Pastor Jeanne Miller
When I was a young child I always believed I was my father’s favorite child. I am the third child in a family of six children. I just knew I had a special relationship that no one else in the family had with my dad. He loved me and I knew it. I knew that no matter what I did, whether he agreed with me or not, I still had his total, unconditional love. It was a great way to grow up, being able to have such security and trust in your parent. Now you can imagine my surprise to find out after I was grown that another one of my siblings felt the same way! Yet at the same time another felt that he was demanding and could never be satisfied with what you did. What I found was that each of us had a slightly, or vastly, different opinion of my dad. It came as a shock to me.
Now that I know my Heavenly Father in a deeper way, I know His love is also unconditional and no matter what I do it will not change His love for me. The sad thing is that so many of my brothers and sisters in the Lord see our Father differently. Some see Him as sitting on His throne totally removed from what goes on down on earth. Others see Him as the big cop in the sky, ready to swat you if you do something wrong. Many see Him as having conditional love; you must do everything right in order to please Him. One thing wrong and you’re no good. My question is, how do you see Him? Is He the one who loved you so much that He gave His most precious child to gain you entrance into His family? Or is He a God of anger and judgment?
The apostle John in his first letter gives us a good look at who God is and what He is like. In chapter 4, verse 8 and again in verse 16 he says that God is Love. It doesn’t say that God has love but that He is Love. Now the world talks about love all the time but don’t be confused. The world’s brand of love and our God of Love are two very different kinds of love. If you want to know our God, you should meditate and study in depth I Corinthians, chapter 13, verses 4-8. This is an excellent description of our God. It gives you a good idea of what you can expect from God under any circumstance. After you have studied this awhile, you will never again think that He is out to get you, or waiting for you to goof up so He can beat on you. This love that is described is the very essence of our God. Get to know Him.
What about us? Who are we as children of God? In Romans 5:5 we read that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and in I John 4:16 it says “. . . God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” This can only mean one thing: we, who have God living on the inside after being born again, are also love. If the Father is Love, then so are the children. What we as the church need to be doing is learning how to allow this love to rule and reign in us so all we show the world is God’s Love. What a difference it would make.
We all are at different levels in learning to abide in love. Jesus told us more than once that there was a new commandment to follow, to love one another as He had loved us. He made it possible for us to do this by His death on the cross and His resurrection victory. It is a fact that the more mature we are in the things of God, the more we act and behave like love. It takes mature love to cast out fear and to lay down our lives for the brethren. What brings about mature love? A mature Christian (little Christ). Studying the Apostle John and what he wrote can deepen your understanding of God, Love and what is expected of us.
Since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, we know that His essence is also Love. In Jude 20 and 21 we read, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” What a wonderful gift we were given when we received the ability to pray in tongues, our prayer language. Not only does it build us up in faith but it keeps us in the love of God. In I Corinthians 14 it speaks of tongues as giving thanks well and speaking mysteries to God. Now do you understand why satan does his best to stop the church from praying in the Spirit? For him, it is a dangerous weapon unleashed on him every time we pray using our prayer language. For us it is a beautiful gift that builds up our faith, enhances our love walk, gives thanks to our Heavenly Father and we can pray out the mysteries of God.
Let’s make a vow to spend some time every day praying in the Spirit if only to make the devil mad!!!