Five Ways God’s Love Changes You

May 9, 2019 missionloved_hck1bk

I’m an action oriented person. Give me a to-do list and I’ll tackle it until every item has a neat little check mark next to it.

So the idea of just sitting in silence and contemplating God’s love and nearness seems well–not very productive. How can stillness accomplish anything?

During one busy season of my life I decided to try a little experiment. During this period I had a to-do list the length of a football field. Just thinking about the list was caused a panicky feeling. So to keep stress from being a frequent visitor, I decided to set a timer to go off every hour. At the sound of the timer, I stopped what I was doing for a couple of minutes and contemplated God’s great love for me. Sometimes I listened to a favorite song about God’s love, sometimes I reviewed words of God’s love from Scripture, sometimes I just closed my eyes and remembered: Jesus loves me.

The results were astounding. My productivity increased with these breaks instead of decreased. Stress wasn’t looking over my shoulder every minute. I remembered I didn’t have to work alone–God was more than willing to work alongside.

This small act of basking God’s love made such a difference in my day, that I took a look in God’s Word to see what it says about the effects of Divine love. Here are 5 ways God’s love changes us.

God’s love banishes fear. 1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” I noticed that recalling God’s immense love for me chased away the fear of not being good enough. The fear of not pleasing people evaporated because, well, what did that matter if the King of the universe loved me?

God’s love gives us strength against Satan’s attacks. Look at Psalm 59:10,17: “My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies…O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” We are safe in the fortress of the Redeemer’s love. God’s love gives us the strength to resist Satan’s arrows.

God’s love helps us trust. Psalm 13:5 says, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” It’s easy to trust someone who loves you unconditionally. When we think about God’s love our trust grows.

God’s love leads us to contentment. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 90:14, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” When our hearts are filled with the beauty of God’s love, we are satisfied. Cravings of the world fade away.

God’s love draws us to worship. King David wrote in Psalm 5:7, “But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.” When we contemplate God’s love for us, our hearts bow in worship. We enter God’s presence to praise Him for His priceless gifts.

Try my experiment. Set an alarm or timer to go off every hour. Stop for a moment. Close your eyes. Remember God’s love. Watch it change you.

This is an article by Sharla Fritz

 

Original here

 

Advertisements

What Happens When We Don’t See God Do What We Hope

April 9, 2019 by Dylan

 

I believe that it is the power of God’s Love which truly transforms and changes our world to be more like His Kingdom. As John 3:16 says, it was “For God so loved the world the He sent His Son…” and Jesus, His Son, is the Light that our world – and each one of us – needs. It is from the place of God’s Love that we have salvation, healing and true flourishing of life through Jesus.

My hope is to carry His Love to all His creation. Sometimes in ministering to others, we might try to seek to see a certain result that we want to see. We might want to see someone healed or someone have a radical encounter with Holy Spirit. But a question I’ve been thinking about lately is what happens when we don’t see something outwardly powerful occur? What happens when someone doesn’t get healed? What happens if someone doesn’t choose to give their life to Jesus right in the moment we might wish they would?

For some, even asking such questions might be viewed as not having enough faith, because our belief and expectation is always that God’s will is to heal and save, which certainly is true. Yet I propose that it is in those times when we don’t see what we believe and hope will happen, that we are actually invited into the gift of increased faith. Do we still believe that God is Good? Do we still believe that God is Love? Are we still showing others God’s Love and how much they are valued by not only God, but by ourselves?

People are not objects of ministry, to be viewed as something to save or something to heal. Others, like ourselves, all need to feel known, cared about and loved. No matter what happens, we can always experience for ourselves, and show God’s Love to all people.

 

Original here

VIDEO Love Lessons

May 4, 2019

 

With countless songs, books, and movies dedicated to love, you would think we actually understood what it means. But the world has warped our view of God’s most precious attribute, leaving humanity longing for the real thing. In this message, Dr. Stanley teaches us what love really is and how it affects our lives. Learn how your life can be transformed when you allow God’s love to wrap around you and flow through you to others.

KEY PASSAGE: 1 John 4:7-11

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: John 3:16

SUMMARY

Do you believe God loves you?

We are all very familiar with John 3:16, which clearly states that because God loved the world, He sent His Son so those who believe in Him would never perish. We usually think of God’s love as generally applying to everyone, but maybe not specifically to us personally. However, the Lord wants us to know we’re loved by Him and to love Him in return. Only then will we be able to give and receive love in our relationships as He desires.

SERMON POINTS

To understand how important love is to God, we need only look at His Word. In the Old Testament there are 250 mentions of love, and the New Testament uses love 234 times—and of those, 72 are found in John’s gospel and epistles.

In 1 John 4:7-11, the apostle John mentions love in every verse.
[7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
[8] The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
[9] By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten 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 for our sins.
[11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Love Lessons

Since love is such an essential part of our lives, we need to understand what it truly is.

  1. Love is more than an emotion. It’s a commitment to another person.
  2. Love is not free. It actually demands something of us. We can’t live for ourselves in isolation and at the same time love someone else.
  3. Love looks beyond the flesh. Its focus is the heart and spirit of a person, not the external appearance. The connection is both emotional and cerebral, not merely a physical attraction.
  4. Lust has nothing to do with genuine love. Our world has substituted lust for love, and this has become very obvious in the sexual revolution, which is still continuing to this day. Lust is focused on self—what I want or need from the other person. But love is concerned for the loved one—what I can do for him or her.
  5. Love cannot be bought. It’s a gift that is given freely, and one that is received without cost.
  6. Love desires to give with no strings attached. It doesn’t demand that the other person be a certain way or do what is desired before love is given. Genuine love is freely bestowed without qualifications or requirements.
  7. Love is generous and unselfish. True love is othercentered, not self-centered. It’s always looking for ways to give, not ways to get.
  8. Love is more fulfilled in giving than in receiving. Those who genuinely love others find great satisfaction in generously giving to them. They are especially gratified when they can supply what someone else really needs or desires.
  9. Love is forgiving. Carrying the weight of anger, resentment, bitterness, or jealousy chokes a person’s spirit and hinders the ability to truly love others.
  10. Love desires to express itself. Love is demonstrative and must be expressed. When God’s love is in us, it flows out in sacrificial giving.
  11. Love is a happy emotion. The happiest people are not those who have everything money can buy, but those who know how to love.
  12. Love enjoys seeing others happy.That’s because the focus is not on getting for self but in sacrificing for others. In seeing the pleasure others experience, there is great enjoyment.
  13. Love is fulfilling and enables us to feel complete. When we know how to give and receive love, it gives us a sense of completeness, competence, and worthiness.
  14. Love hurts when others hurt.Genuine love is characterized by compassion and mercy expressed either through direct interaction or more distantly through prayer.
  15. Love does not keep accounts. There is no record of who did what for whom. Love is not a matter of paying and receiving, but of giving without expectation of return.
  16. Love may be very painful. This is especially true if the love isn’t mutual. It may require repeated forgiveness.
  17. Love doesn’t require anything in return. There are no conditions or requirements placed on the other person before love is freely given.
  18. Love is patient. It waits until the proper time, whereas lust wants immediate gratification. If ultimatums are given, it’s not genuine love.
  19. Christ’s death on the cross is the perfect example of love. Jesus came into the world He loved to give His life as a ransom for sin, yet few people loved Him in return. When we continue to love unresponsive, ungrateful people, we are following Christ’s example. This is possible because after we accept Him as our Savior and Lord, He pours His love into our hearts, enabling us to love others no matter how ugly they behave toward us.
  20. Love is its own reward. Knowing that we are loved by God and being able to love Him in return is an amazing blessing. It sustains us when we feel forsaken and unloved by others. And if loved ones die or leave us, we have a Friend who will never desert us.

Love isn’t found in advice from magazines, books, or people. God is the source through Jesus Christ, His Son, and the place to look is the Bible. It begins with accepting the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as the greatest act of love ever shown. He died to pay our sin debt in full. And when we believe in Him and repent of our sins, all the mess we’ve made of our lives is washed away. Our sins are forgiven, and God will remember them no more.

Now His love is poured out in our hearts, enabling us to love Him in return and to receive and give love to others. If we don’t have Christ and His love in us, our lives are empty, and we are poor, needy, and wretched. The only One who can satisfy our longings is the One who died for us on the cross. His love for us is beyond all explanation and human comprehension.

RESPONSE

  • Do you feel loved by God? Why or why not? What does God’s Word say about His love for you (See Romans 5:8 and 8:36-39)?
  • Are you able to give love, or is something hindering you from expressing it freely to others? What hope do you find in 1 Thessalonians 4:9?

https://www.intouch.org/watch/expressing-godly-character/love-lessons