesn’t mean you have to agree with their behavior (Abhorring what is evil, teaching what is good), you are concerned for them as our father cares about us so you seek to warn them if they are on the wrong path. That is why we work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically as it is His will for us to witness and lead others to redemption in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus was resurrected, He left one final command to his apostles; that if we love Him the way He loves us, we are to feed His sheep.
John 21: 14-19 (NLT)
14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
My friend, it is my prayer that this blog entry has blessed you greatly as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ our Lord. Be patient and wait on Him. He can and will work to lead you through your troubles to safety as one of His sheep for He is the truth, the way, and the light and as your shepherd, desires you to be led by Him to the gift eternal life.
Mark 16:6 (NKJV)
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
Jesus Bless you, have a great weekend everyone!