Love in 2021 (2)

“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

Love – By human logic, I should save these posts for Valentines week. But God’s ways aren’t our ways and I am committed to study and share as God leads. This just reinforces how in control He really is and how we really only know in part. Let’s study and get more knowledge under our belts.

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you for what you are doing in this day and age – that you love us so much you have made a way for us individually as well as us as a body of believers.  Please open our ears to hear what you are saying. Please open our eyes to see and open our understanding that we may know you. Please continue to pour out your grace upon us! Continually, all we want is more of you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

QUICK REVIEW:
Yesterday we discussed how spiritual warfare, false teachers / prophets and censorship lead us to love. As the struggle persists and we fight the good fight of faith – we must remember that God is love and we are God’s so we must live in love.  Besides, love brings us into a deeper relationship with God.
All week, let us keep this one thought at the forefront of our minds – GOD IS LOVE (1 John 4:8).

JUMPING INTO TODAYS STUDIES:
GOD IS LOVE – I searched the internet for a free image I can use for these posts that embodies that God is love. Sadly I cannot find one in the right spirit. I see all the false gods (lowercase g) of fake love and all they are offering as a substitute for God – None fulfill. None. But God Himself.

There is admittedly a feeling that sometimes occurs with love – but love, real love isn’t a feeling alone. It is a choice. God chooses to love us. We can choose to love Him back or not to. And the Word of God says if you choose to love Him – you must love others.  Love is the key to getting God into the hearts of others. So, if we want to learn about love we must get to know God. And if we want to get to know God, we must learn about real love – and not the knock-off version that is offered by the world.

What does the Bible say love is?
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV

And therefore, that also means God is!
God is patient and kind;
God does not envy or boast; God is not arrogant or rude. (And as we see God’s blessings and promises pour out into our lives – and we see prayers being answered – remember how love is supposed to act, and how God acts. There will be the ‘have-nots’ who do not know our God – love them and show them the way to these blessings. Stay humble.)
God does not insist on His own way (He would prefer it because unlike us He is infallible – but He loves us so much He gives us our way if we refuse to submit to His, and He lets us make our own decision); He is not irritable or resentful; He does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
God bears all things. (Think about that.)
God believes all things and hopes all things (He is all knowing)
God endures all things. (Think about that.)
God never ends. (He was before time and earth and creation and He will be after time and earth and creation)
As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. But God cannot pass away.

Today is the Inauguration Day in the United States of America. Again, I am ahead in my writings and as of right now, Biden was certified the winner and should be moving into the White house. The political climate is angry and aggressive without cause. We truly are living in perilous times in the United State – although from what I gather with world news, the rest of the world is also going through perilous times as well. There is civil unrest, fear, chaos and evil.  We need God! We need LOVE! More than ever before. We need real love – that is big and strong enough to bear this, to endure this, to give us hope and never end.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 ESV
Love covers a multitude of sins – because God is love! Love sent His only begotten son to be the loving sacrifice for our sins and wash them white as snow! Love redeems us.

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14 ESV
Above all these put on God!!! The Body of Christ MUST bind together in these end times. I know in part and you know in part, I am one part of the body and you are another part, we must act and move as one – we must pull together to get the job done.

There is so much hatred, misdirected, and unchecked out there in this world –
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” Proverbs 10:12 ESV
And we wonder why there is no peace and strife and turmoil abound. Only God covers offenses. We are living in an offended culture which is offended by every little thing! It is the opposite of Godly! God covers offenses.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 ESV
You all hear people saying not to be afraid – I am saying focus on love – redirect. Fear is the natural response – there IS actually danger. Deep breath, because God has already made a way and has a plan to keep you. Do not let the spirit of fear overtake you – redirect and focus on LOVE!

Forgive me if I take 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV and replace the word Love with God – since God is Love.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not God, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not God, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not God, I gain nothing.”

We must focus on the Big God – the one that increases in size each time we try to imagine His magnitude! (He is still bigger.) We must focus on love and sharing love. God and sharing God. We must trust Him in everything even the little things and in the knowledge that NONE of this surprises Him and He is in control of who is in control and the world leaders are not who reigns upon the throne in the Kingdom that matter, no! Love reigns! God reigns!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV

If you are not yet confident in the scriptures to believe this is all true, let me tell you – I have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus and I know it is true because God changed me. I know it is true, because I have an overwhelming peace. 
Today is the day – the floodgates of heaven open! The unanswered prayers shall shortly be answered. The promises and blessing that we have been standing on and waiting for are coming! It is time. Today is the day of our Lord! So, no matter what happens, stay humble, prayerful, and in the spirit of love.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

I CONFIRM:
I confirm that through my relationship with God and through prayer and communication with Him, I will actively seek the kingdom of God and LOVE. I will ask the Lord to help remind me to remain humble in the abundance of blessings and promises.  I praise and thank Him for His grace and goodness!

MEMORY WORK: 2 Corinthians 10:4
NKJV – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds”
NAS – “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
ESV – “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
NLT – “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”
NIV – “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Genesis 25-26 NKJV

Abraham and Keturah

25 Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east.

Abraham’s Death and Burial

This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth. There Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife. 11 And it came to pass, after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac. And Isaac dwelt at Beer Lahai Roi.

The Families of Ishmael and Isaac

12 Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore to Abraham. 13 And these were the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 [a]Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These were the sons of Ishmael and these were their names, by their towns and their [b]settlements, twelve princes according to their nations. 17 These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. 18 (They dwelt from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt as you go toward Assyria.) He [c]died in the presence of all his brethren.

19 This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. 21 Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23 And the Lord said to her:

“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.”

24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name [d]Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called [e]Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a [f]mild man, dwelling in tents. 28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Esau Sells His Birthright

29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called [g]Edom.

31 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”

32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”

33 Then Jacob said, [h]“Swear to me as of this day.”

So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Isaac and Abimelech

26 There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.

Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, “She is my sister”; for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” because he thought, “lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.” Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, [i]showing endearment to Rebekah his wife. Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”

Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’ ”

10 And Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might soon have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” 11 So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”

12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. 13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14 for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him. 15 Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth. 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”

17 Then Isaac departed from there and [j]pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them.

19 Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. 20 But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well [k]Esek, because they quarreled with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name [l]Sitnah. 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name [m]Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

23 Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

26 Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phichol the commander of his army. 27 And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?”

28 But they said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a [n]covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.’ ”

30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.

32 It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 So he called it [o]Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is [p]Beersheba to this day.

34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 25:15 MT Hadad
  2. Genesis 25:16 camps
  3. Genesis 25:18 fell
  4. Genesis 25:25 Lit. Hairy
  5. Genesis 25:26 Supplanter or Deceitful, lit. One Who Takes the Heel
  6. Genesis 25:27 Lit. complete
  7. Genesis 25:30 Lit. Red
  8. Genesis 25:33 Take an oath
  9. Genesis 26:8 caressing
  10. Genesis 26:17 camped
  11. Genesis 26:20 Lit. Quarrel
  12. Genesis 26:21 Lit. Enmity
  13. Genesis 26:22 Lit. Spaciousness
  14. Genesis 26:28 treaty
  15. Genesis 26:33 Lit. Oath or Seven
  16. Genesis 26:33 Lit. Well of the Oath or Well of the Seven

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