Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
I Timothy 6:12

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

Christian Love

John15:17: These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Saints of God in the World,

I greet you in Jesus' precious name.

The Corporate church "shoots" their wounded.

The Body of Christ restores, builds up and renews their own.

I have recently had the misfortune, albeit a reminder from God, of witnessing once again, the "Christian" love that comes from the "Christian" church toward one who is suffering much in mind and spirit. That which I witnessed is not love at all. Sorry, this is not a judgment. I invoke Matt7:20. I am not commanded to judge the heart or the persons (Matt7:1). The Word of God does that. Heb 4:12 tells us that the Word of God discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is by using the Word that we can discern many things. (1Cor12:10) We are given the gift of discernment that we be not deceived or injured by the "intents" of the hearts of the wicked. We also discern so that the Body be made aware of falsehood and deception in it's midst. We are made aware by our discernment of actions (fruits) or, as important, the absence of them, as being Godly or not. "Test" the spirits by the word of God. Hold everything up to the light of scripture. Listen when God speaks.

You know the old story... When some adversity comes to one in the congregation, one finds one's self "cut loose", outside in the cold with not even a word from these "brothers and sisters" who spewed the oft repeated empty cliché, "I will be praying for you" from their flattering lips and Christless hearts. The pastor quickly sweeps this out the back door and puts his flock back to sleep! Don't rock the boat. The incident is soon forgotten. This does not just happen in the corporate church either!

Many of us have been there and no matter the circumstances, this sadly goes on and on. God has His plan for each and every one of us and if He removes us from the lawless corporate church or other "body" through some trial, just or unjust, it is to make His point that He is the most important person in the life of the believer, not a man's institution, not "friends" or "security". God will then place them on a more focused, narrower road, in fellowship with God first and then His true children, providing of course that the person accepts this as God's will and strives to further seek out Father's will in his or her life. The desire to know the Truth is paramount to any growth and enlightenment! It also separates the "men from the boys". Remember, the congregation is tested also. This is not one sided by any means. We are ALL accountable.

So, let's look at the "Love" thing from a biblical perspective, that is, from the true and inerrant Word of God. This may help you to exercise your gift to discern those around you as either embodying Christ or the contrary dark spirit of anti-Christ, those to be avoided and those who are truly "family". This is a spirit we are dealing with, not the 'person' many seek to be revealed as the antichrist of the last days. That is another subject. This dark spirit is pervasive and entrenched in the churches today. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. God has plenty of work before us to tend to.

And no, I do not believe you will hear much of this "love" from the pulpits either..., at least not God's version of this Truth. It happens that this IS the truth as spoken by God through His Spirit in the scriptures. The "love" the apostate church teaches, is a "love" to blend with a decadent, lawless society. To fit in unmolested is their "way", if you will. They do not rock the boat. Jesus Christ and His followers do! We do not accept lies or substitutes! That brings the suffering home to the life of the true believer. Praise God. The love the scriptures refer to is not carnal and comes ONLY after one has come totally to the Christ of Salvation, the Christ of the Scriptures. The Christ that is all but missing in the heart of church world and elsewhere today.

And you will discern by knowing their fruits (Matt7:20).

First John is loaded with commands, admonitions and warnings we must be aware of at all times if we are truly Christ's and bonded to the Body of Christ through His Spirit. These commands are repeated throughout this epistle and elsewhere, for good reason. They are often "overlooked".

In Matt25:40 Jesus uses the word 'brethren' to refer to those whom the Father has given Him, those who follow Him. It has often been a point of contention that Jesus meant ALL men. He puts the debate to rest in Lu:8:21: And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

Our service to the brethren in the Body of Christ is summed up quite nicely in the following passage. I need not expound: Romans 12:10-13 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit,serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. (Present active tense) A dear sister in Christ was led by the Spirit to bring this and other scriptures to the forefront as a result of our fellowship and prayer over certain needs in her life, and the role that all true brethren play in standing up for each other in the face of our trials.

This is where the soles of your feet, again, meet the dust of the narrow way:

Commands and Admonitions!

M'r:11:25: And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Lu:17:3-4: Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him

Joh:13:34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
1Jo:2:8: Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

1Jo:4:21: And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

1Jo:5:16: If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

... able also to admonish one another Ro:15:14:

Ga:6:2: Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Eph:4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Phillippians 2:1-2 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

1Th:5:11: Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

1Pe:1:22: Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Some Warnings!

M't:5:22: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

M'r:11:26: But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

1Jo:2:10: He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

1Jo:3:10: In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1Jo:3:14: We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1Jo:3:15: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
1Jo:3:17: But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

1Jo:4:20: If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

1Co:8:12: But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

Read the parable of the king in Matt 18:23. And the fearful summation in verses 34-35.

Check yourself before approaching a brother who has sinned:

M't:7:5: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Purify yourself)

A Great Benefit!

1 Peter 4:8 above all keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Isn't this enough?!

1Jo:3:16: Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

If Jesus Christ has laid down His very life for us, we must also be doing the same for the brethren. It may not include your suffering physical death, although to spread the Gospel or minister to one another, it may become necessary some day. We must endure the hardships and depravity to be reaching out to the brethren as God has commanded, in the same way as God gave everything He had to minister to us and continues to do so through His Spirit and by all the means of Heaven. God sends ministering spirits too. As we minister we have this word from God to strengthen us along the way and test us as to our total commitment to the love of the brethren: 1Jo:4:18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. Total commitment starts with total surrender to the will of God. We're back to Matt16:24.

If Christ is in us and we have the mind of Christ, it is Christ who ministers also. Never cover your vessel with a lid!

Whether we live next door to each other, attend a home church or as is the case for many of us, fellowship with one another long distance, let us "hold" each other up in prayer, bear each other's burdens and petition the Lord on each other's behalf. Doesn't a family usually take care of it's own? We are isolated enough in this wicked world. Our unity lies in the Spirit which transcends all physical barriers. Let's keep these commands of God, not "try" to keep them as a "pastor" recently wrote me. God's laws were once written in stone, the stone of the stubborn heart. Praise Jesus, now the "law" is a living part of us because we have the Spirit of God, the Living lawgiver, the Living law, even Jesus Christ the Lord. And isn't it Jesus who lives THROUGH us? We shouldn't need to look these laws up, we need to live them, as they are a part of us now. Laws-R-Us! That's not legalism. That's scripture, (Matt19:17 - John14:15 - John14:21 - John 15:10 ...to name a few.)

Col:3:12: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col:3:13: Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col:3:14: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Col:3:15: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Be thankful to God for being a part of this Body of Christ. Edify the Body and pray always. Let your needs be known to one another. Even we get bogged down in the "cares" of ministering and living in this dying world at times. They matter nothing when they become a "care", a stumbling block. Re-focus. Don't let them come between you and the real needs that God is calling you to address. Get back to being the vessels, at peace, filled, moved and poured out by God. Never presume to tell the Potter His business. We have received our orders. Serve as commanded. 2Co:4:7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

1Jo:3:22: And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1Jo:3:23: And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1Jo:3:24: And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Everytime you look at the dirt beneath your feet, remember just where you came from!

God's LOVE give us a bright, eternal future...beyond the dust!

Love one another.

God bless you and strengthen you in His Wisdom and His great LOVE, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Read your Bible.