Archive for September, 2010

Staying in His Love

Friday, September 24th, 2010

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Matthew 24:12

Everything that the devil, the world, and the flesh throw at us is designed to draw our focus away from the flawless, unending love of our Father.  We live in the perilous times of which Paul spoke (see 2 Timothy 3:1), and the love of many – including those within the walls of the Church – is growing cold right before our eyes. 

So what is the answer?

 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God

 Jude 1:20-21

God is faithful to do His part ~ He has promised us all the love, help, mercy, power, grace, and joy we need to make it through this life as more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).  And all the demons in hell – even the devil himself – are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (see Romans 8:38-39). 

The only thing that can separate us from the love of God isus.  If we neglect our friendship with Him, if we fail to believe the promises of His Word, and if we starve ourselves off from time with Him, we can keep ourselves from the love of God.  It is possible for even the most devoted of Believers to wander from their “first love,” as the Ephesians did (see Revelation 2:4-5). 

The solution is simple… return.  Right now, this very moment – receive your Father’s flawless love as displayed in the sacrifice Jesus made for you, repent of every way you’ve neglected Him, and believe the truth about how He loves you:

 As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:9, 13

You and I are among those friends whom Jesus loved more than life; shouldn’t we enjoy that love today, and love Him in return with all we are?  What on earth could be more important than growing in that friendship?

 …And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him,

and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

John 14:21, 23

Our Father wants more than to just know us from afar, waiting to receive us into Heaven some glorious day.  He wants to be with us – and within us – here and now, making us dwelling places for His Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). 

Your Father loves you with a perfect, forgiving, faithful, unending love – right this very moment.  Draw near to Him, receive His love, and rejoice in your friendship with Jesus.  Let’s be diligent to keep ourselves in His love today, and let His love flow through our lives to others.

 

Many blessings to you in Jesus,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2010

Life & Death

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21

For Paul, Jesus was not merely an example or an ideal; He was Paul’s very life itself.  He lived each day in the presence of his Friend who remained closer than a brother, even though Paul sat chained in a Roman prison cell, banished from the friends and churches to whom he loved to minister.

Paul learned the spiritual secret that Jesus’ life revealed: the path to true life is death to self, the path to real victory is surrender to the Father’s will, and the path to exaltation is humbling oneself and serving. 

Much in modern Christendom sells a brand of “Christianity” that is essentially self-serving, designed to make YOU the happiest, most personally fulfilled, self-contented individual to ever sit on the throne of their own life.  Though popular with the masses, this idea is sadly missing both the message and example of Jesus’ life.

A friendship with Jesus isn’t meant to make our lives better or easier or more purposeful.  A friendship with Jesus is meant to be our very life itself.  In the light of His love, we have all that is worth having; but apart from fellowship with Him, there is only mere existence (even if it’s filled with religious activity).  David said it well:

Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise You!

Psalm 63:3 NLT

And confidence in your Father’s perfect love for you is the source of all joy, of holy boldness in the face of foes human and spiritual, of peace and healing, of strength in the midst of the stormy tempests of life.  Again David tells us:

 

For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

Psalm 103:11 NLT

He loves you perfectly, He loves you for all eternity, and He loves you right now.  He’s watching over every care, providing for every need, and making a way in the wilderness where you find yourself.  “All the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord…” and He has promised to work all these trials and needs in your life to work together for your good as you seek Him. 

Draw near to His throne now, receiving His love and giving Him your heart.

Much love in Jesus,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2010