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"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Tim 1:7; NKJV). Fear does not come from God, He gives us power, love and soundness of mind. We must discipline our thought patterns (Phil 4:8) and reject fear.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid" (Ps 27:1; NKJV). With Jesus as our saviour He is our light, He shows us the way and gives us strength to resist all the fearful thoughts the devil will try to bring us. As we walk in God's love it will drive out all fear from us (1John 4:18). Jesus was on His way to heal a young girl when news came that she had died. Jesus simply turned to the father and said: "Do not be afraid; only believe" (Mark 5:36; NKJV). Jesus raised the child from the dead. When things in life try to produce fear in our minds we need to trust God, nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).

Love is not easily irritated.

Eph 4:2b in the Passion Translation reads, “Always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience.” This reminds me of 1 Cor 13:5b, “Love is not easily irritated.” Wow! Behaving like that is not something that comes easily to most people. Do you have someone in your life that irritates you at times? I’m guessing most people would answer, yes and it’s often someone close to us, like a family member. Our natural response would probably be to snap at them or say something we would regret later. However, if we are Christians, we are not natural people, we are supernatural! We have the Holy Spirit on the inside of us to help us respond with the unconditional, sacrificial agape love of God. Of course, this doesn’t come easily to us as we are used to responding “in the flesh.” However, it’s not impossible or God wouldn’t have told us to do it. We have to train ourselves to think before we speak. One way of doing this is to write these verses on a card and stick them somewhere handy so that when we are tempted to be irritated, we can read them and ask God to help us respond in love because “love never fails” (1 Cor 13:8a NKJV).

God's Love

I was studying the first epistle of John recently and noticed again the apostle’s emphasis on love. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and: “we love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19; NKJV). He loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for us (1 John 3:16) and He calls us His Children (1 John 3:1). His love is perfected in us (1 John 2:5; 4:12, 17) as we walk in His Word (1 John 2:5) and love and obey God. The love of God is to keep His commandments (1 John 5:2). We and people watching us can be confident that we are Christians when we express love for each other (1 John 2:7; 3:14). We are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 John 4:20-21; 5:1) and John adds that if we do not do this, we cannot claim to love God (1 John 4:20). The apostle clearly states that if we do not love our brothers and sisters, we are still dead in our sins (1 John 3:14) and we are not of God (1 John 3:10; 4:7). If we truly have an intimate, ongoing relationship with God, His love should shine from us (1 John 4:16), and we will walk in love as Jesus did (1 John 2:6).
The apostle John repeatedly urges us to: “love one another”, in this epistle (1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7). In fact, he wrote that, we should be willing to lay down our lives for each other (1 John 3:16). Love for others is more than words but has to be expressed in deeds and in true sincerity (1 John 3:18). With all the worldly resources that we have at our disposal if we fail to help our brothers and sisters materially how can we claim that the love of God is in us? (1 John 3:17).
The apostle John is so clear on God’s love for us and the Lord’s command that we allow that love to flow to others. Let us love as God loves us (1 John 4:19)! Do I hear an Amen?

Sold out for God.

In recounting the trials he had experienced in serving God, the apostle Paul was able to say: "but none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24; NKJV). Wow! He had very clear priorities for his life. Jesus clearly taught us that our focus in life must be to sacrificially follow Him, to be more and more like Him (Matt 16:24-26; 2 Cor 3:18) and to be His ambassadors to the world around us (2 Cor 5:12-20). Our own earthly needs and desires should be a secondary consideration. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt 6:33; NKJV). As we focus on Him first He will meet all of our need and bless us abundantly (John 10:10). "According to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:19). Did you get that? According to His riches! That means now on this earth, a life of abundance, peace and fulfillment followed by our final inheritance in Heaven with God for ever (Col 3:23-24). You cant beat that!

The veil, the victory.

"And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Matt 27:50-51; NKJV). When Jesus died on the cross the veil in the temple that separated the holy place and the Most Holy (see Exodus 26:31-35), was obviously torn not by man but clearly by the hand of God. Prior to this time only the high priest entered the Most Holy place and he only once a year (Heb 9:6-7). This act of God at Christ's death signified that the way was now open for all men and women to come into the very holy presence of God (Heb 10:19-20). In fact, Christ lives in us as Christians (Gal 2:20) and we: "are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor 6:16; NKJV). Through His death and resurrection Jesus stripped satan of all power and authority to harm us in any way shape or form (Col 2:15). Jesus won forgiveness for us (Col 1:14) and access to all God's power, fullness and blessings (John 10:10). When we asked Jesus into our lives as Saviour, we became His children (1 John 3:2). Turmoil, trials and tribulation may come against us and around us but God has and will deal with all of that (John 16:33) and will always provide the way out (1 Cor 10:13).
Be encouraged, we walk in victory; keep your eyes on Jesus.