LOVE!

LOVE! THE TRUE MEANING HAS BEEN PERVERTED FOR SO LONG  BY HOLLYWOOD USING SOUND AFFECTS, PICTURES and PLATITUDES disguised as profound until we’ve essentially resorted to making it entirely physical.  A good example is the 1970 movie with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, LOVE STORY.  A memorable line is, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  [O how sweet!]  Not too many people can define LOVE. Our culture, philosophy, education and experiences all influence the way we think of LOVE.  

I guess Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald defined and sang LOVE this way:

“I’ve got the world on a string

I’m sitting on a rainbow

Got that string around my finger

What a world, what a life; I’m in love.”  (Ted Koehler)
In the 1960’s our culture redefined LOVE to mean a whole list of decadent behaviors.  Our American “enlightenment” has proven The Scriptural statement:  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7 (kjv))  Using the ’60s definitions & behaviors, one could do anything, act any way, and as long as its called love, all is OK!  I think the 60s is when the innocuous statement got started, [gotta sing it] “luv yeew.”  No you don’t and I don’t!  But as long as we kind of sing it, it legitimizes it. True LOVE goes beyond and above.  LOVE is willing to go to the mat, make any sacrifice, lift any load, go the second mile, and do all this without complaining. 

 Do I have the ability to define LOVE apart from the Word of God?  No!  But the Apostle Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,  penned one of the most memorable, declamatory and eloquent chapters in the Bible writing to the Corinthians.  

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t LOVE others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t LOVE others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t LOVE others, I would have gained nothing. LOVE is patient and kind. LOVE is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. LOVE never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But LOVE will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and LOVE —and the greatest of these is LOVE.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (nlt)

“Because of His great LOVE for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—”

Ephesians 2:4-8 (niv)

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the LOVE of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 (nlt)

“Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13 (kjv) 

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“Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

“Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure—

The saints’ and angels’ song.”

(Frederick M. Lehman)

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UNSEEN, BUT KNOWN

MULTIPLIED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS – $$$ – have been spent by your government on listening for communication from outer space and investigating the possibility of extraterrestrial creatures. It took our illustrious scientists and academics thousands of years to discover DNA.  We still have not discovered a cure for the common cold.  Just think, electromagnetic and radio waves were not discovered until the 1870’s.  X-rays weren’t known until the late 1800’s and computer technology until the 1930’s.

Suppose, just suppose …

ALTHOUGH THERE IS AN UNSEEN-WITH-THE-NAKED-EYE SPIRITUAL BEING roaming the earth, nevertheless, the evil one is a person. We can rebuke his negativity in our lives, his filthy temptations, his accusations, his attempts to discourage us and his coming  to us as an angel of light.  Yes, an angel of light, and at the same time dragging us into low self esteem or pushing us into arrogant pride. God’s plan is for us to  “submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 (niv)

Right now, regardless of your circumstances, El Shaddai (The Almighty God Who Can), YAWEH (The one who says, “I AM!”), The Christ of Calvary, is as close as your heart.  “HE is here, hallelujah! HE is here AMEN!”  Do you want to “see” Him? GO.TO.HIS.WORD!  Submit yourself to Him!  “Listen” to your heart!

“No one can see God, but JESUS CHRIST IS EXACTLY LIKE HIM.  He ranks higher than everything that has been known, made or discovered.
“He was there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him.”
Colossians 1:15, 17 (ncv)

To the scientists and governments of this fallen world, I am saying, “Your huge disks on top of the mountain will not find Him.”

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:6-9 (kjv)

“You must give your whole heart to him and hold out your hands to him for help.”
Job 11:13 (ncv)   🎼🎶🎹
“Into my heart, into my heart.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Come in today, come in to stay.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”

On the Wings of Angels

A FEW YEARS AGO – actually, it was over 40 years ago, but the older I get “ain’t it funny how time slips away.” So, over 40 years ago I went to Los Angeles, maybe Costa Mesa, to a wedding; a small one.  Pat and Debbie Boone were there. Pat’s secretary was getting married. No huge pipe organ.  No big choir.  No marching down the aisle. No train following the bride. Suddenly, but softly Pat and Debbie began to sing,

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“Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
I can feel His mighty power and His grace.
I can hear the brush of angels wings.
I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.”

There were no strobe lights, no acid rock music, and no blonde bombshells prancing across a stage yelling into the mic. But guess what? The Holy Spirit showed up.  Some may not understand the metaphor, but all of us there that day heard the flutter of angels wings.

ANGELS!

ANGELS!  ARE CHRISTIANS SUPPOSED TO AVOID SPEAKING OF ANGELS?  SHOULD CHRISTIANS BACK OFF AND LET THE CRAZIES AND “NEW AGERS” confiscate Biblical truth and make little cherubim for us to cuddle?
Orthodox Christian Theology always goes first to the Bible.  Everything below is Biblical without question!

1.  Angels are created by God.

2.  They are not God or gods.

3.  Angels are not human.

4.  When we are born, Scripture seems to indicate they care for humans at birth, and when humans die they do not become angels.

5.  God may have created millions of them (who knows?).

6.  Satan was a rebellious angel; fallen, a deceiver, destroyer, a tempter, epitome of death – I will not continue with him in this article.

7.  God sends His holy angels from time to time as a singing chorus or mighty army.

8.  God gave instructions in the Book of Exodus to use cherubim (little ones – in the plural) and seraphim in the tabernacle architecture.

9.  There are a type of angels so awesome that the Bible describes them in almost scary terms; they look like a human, but have multiple faces and wings and such power as to cause earthquakes.

10.  Throughout the Bible angels have appeared; opened jail doors and graves, appeared as warriors, been seen in fire, and even animals have recognized them.

11.  Yes, in some places, Jesus may appear as an angel, but not in the sense that He is one of the created ones.

12.  Angels are subject to Christ’s authority.

Satan and his minions have tried to steal away the Biblical theology of angels. Priests and pastors have avoided the mention of angels thinking that it may take away from the glory given only to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Others have tried to use the belief in angels to promote supernaturalism or a psychology tied to money.
Although angels are NOT God and NOT human beings, The Great God of Heaven created them as messengers; there may be multiplied millions, they sing, they assist, they have more power than humans, THEY ARE NOT TO BE WORSHIPPED!

“That evening two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground.”
Genesis 19:1 (nlt)
“But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!’”
Genesis 19:4-5 (nlt)
“So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing.”
Genesis 19:6-7 (nlt)
“But the two angels reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.”
Genesis 19:10-11 (nlt)
The angels tell Lot:
“‘For WE are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.’”
Genesis 19:13 (nlt)
“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘DO NOT BE AFRAID.’”
Acts 27:23-24 (niv)
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
Hebrews 13:2 (nlt)

ANGELS ARE MENTIONED OVER 200 times in the Bible. I presume many books could be written analyzing each verse, but needless to say, this world has been visited by these messengers of God. They are with us today!