14 January 2008

Loving one another...

Jon Courson....


And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

Joshua 4:19-24
Paul proclaimed that the three greatest and most important components of life are faith, hope, and love. In the Book of Joshua, we see the people had hearts of hope in chapter 2 when the spies came back and said, “Truly the Lord has delivered the Land into our hands.” In chapter 3, they took steps of faith as they put the soles of their feet into the Jordan River, believing God would meet them in the process. And here we see the third component - a picture of love. Twelve stones stacked together in one monument - twelve stones representing twelve tribes, fit together in unity - would be the sign that the Israelites had crossed over the Jordan, that they had been “baptized” a second time.

Peter says that, as believers, we are living stones that are fit together in unity (1 Peter 2:5). When you come to church, not out of obligation but because you want to be linked together with fellow blockheads and stones, your love for them is a sure sign of your being touched deeply by the Spirit. “All men shall know you are My disciples,” said Jesus. By your speaking in tongues? No. By your gift of healing? No. “They’ll know you are My disciples by your love” (see John 13:35).

In 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, Paul discusses spiritual gifts and their manifestations. But packed between them is chapter 13, a chapter that deals exclusively with love because love is the defining characteristic of one who has had an encounter with the Spirit.

“Father, let them be one,” Jesus prayed in John 17, “that the world might know that I am in You and that You are in Me.” In other words, love within the Body of Christ is proof positive to a world that is skeptical that Jesus is risen and real, alive and well.
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My Utmost for His Highest
Called Of God

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."


od did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, "Who will go for us?" The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone. Whether or not I hear God's call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition. "Many are called but few are chosen," that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time, "Who will go for us?" It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, "Now, you go." God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, "Here am I, send me." Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings. When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside. The quiet passionate insistence of His "Follow Me" was spoken to men with every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say, "Here am I; send me."

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It seems as if there is a common theme in things lately...God sends you where you are for a purpose...it's no accident that I'm at ASBC...there are no coincidences.

What if everyday we looked at life like that. Not just when we go on trips. Everyday we reflected on the fact that there is a reason we are exactly where we are.

That would be interesting.

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