God is Love

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:16 (NASB)

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Let this be a time of worship to God.  Pray each prayer and add your own personal message to God.  Read each scripture as though reading it for the first time – listen carefully for the voice of God.  Listen to each song paying close attention to the lyrics provided.  These songs were carefully chosen.  Even if the music is not your favorite style of music, know that the musicians performing are sincerely making music to the Lord.  Try to feel the passion in their words and their musical expression.  Give thought to the message presented and confirm the truth therein by opening your Bible and taking some time to do your own personal study.  May you be greatly blessed.

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Let’s Pray Together

Heavenly Father, we stand in your presence in awe of your awesome power and love.  We seek that which is your will in our lives and look forward to the return of your Son Jesus Christ.  Please Father, wrap your arms around each of us and provide for us all of our needs.  Forgive us Father, for all of our mistakes and failures in our pursuit of righteousness.  Develop in us the ability to also forgive those who disrupt our lives.  Open our eyes Father, to the enemy who is in pursuit of our souls.  Let us see clearly the evil trying to control our lives so that we can avoid destruction.  We offer this prayer in the Holy name of Jesus.  Amen.

God is Love

(Less than 30 minutes total time)

In the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, in the city of Nazareth, Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood before the group gathered there to read from the scriptures.  Jesus read from the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1), a prophecy that had been written several hundred years previous to this event.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.”  Luke 4:18 (NASB)

After reading this passage from the book of Isaiah, Jesus closed the book and sat down.  The presence of Jesus had a profound impact on the group and they all kept their eyes on him waiting to hear more.  He responded to their gaze with the following:

And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  Luke 4:21 (NASB)

Jesus was telling those gathered in the synagogue that he came to bring salvation.  He came to release those captured by sin by opening their eyes to the truth.  He came to sacrifice himself on the cross as God’s ultimate expression of love for His creation.

Allow this song to speak to your heart:

The Same Love – Paul Baloche

You choose the humble and raise them high

You choose the weak and make them strong

You heal our brokenness inside and give us life

The same love that set the captives free

The same love that opened eyes to see

Is calling us all by name

You are calling us all by name

The same God that spread the heavens wide

The same God that was crucified

Is calling us all by name

You are calling us all by name

You take the faithless one aside

And speak the words “You are mine”

You call the cynic and the proud

Come to me now

The same love that set the captives free

The same love that opened eyes to see

Is calling us all by name

You are calling us all by name

The same God that spread the heavens wide

The same God that was crucified

Is calling us all by name

You are calling us all by name

Oh, oh, You’re calling, You’re calling

You’re calling us to the cross

You’re calling, You’re calling

You’re calling us to the cross

You’re calling, You’re calling

You’re calling us to the cross

You’re calling, You’re calling

You’re calling us to the cross

The same love that set the captives free

The same love that opened eyes to see

Is calling us all by name

You are calling us all by name

The same God that spread the heavens wide

The same God that was crucified

Is calling us all by name

You are calling us all by name

You’re calling, You’re calling

You’re calling us to the cross

You’re calling, You’re calling

You’re calling us to the cross

Love has Come

What is love?  In our culture today there are many answers to that question.  Some believe that love is a magical feeling that overcomes a person who is attracted to another.  Others consider love to be a sincere regard for things outside of yourself.  The Bible offers a more detailed answer to this question.

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB)

The qualities listed in the above scripture are the attributes of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  Human notions of love pale in comparison to the perfect love of God.  Christians are called to depend on God through faith and to focus on God in hope of our future in his kingdom, but our highest calling is to love.

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13 (NASB)

Believers in Jesus Christ become one with God’s love as children of God and are filled with God’s love through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”  1 John 4:15 (NASB)

Love is not an emotion.  Love is the awesome power of Creation.  Love is the essence of our Creator.  Love is the omnipresent spirit of God that surrounds the earth and provides the energy for everything good.  God is love.

“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16 (NASB)

Love came to rescue us from our sins in the form of Jesus Christ.  When we let go of our selfish desires and seek to follow Jesus, we are filled with the love of God and connected to him forever.

Allow this song to speak to your heart:

Love Is Here – Tenth Avenue North

Come to the waters

You who thirst and you’ll thirst no more

Come to the Father

You who work and you’ll work no more

And all you who labor in vain

And to the broken and shamed

Love is here

Love is now

Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow

Love is near it satisfies

Streams of mercy flowing from His side

‘Cause Love is here

Come to the treasure

You who search and you’ll search no more

Come to the lover

You who want and you’ll want no more, no

And all you who labor in vain

And to the broken and shamed, yeah

Love is here

Love is now

Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow

Love is near it satisfies

Streams of mercy flowing from His side, yeah

And to the bruised and fallen

Captives bound and brokenhearted

He is the Lord, He is the Lord, yeah

By His stripes He’s paid our ransom

From His wounds we drink salvation

He is the Lord, He is the Lord

Love is here

Love is now

Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow

Love is near it satisfies

Streams of mercy flowing from His side

Streams of mercy flowing from His side

‘Cause Love is here

Love is here

Life is Difficult

Regardless of our transformation from lost sinner to loved children of God, our lives can continue to be difficult.  There is no guarantee of safe passage through this life for Christians.  In fact, suffering is one of the elements we are to endure as a test of our faith.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  James 1:2-4 (NASB)

As a believer, no matter what you’re going through, God is with you.  God’s love includes difficult times.  We are traveling on a road to all eternity.  Along the way we will need to be strengthened by life’s challenges.  Like an athlete training for the Olympics the workouts will often be filled with pain.   It is that pain that secures the victory.

“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”  1 Peter 5:10 (NASB)

We know for certain that Jesus is on his way back.  He is returning for all of his children.  In that day there will no longer be any confusion about the deity of Jesus.  The entire world will bow to his presence

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”  Romans 14:11 (NASB)

If you have trusted in Jesus, rest assured that everything in your life has a purpose and God’s love will see you through.  Followers of Jesus are already members of the kingdom of God.  Our reward has been established.  We don’t need to wait for the return of Jesus to celebrate.  On our behalf, his work has already been done.  It is finished.  Love has come for us all.

Allow this song to speak to your heart:

Love Has Come – Mark Schultz

Well, I know this life is filled with sorrow

And there are days when the pain just lasts and lasts

But I know there will come a day

When all our tears are washed away with a break in the clouds

His glory coming down and in that moment

Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess

That God is love and love has come for us all

Every heart set free, every one will see

That God is love and love has come for us all

For anybody who has ever lost a loved one

And you feel like you had to let go too soon

I know it hurts to say goodbye

But don’t you know it’s just a matter of time till the tears are gonna end

You’ll see them once again and in that moment

Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess

That God is love and love has come for us all

Every heart set free, every one will see

That God is love and love has come for us all

Oh, and on that day we will stand amazed

At our Savior, God and King

Just to see the face of amazing grace

As our hearts rise up and sing

Glory, glory, hallelujah

Thank You for the cross

Singing glory, glory, hallelujah

Christ has paid the cost

Glory, glory, hallelujah

Thank You for the cross

Singing glory, glory

Christ has paid the cost

And every knee shall bow, every tongue confess

That God is love and love has come for us all

Every heart set free, every one will see

That God is love and love has come for us all

Love has come for us all

Love has come for us all

And every knee shall bow, every tongue confess

God is love and love has come for us all

Every heart set free, every one will see

God is love and love has come for us all

Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess

God is love and love has come for us all

Every heart set free, every one will see

God is love and love has come for us all

Thank you for spending this time worshiping God.

His door is now open to you.  You are in God’s presence.  Don’t leave without Him.  Keep Him with you throughout your day.

Go in peace.

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

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