Legitimate Love Lifts Up The Lord - Part Three

“He laid down his life for us”
In last week’s blog, I discussed how God’s unconditional and eternal love for us was clearly demonstrated by the Lord Jesus Christ when “He laid down his life for us.” The Master’s monumental movement of love for us should not cause us to park in our ponderings but should move us to lay down our lives for each other as well. God demonstrated what true “agape” love looks like. We as imitators and servants of the Most High God should be real and revelatory demonstrations of His love in this world.

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Legitimate Love Lifts Up the Lord - Part Two

We are all familiar with the phrase: “Actions speak louder than words.” This is especially true when we scrutinize the sincerity and legitimacy of love in individuals or collectively as a body of believers. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, legitimate love lifts, glorifies and reflects the Lord. In order for us to grasp godly love we must look to His word.

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Legitimate Love Lifts Up the Lord

“What the world needs now, is love sweet love…”
“All you need is love…” 
“Where is the love?”
All three of the aforementioned statements are part of a plethora of words and songs made popular by songwriters and recording artists. Each song was immensely popular in its time indicating that its topic strongly resonated with its audience.  The quest and definition of love has always been a part of our human existence.

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The Bible: The Believer's Scouting Report - Part Three

In Romans 16:20, the word “bruise” means to break into pieces or to crush or scatter one’s strength.  In the past two blogs, we have been examining five different strategies of the Flesh, the World and Satan (FWS) in their attempt to contaminate and corrupt our relationship with God.  So insight of these strategies will put us in the position to scatter and crush the strength of Satan’s lies and schemes in our lives.  As a review, the five different strategies include:

  1. To invoke our instincts

  2. To intensify its influence

  3. To invigorating our intemperance

  4. To incite intimidation

  5. To instigate your insurgence

Today we will close our study with the last two strategies: Inciting intimidation and Instigating your insurgence.

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The Bible: The Believer's Scouting Report - Part Two

In my last blog, I began discussing five different strategies that are used by the Flesh, the World and Satan (FWS) to sink and seduce us.  As a review these strategies include:

  1. To invoke our instincts

  2. To intensify its influence

  3. To invigorating our intemperance

  4. To incite intimidation

  5. To instigate your insurgence

In this week’s blog, we will consider satanic strategies numbers two and three: intensifying his influence and invigorating our intemperance.

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The Bible: The Believer's Scouting Report

When I was a student athlete playing football in college, we would prepare extensively for the upcoming opponent physically and mentally. Physical preparation consisted of one-on-one and team drills designed to imitate playing or game day conditions as well as a demonstration of the opponent’s offensive formation by the demonstration team. Preparation for the week’s opponent was also supplemented with cardio in the form of wind sprints and weight training. The mental aspect involved hours of film work, an examination and studying of the opponent’s offensive formations on the whiteboard and a scouting report that consisted of the opponent’s personnel, plays, formations, strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. We also had to know where we were most vulnerable because a very capable and worthy opponent would exploit my team’s weaknesses for their advantage. The time usually invested for preparation was typically 35 to 40 hours a week.

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The Good Hand of God versus the Backhand of God - Part Three

This week is the last installment in the three-part series The Good Hand verses the Back Hand of God.  In it, we will again consider who gets the backhand of God and how to experience the good hand of God on your life!

Scripture indicates that wickedness will always be welcomed with the backhand of God!  The text from 1 Samuel turns our attention to a town of tumors!  God used his backhand to punish the people of Ashdod.  Earlier in 1 Samuel 5, the scriptures indicate that these people had shown irreverence to the God of Israel by stealing the ark of God and setting it in the temple of one of their gods, Dagon.  Although God toppled the statue of their false deity twice and struck down their statue of Dagon, they did not repent of their irreverent and prideful behavior but instead, just returned it to its previous location next to the ark.  As a result, God trounced the people throughout the territory with tumors.  The Almighty's answer to their abominable actions drove the men of Ashdod to cry; "The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god" (1 Samuel 5:7; emphasis mine).  The hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod because they would not listen or acknowledge His actions.

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The Good Hand of God versus the Backhand of God - Part Two

In last week’s blog we began a discussion on the difference between God’s hand of blessing (the good hand of God) and God’s hand of judgment (the backhand of God).  When we consider the hands of God, we must remember that there are no greater hands than God’s hands.  We can trust in these good hands of God because it is these hands that hold the entire world.

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The Good Hand of God versus the Backhand of God - Part One

In the game of tennis it is beneficial to have a repertoire of three different types of shots: the serve, the forehand and the backhand.  The backhand shot is usually considered to be a more difficult shot than forehand as many people have trouble with it.  The explanation for this is that the backhand shot is on the left side of the body.  Most people typically are uncomfortable with movements that originate on the left side of their bodies.  They are challenged with the use of the arm and hand in this manner but also with judging distances and coordinating the arm movement.  However, once the backhand shot is perfected, it can prove to be very effective!

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The Bible: The Believer's Scouting Report

When I was a student athlete playing football in college, we would prepare extensively for the upcoming opponent physically and mentally. Physical preparation consisted of one-on-one and team drills designed to imitate playing or game day conditions as well as a demonstration of the opponent’s offensive formation by the demonstration team. Preparation for the week’s opponent was also supplemented with cardio in the form of wind sprints and weight training. The mental aspect involved hours of film work, an examination and studying of the opponent’s offensive formations on the whiteboard and a scouting report that consisted of the opponent’s personnel, plays, formations, strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. We also had to know where we were most vulnerable because a very capable and worthy opponent would exploit my team’s weaknesses for their advantage. The time usually invested for preparation was typically 35 to 40 hours a week.

Read More