Tough Love

God's Way Ministries International
Consecration Focus
Friday, February 16, 2018
 

FOCUS SCRIPTURE: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (St. John 3:16KJV)

"TOUGH LOVE" 

Monday at service I had Ter'ron play, "Love Said Not So", by BeBe and CeCe. "My, My, MY!" I can still my grandmother Wagner's voice saying those words in church when she would "Get Happy". That song is a perfect introduction to the final day. I pray that you have seen and will continue to see results from this weeks consecration and sacrifice. God clearly spoke to me on some things.
 
One of the things that He clearly said was that it was time to strengthen ourselves and our relationships because going ahead we have battles to fight. Wait a minute Pastor. We just had this wonderful week of joy and love, hope and prayer and singing love songs and you are now telling us that we have battles ahead? I am saying that if we want more than what we have…we will have to fight for it. Our love has to be "tough". I started writing this before I turn on my music but don't you know at this very moment, "Worth Fighting For" is playing right now!
 
Tough Love! The love that will not let go. Tough Love! The love that can stand up to any demon in hell. Yes, "love is patient". Love is kind. But love is also deadly! Jesus died for you because of love. His love said "NOT SO" and stopped you from receiving the penalty that you clearly deserved. What will get you so passionate that you will access every fiber of your being to get it done or say, "not so"?
 
We will end this week with TOUGH LOVE. When we come to the altar this evening to partake of the body and blood of Jesus, as we arise let's flex our spiritual and natural muscles and start to make things HAPPEN!
 
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU…
 
ACTIVITY: Throughout this entire day reflect on the LOVE Jesus has for YOU
 
PRAYER: Father, you have brought to me to the end of this journey. I thank you for all those who encouraged me throughout this week and told me that they love me. Bless them! Help me to be worthy of not only their love but more importantly your love. I will not take it for granted. Thank You Jesus…AMEN
 

Easy Loving

God's Way Ministries Intl.
Consecration Focus
Thursday, February 15, 2018


FOCUS SCRIPTURE:  If you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.     St Luke 6: 32 (AMP)


EASY LOVING

The Bible tells us that we were created in the image of our Father.  Although none of us have ever actually seen God, the Bible gives many clear references not only of who He is, but it is very descriptive of His characteristics.  Because my life is supposed to represent Christ, I make it my business to look my best especially when it comes to the manner in which I dress, my speech, and how I carry myself.  While that may be commendable in the eyes of some, reflecting His image goes much deeper.  

We've gone through half of our Consecration Love Week.   I hope you didn't expect that we would coast through without the Lord sending a challenge.  We've talked about God loving us, us loving God, and loving others.  But what about loving someone that you deem unloveable?   St. Luke chapter 6 is where we find The Beatitudes.  But as you go further in the chapter it gets quite interesting.  Verse 32, the Amplified version says, "If you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them."    Clearly, we have all experienced people in our lives that are simply easy to love.  They bring no drama, have no hidden agendas, or ulterior motives; and as one of the mothers of our former church would say, "they're just plain sweet".  But what about those who seem to be agitators, instigators, and are just plain difficult to get along with.  Well, let me tell you we're supposed to love them too!   The above scripture passage is saying to us that we should not expect our love to be credited as righteousness or rewarded for loving those who are easy to love.  When we strive to reflect the true image and likeness of God (that actually means being LIKE Him), there is a requirement to even love those who have hurt us.  That person who caused that source of greatest disappointment, the one who betrayed us or used us for their own personal gain.  YES, THAT PERSON!   With the power of the Holy Spirit living and operating fully in you, it can be done!   I encourage you to read St. Luke 6: 27 - 35.    Ask God to first open your mind that you may be receptive to what / who He wants to show you.  Then ask God to open your heart.  What follows will be totally up to God and you!   Notice I said GOD AND YOU!  In this challenge you must allow Him to take the lead!

ACTIVITY:  Read St. Luke 6: 27 - 35 at least 3 times.  I believe God is going to show you the person or persons that you need to show God's love to.  The cause of your feelings toward them or about them are not being debated or minimalized, but this is about allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you to begin the process that will enable you to love the one that in your eyes is unloveable. 

PRAYER:  Dear Lord, I thank you for this week of Consecration and the opportunity to learn more about true love that originates from You.  Lord, I know that everything about following you and being like you will not be easy, but with your power I know I can even accomplish the hard things.  As you reveal to me the one(s) that I must show your love to I ask for your help.  Show me how, show me when, and show me what to do.   Not only do I want to love like you love, but I want to love WHO you love.   
 

Christian Love

God's Way Ministries International
Consecration Focus
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

FOCUS SCRIPTURE: By this shall all men know the ye are my disciples, if ye have love to one another. (St. John 13:35 KJV)
 
"Christian Love"

"We are one in the Spirit, We are One in the Lord. We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord. And we pray that our unity will one day be restored. And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love."

This is the first verse of a song that I learned while attending church camps with some of my white friends. We would hold hands around a campfire as the guitars strummed and we lifted up our voices. What an awesome song! As you can see, it was inspired by our focus scripture.

The scripture is quoting Jesus. Notice that He is very specific as to who will know. He says, "all men". Every person will know that you are a disciple, a Christian, a follower of Jesus by how we love. As a preacher of "small words", look with me how the text says the next part. Love "TO" one another. 

If you are like me, you may wonder why the writer said, "love to" as opposed to "love for". Is there a difference? Does it really matter? I would like to propose that love to holds a stronger focus on RELATIONSHIP. I can have love for an object. How many times have we said stuff like, "I love that car"? Or, "I love those shoes"! The fact of the matter is you can have love for things that are inanimate. But when you have love to…You are purposely directing that love. 

Love TO one Another. Love moving in both directions. Me loving you. You loving me! The world will KNOW that we are who we say we are when they can SEE the love moving between us!

ACTIVITY: How many scriptures can you find that speak of sharing love or loving?

PRAYER: Father, thank you once again for allowing us to see this day. Thank you for showing us a way to witness to the world. Please continue to help us to consciously direct our love one to another. This we ask in Jesus Name…AMEN
 

Beneath The Surface

God's Way Ministries Intl.
Consecration Focus
Tuesday, February 13, 2018


FOCUS SCRIPTURE:  "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."  
(I John 4: 16 NASB)

"BENEATH THE SURFACE"


In our first focus for the week, Pastor mentioned a scripture verse that he memorized in Sunday School.  Ironically, today I want to bring to your attention one of the first songs that I am sure many of us learned in church as children - Jesus Loves Me.  The lyrics are "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so; little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong.  Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me for the bible tells me so".   Even though that little song may have been introduced to us as children sometimes we still sing it as adults.  But it should mean a world of difference now than it did when we were young.  As children we had no experience with Jesus, we really did not know Him as a Savior, as a provider, as a keeper, as a way maker!  It was just a simple little song, with easy words to remember, and a soothing melody.

Pastor and I met as teenagers and had a brief courtship of six months before we walked down the aisle to be united in holy matrimony.   To complicate the brief courtship we lived in different states, with a 7-hour driving distance between us.  We declared our love for each other and pledged to spend the rest of our lives together.  But our love could not have had much depth because of lack of time together and we really did not know much about each other.  It was going to take time for our love to grow.  

As that simple childhood song says, Jesus loves us because the Bible tells us so.  But as our relationship grows with the Lord and we experience more and more of Him, then we come to love Him deeper.   While we read about Him in the Bible, we experience Him daily as He demonstrates His never-ending love.  To know Him is to love Him.  Surface relationships have no depth, they are shallow and superficial.  Reading about Him, and hearing others talk about Him is one thing, but to have your own relationship with Him is what He longs for and what we should be striving for.  The more we learn about the Lord and continue to be recipients of His unchanging love, we will not only feel His love, but we will believe His love and only desire to abide in Him and Him in us.

ACTIVITY:  Write down as many things or occurrences in your life that have demonstrated the depth of the love of Jesus to you.   

PRAYER:  Dear Jesus, thank you for always demonstrating your true love for me.  I have not always recognized it and because of that I have not appreciated your love as I should.  Lord I want to know you better through your word and a deeper relationship with you.  I realize I can never match your love, but I am asking you this week to teach me, show me, take me beneath the surface.  I want to love like you love.   In Jesus' Name, AMEN.
 

Mighty Love

God's Way Ministries International
Consecration Focus
Monday, February 12, 2018

FOCUS SCRIPTURE: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thine might. (Due. 6:5 KJV)
 
"Mighty Love"

The focus of this week's consecration is LOVE. It took me a few minutes to decide which scripture to use to start our week. After reading several I landed on this one. I remember memorizing this verse in Sunday School. I must admit that I really didn't understand it.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart. The heart has been associated with love for centuries. Many thought that it was the seed of all emotions. There were even some pictures painted with male suitors offering what appeared to be human hearts to their intended. Proverbs 4:23 tell us to keep our hearts with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life. This week let's focus our hearts on loving Jesus.

…and with all thine soul. The soul as we learned in Bible Study is the eternal part of man. The soul is the "feeling" part of man. When we are instructed to love the Lord with all of our soul he is saying love me with all of your feelings. This week let's give God all of our feelings.

…and with all thy might. We often think that the word might means physical strength. It would not be wrong to read it that way, but if you look up the original word used you will find that the word means "exceedingly much". Let's substitute the words. It reads…and love Him exceedingly much. This week let us not think that we could ever give God too much love. 

ACTIVITY: Let's write Jesus a "LOVE LETTER". It can be something that you would want to share or not. That is up to you. 

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I firstly thank you for this time of consecration. I pray that you will allow me to experience a greater love for you and thy word. Please Father, remember my brothers and sisters that will also be on this journey. As we love on you please continue to love on us. I bless you and give you all glory because you alone deserve it. In Jesus name…AMEN