Above all … LOVE each other

Over the past few weeks I have been chewing on a particular verse that I just felt needed to be shared at this time.

1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” When I look at that verse, I see more information there than one could ever express in the course of their natural life. Yet, it’s not about your natural life … it never has been. Our lives our lived today to determine our supernatural life. To determine the life that we will have when our eyes close forever in death from this world and slip into the next.

We are commanded in God’s Word to love one another deeply, to have respect and care for one another and to never spend a moment in hatred or raising up animosity for one another. Consider all the hate in this world that exists, why then would we as the Body of Christ have additional hatred or anger for one another? Sure, we get hurt … I get that. Naturally, we feel resentment towards one another because of this or that. And yes, we may not see things eye to eye and so feathers get ruffled, understood.

But what do all these have in common? They are all OUR emotions being impacted by OUR actions because of OUR choices!!

When you look at the second part of that verse we see that Peter writes that “love covers over a multitude of sins.” Let’s consider Peter for just a moment. Remember this little jewel he released the night Jesus was arrested? “Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” (Matthew 26:33)

Or, how about this one after Jesus was arrested? “Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about“. (Matthew 26:69-70)

But even with all these denials Jesus restores Peter and says that if He loves Him, to “feed His sheep” (see John 21 for the entire reference). If Peter was restored for denying the Savior to His face ……. perhaps there really is hope for us in this world???

Now, I’m not saying that all actions, sins, fights, etc., need to wiped away immediately and forgotten; but through repentance there is an opportunity to be forever changed by the Spirit of God. Let us remember that repentance means that we take action to seek forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and TURN AWAY from the sin. There is nothing we have to offer God that He needs from us, but when we come under the submission of the blood and the obedience of Christ our lives can be forever changed. What a wonderful time of year to come into God’s presence, and seek out His Son who so willingly gave His life for yours.

So …………. that’s what’s on my mind tonight. God bless you.


The power of the cross

Oswald Chambers had a few great statements yesterday (in the November 26 devotional) that I thought were worth examining a bit here and bringing to light some application for this world. Let me be clear first though that I do not believe Oswald Chambers needs to be “amplified” at all (especially by me), but the additional thoughts are just what the Lord was speaking to me as I was reading, and so I thought I would share them with you.

“If you want to know the power of God (that is, the resurrection life of Jesus) in your human flesh, you must dwell on the tragedy of God. Break away from your personal concern over your own spiritual condition, and with a completely open spirit consider the tragedy of God.”

Friends, where is our examination of the tragedy of the cross? I have said it for years and I am convinced that we simply do not focus enough on the cross and what it means. Take a look at this world and you’ll see why. Everything is about “me”, even in the church we have folks showing up asking “how will the Lord bless me …” and personally I am sick of it. The cross of Calvary is beyond our understanding, but as a challenge we should be focused more on it to try to understand the mind of our Lord and why He would sacrifice His Son on it, for us. We must be willing to attempt to grasp the cross, to attempt the grasp the sacrifice — and in doing so I believe our lives will be changed forever … but it must be a life-long journey to comprehend Calvary.

“We have to focus on the great point of spiritual power— the Cross. If we stay in contact with that center of power, its energy is released in our lives.”

Wow. The cross is our power. It is what brings to our realization that it is not about us, but it is about what happened on the cross for our sakes. Can you imagine if we were to really plug into the cross how different our lives would be? Could we imagine the change that would happen in our lives if we actually stopped trying to do things ourselves and yet allowed what God has given us to be manifested and to move through us? Let me be clear and unapologetic in saying that we can do nothing without God’s authority and power; and I really feel that more pulpits need to have this proclaimed from them. It is not a human thing to bring people into the Kingdom of God, it is a Holy Spirit thing and as soon as we stop thinking we are something to behold, I believe that the cross will begin to have REAL power in our lives.

“The feebleness of the church is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this focus on the true center of spiritual power. We have not dwelt enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of redemption.”

Finally, this just hits it home for me. The church has no power today friends. We have lost the focus that it is about the cross, and in my opinion the cross needs to stop being a decoration on a wall. When will we wake up and see that the work is of God, and we are only vessels who have the honor of participating? I think this starts when we begin to try to comprehend the cross, even though we will never fully understand it. This ought to stir in us the need to continue searching for the understanding, and in this search make us hungry for the mind of God.

So, where is your priority? What do you focus on today? Is it the mystery and the wonder of the cross or is it on something on television or even here on the internet? It’s time church to stop being feeble and pay attention to what God has done for you; and not spend all our time trying to do things in “our name”. This nation, our city, our town, even our homes will NEVER change until we begin to focus on the power and the authority of the cross.

Wake up church … wake up.