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Love and Acknowledge

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Loyal
What does it mean to acknowledge someone? Can this be merely intellectual or emotional recognition? Can this be merely verbal confession? Does any of that count as true (complete) acknowledgment?

What does it mean to love people as Christ loved us - with God-like love? Can we love people and not feel love for them? Or, can we have feelings of love for them and not truly love them? And, can we truly love God and yet treat people with hate (as defined by God, not culture)?

The Lord Jesus led me to read 1 John 4 (Select vv. NIV).

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. Vv. 1-3

What is a spirit? It could be a demon or an angel, the devil or the Holy Spirit, or some type of mystical force or influence present in the universe. It could also be the soul, essence, inner self, heart and life of a human being. Or, it could be someone’s disposition, temperament, attitude, nature, character and/or personality. It can, as well, be someone’s fortitude, guts, determination and/or their moral fiber.

So, we are to test these spirits, all inclusive of what is mentioned above, to see whether or not they are of God or of the antichrist. So, what is the measurement for this test? It is whether or not they acknowledge Jesus Christ, who he was and is, and what he did for us in dying on a cross for our sins, and in being resurrected from the dead victorious over hell, sin, death and Satan.

Well, to acknowledge means to admit, recognize, allow, accept, confess, answer, respond, or rejoin. The opposite of this is to ignore, i.e. to snub, disregard, discount, pay no attention to or to dispense with. I believe that says a lot! What it says is this is NOT a mere intellectual assent nor is it a mere formal declaration or a public confession that someone exists or even of who they are and of what they have done.

What this is saying, I believe, in its fullest extent, is that we should test not only people’s words, which could be “just words,” but we should test their character, attitudes, actions, behaviors, their morality, temperament, and lifestyles, to see whether or not, in these areas, they allow for, receive (agree, consent, say yes to), answer to, join with and follow Jesus Christ, or if they deny, reject, disregard and dispense with him and his Words and the truth of why he gave his life up for us, which was to free us from our chains.

And, first and foremost, we should be testing these things within ourselves.

Outward, verbal confessions of Christ do not necessarily equate true heart and life transformations, in other words. Not saying we will all be perfect, as you know, or that we will never sin again, but that our overall attitudes, behaviors, words, and actions give more testimony as to whether or not we truly are following Christ or if we are following what is antichrist.

This is why scripture stresses so much that we must be walking according to the Spirit (God’s spirit) and not according to the flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God. We must, by the Spirit, be putting sin to death. We must be walking (in lifestyle) in the Light, and no longer in darkness, for if we profess to be in fellowship with God but we are still walking in darkness, then we are liars (1 Jn. 1:5-9; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 5:19-21).

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. Vv. 4-6

So, if we are in God, by faith in Jesus Christ, we have overcome the spirit of the antichrist, i.e. that which is opposed to God and his Word and his character, will, purposes, morality, truthfulness, righteousness, and holiness, etc. Thus, we are now accepting of what is of God in the way of truth, holiness, righteousness, justice and mercy into our moral fibers, characters, personalities, temperaments, attitudes and behaviors, etc.

The reality of what Christ did for us in dying for our sins, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, should now be reflected in these areas in our lives, not in absolute perfection, for we are all in the process of sanctification, as followers of Christ. But, they should be reflected in our lives in an obvious heart transformation away from resisting, refusing, ignoring and dispensing with Christ and his witness to our hearts, to an apparent desire for the Lord which is evidenced by our receiving, obeying, saying yes to, and our cooperating with his work of grace in our lives.

If we, who are now in Christ by faith, who are overcomers through Christ who loves us, are now living the truth, walking the truth, and speaking the truth, in love, then those who are of God and who are also acknowledging him by their attitudes, heart, behaviors, and morality, etc. should listen to what we have to say. There should be an immediate recognition in their spirits that what is being said is of God and that what is being said is truth.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. Vv. 7-12

The way we are to love one another is with God-like (agape) love, which centers in preferring what God prefers, and is divinely persuaded as to God’s will, morality, righteousness and holiness. This kind of love will do no harm to another, not on purpose, anyway. This kind of love is looking out for what is in the best interest of others, i.e. what is God’s perfect will for them. So, this love will not lie to, cheat on, steal from, gossip about, or take advantage of others. It will, instead, speak the truth in love to them, show them the way to true peace, joy and fulfillment, and encourage faithfulness, holiness and godliness, even if the one loving is treated despitefully, in return.

In other words, love is not a feeling or an emotion, at least not in this context. So, it is possible to “feel” love and yet not love because we are not acting in love towards others. It is also possible to not “feel” love because of how someone has treated us, and so we don’t have fuzzy feelings about them, but we love them by showing love despite how they have treated us.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. Vv. 19-21

Hate is the opposite of love. Love is giving. Hate is taking. Love is kind. Hate is unkind (defined by God, not by culture). Love is self-sacrificing. Hate is self-centered, thinking only of self, and despite who gets hurt in the process. Love considers the other’s needs and heart, whereas hate considers only the wants of self, without regard for other’s needs or their hearts. Love does no harm to another, whereas hate has no difficulty sinning against others, stomping on their hearts, and doing what is evil against them. Love is willing to be hated for doing good, whereas hate thinks only of self and complains or lashes out if confronted with sin.

Basically, God is love, the devil is hate, and love and hate are opposites. So, if we are acting in opposition to love, then we are acting with hate, most likely. So, we need to examine our hearts, our attitudes, our behaviors and our characters, and we need to ask ourselves, before God, if our lives reflect the love of God or hate for God and other humans, and if they reflect true acceptance of Christ and his Word, or if they reveal that we are ignoring God, disregarding his truths, and thus dispensing with him and them.

My Prayer
An Original Work / May 30, 2011

“Fill me with Your Spirit;
help me to love others;
Let me know Your power;
be an overcomer.
Show me how to follow
Jesus Christ, my Savior;
Be His faithful servant
to obey Him always.

“Lead me with Your presence;
help me know the right way;
Teach me love and kindness,
generous compassion.
Give me grace and courage
to be Jesus’ witness,
Teaching His salvation
to a world who needs Him.”

Won’t you come and follow
Jesus Christ, your Savior?
He died so you’d be
free of control of your sin;
Free to follow His ways
in complete surrender;
Living sacrifices –
let His grace transform you.


Sunday, January 14, 2018, 9:58 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from your word. I pray we will all test our own spirits to see if they reflect Christ and his Word or if they reflect our flesh, i.e. what is antichrist.
 
Active
Thats true..,I can ask any brother and sister in christ if they want to go to church with me and they will be happy to and I can go to their church too. But I ask someone who just says they are christian and then they all make excuses to not go when I invite them :-(

I dont know how many times I should ask before I give up.

I know some people dont like to go to church but if you invited someone its not like you going by yourself. And really, church is just the part of a christians life a small part of your week but a vital part.

Jesus parable of the wedding supper springs to mind. Imagine you are having a wedding and all the guests on your list who you thought were family and friends make excuses not to attend. It must have broken Jesus heart.
 
Loyal
Thats true..,I can ask any brother and sister in christ if they want to go to church with me and they will be happy to and I can go to their church too. But I ask someone who just says they are christian and then they all make excuses to not go when I invite them :-(

I dont know how many times I should ask before I give up.

I know some people dont like to go to church but if you invited someone its not like you going by yourself. And really, church is just the part of a christians life a small part of your week but a vital part.

Jesus parable of the wedding supper springs to mind. Imagine you are having a wedding and all the guests on your list who you thought were family and friends make excuses not to attend. It must have broken Jesus heart.
I believe the parable of the wedding feast is an invitation to believe on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of one's life, which results in entering into the kingdom of heaven, and in becoming part of the body of Christ, his church, which is regardless of whether or not someone attends a meeting at a building called "church." Whether or not someone attends something called church does not determine if one has entered into the kingdom of heaven, for there are many people who attend meetings called church who are not part of Christ's body at all. And, there are many who are part of Christ's body who will never go to a building called "church" if Jesus Christ is not the true head of that church, but it is merely an organization of men.
 
Active
What is the right question then...?
Its just asking if they want to go to church with me. Why, what would you ask?

The wedding supper wasnt an invitation to believe, it was an actual invitation to a wedding in that people needed to get off their butt and attend. Sorry to be rude about it, but you cant just believe a wedding to participate in it, you actually need to be there in person to enjoy it!

Shall I just say well sorry you missed out.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
What is the right question then...?
Its just asking if they want to go to church with me. Why, what would you ask?

The wedding supper wasnt an invitation to believe, it was an actual invitation to a wedding in that people needed to get off their butt and attend. Sorry to be rude about it, but you cant just believe a wedding to participate in it, you actually need to be there in person to enjoy it!

Shall I just say well sorry you missed out.
Are you seeking to help them or do you see this as just fulfilling an obligation, as one neighbor to another? Because you see them rejecting the invitation over and over again for no apparent reason? Remember, you are the one who keeps asking, and wanted to know if you should stop presenting the invite.

In clarification, I was not stating the "right question", rather an alternative one. That is if its your desire is to help them, besides just putting an invitation out there as a courtesy.

If the invite is the only thing, then I would say then there is no issue with you saying "...sorry you missed out." Maybe in that case add a little more to that response and say "I'm sorry you're going to miss out on the great Praise Worship, and Fellowshiip we're going to have!".

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Active
its just an invite to go praise and worship the Lord with others. Its not an obligation or seeking to help..? Not sure what you mean by that...but it would help them if they did go.

What is the other question then..am curious. Does not God invite us because He loves us and wants us all together with Him not simply as a 'courtesy'.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
its just an invite to go praise and worship the Lord with others. Its not an obligation or seeking to help..? Not sure what you mean by that...but it would help them if they did go.

What is the other question then..am curious. Does not God invite us because He loves us and wants us all together with Him not simply as a 'courtesy'.
Delving deeper with that person, to find out why they see one thing as being acceptable "calling myself a Christian", and yet, care nothing for actually "living/acting like a Christian" or even seeking the things that would help one "grow as a Christian", like "going to church". Is not why we present this "invite" nor are we seeking this deeper interaction to know and possibly help them know why they don't want to. I hope in this that you will see that an alternative question is always evident. Choosing the one appropriate, becomes apparent as the Holy Spirit guides you to verbalize what you already know is needed for that individual if you are led to do so.

A lot of folks, me included invite folks to church sister. It's done in passing, with the knowledge/purpose that it would be a benefit, yet we're not really looking to engage them on a level seeking to do anything more than that. Our actions may be in the form of love, but more in line with fulfilling a duty that we see as being needed of us to do. Being that messenger in providing them who really need it, what God has offered to all.

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Active
Well I haven't been told by God to ask a different question - if He wants me to He will let me know. He just wants them in church because He loves them and wants them in his flock. Whether they go or not is not something that's up to me it's up to them. Be great if they did want to come with me though.

I was just thinking that their response has been rather lukewarm. But that's just my sense I could be wrong maybe they really really want to go and can't or they really really don't want to come and are just lying to me being polite.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
The question that came to mind Sister is simply "How do you show someone that you love them?"

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Active
Invite them to church and God will show them how much He loves not just them, but everyone else.

I had a sister who gave testimony, she was an unbeliever and at the time her boyfriend had a friend who was being baptised and invited her along to church. She did not want to go but went anyway and then God kept calling her cos one of the ladies at church said next sunday we are making hot cross buns. Well she had no idea what hot cross buns were but in her mind a voice kept saying hot cross buns. Hot cross buns!

So it happened the next sunday, usually she had no means of transport but her boyfriend lent her the car that day. The voice kept saying hot cross buns hot cross buns so she drove to the church and wandered around looking lost cos she obviously did not fit in. There were some ladies in the church kitchen. Then one lady noticed her and came by and asked her what she was looking for and the sister said um...hot cross buns..? The lady then said (obviously by the holy spirit) do you know Jesus loves you and she broke down and cried.

She became a christian cos thats when she heard the gospel. True story.

I mean obviously also go bake some hot cross buns to show you care ... but..if the boyfriend had never invited her to church maybe she wouldnt have had that God appointment. And this lady she did not even know and had never met her before.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
I mean obviously also go bake some hot cross buns to show you care ... but..if the boyfriend had never invited her to church maybe she wouldnt have had that God appointment. And this lady she did not even know and had never met her before.
I think you have your answer! :smile:

With the Love of Christ Jesus Sister.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Active
I had this bbq on sunday at my place and invited everyone on my phone list in the morning funny thing is the ones that showed up, 3 I invited by word of mouth and only one that responded to my text came.

I think I had at least 20 on my phone list most were apologetic and couldnt make it as had other things on (or other bbqs) but its the ones that go 'maybe' or 'will see first' that are annoying because you dont know if fhey will come or not! But at least they ackowledged my txt I think only one or two didnt respond at all, but then again maybe their phone was off. Most of them were happy I invited them.
Oh well they missed out on the feast!

I think with a thing like a wedding though its different because invites are sent well in advance. And church well services are held every week so if you miss one you can always go the following week. Bur many churches dont have communion or the Lords supper every single week. What I find hard to handle is if someone says they will come but then you dont ever see them. Or they might just come to an event or a bible study but never come to an actual worship service. Or they may only come for the free food, (showing that god is their belly) but at least they are getting fed somehow.

Even if nobody came I would have had bbq anyway at least feeding my own family. But you can feed your own family everyday how often do you feed your friends and entertain strangers (who could be angels unawares?)
 
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