I was in a bit of a quandary today. I was moments away from my Internet radio broadcast going live and I didn't have a thing to say. I had not heard from the Lord on what I was to talk about, what songs I was to play or anything else. In the past when this has happened, the Lord would often simply tell me to do a music program so, I was preparing to do that. As the clock was ticking down the final ten minutes or so, I heard that still small voice.
My best friend gave me a Bible called "The Scriptures." I highly recommend this version of the Bible to anyone who is a serious student of the Word. This Bible is always close at hand and the Lord told me to look up 1 Corinthians 13:11-13. For many people, this is a very familiar passage, ofter called the "love passage." As I read this passage for the first time in this version, the eyes of my understanding were opened as I read the 13th verse.
" And now belief, expectation, and love remain - these three. But the greatest of these is love."
As I read that verse, the faith walk became so clear to me. For years I've struggled with the faith teaching and how to exercise the faith that God has placed in my being. Like so many others, I've heard a lot of faith teachers teach, but could never quite put all the pieces together in a way that made complete sense to me: those days are now OVER.
Jesus died on the Cross to seal God's complete and total COVENANT for you and me. By doing so, Christ Jesus became the Lamb that bought back our dominion on this earth and sealed the promises of God for all those who believe in God and are Christians.
There are a lot of people who believe there is a God, but many who don't believe IN God. Rather than just believe there is a God, we have to believe IN God. We have to look at what His Word says and take it for what it says. We have to place our trust in the fact that God will do what His Word says He will do. If you and I will step out in faith and do our part, then God is bound by His covenant, His blood covenant to do what He said He will do. We just have to believe in what He said and, believe it in our hearts.
Next, we have to set aside the doubt and the fear, set aside the words of those who are stuck in religion and stuck in disbelief and begin to expect God to answer our prayers and petitions. We need to make our requests known, then we need to run out into the front yard and start looking down the street expecting the answer to show up. If you're praying for lost loved ones to be saved, plant your prayer and love gift to God, then start expecting that the phone will ring any moment with the news that they got saved. If your need is physical, financial, spiritual or whatever; you've got to put your faith in gear and expect God to do what He said He would do and answer your prayer.
Lastly, we've got to love as God loves. We've got to stop talking about people, stop criticizing people and love them. We've got to stop looking down our religious noses at the lost and look at them with eyes of compassion and great love. We've got to pray for those who don't treat us right and just love them any way. When someone comes into our churches who isn't dress right or who isn't as clean as we think they should be; don't shun them in favor of someone who is dressed better or looks cleaner. We've got to go to that person and welcome them and show them the same love and respect that Jesus would show them if He were in the room.
Let me say something that may shock some who read this. If you'll run up to a person wearing expensive clothes, a Rolex watch and driving a fine ride, but you won't turn around in your pew to offer your hand to that person who is dressed in rags or hasn't bathed, you are sinning. You're showing favoritism to rich person and rejecting the poor person. You could be rejecting a soul in need of someone to show them the way to the Lord, a soul seeking a place where they will be loved and led to the feet of Jesus. Who knows, you could rejecting an angel sent from God to test your congregation to see if they're worthy of a spiritual promotion.
Friends, it's time we took this verse to heart and believe, expect and love more than we ever have before. It's time that we do the Word, and not just read it.
I love you all and thanks for taking time to read this message. I hope God will use it to bless you.