Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Choosing To Walk in Godís Love
John 13:34-35: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.''
1 John 4:7-8,12-16: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is loveÖ.No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him."
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him. When you are born again, you become a new creature. (2. Cor.5:17). Your spirit is reborn with the life and nature of God. Godís nature and life is love ! Everything about God is love. God is life, therefore His love dwells in you! God manifested His love for us, by sending His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him! We love God because He first loved us!
The Apostle John tells us many things about being Christ like or letting others see Jesus in you.
The most important is having and showing love. The love we are talking about is the God kind of love, agape love, unconditional, unreserved, non-judgmental, non-jealous or envious love! It is a willful act, because God loved us, we chose to love others.
John tells us we should love one another for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. When you have Godís love dwelling in your spirit you should change.
Old things are passed away and all things are new. Your outlook, beliefs and opinions should change. You look at people differently, seeing them as God sees them and not as the world sees them. Donít look at someone and see only their flaws and faults, find the good things and center on them. It is something you choose to do, because Godís love dwells in you.
When you walk in love toward everyone, you are "abiding in love", you know and believe the love God has for us. You know God is love and when you abide in love, God abides in you!
It is then and only then that others will see Jesus in you. You can go to church every time the doors open, you can quote scriptures from sunrise to sunset, you can pray all day long, but it does not mean God abides in you. The Phariseeís in Jesus time did this, they were always in the temple, knew and quoted the scriptures, and prayed in the temple all day, but they did not know God or His love. When you willfully and consciously, (chose to show love until you do it without thinking about it), show love in everything you do, then God dwells in you.
1 John 4:20-21: "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?
And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."
If you say, I love God and are in strife with someone, then the love of God that dwells in your spirit is being overcome by your sinful flesh. You are yielding to the flesh and not to the spirit. Your are yielding to the devil and not to God. The Word tells us in James 4:7 to submit to God and resist the devil and He will flee from you. Yield to Godís loving nature inside of you, resist strife, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy and they will flee from you. Forgive as you have been forgiven. It is something you do. God will not do it for you. It is obedience to the commandment Jesus our Lord gave us in John 13:34, to love one another. The Apostle John repeats and stresses this in the above Scripture.
Letís look at the Apostle Paulís definition of love.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never failsÖ"
Love suffers long and is kind, it is never hateful or spiteful, cutting or cruel.
Love does not envy, it does not want what others have and does not question or criticize the blessings of others.
Love does not parade itself, it is not self-centered, drawing attention to itself.
Love does not behave rudely, it always thinks of others first.
Love does not seek its own, it is not self-promoting, putting its own agenda and wants first.
Love is not provoked, thinks no evil, it does not jump to conclusions, is not easily angered or over sensitive. It does not judge others resulting in mistrust and wrong attitudes.
Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth. It does not get secret satisfaction from the misfortunes of others.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love is the sure foundation, the glue that holds it all together. It helps us withstand and overcome hurts and wrongs, it always looks for the best in someone, believing, that despite faults and problems, victory will be won!
Love never fails! It doesnít quit or stop when things get tough or go wrong. It doesnít change its mind or forget. It never fails!
When we manifest Godís love in our lives we always put others first and ourselves last, we give and donít take and we do not criticize or cause strife. We always forgive, no matter how hard it is. We recognize needs, we donít gossip about them, but take them to the Lord in pray and thank Him for the answers! When you do this - then others can see Jesus in You!
Father God, I realize that I have not shown your love in my life.
I realize that I am judgmental and critical, jealous and envious, unforgiving. I donít want these things in my life, Lord. I confess them to you and ask you to forgive me. Your Word says, if we are faithful to confess our sins, you are faithful to forgive them. I thank you for your forgiveness. Father, I choose to yield to your Spirit in me and walk in love, I will suffer long, not be jealous, be giving and kind, not rude or angry, never judgmental. I will think no evil and rejoice in truth, I will rejoice with my brothers and sisters who are blessed. I will believe only good and not bad, I will bear all things, hope all things and endure all things. I will walk in love for love never fails. Father I say now, that others will see Jesus in me!
In Jesusí name I pray. Amen.
If you truly want to know for sure that you are a child of God, then I would like to invite you to earnestly pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.