A warning -Don’t be deceived -Watchmen take your place

You will hear a rumour or a word that “The Lord is there ” – Jehovah Shammah”  but the Lord says do not be fooled.

This morning the Lord impressed this word to me:

The Lord says that in the past many have run after the manifestations of the Holy Spirit because of a deep hunger to meet the Lord and encounter His presence but these have often been false manifestations and have led peopled into the wrong things and opened up a door in their lives to the enemy by accepting a false anointing or a false spirit to oppress them.

The Lord says that you don’t have to run after manifestations of His glory. The glory of the Lord is coming to you.  Wait patiently for the Lord he says – He will come.  He will not disappoint you.

The Lord says that He has already warned us in His word not to run after such manifestations or people that claim to be Him.  He says not to do it -for if you do then you will be deceived.

As the lightning streaked across the sky as it did in the storms that roared across this nation in the night and which all could see clearly in the sky, then so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

Do not be deceived.  Do not go running after false manifestations of the Spirit and the glory.  You will know the awesome presence of the Lord for He is Holy and where He is – is Holy.   You will not be able to stand in His presence.  Every knee will bow & every tongue confess that He is Lord.   He is Lord & there is no other.

The Lord does things according to His Word.   He does not act outside of His Word.  Keep the Word of God close to your heart.  Feed on the Word of God.  Be guided by the Word and do not be deceived for many false prophecies & false words are circulating at the moment.

Many false prophets and leaders are rising up in this hour to lead His people astray.  Do not be deceived says the Lord.   Say true to His Word – Put your trust in God & do not be deceived.   God is faithful and He is true.  He will sustain you and protect you at these times.

Watchmen – Take your place on the city walls.  Arise & look out at the horizons.  What do you see?    Warn the body of Christ.  Sound the alarm.  You need to watch in these days ahead says the Lord.   There is an acceleration now occurring and things will happen fast.  There is a suddenly approaching – Look & Wait.  Sound the alarm when the time comes and warn the body of Christ.

24 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives,( the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming( and of the end of the age?

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.(For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.( You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted( and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets( will appear and deceive many people.

12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom( will be preached in the whole world(as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place(‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop( go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equalled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders( to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning( that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[

 

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven,with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[ is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father.(37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,(up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.( 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.(43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant,(whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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A generation that will move in the power of the Holy Spirit

I heard the Lord say this to my spirit this morning – This is the generation that will see Me come in power amongst them.  My Holy Spirit is being poured forth now in a mighty way.  It will be like a flood that will go across the earth to meet and minister to those in need. My people will rise up in power.  They will go about My business and they will see the miraculous provision and power of their God in whom they trust.

Beware the evil one.  Beware the fraudster who comes to deceive and lead astray. Stay in the place of intimacy so that you know the person of the Holy Spirit.  He is the one friend who will lead and guide you into all truth.  Do not fear,  for I am with you even to the end.  I will never forsake you.  Be ready to do good at all times. Silver and gold you may not have but what I can give you is worth much more and brings life in all its fullness and not death.

This is the generation that will rise up now and do great and mighty deeds for their King.   Speak out My word with boldness.  Send forth My word with power and declare that this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad.  I will lift up a shout of praise and with my eyes I will see my victory over the evil one.  He will flee before me.  The wicked will take cover and hide before the coming of My saints as they rise in power.  Their shout will go up before the whole earth as they rise in unity to bring down the strongholds of the wicked ones and ride out into the wide places and build My kingdom. A kingdom that will never fall.  A kingdom that will last forever.

For these are the days that My Spirit is now to be poured out in greater measure.  Be filled to overflowing My children.  Be filled to overflowing that My power & My spirit flow through you for My honour & My glory.   Be at one with Me and at one with each other.  Move as one.    All hell will try to stop you but it has no power over you, for I have stripped it of its power and I have placed authority in your hands and My power goes forth.   It goes forth like lightning and see its trail across the earth.   All eyes will see and ears will hear of the exploits of My children.  They will now start to explode into the news and all will start to see My wonder working power at work in all the nations of the earth.  Amen.

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Our God has risen up.. Victory is His

Last night (Good Friday 10th April) I had a dream in which I was in a large upper room in a church building with lots of people – some I knew and some I didn’t.   During the course of the meeting my friend and I (we were not next to each other as we usually would be when seated in church) at exactly the same time spoke out a powerful tongue in unison.

As we spoke it out the words were so powerful and strong – the declaration in them went forth like a loud cry & a roar and we marched forward as we said the tongue.      This was a completely new thing to us – my friend has the gift of tongues and I often have the gift of interpretation to her tongue and we will bring a word in church meetings but never at the same time.      I remember being overawed in the dream because this was a new thing and the power of the Holy Spirit was tangible.     The Lord was doing something new amongst us.

The interpretation of the tongue was:

“Our God is a man of war.   See He goes forth.   He has arisen!  A mighty man of war.  He rises against His enemies and they will be scattered.    He has sent forth His arrows & pierced the darkness.  He has defeated death.  He has conquered.   He has risen on our behalf and the glory is all His.  All the glory belongs to Him and to no other.  He is a man of war and He strides out on our behalf across the nations.  He has conquered and has won the victory over death & disease. He is the victor.  All honour & glory belong to Him and no other.  He is the one true God & all the praise & honour is His.  Let no-one try & take the honour for themselves.  Woe to them who will claim the victory for themselves.  God has arisen and His enemies are scattered.  The victory is His.  Amen.”

This morning I looked for these words in scripture and it says:

Exodus 15 -The Song of Moses

1Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his ridera he has thrown into the sea.
2The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3The Lord is a man of war;
the Lord is his name.

and

Psalm 68

1 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

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Hey Jude – it’s good advice

Jude – it’s that small book in the bible just before Revelation – very easy to miss.    It might be small but it certainly packs a punch and it’s probably not the subject of a sermon that we hear much in church these days.   It’s key messages are as relevant for today’s church as they were when Jude wrote them.

Jude warns us to:

  1.  Watch out for people who are just pretending to be holy but abuse the grace of God & sacrifice of Jesus and keep right on sinning, then repent & sin again – especially sexual sin.  There is no intention of true repentance.  Don’t follow their example or be led astray by their behaviour.
  2. Watch out for people who despise authority -they are not submissive but proud and will not listen.  They cause division and stir up trouble.
  3. Watch out for those who speak disdainfully & disrespectfully about things they do not understand – especially things of the spirit realm.
  4. Such people are selfish & motivated by greed and a desire for recognition.   They are takers not givers.
  5. These are people who will change their opinions and allegiances – they are easily swayed.   They will agree with whatever view is popular.   They have no firm faith.
  6. These people are grumblers & faultfinders – always moaning and complaining.  Nothing is ever good enough.   They are dissatisfied & disappointed.
  7. They are boastful and living for their own pleasures – people who will flatter & manipulate for their own benefit.
  8. These people follow the flesh and not the Spirit.

We need to be aware of any such behaviour so that we do not agree with it, align ourselves with it or fall victim to it.   Jude’s advice is:

  1.  Build our faith up in Jesus,  keep praying in the Holy Spirit and rest in God’s love & mercy;
  2.  Discern those who are doubting or weak in faith – help to disciple such people and build their faith;
  3.  Show mercy and reach out to help those that are weak – treat them with compassion.      We can all stumble and fall and need a helping hand from each other.     There is a difference between those who are wilfully being disobedient to God and doing ungodly things and treating the sacrifice and blood of Jesus as an excuse to sin.
  4. Warn about the consequences of such ungodly behaviour (in a Godly & truthful way).

Take hold of today – Make it count

This is the 3rd word that God has impressed upon me for this season which is linked to the words “Awake, Awake” & “The Heavenly Steed”.    This is about taking hold of each day we are given for God to give glory to Him and to do His good works.

“Arise My Beloved & seek after Me.  For this is the day – Take hold of today for you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  Live each day for Me – from when you rise up until you go to bed.   For I will give you sufficient grace & provision for each day.

At the end of the day you will have discovered something new in Me.  You will have grown in Me, developed in Me, produced fruit for Me & My Kingdom.  If you have not produced fruit for that day, then you have wasted the precious gift I have given you.

One day you will stand before My throne and give an account for each precious day of your life.  A day of opportunity to serve your Master and bring glory to My name.  A day to grow more in love with Me; a day to show My love through you to others.  

What have you done with the days I have given to you?   What have you done with the days gifted to you?   Each one is precious.   Each one is valuable.  Each one is a gift from Me.

I do not judge by how the world judges.  I am not impressed by worldly riches or goods for who can have more riches than I?  All of creation is mine.   Do not be led astray & try to gather riches for yourself – for each person’s works will be tested by fire.   Whatever remains after the fire will be rewarded.   Do not build according to the pattern of this world but build My kingdom.   Let My kingdom come & My will be done.

What do I require of you each day but to walk humbly with your God.  Submit each day to Me.   Begin with thanks & praise and end with thanks & praise.   For the time is drawing near for all men’s works to be tested.  Let the fruit be good that grows in your heart so that when you are tested you will come forth as gold – pure gold.

I am looking for a harvest in your lives My children & I do not accept any excuses – for within you there is My power – wrought in Jesus Christ so there is nothing to stop or hinder you which you cannot overcome through faith & submission to Him.

What have you done today for My kingdom?  What have you done today in praise & worship to Me?  Any act of obedience to My will is pure worship before My throne.  I will not be mocked.   What a man sows that he will reap.  Do not sow to your flesh but sow to the Spirit.   Let all be done to My honour & glory & let My glory cover the earth as the waters cover the land.

All hail the Lamb who sits on high.  He comes & brings His rewards with Him.   To those who overcome there will be much reward in heaven.  Amen.”

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me; to give to everyone according to His work”.

Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you – these things I command you that you love one another”.

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Beware of a false peace

God reminded me today of this picture and word he gave me many months ago and so I am reposting it today. The current Covid 19 situation came to mind. Is this a warning from God not to think all is over or getting better but to remain vigilant and keep our eyes on Him. Are we in a time of a false peace and need to prepare for the rest of the storm to pass over.

Perfect peace is found in God and not in our circumstances or situation which is changeable.  Today as I was worshipping God,  I saw a picture of a big storm, a hurricane.  As the hurricane passed over there was “peace” at the eye of the storm.  However,  people know from experience that this peace is a “false peace” because the rest of the storm is still to pass over.   In whatever our circumstances, we could be deceived into thinking a temporary lull is the answer to our prayers and relax.   We may not then be prepared for the rest of the storm.   I sense God is warning us not to be deceived by a false peace but to remain watchful and seek Him.  To fix our eyes on Him.  To continue to pray and intercede as the Holy Spirit leads us.  Seek Him in all situations for Godly wisdom and discernment so that we continue to press in and do not relax our prayers.   Keep pressing in.

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Time for Great & Mighty Things

Those who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits – Daniel 11:32

A tongue & interpretation given at our fellowship on Sunday 20th October 2019.    The Lord said it is a time to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.   Those who know their God will do great and mighty things.     A great shaking is taking place and we must know our God.    We must know the Father, Jesus the Son & the Holy Spirit.  Not just about them but to know them.   We must know God’s character so that we are not deceived by the spirit of deception which is at work in this age.   God is a good, good God.  He is a God of love, grace & mercy.   We must know His Son Jesus – the authority which is His and His righteous judgment.    There is a time for His righteous judgement.    We are to know the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us and to discern between good and evil, truth & lies.    We are to come to the table of the Lord for He is our daily bread and our provision.   God asks us a question – who do you serve?  who do you serve?

The Wind of God’s spirit

Yesterday as we were gathered together for a day of prayer, worship and prophecy, I saw a picture of a large field of golden wheat which was blowing in the wind.   I believe that God was saying that the wind of His Spirit is blowing across this nation and just as the wheat moves in the wind so we are to move with His spirit and not be rigid and unbending.  

As I watched this picture it reminded me of a dance as the wheat moved in perfect harmony and unity in the wind and waved back and forth.    It was rooted but flexible.

I also then felt God say that there would soon be a whirlwind of His Spirit blowing across this nation which will be a mighty wind and it will bring down structures (man-made) and remove those things which need to be brought down so they can be rebuilt by God.    We are to watch and prepare for such a time and discern God’s Spirit at work.

 

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God is Good – His invitation

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is Good;  Blessed is the man that trusts in Him”  Psalm 34:8 

God’s invitation is open to all to come and taste and see that He is good.    He invites us to come to His banqueting table just as we are and to feast.    The Lord says that it is free to come and to partake of all His goodness.   Jesus has paid the price for us.     Other things in this life will not satisfy us but His love, grace, mercy and goodness are more than enough to satisfy our very souls.     His banner over us is love. 

The truth is that God is good.   Jesus is good.   The Holy Spirit is good.    All good things come from God above and He is good.     We declare that truth today.    Anything which teaches or tells us otherwise is a lie.   The gifts of the Holy Spirit are good.    The fruit of the Holy Spirit is good.    Anything which is not good is not of God.     The fruit which is not good is not of Him.    

I believe that the Lord is saying in this season, Come and see that I am good.   I am a good, good, God.   I give good gifts to my children.   Come and ask of me so that I might pour My gifts into you for the benefit of others.    My Spirit living and breathing through you by the power of My resurrected son, Jesus – the very breath of God.   I bring life and truth.    I am speaking in the season to bring the dry bones to life.   As the prophet spoke to the dry bones so I am sending out My Word amongst My children to proclaim that this is the day of the Lord.  Rejoice and be glad in it.  Speak to the dry places and tell them to become fruitful in the name of the Lord – that there may be rivers of living water that will flow in the deserts.   Speak to the barren places and command them to bring forth fruit.     Whatever fruit has already withered on the vine then let it die,  but I am bringing a refreshing wind says the Lord which will revive those of My children who need refreshing.    Come and taste and see that the Lord is good.   If you will seek Him with all your heart then He will not disappoint you.   Come says the Lord.  Come.   The invitation is there.      If you choose to ignore it then you will not reap the benefits of My presence or My goodness says the Lord.    Oh taste and see that the Lord is Good.   Trust in Him and be blessed as you come in and as you go out.

Isaiah 55 New King James Version (NKJV)

An Invitation to Abundant Life

55 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you [a]spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the [b]wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me [c]void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

 

Amen.

Love & Holiness – A Beautiful Picture

Holiness – it’s a word we don’t generally feel comfortable using these days.    The Bible says  in 1 Peter  1:15 “But as He called you is Holy, you also be Holy in all your conduct”.  Our Pastor says when you think of being Holy just think it’s being different to the world because of Jesus.

It seems to me that when we try to be Holy ourselves (apart from Jesus) then it just becomes a religious list of dos/don’ts which can then lead to frustration and guilt when we fail.     We can end up doing lots of works with little fruit.

A wise person said. “Holiness will take care of itself when we see ourselves as the Holy people of God with a Holy destiny”.    The way of holiness is living through Jesus.

In Revelation 2 Jesus says to the Church at Ephesus:

“I know your works, your labour, your patience and that you cannot bear those who are evil, and you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not and have found them liars, and you have persevered and have patience and have laboured for My name’s sake and have not become weary, Nevertheless I have this against you; that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the first works”

Jesus said they were patient, hardworking, persistent, hated evil – but they no longer had a fervent love for Christ and God out of which their works should have flowed.   They had lost their first love.

The greatest commandment is “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” and then “to love your neighbour as yourself”:     In effect Holiness in action.

Love

In my life,  it seems to me that Love has been key to living out a practical holy life.

Love acts as a true motivation for holiness.  Love is, in its true actions, a true outworking of holiness.

  1. Love for God

The Bible says Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul & mind. – Do not worship any other idols.

When we are mature in faith, it is good to stop and consider,  whether our hearts still burn with a fervent love for God and for Jesus, our saviour?  What is it that motivates us daily in the things we do and say?   Remember that first time you became a Christian and how you were so hungry for the things of God?

If that fervent love is not still there, then what has taken the place which God had in our lives?

Idolatry is putting something before God – we can make idols of money, careers, other people -worshipping anything other than God.    Idolatry is one of the areas I believe Holy Spirit is bringing conviction to us as the Body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit can reveal the true nature of our hearts and what it is that is actually taking the first place in our lives, our thoughts, prompting our actions.  Sometimes, we are just blind to what or who is really sitting on the throne in our hearts.

We love God because He first loved us and gave His son to die for us while we were still sinners.

Love for God will manifest itself in spending time in His word and in fellowship with Him through prayer and praise. Times of fellowship with God; being obedient to His Will; allowing His Holy Spirit to fill us and mould us.

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  1. Love for each other

Thessalonians Ch 3 v 12-13 says “and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all; just as we do to you so that He (God) may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints:

Love for one another  – loving other Christians.

Love for all – everybody.

We all see this love expressed in Peter’s first letter to the church.  Peter was concerned with how Christians should live their daily lives – with each other and also in front of non-Christians.

Peter confirms that we express holiness to one another through love.  First Peter encourages us in Ch 1 v 15-16 “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written “Be holy, for I am holy”

V22 – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” or other translations  “so that you have a genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart”

Pure Heart – Ch 2 “laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking”

No hypocrisy, no jealousy, no gossip – all this rubbish has no place in us and needs to come out of the body of Christ.

Someone said “where love abounds in a fellowship of Christians, many small offences, and even some large ones are readily overlooked and forgotten. But where love is lacking every word is viewed with suspicion, every action is liable to misunderstanding and conflicts abound to satan’s perverse delight”

Humility will help in our relationships with one another.  Peter goes on to say that there should be “unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart and a humble mind”

Is loving each other as Christians optional?   According to the Word the answer must be NO.

As Christians we can’t really opt out of loving one another if we are followers of Jesus – it was Christ’s commandment to us – to love each other as He loved us.  It’s a commandment – if we love Christ then we ought to love one another.

We recall Jesus’ teaching at the last supper.   This was his last opportunity to talk to his disciples before He went to the Cross.   Jesus reiterates 4 times his new commandment to love one another.    He didn’t remind the disciples of all the great miracles they had witnessed – it was love which was important.

JN 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

JN15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Jesus said “if you love me then you will obey my commandments.”

JN 2:3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

1JN 3:11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

As Jesus said to the church – Have we lost our first love? Have you lost your first love?

It takes us back full circle – if we love Christ and he is our first love then out of this love will flow love for one another.  Let us start with love for God first and the rest will follow.

John Wesley said that “Holiness misses the mark if the essence of godliness found in purity of heart expressed in love is missing” His favourite saying was “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love”

So HOW?

I don’t believe we can manufacture this love successfully.   We could perhaps do it for a while but it will stagnate and eventually die – it must develop naturally out of relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5: the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us and love is created in us by the Holy Spirit Galatians 5: 22 says it is a “fruit of the Spirit”

So instead of striving to do it in our own strength and with our own love – let the love of Christ come through us – let the fruit be produced – How – by abiding in Him & receiving God’s love.

Jesus tells us:

JN 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

JN 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

JN 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

So How is love evidenced practically in holy living?

1JN 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Love will manifest itself in generosity, meeting others’ needs, unselfish giving.   This can be truly testing when we are going through our own times of difficulty.

Our reward is not earthly but heavenly:

M.T 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

MT 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

MT 25:40 “The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

Conclusion

I believe that Love for God is holiness which is then expressed in love for those in the body of Christ and others. Love in its actions is the true outworking of holiness.

The Apostle Paul said:

1 Corinthians 13

1CO 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

1CO 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1CO 13:8 Love never fails.

If we as the body of Christ are serious about living holy lives then let’s ensure that we have not lost our first love and that we truly love one another. Then the light will shine from us and men will see our good deeds and praise our father in heaven.     If we want to see people come to Christ then one of the keys is to obey His commandment to love.

In Isaiah Ch 5 – we read about :God’s disappointing vineyard” – ‘My well beloved has a vineyard, on a very fruitful hill, He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so he expected it to bring forth good grapes but it brought forth wild grapes”

God’s expectation is that you will produce good grapes – good fruit for Him.  He has a plan for you individually and for your fellowship.  You are important to Him.  God never gives up – He never slumbers or sleeps – He is always working with you to produce god fruit.   Let the fruit of His Love grow and develop in us.