The JOYOUS Secret !

 

1 JOHN 4 - 19

 

 

 GOD controls our lives.  But HIS control is rather different.

 We are not puppets on a string. The LORD does not pull a cord and move our arms and legs or our mouth.

 GOD’S control does not work that way.

 

The LORD controls us by LOVE … but not by HIS+ LOVE. 

 

Rather, The LORD controls us by our love for HIM+.  It is totally of our own free will.

 

Marvelous !   We ourselves are the ones who open and shut the gates of our own heart.  We are in control of the heart and HE+ does not wrest it from our grasp

 

Yes, The LORD loves us.  HE loved us the moment we were conceived in the womb… no matter what the circumstances were between our birth-father and birth-mother.

 

Rich or poor, educated or illiterate, loved or unloved, wanted or unwanted, protected under the bonds of Holy Matrimony or conceived by violence … however we are conceived is secondary to this great truth:

The LORD Himself+ ordained our life.

 HE ordains our life because HE loves us, with the hopes that we will love HIM back !

 

When GOD ordains our conception, HE sends our spirit and soul into the first, tiny, completed human cell engendered by our birth-father and received by our birth-mother.

 

We gradually become enrobed in flesh in our mother’s womb following the natural laws The LORD set in motion at creation.  

 

We are fearfully and wonderfully knit together… body, soul, and spirit…  by The ONE Who called us into being and formed us in our mother’s womb.

 

GOD controls our lives from the moment of our conception.

 

In HIS perfectly-orchestrated control, HE ordains that we have free will to choose to love HIM back.

 HE does not slay us if we turn our backs on HIM;

satan does.

 

Because GOD Himself has given us this gift of free will, HE will not rescind it, even to keep satan from slaying us. 

 

GOD did not create robots to love HIM. Rather, HE created human beings who each has the power to choose to love GOD … or not.

 

It is risky to love.  We all bear witness to the many, many human beings who do NOT choose to love The LORD Who+ loves them !

 

They may not PURPOSELY choose satan either… but satan chooses them if they do not choose The LORD.  Human beings have no power to avoid satan and eternal damnation without The LORD.

 

Our LORD knows this. 

 

Yet, HE+ turns the risky control of our lives totally over to us in this one area: to choose to love The LORD or our Self. 

 

Furthermore… no one, no dictator and not even satan, has the power to remove that free choice from us.

 

The LORD does not force us to love Him+.  HE+ does not force us to choose Life Eternal. 

 

BUT WHEN WE DO CHOOSE to love JESUS…

 

HE+ still does not control us !

 

Once again, The LORD allows us total freedom to choose HOW MUCH or HOW LITTLE we will love HIM+. 

 

HE+ has unlimited love for His+ Followers.  HE+ will not force us to love HIM+ back.

 

Love, you see, is a gift from the giver. No-one can earn love. No-one can demand love. 

Some try to do both and they end up emptier and more bitter than they ever were.

 

We love HIM+

because

HE+ first loved us.

 

1 John 4:19

 

 HE+ chooses not to force us to love HIM+ even when it is the best thing for us.

 

It is solely our choice, not HIS+.

Our choice is totally under our control.  

 1 JOHN 4 - 19 EDITED

Acts 11:22-24

 

Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

 

Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God,

 was glad, and exhorted them all,

 

that with purpose of heart

they would cleave

unto the Lord.

 

For he was a good man, and full of the HOLY SPIRIT and of faith: and much people was added unto The LORD.

+  +  +

 

Those who purpose  to love JESUS with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength  are led by HIM+ … hourly, daily, weekly.

 

They have found the joyous secret to being close to The LORD at all times.

 

They hear His+ Voice, like His+ Good Sheep do, and follow His+ quiet, personal directives through-out their day.

 

Thus, each day they grow into a closer companionship with JESUS.

 

Each day, they walk through their duties sharing their inner-most thoughts with Our SAVIOR. 

 

HE+ RESPONDS !

 

Sometimes via the Spirit, sometimes in words HIMSELF+, but HE+ always responds.

 

HE+ guides their path and directs even their cooking and their chores, as well as their conversations and prayers.

 

HE+ hovers over them with great care because they

PURPOSE IN THEIR HEARTS

to always please HIM+.

 

And what IS IT that pleases our LORD ? 

 

UNBROKEN 

Fellowship with HIM+.

 

CONTINUAL

Companionship with HIM+.

 

 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us:

 

and truly our fellowship

is with The FATHER,

and with

HIS SON+  JESUS CHRIST.

1 John 1: 3

 

Companionship with JESUS is so dear, so filling, that we NOTICE immediately if we have slipped into sin or a wrong attitude toward someone or some situation.

 

We wince at anything which breaks our companionship with JESUS. 

 

If we slip into a weakness of sin, immediately we recognize it and repent, not wanting a gap in our closeness with The LORD.

 

But if we walk in the light,

as HE+ is in the light,

we have fellowship

one with another,

and

The Blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON+

cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

+  +  +

Let us pray:

 O LORD , I say I love YOU+, JESUS, yet I find myself interacting more with others than with YOU+ throughout my day.

 LORD, here and now I purpose in my heart to seek companionship with YOU+. 

 I set my will to love YOU+, LORD JESUS,  with all of my heart, with all of my soul, with all of my mind, and with all of my strength … and with all of my time.

 

And now, LORD CHRIST, I present unto THEE+ my Self, my soul, and my body to be a holy and living sacrifice unto THEE+ which is my reasonable service.

 

Glory be to THEE+, O LORD Most High. Glory be to THEE+.

 

Splendor and honor and kingly power are Yours by right, O LORD our GOD.    For YOU created everything that is, and by Your Will they were created and have their being.

 

And Yours+, by right,

O LAMB+ that was slain,

for with Your Blood

YOU+ have redeemed for GOD

from every family, language,

people, and nation,

a kingdom of priests

to serve our GOD.

 

And so, to HIM Who sits upon the Throne, and the CHRIST The LAMB+, Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, For ever and for evermore. Amen

 

A Song to the LAMB+

Revelation 4:11;  5:9-10, 13

The Book of Common Prayer, 1979

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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