Tag: love of God

Love & Grace of the Highest Order, Regardless…

With the knowledge that

  • Judas would betray him, resulting in his crucifixion,
  • Peter would deny him three times when Jesus was on trial prior to his crucifixion,
  • Thomas would doubt that he had resurrection and
  • several of his disciples would desert him when he was captured by the Roman soldiers, put on trial and crucified,

Christ Yeshua (Jesus) still chose to wash his disciples feet (John 13). He forgave them even before they offended and rejected him. This was demonstrated by his humility and servitude towards them when he washed their feet.

Christ clearly expresses that his act of humility and servitude towards his disciples was also for the purpose of them doing the same to one another.

“..since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.” (John 13:14-15 NLT).

Christ demonstrated the grace of God towards his disciples. He was not condoning what they would do to him by way of betrayal and rejection, but was revealing that in spite of their future actions and heart condition (Judas was plotting to betray him) towards him, he loved them and was therefore willing to be gracious towards them far beyond what is expected of a master or leader in human terms.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”(John 15:13 NLT).

Christ choosing to wash his disciples feet is as much a sign of humility and unconditional love, a love of the highest order, as his willingness to be crucified for their sake. He demonstrated the grace of God towards man; Forgiveness, care, respect and servitude to all regardless of what they have done or are doing. Christ is saying to us, his present day disciples (as he expected of his disciples in his day), to exemplify him in acts of forgiveness, care, respect and servitude towards others.

Even if we know that if roles were to be reversed they would not be loving and gracious towards us, we are expected as those who have “…put on Christ like putting on new clothes” (Gal 3:27) to be loveable and serviceable to such people anyway.

In addition, if we fail in demonstrating the grace of God through forgiving those who have hurt us, we allow ourselves to harbour bitterness which will inevitably bear problematic fruit which will defile us as well as others (Hebrews 12:15).

One would think this kind of love and grace (Yahweh’s) are humanly impossible! In our own flesh it is impossible, but as we remain in Christ we are capable of being in his likeness and doing what he did or requires us to do; In Christ, we have what it takes to demonstrate God’s love and grace of the highest order, regardless of the circumstances.

©️9-Jun-2018 Deborah E. Nyamekye

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My Restorer, Giver of Fortitude

My Restorer, giver of fortitude, to you I sing this song of gratitude.

As an object I was discarded, still I aligned with them though dejected.

Then you came along and composed for me a new song.

Love-filled lyrics sweet to my ears awakened my soul, ’til then among the lifeless throng.

My Restorer, giver of fortitude, to you I sing this song of gratitude.

You unlocked the truth of my worth and sang oracles to reveal the miracle of my birth.

With thanksgiving I eat of your goodness and drink from your water-hose of joy.

With gladness I enter your gates of renewal, far away from the dungeons of those that destroy.

My Restorer, giver of fortitude, to you I sing this song of gratitude.

©️3-Jun2018 DENyamekye

God’s indescribable love…

I don’t even know how to begin to describe what I am feeling and need to put in words. David who became king of Israel pondered about how God could be mindful of man in a universe so great & vast… (Psalm 8). God is about people, the extent of which I feel right now at 5am in the morning as I lay here. 

The extent at which God loves and cares about you and me is indescribable; it has so engulfed me I feel myself welling up in tears, my throat is choked. This is why I say I don’t know where to begin.. I find it hard to describe it in words, it is an overwhelming feeling of profound love. The following are thoughts that penetrate this feeling:

If humankind would collectively spend as much time being mindful of one another as they do on climate change, animal rights or wildlife preservation Issues there would be a great change in interpersonal relationships for the better, we will see more of the God kind of love and peace that we all, even non Christians desire and seek. 

If many Christians who are not doing so would refocus and reprioritise so that whatever they do is rooted in or motivated by love for God, then sermons and actions will fulfil God’s command that we love one another. Act of love towards one another and giving to the poor and needy would be effortless and the norm.  
Yes a relational God has a passion for people first and foremost above all else. If people were as He is or consciously made efforts to be oh what a different world this would be!!
Thank you LORD and help us, we pray!
Chapter 8

1O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.2Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

3When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet:

7All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;8The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, [and whatsoever] passeth through the paths of the seas.9O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth!

Loving Christ through Obedience: what happens? 

Having the constant presence, love and abundant/everlasting joy of the Lord all balls down to (or is the reward of) loving Jesus and demonstrating this love through obedience. 
May God help us in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
OBEDIENCE REAPS GOD’S PRESENCE/LOVE:

21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.(John 14:21,23 KJV)
OBEDIENCE REAPS GOD’S LOVE/EVERLASTING & ABUNDANT JOY:

10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.(John 15:10-11)

At the Altar of Sacrifice

What does living sacrificially for God really mean?

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As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been called to not only bring ourselves to the altar of sacrifice as covenanted children of God, but also to bring all that belongs to us and all who we love to the altar of sacrifice. The term altar of sacrifice simply means committing ourselves, what is ours, people and things we love sacrificially to the LORD.

The use of the word “altar” here is in reference to Abraham and how he obeyed God by preparing to sacrifice his son Isaac at the altar as he would do a ram or a goat. It was when he was about to kill his son Isaac that God stopped him and provided a ram as a substitute.

God then said “16..Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that 17 I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants[a] beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies.18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” (Gen. 22:16-17NLT).

As in Abraham’s case, it is evident that it is not enough being covenanted or surrendered to God as Abraham was, He requires us to covenant or surrender all that we cherish to him.

God also led me to think further about what else constitutes a sacrificial life unto God. What came to mind is the fact that our calling is to not only love God but others sacrificially.

As much as we love God unreservedly or sacrificially and we love ourselves as a result, we are also called to love others, believers and non believers, unconditionally.

“Jesus replied, “..,You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’””Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” (John 10:26-28 NLT). One’s “neighbour” is either a Christian or a non Christian.

Sadly many hold back from expressing love and therefore care for others because of past experiences of being hurt or rejected when they had done so. Some leaders have also developed the erroneous mindset that the mark of a good leader is one who ensures they show their authority by not being too familiar with their subordinates.

Jesus ate at table with his disciples, washed their feet and allowed one of them John to rest on his bosom. Jesus did these things and more to demonstrate that in the Kingdom of God the mark of a great and true leader is one who is not afraid to demonstrate humility and love to those they lead.

One can give all one’s goods to the poor and manifest diligence in Godly service and have gifts of prophecy among others, but if one is not demonstrating the sacrificial God kind of love them one is actually not pleasing God. The Apostle Paul expressed it in this manner to the Corinthians

“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.” (1 Corinth. 13:2 NLT).

Jesus who died a sacrificial death for mankind said “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13NLT).

Jesus taught as follows “…I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5:44 NLT)

It is worthy to note Jesus used the word “friend” in Matthew 5:44. Indeed it is sacrificial to “lay down one’s life” for someone who is not even blood related to us and also for our enemies. It means we are willing to go the extra mile in terms of demonstrating unconditional love and kindness towards them.

Jesus was criticised by the Jewish religious leaders for keeping company with “many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners…” (Mark 2:15-16 NLT).

If we are able to love sacrificially despite being at the risk of making ourselves vulnerable and therefore open to criticism and rejection, then we are truly manifesting sacrificial behaviour for the sake of God as Christ did, hence affirming our love for God.

The Apostle John said “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (1 John 4:20 NLT).

Let us always remember brethren that what constitutes genuine sacrificial living before God “at the altar of sacrifice” includes but goes beyond what we normally think of as sacrifice which is the giving of ourselves, all that belongs to us i.e. those we love, to God.

In fact the affirmation of whether we are true Children of God who please God is determined by how we relate to our fellow human beings.

Therefore Brethren, when we are committed to doing all that we desire to do as living sacrifices unto God, let us remember that God places great significance on how we conduct our interpersonal relationships on a day to day basis. May He help us in our weakness.

Poem – Altar of Sacrifice

At the altar of sacrifice
I arise from the fall,
surrendering before God,
I give Him my all.

My all is giving of my heart
and that is where I start.

My all is offering what’s so dear
’cause of reverential fear of God.

At the altar of sacrifice,
I give my all
to stand tall before the LORD.

My all is loving mankind
as I am loved by God
who is one of a kind.

My all is giving up my life for
friends and praying for my foes.

Always ready to pay a price,
I surrender all
at the Altar of Sacrifice.

©Deborah E.Nyamekye 11/06/2016