Pursue Love


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I wish to encourage you to Pursue love… (1Co 14:1). As the apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthians, …faith, hope, and love abide… but the greatest of these is love (1Co 13:13). I was reminded today by my good friends Kevin and Cheryl Bartlett of the simplicity of stepping momentarily into someone else’s life and dispensing a few minutes of genuine, unassuming love on behalf of Christ.

You see, God’s love is applicable to every relationship you will ever encounter. While there are various characteristics and expressions of love, we can rest assured that …God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Rom 5:5), equipping us to administer His love.

As believers in Christ, it’s important to develop the discipline of daily giving thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love (which) endures forever (Psa 136:2). It’s important to keep yourselves in God’s love… waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life (Jude 1:21). While we wait for the Lord, pray that the Lord will predetermine the events of every day, allowing you specific opportunities to invest His love into someone else.

For the love of Christ controls us… (2Co 5:14) compelling us as ambassadors for Christ (2Co 5:20) in using our lives as instruments expressing His love:
– To pray for your enemies
– To comfort those in distress
– To forgive those who offend you
– To strengthen those feeling weak
– To correct those walking into sinful behaviour
– To uplift and encourage those struggling in weakened faith
– For those mourning a loss or enduring the inevitable certainty of losing someone precious
– For your spouse, your child, your parents, your siblings
– For a lost world

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12:9-21).

Simply speak well of our Saviour tomorrow beloved.

Serving the Saviour together:  Lincoln Forlong

Security in Jesus Christ

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I wish to encourage you with the realisation of our security in Jesus Christ. As surely as Christ died for your sin and rose victorious from the grave, your belief in the glorified Christ triggers the Fathers many facets of salvation. For us, we realise experientially the permanency of Christ’s security as we persevere in our faith, walking in obedience, and resting in Christ’s sufficiency.

Let’s consider a few of God’s irrevocable accomplishments that we enjoy in Christ. Think of the love He has for the world that motivated Him to give his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:16), unending, irreversible life, without the possibility of cancelation. As Jesus affirmed with authoritative certainty in John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. Jesus continues to detail the Father’s sovereign conclusiveness in John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

The certainty of our security has absolutely nothing to do with our ability to keep ourselves saved, or even to keep ourselves within God’s grace. Rather, we are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins (Rom 3:24-25). We enjoy the hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began (Tit 1:2). Realise that Holy God, who is incapable of lying or changing, has been seeing us as saved, sanctified, resurrected and glorified in Christ from before He even created time itself.

The apsotle Paul, being fully persuaded of our eternal security, wrote to the Ephesian believers saying that “In him (Christ) you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory (Eph 1:13-14). Such is the sufficiency of Christ’s redemptive work, that the Holy Spirit’s permanent indwelling is in a very real sense an unbreakable seal, guaranteeing God’s ownership of the repentant sinner. Therefore, even on those occasions when “we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself(2Ti 2:13).

The arch enemy of our God wants to convince you that Christ’s death is not sufficient to keep you saved when you stumble, he’s WRONG. There will be people in your life who will sow the seeds of doubt, questionings, and of fear – they are in WRONG. They may even attempt to mis-quote or mis-represent God’s Word in an attempt to dislodge your faith in Christ – they are in ERROR.

Instead of listening to the voices of misconception, doubt and error, lets listen ONLY to the God of Scripture. Lets praise God for our unshakable security in Christ. This will disolve fear, highten your joy of salvation, and escalate your hope in Christ’s return. It will deepen your faith, accelerate your expressions of mercy, and ignite your desire to share Christ with those lost in sin. Let’s speak well of the Saviour today for He alone is worthy!

Safe together in Christ:  Lincoln Forlong

The Matter of Sanctification

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I wish to encourage you in the matter of sanctification. A big word which is uncommon in today’s vocabulary. It’s a wonderful word, rich in meaning and application. For today, I wish to leave you with the sweetness of the relational side of sanctification. The word “sanctify” in the Greek New Testament simply means to make holy. In its various biblical forms and applications, it always refers to setting people aside from the unholy standards of this sinful world to the holiness of God. The Lord wants us to grow in our ability to accurately express His holiness through our lives for His glory.

Spiritual cleansing and acquittal of sins guilt through faith in Christ is the Holy Spirit’s work which began at the moment of salvation. Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers with this truth, you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1Co 6:11).

Sanctification is at the heart of every facet of being a genuine Christian. God’s intention, as Jesus explained at Paul’s conversion, was for we Gentiles to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they (we) may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me (Act 26:18). Faith in Jesus Christ placed us in the group of people that God has set aside as being holy in Christ, so that we can grow in the expression of Christ’s holiness.

God has given us His Word, the Bible, as the tool, the instrument, that fuels our development in holiness. Jesus prayed that the disciples would be sanctified in the truth, and that God’s Word is truth (Jn 17:17-19).  God intends you to grow in sanctification as you immerse yourself in the Word of God and as you are energised by the Holy Spirit to fulfil His perfect will for your life.

Realise, if you are a born again child of God, He wants to sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Th 5:23). Realise also, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Php 1:6). The Lord will not abandon His mission for sanctification in your life.

Let’s together yield to God’s design for our lives, recognising and embracing His workings of sanctification in us, so that He will get the pleasure and the glory from our living.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong

Dependant Walk of Faith

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I wish to encourage you today, in your dependant walk of faith with Jesus Christ as Lord.

It’s an ironic part of life, that when we get tired, or overwhelmed by the busyness of life, we easily become spiritually lethargic or forgetful.

It’s a God honouring discipline in the Christian life to form daily routines that are not easily forgotten. As the Psalmist reminds us, “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life(Psa 119:93). It is critical to our spiritual wellbeing that we keep ourselves in God’s Word. The Word of God is His primary, tangible tool, for revealing Himself to us, for invigorating spiritual vitality in us, for igniting genuine love for the life giving Gospel of Jesus Christ, and for equipping us to do His work of ministry in the lives of others.

Paul, wanting to equip Timothy for a life of faithful service to Jesus Christ as Lord, instructed him, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel(2Ti 2:8). Deliberate, disciplined, routine thinking of the person of Jesus Christ is foundational to the Christian faith. We use what we learn from the Word of God to trigger and develop growing thoughts of Jesus Christ. This is who we are in Christ beloved, we are Jesus Christ’s regenerated people to live as His Ambassadors (2Co 5:20).

Let’s today, follow Paul’s instruction to the Philippian believers, consciously applying our minds to whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Php 4:8).

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways (Psa 119:15).

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong

The Love of Christ

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I wish to encourage you to consciously think of the love of Christ today. The love that first loved us (1Jn 4:19) and pursued us. It’s the love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God (1Jn 3:11).

Ephesians 1:4-10 In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.

There are so many levels and facets of His eternal love, that we struggle to grasp the enormity of it. Although the enemy constantly tries to distract us from God’s love, we are assured by Scripture that we are NEVER outside of our Father’s predetermining love, we are never outside of His conscious awareness and purpose, never outside of His personal involvement accomplishing His will in the events of our lives, and never outside of His perpetual provision and planning for the eternal future He is preparing for us.

The love of God that is expressed to us through Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit secures us, affirms our faith, and brightens our hope for glory – Come Lord Jesus!

Today, lets verbally express our appreciation of His love, and communicate His love to someone else. Let’s speak well of our Saviour for His pleasure and glory.

Together for Christ:  Lincoln Forlong