Tag Archives: Christlike character

Do Gossip and Negative Speech Grieve Our Hearts Like They Should?

Recently I was talking with someone and they begin to speak negatively about someone we knew. It grieved me and stirred my heart to pray for the person saying these things.

Both the speaker and the person spoken about are made in God’s image. Both are loved by Him—whether they know Jesus or not. Because of this, I want to know the heart of Father God for them because this is what my heart should reflect:

  1. God made them and saw that it was good.
  2. God sent His Son for them as well as you and me, providing a way for restoration and forgiveness of sin.
  3. God wants to do a transformational work in their lives too.

We have all sinned and needed Jesus to redeem us. This is no time to compare failures and sins. All need Christ every day to grow in holiness, and He calls us to love, share truth and pray. Continue reading

Vessels of the Father’s Love

Father God has given us each a free will. He has given us a beautiful choice to show love and honor to Him and others. Most often, we think we do this pretty well. Nonetheless, our hearts still contain impurities revealing self-focus and unhealed wounds.

Learned behaviors we thought were normal affect our daily lives. Ingrained habits plague us. We raise our voices at our children or siblings. We avoid those who rub us wrong. Or perhaps we find ourselves doing things to fulfill the need to be useful, or we assert ourselves wrongly to feel in control. Maybe we busy ourselves to avoid painful emotions.

Even in the many struggles we have, Father God is working to refine us into vessels of His love as we yield to Him.

We want to be ones who seek the heart of God, showing selfless love to all who we come near. Jesus confirmed this call. When asked about the most weighty of the Commandments, He said that loving God with all and loving others are the two from which all others stem (Matthew 22:36-40).

We realize our attempts to love remain tainted with self-serving. Showing love and honor is not automatic. Because of our tendencies toward selfishness and sin, we must seek to be intentional. We must be mindful of those around us.

If we ask, Father God will reveal ingrained behaviors and help us replace them with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We must seek to be a blessing in every situation. It will take allowing Him to show us the depths of our souls.
Continue reading

Loving Through the Pain

In any situation we are going through, even when we are being mistreated, the best question we can ask the Lord is, “How can I show love in this, to this person, to this organization?” and then do it: Show love even when we’ve been wronged or hurt. 

In doing this, you release the burden of focusing on the negatives or continuing to hold offense, and peace comes in like a flood as you learn to love! As you seek to love, focusing on that, you are thinking on those good, noble, excellent and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8).

The recently received-by-Heaven prophet, Bob Jones, once had an encounter where God asked him, “Did you learn to love?” Do we seek to love like Jesus loves through our trials, or do we continue to remain focused on ourselves? When we surrender our earthly cares, we can soar in the Spirit as if on the wings of eagles, living in the joy and peace that only come from Jesus!

If this seems an impossible task, first remember that the Lord is the only One who can love rightly. Ask Him to give you His superabundant grace and help you walk this out. Ask God to pour His love upon you so you can pour it out on even those who mistreat you. Lean into Him and remind your soul that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” and you have overcome the world because Jesus has (1 John 4:4)!

If we will let Him, God will use the hard times and difficult people in our lives for our good: To make us more like Christ and in turn, we will experience greater peace, joy and love than ever before in our lives through it all.

Praise the Lord, He has a great future and purpose for us and it’s all about love: Letting Him love us and teaching us how to love Him and others like He loves!

True Mysticism and Union with Christ

“The theme of union with Christ occurs in numerous places in the [Word of God]. It is that union enjoyed by believers, individually and corporately, with the Lord Jesus. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘unio mystica’ or mystic union, as its fact is established without understanding the mechanism.” (That is, we don’t really comprehend how it happens or is a reality in us.) – Theopedia

Mostly because new age and Eastern religion has so twisted it, the word “mystic” brings negative connotations to our minds. But there are those who are considered Christian mystics. Some we must avoid, as they too have fallen into the new age deception of thinking they become gods themselves, but others truly live the truth. So let’s make this practical:

In relation to being a Christian, the term mystic refers to one whose sole aim is to be in union with God. Simply, it is the mystery of a Biblical truth that we can be one with God. This is illustrated well by the picture of a husband and wife whom the Word says become one flesh.

In John 15, Jesus uses the picture of the vine and its branches to describe the relationship He desires with us. The vine and branches are one yet not the same, and the branches cannot thrive without the vine. Only God could make such a thing possible and He has done so through Christ’s sacrifice all because Love (God) loves to love!

As stated before, many make this far too complicated or turn Christian mysticism into something it is not. Know this: We are NOT God and we will never be. Remember: If it exalts self above Christ it is wrong!

Union with God is about us becoming a people unified with His heart and each other, who care more about Jesus and what He cares about than ourselves. It is about becoming a people who seek to give all of themselves to love God and to love others as He loves. It’s about becoming closer to Him daily as our most important relationship.

We deny ourselves and let God’s will reign in our lives and beings, so that we can live as reflections of Christ and grow in love (1 Corinthians 13), whether through moments of joy or times of suffering. He uses all things for our good and in order to conform us to the image and character of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

Know that this can come ONLY through you having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is an ever-deepening connection to Him in fellowship and surrendering yourself. It is not some surreal, dream-like or far away thing, but true connection to a person who happens to be the most important One of all: God!

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.”
(Ephesians 5:31-32 AMP)