Archive for December, 2008

30
Dec

God’s Love Lives In You

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

When I was a child, I believed that Jesus lived in my heart, and that was all I knew.  I was trying to explain this to my children when I realized that I didn’t understand it myself. All I had was a child’s concept of Jesus, that picture where he is knocking on a heart-shaped door. I had opened the door to my heart and let him in, and then ignored him for twenty years. I barely knew the Lord because I spent no time with him.

Fortunately for me, I changed my ways soon after that. And over the next thirty years, I spent a lot of time fellowshipping with Jesus in his word. I can truthfully say that I know the Love of God. He is my best friend and I highly recommend him to you. He will meet all your needs, and he will give you the desires of your heart. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will protect you and deliver you from trouble. He will help you, comfort you, and heal you. He will adopt you as his own dear child. And when you die, he will take you to heaven to live with him forever.

Dear Reader, this is my prayer is for you: “For this cause I bow my knee unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

When you were born spiritually, or “born again,”  Jesus came to live in your heart.  According to the Bible, Jesus is the Holy Spirit.

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul: the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”

When Jesus comes to live in you, you will know it. You will have a supernatural love for others. That is your assurance that you have been born again, and “the earnest of your inheritance.”

“And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”  (1 John 3:24)

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

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23
Dec

God Gives Us His Kind of Love

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Abraham knew God and trusted him. He was willing to do everything that God required of him. He knew that God loved him and would not harm him or his son Issac.

Abraham didn’t know God’s plan. The Bible says he thought that God would raise his son, Issac, from the dead. He was walking by faith when he told his servants, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Genesis 22:5)

When Issac asked him about the lamb for the offering, he said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb . . .” (Genesis 22:8)  You have to appreciate the beauty of God’s word here because of the double meaning of these prophetic words.

God provided a ram for the sacrifice that day. And then he provided his Son Jesus as a sacrifice for all of us, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Our God is so amazingly generous. He is still providing the sacrifice that he requires. And he gives us the kind of love we need to keep the Love Commandment.

The love that God provides is far superior to natural human love. It’s much deeper and stronger. Natural human love runs out, but God’s love never runs out. It keeps going and going.

The love of God is available to everyone who knows the Lord Jesus Christ. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5)

And look at what this says. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control . . .” (Galatians 5:22 NIV)  These is the same description of God’s love we see in 1 Corinthians 13 (the Love Chapter). This is what God is like, and how he wants us to be. The good news is that God’s Holy Spirit supplies us with this kind of love.

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16
Dec

God’s Definition of Love

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

The first Bible verse that I ever learned was “God is love.” The first song I ever learned to sing was “Jesus Loves Me.” These ideas came from the Bible, and they are simple, yet profound. They help us to understand some important truths that everyone needs to know–that Jesus loves us, and that Love and God are the same Spirit.

Jesus is God’s definition of love, and he is everything that God wants us to be. First Corinthians 13:4-8 is a excellent description of what Jesus (Love) is like. It is God’s will for every one of his children to be like him:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices  with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . . .”

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11
Dec

Jesus Fulfilled God’s Law

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

The penalty for breaking God’s law is death. Everyone breaks it and is dead in their sins. The Good News is that Jesus paid the death penalty for everyone who puts their faith in him, and he has raised us from the dead to walk in newness of life. We are new creations in Christ.

I have to marvel at the genius of God. He established a covenant in which He promised to bless those who obey him, and gave us the Ten Commandments to teach us what He wants us to do. Jesus didn’t eliminate the Ten Commandments. He showed us how to keep them. He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)

He fulfilled God’s Law with the supreme act of love in laying down his life for us.

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)

And he became the mediator of a new and better Covenant.

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” (Hebrews 8:10)

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4
Dec

Jesus Explained God’s Law

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Let’s look at the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses on Mr. Sinai.

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” (Exodus 34:27-28)

God’s law hasn’t changed. But we have a better understanding of it because of Jesus. He explained that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

God wants you to worship him in your mind and in your heart. If the Word of God is alive in you, God’s law is written on the fleshy tablets of your heart. And you have the desire to please God and obey him.

Jesus’ commandment  to “love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind” covers the first three of the Ten Commandments–to serve the true God, to honor his name, and to remember the Sabbath day and keep it separate.

His commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” summarizes the rest of the Commandments–honor your father and mother, don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, don’t covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his possessions.

So far, Jesus has consolidated Ten Commandments into two, and they don’t seem impossible to keep. But this next part shows the genius of God and his great generosity toward us. These two commandments can be combined into one, Jesus’ new commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.”

The Bible tells us that the definition of loving God is keeping his commandments. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3)

So what is God’s commandment? To love your neighbor as yourself. Therefore, when you are loving your neighbor as yourself, you are loving God. You are multi-tasking, or killing two birds with one stone. Jesus made it possible for you to fulfill God’s Law. But it is impossible without him.

Loving God=Loving Your Neighbor

QED

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