Power in Love Part 4

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44 NIV

How can we possibly do here what Jesus commands us? First of all, I believe we must be totally committed to our Lord in able to do this command. We must also think of all as equal to us. We must be selfless, seeking the betterment of others above our own well-being. We must truly be dependent on God for all our needs. Remember, while on the cross Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him.

In the existence of mankind, how many people have died due to hatred? I am sure it is hundreds of millions. What would all of these people have been able to do for mankind if their lives had not been cut short due to hatred? How would our world be a better place today if they had lived full lives?
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Power in Love Part 3

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:9-13 NIV

These words that Jesus spoke to the disciples in the upper room during the Last Supper were not meant for them alone. These words are intended for all mankind. Unfortunately not all of mankind turn to Jesus.
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Power in Love Part 1

As we now are in the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought it would be a great time to discuss a topic of much importance, the power of love.

Have you ever noticed how much Jesus speaks of love in that which He shares with us? Do you believe that Jesus speaks so much about love because He realizes the magnitude of power which is present when love exists?

I would like to share a few passages in the next several days which reveal the power of love.

I wish to begin with a scripture passage which is undoubtedly known by any true Christian. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV I believe herein we have the epitome of love. Our creator, our God, loves us so much that He has a perfect plan wherein we can be saved and have eternal life with Him. This love came with a cost, the shedding of the innocent blood of the Heavenly Father’s only Son. Without this sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf, our lives would have no true value. We would be lost forever from our first to our last breath. We would live only to die. Do you think our creator had that in mind for His creation?
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Unconditional Love with Conditions

Most Christians have heard of the term “agape” love, which means loving unconditionally. We are to love others as we love ourselves; husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. We are told to accept others as they are, and to exercise tolerance, patience, gentleness, forbearance, and kindness.

Yet, with all of this teaching on love, there is an imbalance that raises several crucial thoughts. I think we could all agree that a big part of loving people is exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, like those mentioned above, and simply being “nice” to others. I mean, no one wants to come across as mean, hard, callous, uncaring and unforgiving. But does being nice always mean accepting a situation or showing tolerance, no matter what? Does it mean going along just to get along with someone else? Does it mean being a people pleaser?
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Can God Hate People?

I have a good friend and we debate our theologies on occasion. Recently, she made a claim that in order for one to be a true Calvinist they would have to believe God does not love everybody. In fact, she seemed to imply that God would have to even hate those whom He does not choose for salvation. As a “true” Calvinist myself, I disagree with her assessment and wrote a brief article basically explaining why and how those in Reformed theological circles can indeed believe God does love all people.

However, there are many Calvinists that actually do hold the position she presented, so I thought I’d play “devil’s advocate” and present a case from that view as well. How are they able to believe God hates people? How can they claim He has the ability to hate any of His creation? If God is love, then how can He possibly hate anyone, or anything for that matter?
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The Master’s Prayer Part 3

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:13-19 NIV
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