Do I pray because I love God?

I frequently pray because I have a need, or because I am looking for assurance. Maybe I pray because someone else has a need, perhaps I find myself praying because I believe God has a need: for workers in the harvest. But how often do I pray simply because I love God, and want to talk with this God I am in love with? What is that kind of prayer like? How do I arrive at that kind of prayer?

Every once in awhile I find myself saying, “Hello, Father.” just because I wanted to say hello to Him. He has told me that I love Him because He has first loved me; how much of my speaking with Him is because He has first spoken to me? Am I constantly speaking with God in direct response to the word that He has ministered to me through my pastor, or some other brother or sister, or that He has brought back to my mind by His Spirit? Do I hear a word preached and talk to Him about it? How strange it would be if I had a son who listened to me, and followed my directions and instructions, but who only spoke to me if He had a request to make, without ever answering what I have said to Him. Children run to their parents and hug them; is my prayer ever like that?

I would like some of my prayers to be like love letters to God: spoken as a love letter is written: all the words, all the purpose, all the hope of response just to say “I love you, and am so glad to be in love with you, so satisfied with your love for me.” God has always loved me, and I am believing He knows how to do this between us. “Father, I love you, and I am hoping to learn to say so more and more, and with a purity that comes from you, and from being with you. Thank you Father.”

Preparing to be helpful

When you and I see motes in our brothers and sisters eyes, if we are not at the same time taking beams from our own eyes, then our sight is not of God, and so it is ungodly. Because of this our help will also be ungodly, and no one needs to hear what we have to say.

It does not need to be this way. We have the Holy Spirit to reveal our beams to us and convict us of them. He also enables us to remove our beams, so we are able to truly help.

These things are our choice today, and will be our choice tomorrow again!

Immanuel

God is here; what are you occupied with? It is the Sabbath; what are you occupied with? Are you fasting, what is fasting, is it the character of your life?

Storing up treasure for yourself in heaven, that is fasting. Not storing up treasure for yourself here on earth, that is fasting. Looking at the Light is fasting, not looking at the dark is fasting. Serving God is fasting, not serving wealth is fasting. Seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness is fasting, not worrying about your life and not worrying about tomorrow, that is fasting.

God has made us to live and told us to live. Are you living, or are you trying not to die?

I spend every moment of every day occupied with God, or occupied with something else. Since God is here, being occupied with something else is obscene. In my occupation with God all things are enjoyed that come from His hand. We enjoy them together: work, ministry, fellowship, hobby, art, marriage, fatherhood, house and home, travel, and on and on. God is the Father that gives the good gifts. Those gifts I find for myself are not so good.

God makes home with me as I keep His word; that love: the keeping of His word, the response of a grateful, believing man. Is God making home with you? Is His experience day by day one of living with a trusting, thankful, grateful child? A child who loves to wake to his father, who loves to walk with his father, a child who loves talk with his father?

Eternal life is to be lived today. You have it if you have believed Christ. And God has said, “Live!” God is saying, “Live!” Are you occupied with life? The Holy Spirit is. God makes His home with you; everywhere you go there is life. Adorn yourself with jewels: the words of our wondrous God. Let them testify of who you belong to, let them testify of who you go home with. Let the words of my mouth be joy in your ears my Savior.

The only God is with you all day today. Are you going to be occupied with something else, or are you going to joyfully worship?

The Earth Is Still Full Of The Goodness Of The Lord!

The earth is full of the desire of God, the word of God, the Spirit of God, the Church of God, the call of God. It is full of the leading of His Spirit, the conviction of His Spirit, the joy of His Spirit, and that Spirit’s peace. The love of God is abundant upon the earth and in His people. I find it everywhere I go.

The Bible does not say the earth will be full of my goodness, it says that the goodness that is here to be found is God’s goodness: those that believe find the treasure. Those that believe buy the field the treasure is buried within; and without money they buy: here Lord, here is my desire, I exchange it for yours. Here is my word Lord, I give over my word in order to have yours.

And I become wealthy with His word. His word fills my mansion like fine art and furniture: I sit in His word, I bathe in His word, I walk on His word, I gaze at the world out from His word. My mansion is His presence: the Holy Spirit is my home. Are you at home wherever you go because you are walking with the Holy Spirit of Almighty God?

Is this good enough for you? Or must you have the goodness you have vainly imagined? Are you living in abundance, or dissatisfaction? Everywhere I go I find brothers and sisters. Every day I wake I meet the acceptance of the God who faithfully loves me. Every thought I have is heard and answered by a ready wisdom. How much goodness will I declare?

God has declared that His goodness fills this earth. Will I say that I agree? Will I tell you that my God has spoken truthfully? If you happen to hear my voice will you hear of politicians, or of the kind Spirit of Christ? Will you hear of pandemic and vaccine, or will you hear of a spiritual Body edifying itself in love? Will you hear of poverty and broken economy, or will you hear the call of the only Savior saying, “Go, and everywhere you go, give my treasure freely to each one you meet. Pour out the word and the love and the peace, and it will be like the five loaves and two fish: you will give it all away and still have more than you began with!”

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord, but I can’t find it with my desire. My desire looks for other things. Lord, give me new desires for my heart, and I will seek your things and find your things, and my heart will be glad!

True Love?

Many people say that they love God, not because it is their reality, but because they are afraid of it not being their reality. If this is so, then confess like that man who said, “Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.” Because to the degree that you believe in God’s love for you, to that degree you will love Him.

Evangelism in time of pandemic

Gal.5:6 “…but faith which worketh by love.’

Evangelism is about love. The more I love, the more I will evangelize. The less I love, the less I will evangelize.

There comes a time when programs and methods are halted and restrained; there is a temptation to frustration because I am told I cannot do this and I must not do that. My sense of duty to God is in conflict with my sense of duty to government; but my love, that is another thing altogether. Love is unrestrained.

Love is patient; that is not simply how it acts, that is its character entirely. Do I love? A better question is: Am I love? There is a checklist; I can know with certainty. I Cor.13 is either who I am, or it is not. Do I love the young people of my church? Well, if I am easily offended by them, if so, then I am not loving them. Do I love the lost? Again, do I keep a record of wrongs? If so, then I do not love them.

People want to know if you love them. If you do, then they will listen to you. Are you able to all of a sudden begin loving people that you were not loving before? Of course you can! You have the Spirit of love within you. Are you able to love strangers, people you do not know, people you have not even met? Of course you can, that Spirit loves them already, and He is more than able to shed that love abroad in your heart.

Let us remember that love is not a thing I possess, it is a person I am with. He is love, and He is making me one with Him. If I am like Christ: Christian, then when I get to know you, you are loved. If I know you, and love you, then I will speak to you of Christ.

In a time of pandemic, be believing more and more that you are loved by Christ. Your faith will increase in effectiveness. We may reject the love of Christ, but we cannot contain it: as I am receiving it more and more, it will overflow. Evangelism is faith working by love. Evangelism is getting to know your neighbor, loving them by Christ, speaking His life.

I may not be able to put on a crusade, but I can love my neighbor by the Spirit within me who is already loving them. I may not be able to go door to door with the gospel, but I can love the people I meet at market, and they will soon desire to hear what I have to say to them. And I will say the gospel of Jesus Christ is here for you today.

The Holy Spirit of God is working in this world on Christ’s behalf at this very moment; a pandemic does not hinder him in the slightest. Let us join in His work. He is saying, “Come with Me”, and He opens doors no one can close, and His conviction is clear. Go, get to know your neighbor. Be a friend, even of sinners. And by the Spirit you will be a witness. Believe this, and the love of God will be your love, and faith will be received and salvation will be accomplished.

Bless the Lord.

Evangelism is about love

Evangelism is not so much a program to learn or a process to follow, it is a person to learn, it is people to learn. If you know Christ well, and you know your neighbor well, then it is easy to introduce them. The less you know, the more difficult the introduction.

Take the time to get to know Christ better. Take the time to get to know your neighbor better. When you love them both you will introduce them to each other. You don’t need to do Christ’s work for Him, or the work of the Spirit either: they convict and they save, but you make the introduction.

Love is a wondrous thing: it opens doors nothing else will open. It makes words which are lighter than air into weighty things, into things that people handle, and consider, and make decisions by. When you love someone they hear you.

Christ already loves the people you will meet today, you do not have to make up a new love. Be receiving His love for yourself and you will love Him back. In that exchange of love the people you meet will be meeting love, and they will want it. And you will be free to give it.

Yes, you can love your neighbor as yourself; Christ did that for you. Believe Him and you will speak salvation to your neighbor from the love you are in and the love you possess. We do not need better programs and methods; we need to grow in the faith that we are loved, when we do we will grow in the faith to speak of the One who loves us as well.

You are loved. Tell you neighbor that. Some of them will want to know if they can be loved also. Christ already does love them and you will be His mouth to say so. He made you for this; He guides you for this. The Spirit has made you able.

Love the Lord; when you do you will speak of Him, and salvation will be spread abroad.

Joyful Giving

Principles of giving (written 5 years ago for a seminar)

  1. Always be asking God’s help; He loves to give.
  2. Be one with your spouse, or parents, or pastor in addition to Christ.
  3. Prepare. Plan. Seek opportunity.
  4. God is so creative! If you are seeking He can open 1001 doors!
  5. Rejoice in the fellowship with Him. He is giving and He calls you to join in together with Him.
  6. Don’t wait, but keep on giving.
  7. Count your blessings. You cannot give until you have received, but you are loaded with benefits!
  8. Decide if it’s God’s money. If it is, then it is easy to give.
  9. Spend your money within the Body of Christ if you can.
  10. Maybe you cannot give x amount of dollars, but perhaps you and 4 friends can.
  11. God can do something so wonderful that you are marveling over it 10 years later.
  12. Agree with God without fear; retirement can be an idol, but it does not have to be.
  13. Fall in love again, because love doesn’t seek its own, and when you are not seeking your own, you see so much opportunity to give! In love with Christ, in love with the Body, in love with the lost.

Caribbean Ministry

There are people scattered throughout the islands of the Caribbean: a few hundred here, a few million there. The number of people in the Caribbean is not what is important however, what is important is that the Holy Spirit is there loving each one. Ministry is being there with Him: His hands, His mouth.

Is it ministry if you move to a place and love the people there with the love of God? Yes, that is ministry. It would be ministry for someone from Great Britain to move to the Caymen Islands or Turks and Caicos and love people there. It would be ministry for someone from France to move to Guadeloupe or Martinique and love people there. It would be ministry for someone from The U.S. to move the the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico and love the people they meet there.

Could a church rent an apartment in Nassau in the Bahamas and keep it filled with people who maintain a Bible study, a prayer meeting and evangelism? If so, that would be ministry.

If you visit an island in the Caribbean the typical length of stay you are permitted is 3 months. What can God do with a loving person in that amount of time?

The Caribbean is full of churches. It is also full of people not going to any of those churches. The Caribbean is full of spiritual brothers and sisters with whom God can create a delightful fellowship. It is also full of those who are not yet brothers and sisters, but God desires they would be. You know it; you can tell it.

It turns out the Caribbean has more than 44 million people in it. That’s more than you can meet, more than I can meet; but it is not more than God can meet. They speak English, French, Spanish; you might speak one of those languages also. Could God meet some of those people through you?

Caribbean ministry is about love and joy and peace. It involves faithfulness, goodness, and kindness. These things might be yours and they might be increasing. God is calling for some of His children to pour these things out in the Caribbean islands.

I am encouraging you to listen.

We have a fascinating God!

The more interested I am in God, the more interesting everything else becomes also. As my interest in God increases, so does my interest in people and in all of the creation of God. And I am helped in this by the Holy Spirit so that the renewed interest is met with abundantly satisfying discovery.

Is God the most remarkable thing in your life? How could He not be; what kind of God is not more astonishing than everything else you encounter? I do not want what I pay attention to and the occupation of my conversation to discredit God. He is far, far more interesting than racism in the world for example, and as I am occupied with Him: receiving and pouring out with wonder and admiration, then my issue with racism is dealt with and I can be a blessing of God to the world concerning this particular issue of life.

If I will not choose to live this way then my mind becomes as a wave on the ocean: tossed to and fro by every new bit of information. God deserves better from His children.

God is absolutely fascinating. I can speak of Him as new lovers speak of one another to close friends: as a wellspring of joy and amazement and intense gratitude. If my life will not be a speaking like this, then who will want my God. Why would they want my God?

God: Father, Jesus, Spirit, what you have done is exceedingly beautiful, but you yourself are incomparable in your delightful beauty. You are wondrous, and you have made me glad!