Receive the Love Believe the Love
First of all, Gloria and I want to thank you for being so faithful to stand with us throughout 2017. It began with the command: Get your house in order! That meant not only our spiritual house, but also our physical house. This has been a year of “face it, repent and fix it.” We’re going into 2018 in the best condition in which we have EVER been to get done what THE LORD JESUS has mandated we do. It’s big, but HE’S BIGGER! It cannot be done without faith, but that’s not a problem because you and I have faith in God!
Let’s begin with 1 John 4:16:
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
What does it mean to “believe the love”? To answer that, let’s first look at John 17:23:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Jesus prayed this prayer just a few hours before He went to the cross. This is very special. It is so important that we pay close attention to every word He said, especially when we realize He was praying for us (verse 20). Verse 23 is staggering to the human mind, but oh so thrilling to the hungry heart! God loves me as much as He does Jesus! Not only that, but He also wants the whole world to know it. Stop right now and receive that. I know you know it. Knowing it is one thing, but receiving it is something entirely different.
We’ve read John 17:23. Now let’s look at verse 26:
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
THE LOVE wherewith God, the heavenly Father, loves Jesus is now in everyborn-again believer! Romans 5:5 says, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Meditate on that. That’s who and what is in you and in me right now. I receive it as a New Testament fact!
Now, let’s take the next step toward believing THE LOVE. In fact, if we outline this message, it would look like this:
Believe THE LOVE:
1. I believe it’s in me now.
2. I believe it never fails.
3. I believe it is God.
We have acted on No. 1, so let’s now go to No. 2: “Believe it never fails.”
First Corinthians 13:4-8 is the Holy Spirit’s classic teaching through the Apostle Paul. Let’s believe it together as we read it. Let’s substitute the word Love for charity.
4 [Love] suffereth long, and is kind; [Love] envieth not; [Love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 [Love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
That brings us to point No. 3 on our outline: “Believe it is God”! Of course, LOVE never fails. It is God! You and I both know that, and we certainly agree that all that’s been said is true. But here’s where the next step is so critical: We have received THE LOVE. We have believed THE LOVE. Now, how do we renew our minds to become “LOVE-that-never-fails-in-me-now minded”?
Remember, years ago, when The LORD instructed me to: Teach My people to become God-inside minded instead of just God-in-heaven minded? Well, we must do the same thing here. To do that makes it a very personal thing. Read those verses again, and place yourself where the word Love is in every verse:
I suffer long, and am kind; I envy not; I vaunt not myself, I am not puffed up, I do not behave myself unseemly, I seek not my own, I am not easily provoked. I think no evil; I rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth; I bear all things, I believe all things, I hope all things, I endure all things. I never fail!
Shout out verse 8: “I NEVER FAIL!” Wait a minute! We have to add the phrase “as long as I believe THE LOVE and walk in it.” Say it again: “I NEVER FAIL, as long as I believe THE LOVE and walk in it.” Do you see it? We have to practice THE LOVE. Not just human love, but the God kind of LOVE.
Let’s look at verses 4-8 one more time—only this time in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:
I endure long, and I am patient and kind; I am never envious nor do I boil over with jealousy. I am not boastful or vainglorious, and I do not display myself haughtily. I am not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); I am not rude (unmannerly), and I do not act unbecomingly. I do not insist on my own rights or my own way, for I am not self-seeking; I am not touchy or fretful or resentful; I take no account of the evil done to me [I pay no attention to a suffered wrong]. I do not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but I rejoice when right and truth prevail. I bear up under anything and everything that comes, I am ever ready to believe the best of every person, my hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and I endure everything [without weakening]. I never fail [never fade out or become obsolete or come to an end].
I’ll close with this: Receiving and believing THE LOVE will cause spiritual growth and development of the inner man, and fulfills Ephesians 3:14-20:
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
Ephesians 3:17 gives us the title of this message, “Rooted and Grounded in LOVE.” Jesus taught in Mark 4:17 that the first and most successful weapon the devil uses to steal The WORD is becoming offended:
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Now we know what that root is: It is being rooted and grounded in LOVE. Go back and look at our confession from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, especially verse 5, in the AMPC:
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not selfseeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
In other words, love never becomes offended. If that’s not what Jesus said in Mark 4:17, I don’t know what is. Of course it is! The root on the solid foundation of LOVE makes Mark 4:18-19 easy to stand against the devil and enjoy the hundredfold that Jesus promised in verse 20. Don’t you absolutely enjoy, to the max, the awesome depth of His glorious WORD? I know you do!
As you sow your BLESSING seed this month, put those wonderful words that fell from the lips of Jesus into your heart and mouth. Say: “God loves me as much as He loves JESUS.” Then, pray and confess this over your seed as you worship Him: “Because of what You have done for me and in me, I am born of Your LOVE. THE LOVE that never fails is alive in me now. Because of that LOVE, I qualify for the hundredfold that You, dear Jesus, taught in Mark 4:20. Thank You! And thank You for being so good and taking me from the trickle, to the stream, to the river, to the THE FLOOD in 2018—the Year of THE HOLY GHOST and FIRE!”
Gloria and I love you so very much, and we pray for you every day.