The Supremacy and Power of Love

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:32-35)

The Early Church demonstrated true, supreme love by gathering together in one accord. There was no lack; they connected one to another with one heart and purpose. We can all have that same heart.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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 do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Our spiritual gifts mean nothing if we do not have love.

When you speak you can influence people, but without love, words are meaningless.

Love is superior to speech.

Love is superior to sacrifice.

Jesus died only once, but His love endures forever.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. (1 John 4:7-8, 12, 20)

The Apostle John mentioned the word love 46 times in 1 John alone.

We must be careful not to glorify knowledge above the love of God for one another.

There are four types of love:

  1. Forgiving Love.

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no ploughing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:1-8)

What a great example of forgiveness. Joseph knew God and understood the purpose of his calling. It was not easy to forgive his brothers, but he did so by the grace of God.

  1. Redeeming Love.

The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” (Hosea 3:1-3)

Like the prostitute who was redeemed, God has redeemed us forever. Though we sinned, God loved us.

  1. Compassionate Love.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Peter betrayed Jesus three times and backslid, but the Lord chose him and gave him revelation and knowledge.

  1. Healing Love.

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)

The love of God heals our minds, souls and bodies.

Call for Intimacy: Impacting the Marketplace

We are passing through turbulent times, and we need to make a profound, godly impact on the nations and in our marketplaces. How do we become like Christ in this world?

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

God predestined us to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. We are also predestined to be justified and glorified with Him. In other words, God created us to reflect His image to the world. The goal of this life is to look like Jesus. Sin distorts the image. What can we do to conform to the image of Christ?

  1. Living out our intended purpose requires a process that His Spirit works in us.

To look like God to the world, we must be full of Him in ever-increasing measure. Predestination means that God ordained a future reality for our lives. Jesus has already prepared the way, we need only to surrender to His restoration process, which began when we accepted Christ as Savior. We need to build on that foundation; it is a maturing process with God. We need to stay on-board the train until we reach our destination.

  1. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit.

We are each a work in progress, as the Holy Spirit works in us to set us apart. But we must learn to be sensitive to His voice and allow Him to lead us into holiness before God.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15)

All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:3)

We are all the children of God who are called to be holy like our Heavenly Father whose name and image we bear. Sanctification is built on the foundation of our faith in God. Let us build on a strong foundation so that when the enemy attempts to shake our faith, we are able to stand confidently on solid ground. How big is God in your mind? Determine that nothing is impossible for your God, and frame your thoughts around that truth. Then, be a marathon runner, believing that with Him, you can finish the race.

  1. Your commitment is essential.

Never lose sight of your goal. Your outcome will be determined by your commitment to God.

  1. Build your foundation on the Rock, not the sand.

Our lives must be unified with God. He is the Rock of our salvation and our Refuge.

You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 1:6)

We are called to be imitators of Christ, following Him. Thus, the transformation process begins.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

The Holy Spirit works in us daily, slowly transforming us into His image. We need to evaluate our lives by looking into the mirror of His Word. Do we reflect His image? Let us continually submit ourselves to change until we see the glory of God shining on our faces. Sanctification is a process from the inside out.

Individual, Spiritual Growth Is the Basis for Church Growth

… to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:12-16)

Attaining the fullness of Christ means growing into His likeness. We are also called to edify the body of Christ, and to do so, we need to be mature enough to focus on others, not on ourselves. So, are you growing?

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52)

Jesus set an example; He Himself grew in wisdom and stature. When we grow up in Christ, we grow in favor with God and man. The Bible says that Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). We are designed to grow, and Jesus is the Gardener. We must recognize our potential and sincerely desire spiritual growth and stature.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” … (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

We need to desire the things of God in our youth so that we can grow in maturity as we get older.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

We need to have the right perspective and get rid of everything that hinders our spiritual growth. When we look at life with heavenly perspective, everything else becomes meaningless.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Let us grow in faith and put forth good effort so that in the end, we will be able to say that we fought a good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Let us put off our old selves, renew our minds and become like Christ in righteousness and holiness. Praise be to God.