fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Love with Action

Love with Action by Julie McAllen

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:18-20)

How we long to have our hearts at rest in God’s presence! According to this, we rest when we know we belong to the truth. And how do we know? By action taken first. For we are not to love just in words, but with actions and in truth. This is not talking about works for works sake as if we perform an action and then God will grant our requests. It has to do with faith. When we feel the nudge to trust and go forward in faith, we know we belong to the truth because we have listened to his voice. Has God put something on your heart? Some action you’ve neglected due to fear of failure? Never put out that fire. Trust the nudge. Do you know why we put out our own fire? Because our own hearts condemn us. We doubt our abilities, our circumstances, the reactions of others to us, etc. We allow our hearts to condemn us. When that happens, we’ve given lordship to the sin nature and fear reigns supreme. If we truly have faith and make Jesus Lord in our lives, we trust that we are not condemned because as the word of life proclaims, “God is greater than our hearts.”

So where are you? Who told you that you were naked? God speaks to your heart assuring you that you’ve been forgiven, empowered, given victory, and are no longer condemned, but another voice says otherwise. Faith is trusting God’s voice. He clothed you in his righteousness at the cross, who told you that you were naked? When we find ourselves in a state of condemning our own hearts, that nakedness immobilizes our actions to follow the nudge in something we’re called to do. God has plans for you and yet you do not trust him enough to follow through. You feel the unrest and begin praying, but in actuality you’ve already given into doubt not trusting God at all. How? By lack of action. In prayer you’re seeking rest for your troubled heart, but your love so far has only been expressed in words and not action driven by faith. That is why a troubled feeling hovers over you making you wonder if you even belong to the truth. So what is a troubled heart to do? The voice of our Lord begins,

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (John 14:1)

Trust in God. These are not just words, they call us to the first necessary action. They call our own hearts to trust even when our feelings conflict with what it says. Our hearts are troubled. We hear the words that say “have faith” but dear children, let us not love with mere words but with action and in truth. The truth is, God loves and forgives you. The first action on your part is to trust this. No matter how low or inadequate you may feel, trust in faith that God is with you always. Trust that and begin your prayers establishing that confidence.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb 4:16)

When our hearts are troubled, that is the time to trust in God. We begin by trusting that God is greater than our hearts. Therefore, do not let your heart be troubled, trust in God. Trust that your salvation and righteous standing before the throne is based on what Jesus already did for you at the cross so that you may enter confidently and receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. As you are refreshed and built up in faith, trust his love and furthermore, trust his calling in your life. He has plans for you. When the nudge comes, do not put out the fire. Take it to action. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and set our hearts at rest in his presence. Otherwise, your relationship with God becomes stale, for faith without works is dead. Again, dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Keep yourself in God’s love,

Julie

 

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December 31, 2009 Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions | , | Comments Off on Love with Action

Spiritual Compromise

MICAH 7:1-20

I speak for the Women with Purpose class at FBO (Orlando) when I say that the lesson this week on spiritual compromise was well needed, to say the least. Micah was distressed over the condition of his people.

 42-156502951Woe is me! For I am like the
        Fruit pickers, like the grape gatherers
         There is not a cluster of grapes to eat,
         Or a first-ripe fig which I crave.
    2The godly person has perished from the land,
         And there is no upright person among men
         All of them lie in wait for bloodshed;
         Each of them hunts the other with a net.
    3Concerning evil, both hands do it well
         The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe,
         And a great man speaks the desire of his soul;
         So they weave it together.
 

 

We can relate to Micah’s description of a corrupt society because it mirrors that of today. We had the opportunity to read from three articles from Saturday’s newspaper; news of arrests due to drug possession, child pornography and illegal traffic violations were a few among many. Referring to his generation, Micah declared that no one upright can be found among the people (Micah 7:2); wickedness had spread throughout the society he knew and prophesied about.

     5Do not trust in a neighbor;
         Do not have confidence in a friend.
         From her who lies in your bosom
         Guard your lips.
    6For son treats father contemptuously,
         Daughter rises up against her mother,
         Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
         A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.

 Verses 5-6 reveal how this corruption affects the family unity. I quote Linda’s expression: “Loyalty is a characteristic of love. When loves fails, the loyalty disappears”. Lack of love for one another is what happened to the family structure in Micah’s day. People stopped caring and in time, it became routine to be a part of a sinful and immoral society. As Christians, we must not become complacent about living in a society similar to that in Micah’s day. Micah was a man of constant prayer. Despite the circumstances that surrounded him, he trusted God to hear him and respond with help. Micah was a lover of God; he trusted in His promises and knew that He would keep them. Micah was determined to wait on “the God of HIS salvation”. He knew the promise God made to Abraham and rested in the assurance that God would restore His people again. Micah did not conform to the conditions around him; rather, he maintained busy doing God’s work and waiting on Him.

    7But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD;
         I will wait for the God of my salvation
         My God will hear me.

 We may feel as if one person can’t make a difference when compared to the numerous others who choose sin over God; or perhaps we choose to work out our own salvation by not conforming to this world’s corruption (and letting God take care of the rest). But our voice can make a difference and we can become active in proclaiming God’ message to those hungering for truth! We can start right in our own household and declare what Joshua declared, “As for me and my family, we will worship the LORD” (Josh 24:15) Like Micah, we know that’s there only one source of salvation; God will remove rebellion and wickedness once and for all. Those of us who grieve over this world’s conditions find comfort in God’s grace and faithfulness.

 Families are encouraged to spend time together. Walls of separation are being built one brick at a time. Our youth is being bombarded by depraved messages in movies and music; the craze of cell phone texting and internet messaging; the pressure from their peers to engage in wrong-doing – brick by brick, the enemy builds. The stress of the economy has many family heads anxious over the loss of jobs; depression affects millions of people worldwide. Society promotes a fantasy world of immorality – causing the bonds of marriage to snap under pressure. Our families don’t have to succumb to these conditions. We declare again, “As for me and my family, we will worship the LORD” (Josh 24:15)”. We may live in a culture that is in opposition to our faith, but it doesn’t mean we have to conform to their belief systems. We have confidence in God!

     18Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
         And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
         He does not retain His anger forever,
         Because He delights in unchanging love.
    19He will again have compassion on us;
         He will tread our iniquities under foot
         Yes, You will cast all their sins
         Into the depths of the sea.
    20You will give truth to Jacob
         And unchanging love to Abraham,
         Which You swore to our forefathers
         From the days of old.

 The sisters in WWP are grateful to Linda P. for teaching class these next few weeks and for bringing out such thought-provoking messages in Scripture. We look forward to next week’s lesson. God Bless.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Expressions | , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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