Friday, January 19, 2007

What God has joined together, let NO man separate.

There are certain truths that are uniquely powerful and glorious by themselves, however, they simply can not stand by themselves. They are a marriage of principals. Together, they ARE the true gospel lived out.

“The greatest commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and the second is LIKE it, Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love the Lord your God:

It is Faith alone that pleases God. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. Faith is our path of connection to God. Faith is the substance in which our relationship with Him has it's beginning, and it's maturation. Faith is the longing to trust and believe the best, the bold reach for the highest ideal - no matter what doubts and discouragement assail us. Despite cinical or fraudulent testement otherwise. Faith is a most beautiful and precious gift. Faith is, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer -the union of God with man, the commitment of man to God.

In the great love chapter (Corinthians 13) there are numerous acts of faith listed.....
but again and again we read that without love these acts of faith are MEANINGLESS.

" I may speak in the languages of humans and of angels. But if I don't have love, I am a loud gong or a clashing cymbal. I may have the gift to speak what God has revealed, and I may understand all mysteries and have all knowledge. I may even have enough faith to move mountains. But if I don't have love, I am nothing. I may even give away all that I have and give up my body to be burned. But if I don't have love, none of these things will help me. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn't jealous. It doesn't sing its own praises. It isn't arrogant. It isn't rude. It doesn't think about itself. It isn't irritable. It doesn't keep track of wrongs. It isn't happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end. There is the gift of speaking what God has revealed, but it will no longer be used. There is the gift of speaking in other languages, but it will stop by itself. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will no longer be used. Our knowledge is incomplete and our ability to speak what God has revealed is incomplete. But when what is complete comes, then what is incomplete will no longer be used. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways. Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me. So these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the best one of these is love."

A marraige without love gives little meaning to the symbol of faithfulness.
Faith without works is dead.
Faith IS the prized jewel,
but it needs the perfect setting of love to shine.
Love alone will display the beauty and authenticity of faith.

Love your neighbour as yourself:
Jesus said OFTEN, "Go learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice'.” He's teaching us HOW to love Him. In Isaiah 58 the heart of God pours out with His longing.

"The LORD says, "Shout as loud as you can! Tell my people Israel about their sins!
They worship me every day, claiming that they are eager to know my ways and obey my laws. They say they want me to give them just laws and that they take pleasure in worshiping me." The people ask, "Why should we fast if the LORD never notices? Why should we go without food if he pays no attention?" The LORD says to them, "The truth is that at the same time you fast, you pursue your own interests and oppress your workers.
Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. Do you think this kind of fasting will make me listen to your prayers? When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that?
"The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. "Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond. "If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry. Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses." The LORD says, "If you treat the Sabbath as sacred and do not pursue your own interests on that day; if you value my holy day and honor it by not traveling, working, or talking idly on that day, then you will find the joy that comes from serving me. I will make you honored all over the world, and you will enjoy the land I gave to your ancestor, Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken."

Scriptures says that if we come to bring an offering to God but remember our brother has something against us, we are to leave our offering and go make things right first.

“How can you say you love God whom you can’t see when you do not love your brother who you can see.”

“If you love me, obey my commandments. This is my commandment, Love one-another”

God takes personal how we relate to others, after all, each individual is made in HIS image and we are created a connected body. Nothing happens on this earth that does not affect or touch us, or Him.

"What you have done to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

Our offering, our sacrifice, our worship is a costly perfum but it needs the sweet aroma of right relationships to be a truly pleasing fragrance. Honor & grace make our sacrifice valuable.

The two commandments are NOT a divided focus. ALL of the law and the prophets hang on these two truths. They flow only in context with one-another. We cannot have one without the other. And it is only when both are in place that He is glorified, and the kingdom of God is manifested in power. This is Heaven kissing Earth.

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