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Tag Archives: love

Faith Works By Love

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  • For years the faith movement has been telling people that “faith works by love”. It’s true, that’s how faith works, but they misunderstood “by love”, telling us that faith only works when we love.

    If we don’t love people, forgive people, help people, serve people, show compassion on people, help people, live for people then our faith won’t work, we will stay sick, stay poor, stay in defeat and that’s that.

    So we responded. We made our love confessions, we strained to feel good feelings for people who annoyed us, we made ourselves human doormats, we became our pastor’s armour bearers serving them to the detriment of our own families. In the name of love, we strained to the point we became unbearable to live with. Then we stayed poor, stayed sick, stayed in defeat and rather than receiving God’s grace and healing and prosperity and victory we wailed our lack of love, we condemned our unforgiveness, we beat ourselves up for not loving enough, not feeling enough love and not doing enough – no matter how much we did do and how much we sacrificed.

    The truth (which will set you free as you read this): the love that empowers our faith is not our feeble, human, limited, pathetic, self-obsessed, impure, roller coaster feeling of love; not that which we squeeze out of our hearts and then kick the dog the next moment because our heart now hurts so bad. It’s not even our love at all: it’s HIS LOVE.

    Faith doesn’t work because you have earned enough brownie points loving people. It works when you realize that no matter what you have done, no matter what you have felt, no matter what you have felt, no matter how half-hearted you have been, no matter how much you hurt inside: GOD STILL LOVES YOU.

    His love is unending, unconditional, undeserved. It is not a still, logical, passive love: GOD IS LOVE. He is alive with love for you, He is buzzing, sparking, zapping with love for you. He made you because He needed a vessel to love with all the love inside Him. He redeemed you through Christ and His death and resurrection just so He could pour that love inside you and love you from the inside out.

    God is eternal, and every moment of that eternity is crammed with His love for you. God is infinite – and every iota of that space is exploding with the heat of a million suns with love for you. It’s not love based on your goodness, your strength, your joy, your ability to do. It’s love that comes straight from His nature, His heart, His being. The core of God is love for you.

    God is all-powerful and every ounce of His infinite strength is for you not against you. God can think a million thoughts at once, and all of them are thoughts on how to prosper you, how to get you through, how to make your life heaven on earth. His whole nature is love.

    When you realize the depths of His love for you, and when you grasp that He will never let you go, never let you down, never do or think anything that is not for your highest. When you realize that Christianity is not your utmost for His highest, but His utmost for your Highest; when you find out that you are not a sinner in the hand of an angry God, but a child of a loving Father. When you find out that the faith-life isn’t about your love for Him, but His love for you: then FAITH WORKS.

    Why wouldn’t He heal me when He adores me? Why wouldn’t I get the promotion at work? HE ADORES ME. HE LOVES ME. He wants me to have good things to enjoy. He wants to supply my needs according to His riches in glory. He is awesome to me. He can’t stop thinking about me.

    Of course I am going to walk in victory because He loves me. Passionately. Always. Not based on what I do, but based on what He has done.

    That’s why faith works by love: it’s easy to believe good things are going to happen to me the more I realize and grasp and meditate on His love for me.

Grace People or Gracious People?

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Kenneth Hagin said the derailing of the faith movement would happen if the people with strong faith did not love the people with weak faith. I believe the derailing of the grace movement will happen if grace people never become gracious people.

Grace can easily be just head knowledge to a series of doctrines, making you a policeman to those who you feel are too condemning and too judgmental, and blinding you to the condemnation you throw back at them, and the judgement you pronounce on them for not dotting their theological “i”s and crossing their ecclesiastical “t”s the way you do.

“I’m a grace person” can easily degenerate into our shibboleth, instead of being a foundation for which we build our lives and a way to learn how to love how we have been loved, it becomes a standard for deciding who is in our club and who is not in our club.  The very grace that should level us and bring unity is then used as a tool to divide!

People who are graciously serving the people of God, teaching, training, laying down their lives, are rejected and ignored because they don’t fit our image of grace.  Because they don’t do things the way we do, because they were too busy working for God to sit down and spend a year or two learning all your great revelations which you have kept to yourself or just shared with those you deem to be religious.

Healthy churches are rejected and criticized for not fitting the framework, while the grace people meet in their holy huddle, not even filling a living room because so few fit their rigid “grace” lens which doesn’t lead to loving the world, which doesn’t lead to serving and loving the church, which doesn’t lead to work of love and grace, but leads to a wicked judgmentalism and an arrogant us vs them mentality.

Grace is not supposed to be the mirror you hold up to the world to see if they are good enough to join your world.

It is supposed to be the mirror you hold up to your self to reveal your true identity and nature in Him. It is supposed to make you secure enough to take your place in the body of Christ – not leading for you to go through life not going to any church because “none of them are good enough for my high level of doctrinal purity” or rejecting people because they don’t look like us. It is supposed to be the mirror we gaze into to see His glory – His true glory is stepping into a broken, religious, hate-filled world and showing it love. His glory was never supposed to be kept hidden, never supposed to be shone onto the world exposing them for being outside of His pure, accurate doctrine of God and rejecting them for not grasping what He knew about His Father.

We are supposed to gaze into His glory – not just the friend of sinners, but the one who patiently endured Nicodemus’ ignorance, as the one who had a habit of going to synagogue even though they were mangling the book His Father penned to make points He never intended to make, as the one who even when the religious leaders nailed Him to a cross still died for them as well, crying “Father, forgive THEM for they know what they do”.

Then we are supposed to reflect His glory to the world. Is it your custom to be where the people of God are, even if they don’t get you or understand the true nature of your Father? Are you forgiving not just in word but in action, are you committed to His body on planet earth?

If not, get back to gazing at His glory. Stop using grace to divide and start being gracious.

Ten Reasons to Speak in Tongues…

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10.  You edify yourself and build yourself up

9. You train your mind to shut up and listen to your spirit speaking out of your mouth

8. You build up yourself in the faith

7. You speak mysteries to God

6. You can pray with the spirit, and then interpret and pray with understanding.  It’s a better way to pray!

5. You can pray in tongues in the car, walking to work, doing the dishes – in any situation in which your mind is unfruitful

4. Paul prayed in tongues and he told us that we should imitate him

3. Mary prayed in tongues, and that’s just awesome!

2. In the early church, they all spoke with tongues – and the church hasn’t changed since then.

1. Jesus said “In my name, you will speak in tongues”

Abundant Supply

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Tonight was awesome!  Simply awesome!

Duncan Sherwin kicked off the conference with a powerful message on money. Some of his comments on trusting God and not money, and putting money into context (the word money is in the Bible more than the word faith) and showing us how to relate to money was brilliant.

Then for the second session of the night, John Maunder shared on how we are all WORTH IT!  Because of the death of Jesus for us, we are loved.  More people lose out on their financial increase because they don’t realize how loved they are, and how blessed they are and how adored they are.

It was a powerful evening and a great start to the conference.  Looking forward to tomorrow so much!

Gracism!

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Racism is defined as treating people differently on the basis of nationality or outward markers of ethnicity.  Still racism is an issue in the world and the church today – people are neglected, ignored, devalued because of their nationality and ethnicity.  Jesus said His vision is for His house to be a house of prayer for all nations.

The Greek word for nations is ethnos, which we get our modern word ethnicity from.  God wants the church to be a place that people from every ethnic background can get together and worship and spend time with Him together.  A Father of love, loving His family of many backgrounds!

It’s time to stop seeing people through the eyes of race, and look at people through the eyes of grace.  Time to become a bunch of gracists.  Only looking at people assuming the best, ignoring their sin, bypassing their flaws, and looking at their potential, their strengths, their loves, their passions and valuing them as unique and special – not just special to God but special to you.

It’s gracism time!

The Mandate for a Grace Filled, Guilt Free, New Testament Church

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Arthur’s messages during our Restoring Leaders conference have really challenged me and lifted my thinking.  He is possibly the single most powerful Bible teacher in our generation (yes, I know I have said something superlative there and I have considered my thoughts and words carefully).

Something he said several times was this: we have to take a stand.  And that is so true.  It’s all right claiming that we are a grace church, and that we are a church that take the New Covenant and the complete work of Christ seriously, but then when it comes to worship we sing “I’m so hungry, so desperate, I’m going to the enemy’s camp, I surrender all” when it’s nothing to do with “I” but with “HIM”.  This Sunday I determined to only select songs that would be appropriate in heaven – that led to me rejecting a huge number of songs.  Well over 80% of what is written today is about us, about begging God, and about “warring with the enemy”.

That is not the worship of heaven and it should not be the worship of the redeemed either.

Then we have the offering and we beg and plead for money and make prosperity something you have to “DO” to be prosperous, when prosperity is rooted in the redemptive work NOT IN OUR ACTIONS!

No – I am taking my stand.  This Sunday.  If I lose 1/2 the church, then that is what will happen, but Tree of Life Church is a New Testament Church.  We are not going back to the law.  I have already dealt with a lot of this in the series I did on Witchcraft in the Church, but I am going back to this ground and staking a claim.  The foundation of our church is God’s grace as found in the complete redemptive work of Jesus.

No more do to be.  No more heavy burdens.  No more guilt, no more fear, no more shame.  No more condemnation.  No more law – law was our master until grace set us free.

That nagging, doubting, harsh voice inside you – IT’S NOT GOD!  He loves you.  He adores you.  He only has thoughts to prosper you.  He isn’t angry at you, and he isn’t mad at you, and He isn’t out to get you.  

When people say it’s greasy grace: GOOD!  We need to slide in, we couldn’t even walk in through the door of works, none of us could!

When people try and make you feel ashamed because you preach and believe grace and that the law is over, let them know: you are NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL!

I’ll let you know how it goes.  I believe it will go awesome because God is initiating it, and God is in it. And our church are a bunch that just want to know His Word so they can know Him better.

 

 

Dave Duell Preaching!

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