Colossians 2:19 Message
Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life…They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as He nourishes us.
All of us who have been saved for a few years and tried to grow up in The LORD have, at times, gotten stuck. We’ve found no matter what we do, it seems we’ve grown as far as we can grow. Why can’t I get over this hurdle in my life? We’ll wonder. Why can’t I walk in a greater degree of prosperity or divine health than I do now? I know what the Bible says, but I’m just not seeing the fullness of it in my life.
Once when I asked those questions, The LORD reminded me of Ephesians 4:15-16. It says that we, as believers, grow up into the image of Jesus as whole Body of Christ is joined and knit together by what every joint supplies. As every one of us does our share, growth comes because we are building each other up in love.
That means our spiritual maturity isn’t just going to come from simply sitting home alone reading the Bible and listening to CDs (as important and helpful as that is). It isn’t going to come just because we sit by ourselves praying in tongues for hours (edifying as that can be). The fullness of our growth and development in Jesus is going to come to us through one another!
Something mighty and supernatural happens when believers get together that just can’t happen when we’re alone. The hunger other believers have for The Word of God draws things out of the pastor’s spirit that would never otherwise come forth. Revelation comes and everybody learns.
We are not designed to grow on our own. We weren’t given all the spiritual equipment necessary to grow up on our own. That’s why we need each other.
The more I love and draw on the supply of God in you…and the more you love and draw on the supply of God in me…the more we’ll both start to look like Jesus. The more we get together in love, the faster we will be able to grow up in all things into Him!
ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN
“Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the]knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine....”
Ephesians 4:13-14 NASB
The more we grow up in love, the less we will allow winds off doctrine to blow us apart. We will settle down securely on the basic truths the Bible teaches and we won’t run away from people just because they don’t agree with us. We will stop saying things like, “I can’t fellowship with the people in that church. Our doctrinal differences are just too great.” Instead, we will go visit them to receive the insights God has given them that are good, and to share with them what God has given us.
To do anything less than that is childish.
I don’t know about that, someone might say. We sure don’t want to start associating with everyone. Some of those groups don’t even believe in Jesus.”
I know they don’t. That’s why we need to reach out to them! Obviously, we can’t fellowship with them closely like we do our brothers and sisters in The LORD, but we can’t win them to Him by staying totally away from them, either. We can’t tell them Jesus loves them if we won’t have anything to do with them. That’s why we haven’t been able to reach people like the Muslims and New Age folks. We’ve hidden from them. We’ve been afraid that if we get around them, their ungodly beliefs will rub off on us and taint us.
That could happen if we’re so immature and ignorant of the Bible that we don’t know why we believe what we believe. But we shouldn’t be that immature. We ought to get so strong in faith and in The WORD that we don’t have to perpetually protect ourselves from everyone else. What’s more, we need to grow up in love so that we care enough about them too risk their rejection, and tell them about Jesus.
That’s the attitude the Apostle Paul had. He didn’t run away from people who were different from him. He sought them out and said, “I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews…. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law…. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-22 NIV).
Love doesn’t run away and hide. Love reaches out. Love inspires us to become all things to all men, so that we can bring as many as possible into the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 13:8 “Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:8-10MSG Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
Fear of failure. It has haunted all of us at some time in our lives. Popular psychology tells us to adjust to it. But the Word of God tells us that there is a failure-proof way to live without it. It is the way of LOVE.
If you want to know real success, you must learn to be moved and motivated by love. That’s how Jesus was when He was on the earth. Even when John the Baptist was senselessly, brutally murdered and Jesus went away to be alone, He didn’t deviate from the way of love. When the people followed Him, He was moved with compassion and healed the sick.
This is the way Jesus retaliated. He overcame the works of Satan with compassion. He defeated hatred with love. He attacked Satan in the spirit realm by destroying his works of sickness and disease. Compassion doesn’t strike at the surface of things. It goes to the root of the problem. That’s why it always succeeds.
You may say, “I can’t operate like that. I’m not Jesus.” Yes you can. 1 John 2:5 says His love is perfected in you as you keep His Word.
1 Corinthians 13:13AMPC And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.
What do you do when you are facing a particularly stubborn problem? A problem that resists your every effort to solve it? Put the power of love to work on it! The power of love is the greatest power in the universe. It is beyond defeat. It never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). The Bible says God is love. So when you release love into a situation, you have released God into it. Jesus becomes responsible for its success.
What is this love? First Corinthians 13:4-7AMPC tells us it’s patient and kind. It’s not jealous or haughty or conceited or rude. It doesn’t insist on its own way. It’s not touchy or resentful and it pays no attention to a suffered wrong. Love rejoices when right and truth prevail and it bears up under anything and everything that comes. It’s ever ready to believe the best of every person. Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything without weakening.
The person who refuses to love is missing out on the very best God has to offer!
So, put love to work on the stubborn problems in your life. It is the one solution they will never be able to resist.
Receive the LOVE! Believe the LOVE!
Jesus declared it!
I declare it!
1. I believe Love is in me now!
John 17:26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
2. I believe Love never fails!
1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
3. I believe Love is GOD!
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Because I have received THE LOVE, and because I have believed THE LOVE, I can confidently declare
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 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. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
I PRACTICE AND WALK IN LOVE.
I AM LOVE!
God’s love for us and our victories go hand in hand. Many times we go through life celebrating our victories without celebrating God’s love for us. When the enemy presents lies to us we must remember that we are God’s beloved and that nothing can ever change our status or take away His unfailing love.
A. WE KNOW THAT GOD LOVES US BECAUSE HE DIDN’T SPARE HIS ONLY SON (ROMANS 8:31-32).
-With Jesus, God has given us all things. When we receive Jesus as our
Lord, we receive all we will ever need.
B. GOD KNEW THAT ABRAHAM LOVED HIM BECAUSE ABRAHAM DID NOT WITHHOLD HIS ONLY SON FROM HIM (GENESIS 22:2-13).
-God knew that Abraham’s son, Isaac, didn’t qualify as an acceptable sacrifice because he wasn’t flawless. However, Jesus was a flawless sacrifice and the most valued possession heaven had to offer.
C. PAUL MADE IT CLEAR THAT THERE WAS A CONNECTION BETWEEN GOD’S MIGHT AND HIS LOVE (Ephesians 3:14-17).
-When we have confidence in God’s love, the ability to do all things is made available to us.
-The more we realize how much God loves us, the more we become whole as individuals.
D. GOD WANTS US TO KNOW AND TO EXPERIENCE HIS LOVE. WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE HIS LOVE FOR US AS INDIVIDUALS, WE HAVE THE FULLNESS OF HIM (EPHESIANS 3:18-19).
-Our confidence in God’s love for us opens the door for blessings beyond what we can ask for or think of (Ephesians 3:20).
E. THE DEVIL WANTS US TO BELIEVE THAT GOD DOESN’T LOVE US SO THAT WE WILL FEEL ABANDONED AND CONDEMNED.
-Our enemy has no defense against us when we know that we are God’s beloved.
-Meditating on God’s love will help us overcome the attacks of the enemy.
-We should constantly acknowledge the ways in which God expresses His love toward us.
Foundational Scriptures: Romans 8:31-32, Genesis 22:2-13, Ephesians 3:14-20, 1 Corinthians 13:1AMPC, Romans 5:5, Matthew 3:17, 4:3
Faith…worketh by love.
NLT For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
MSG For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.
Why isn’t the power of God turned up to a higher volume in the Church? It’s because we aren’t walking in enough love yet. God wants us to have power, but first He has to be sure we will use that power in love. He wants to know that we won’t take it and mix it with judgment and criticism and blast people out of the water.
Do you want God to put a shotgun of spiritual power in your hand, so you can blow the works of the devil to kingdom come? Then focus on love. Pursue it. Study it. Grow up in it. Then you will see the power of God operating through you.
1 John 4:16
AMPC And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
NKJV And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.
We have read about God’s love. We have heard about it. But not many of us have really believed it. If we did, it would totally change everything about us and everything around us. It’s that love that caused Jesus to lay down His life for us and to experience for Himself all the pains and weaknesses we experience. It’s that love that says to us, “Come to Me and get what you need. Come boldly to the throne of grace that you may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.
Think about it. God is in love with you-so in love. He’s given you everything He has! He’s given you all the healing, all the wisdom, all the wealth you could ever need. Learn to believe and receive His love.
Believe the love God has for you. It has already been released in the blood of Jesus.
Believe the love. It has already been released in Jesus’ Name.
Believe the love. It has already been released in His Word.
Meditate that scripture over and over. Say it to yourself again and again all day, “I believe the love Jesus has for me.” Once it gets down into your heart, you will never be the same again.
Read this out loud!
1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can’t take it all in!
7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them—any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
1 John 4:7-16
7-10 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
13-16 This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.
He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so 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 (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another.
12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!
13 By this we come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we abide (live and remain) in Him and He in us: because He has given (imparted) to us of His [Holy] Spirit.
14 And [besides] we ourselves have seen (have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated) and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son [as the] Savior of the world.
15 Anyone who confesses (acknowledges, owns) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides (lives, makes His home) in him and he [abides, lives, makes his home] in God.
16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
The Christmas story is the ultimate story. The word ultimate means that it’s the best. There isn’t any story that’s better. In this one tale, we read about the greatest power, the greatest revelation, the greatest victory, and the greatest gift ever known to mankind. By far, it is the greatest love story that was ever recorded in all of human history. The birth of the Babe of Bethlehem is an impossible story that was made possible by the power of God. We also see God’s guidance, mercy, and protection. Below are six points that are clearly evident in this wonderful story.
1. GOD LOVES US. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
2. GOD CARES FOR US. What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Psalm 8:4 NASB
3. GOD IS WITH US. Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] Hebrews 13:5AMPC
4. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD. And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:27
5. GOD GIVES US STRENGTH WHEN WE ARE INCAPABLE. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29NIV
6. No matter what we’re facing in life if we’ll FOLLOW GOD’S LEADING, He will cause us to come out on top. “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14NKJV
The Christmas story is meant to bring hope to all mankind. Within it is contained salvation, healing, protection, and provision. The same God of the Christmas story is with us each and every day of the year.
And that is cause for great rejoicing!
“FAITH NUGGET” - THE WORD of FAITH 12/2016 By Kenneth Hagin Ministries