Love One Another

JOHN 13:34-35 ESV 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

JOHN 15:12 ESV 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

JOHN 15:17 ESV 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

ROMANS 12:10 ESV 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

ROMANS 13:8 ESV 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

1 CORINTHIANS 6:7 ESV 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

GALATIANS 5:13 ESV 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

EPHESIANS 4:2 ESV 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

EPHESIANS 4:32 ESV 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

1 THESSALONIANS 3:12 ESV 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,

1 THESSALONIANS 4:9 ESV 9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,

1 PETER 1:22 ESV 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,

1 PETER 3:8 ESV 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

1 PETER 4:8 ESV 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 JOHN 3:11 ESV 11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 JOHN 3:23 ESV 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

1 JOHN 4:7 ESV 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 JOHN 4:11-12 ESV 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

2 JOHN 1:5 ESV 5 And now I ask you, dear lady — not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning — that we love one another.

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God Is Like Jesus

If you want to know what the unseen Almighty God is like — look at Jesus Christ in the pages of the New Testament.

Everything Jesus said and everything Jesus did was the exact will of God — and perfectly revealed God to us.

JOHN 1:18 TEV 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

COLOSSIANS 2:9 PHILLIPS 9 Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete expression of himself in bodily form.

Don’t be satisfied listening to what someone else believes God is like — read the New Testament and see for yourself. Watch Jesus of Nazareth in action and know that everything He did perfectly pleased the Father God and perfectly revealed the Father God.

JOHN 14:7-9,11 NKJ 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, `Show us the Father’? 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

JOHN 12:44-45 NKJ 44 . . .Jesus. . .said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 “And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

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God Will Crush Satan Under Your Feet

ROMANS 16:20 NLT 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Many don’t know it yet, but the New Testament reveals that God has given authority over the devil to all Christians. Therefore we have a responsibility to exercise that authority and stop the devil.

Here are some of the verses that make that clear.

LUKE 10:19 NKJ 19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

MARK 16:17 NKJ 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

EPHESIANS 4:27 NKJ 27 nor give place to the devil.

JAMES 4:7 NKJ 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

But one verse in the New Testament, Romans 16:20 (see above), seems to give a different message. It seems to say we must wait on God to do something about the devil, instead of doing it ourselves. For a long time, this verse confused me because it seemed to conflict with the rest of the New Testament teaching.

So who is responsible now for controlling the devil? Have believers truly been given that responsibility? Or, should we look to God expecting Him to do it?

Are we to wait on God to stop the devil’s activities in our lives, or are we supposed to do something by using the authority Jesus gave us?

One day I finally saw it. Romans 16:20 is not saying that God will do anything about the devil apart from you. God will work through you and satan will be crushed UNDER YOUR FEET. It will be your feet that do the crushing. The power working in you will be from God, but the feet will be yours. In other words, you must take action. You have to step out — and step on — the devil.

Romans 16:20 seems to say God will stop the devil — which would contradict all these other verses. But there is no contradiction when you realize it is God working through the believer to control the devil. In other words, the believer must control the devil, but the power to do it is of God.

Believers must exercise their authority and resist the devil. We cannot wait on God to do what He told us to do.

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Dan Betzer – How About Your Heart

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People Crave Love

1 THESSALONIANS 4:9 NLT 9 But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.

If you want to understand why people do what they do, realize that we are created to need love.

It is not just a desire, but a need. If humans are not getting love, they will do whatever they can to try and get it.

Many foolish and harmful things are done simply because people are craving love.

We want someone to value us, to even delight in us. We are driven by our need for love and acceptance. All of us want to be special to someone.

Insecurity is fear — fear that you are not good enough, that you will not be loved if it is known what you are really like.

But God knows everything about you, and He still considers you so valuable that He was willing to die for you! When you KNOW God loves you, lesser opinions are not as important.

1 JOHN 4:18 NLT 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

If people only knew the truth about God — that He truly loves them — they would turn to God wholeheartedly.

We are God’s representatives on earth. Unless we love people, they will not believe God loves them.

1 JOHN 4:7 NLT 7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

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Don’t Ignore The Poor

GALATIANS 2:10 NLT 10 Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do.

Not everyone who is poor is that way because of what they have done. Disasters happen.

The enormity of the need worldwide can tempt us to just ignore the plight of the poor. We can’t help everyone, but that should not keep us from helping someone.

PROVERBS 28:27 NLT 27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

If you are reading this, then by definition you are not one of the truly poor. You may be poorer than your neighbor, but there are many people poorer than you are. The truly poor cannot read, and struggle for food, which they don’t have every day.

LUKE 16:19-21 NLT 19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

In this account, the rich man did not oppress the beggar laying at his gate, where he probably passed by every day. The rich man just ignored him. The dogs seem to have had more mercy. They at least licked the sores of the poor beggar, while the rich man did nothing to help relieve his suffering.

PROVERBS 21:13 NLT 13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.

God loves all the people of the world — rich and poor. His will is not that anyone should suffer or be forgotten. God loves those who are poor. So we who have been blessed with more should not forget them.

HEBREWS 13:16 NLT 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

PROVERBS 19:17 NLT 17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD — and he will repay you!

GALATIANS 6:10 NLT 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone — especially to those in the family of faith.

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Sin’s Deception

HEBREWS 3:13 NLT 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.

Sin advertises that it will bring happiness, but fails to deliver.

Deception’s story is that going God’s way is too restrictive — too hard — and won’t lead to happiness. So sin tells you to throw off restraint and live for the moment — do whatever feels right to you with no thought for the future.

The only problem is that it does not work! Sin’s promises are empty.

All sin hurts people. So all sin will (eventually) make someone miserable.

Can you make yourself happy by making others miserable? No! It may seem to work for awhile, but in the end it fails.

Don’t be deceived! You cannot make yourself happy by hurting people.

Instead of happiness, sin actually pays out in death.

ROMANS 6:23 NLT 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Whatever pleasure sin may bring is something very temporary which lasts for only a short while. Then it brings death!

HEBREWS 11:25 NLT 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Fortunately, there is good news! Jesus came to save us from sin.

MATTHEW 1:21 NKJ 21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

The good news is that no matter how deeply sin has trapped you, Jesus will forgive you and free you!

Jesus is not your enemy — sin is your enemy. Sin only promises you happiness, then brings destruction, misery, and pain. Jesus is your friend who came to set you free from sin.

Jesus frees us not only from the punishment of sin, but also from the power and control of sin.

When you receive Him, Jesus puts His life and love in your heart, so you don’t have to sin.

People sin because they are afraid of missing out on something good. All sin is based on fear, which results from not truly knowing God loves us.

But God does love you! Enough to die for you! So you can be certain that He does not want to withhold any good thing from you.

MATTHEW 7:14 NLT 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Many people read this verse in Matthew and think of few people making it to Heaven, but that is not what Jesus said. Life, in full victory, as God intended, is enjoyed by very few people during our time on earth. The reason is because they allow themselves to be deceived by sin.

The road of joyful, wonderful life is difficult. It can be a struggle to keep from being deceived. But Jesus will help you! He is the Way! So call on Jesus and trust Him to help you!

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The Blessing Of The Lord Will Make You Rich

PROVERBS 10:22 NKJ 22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.

All Christians generally agree, that in Old Testament times, God prospered His people when they were obedient. But sadly, because the devil’s lies have infiltrated some of the Church’s teaching, many do not believe it’s still God’s will to prosper His people today.

But the Lord does not change. He still desires His people to enjoy abundance. Any problem lies with us — not with God.

MALACHI 3:6 NKJ 6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

For us to receive and walk in God’s blessing, we must walk in faith. This is the main problem why Christians today are not blessed. They simply do not believe prosperity is God’s will for them. If you don’t believe something is God’s will, you cannot have faith to receive it.

The cure for lack of faith is feeding on God’s Word, which builds you up. As long as you base your beliefs on the circumstances around you, instead of what you see in God’s revealed will — the Bible — you will not have all that God has provided for you.

We must quit believing the lies of the devil — no matter who says them. Whatever is contrary to God’s Word in the Bible is a lie.

I am not criticizing other ministers or churches. Even Peter fell into the trap of repeating the devil’s lies. We all must guard against believing the devil, and stick to what God has said.

MATTHEW 16:23 NKJ 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

If you study the Bible you will see that God is clearly for the prosperity of His people, in both the Old and New Testaments.

2 CORINTHIANS 8:9 NKJ 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

In the Bible we are warned against trusting in riches instead of God. There are verses that tell us we should not love money or serve money. But these verses should not be taken out of the context of the whole of Scripture and twisted in their meaning to steal what Jesus has provided for us — abundant provision in every area of life.

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Tell The Truth

EPHESIANS 4:25 NLT 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.

People lie because of fear of loss or pain. They are afraid if they always tell the truth, things might go badly for them.

So people lie to try to obtain a better result for themselves. But lies can take you only so far. Truth always prevails in the end. So a lie that was done in an attempt to help you, will always end up eventually hurting you instead.

Some might argue that sometimes lies are used to avoid hurting other’s feelings. Like when someone asks, “Do I look old or fat?” and you tell them “No!” because you want them to feel good about themselves. But actually you don’t want them to think badly of you for telling them the truth.

I would never suggest that you say anything to put anyone down and make them feel bad. But you don’t have to respond directly to that type of question, either.

Instead you could answer with something like, “You are a wonderful person and I love you.”

One thing we need to learn is that we are not obligated to answer every time we are asked a question. Jesus did not! (Matthew 27:14 for example.) There are times when it is best to simply say nothing.

As Christians, we may lament how politicians and government leaders seem to have problems with telling the truth. But we cannot condemn them without condemning ourselves, if we are also guilty of sometimes not telling the truth.

We need a revival of truth in our culture. As Christians we should be people who mean what we say and can be depended on to tell the truth. We are supposed to be a light to the world around us, setting a good example.

PSALM 15:4 CEB 4 someone who despises those who act wickedly, but who honors those who honor the LORD; someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts;

We should always keep our word, if it is at all possible. Even if it costs us everything we have. If we do find ourselves in a situation where it is impossible to keep our promise, then we should apologize to those we have let down.

JOHN 16:13 CEB 13 However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you in all truth. He won’t speak on his own, but will say whatever he hears and will proclaim to you what is to come.

The Spirit of Truth lives in us, so we should be known for our truthfulness. People should be saying, “You can depend on them. If they say something, you can count on it being true!”

There should be a clear difference between the children of light and the children of darkness, the children of God and the children of the devil.

JOHN 8:44 NLT 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Never forget that the devil is the father of lies.

While a lie may tempt with the promise of improving things, remember that the devil’s work results in stealing, killing, and destruction (John 10:10).

(Some Bible examples seem to indicate that an unselfish lie to stop evil people from killing an innocent victim is not treated as a sin. Rahab protecting the Israelite spies (Joshua 2:5), and the midwives not killing the Israelite baby boys in Egypt (Exodus 1:15-21) are examples of this. These are extreme and very rare occurrences, and should not be used as an excuse for lesser situations.)

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Fear Is A Form Of Worship

MATTHEW 4:10 NLT 10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.'”

The devil craves worship. He wants us to think he is great and very capable of causing havoc in our lives.

We should not be intimidated by our enemy. Fear is an acknowledgment of his ability.

God has told us in His Word, over and over, not to fear.

In the New Testament, the main word used for worship can be summarized as submission, or an attitude of submission because of profound reverence.

So being controlled by fear is submitting to the devil out of respect for his power and ability, and it is worship.

We should not do it!

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