Is it Possible to Love those we Hate?

Love. What does it really boil down to? Of course you love the people you want to love. But what about those that you would rather not be around or better yet, those that you just cannot stand to be around. How about those people? Love, the way Jesus meant it, is hard. I was eating dinner the other night with my family when my husband said something that hurt. The ones we love are the ones that are able to hurt us the most. I quietly left the room and almost started to cry on my way up to our bedroom. I prayed on that short journey up the stairs and when I reached the landing I reached my decision. I was going to love him even though he did not deserve it. I cleaned the bedroom and put away some of his things and sat and prayed for him with all the love I have for him. Guess what? I found freedom. There is a tremendous amount of freedom you experience when you love when it is hard, when you love when they don’t deserve it, when you love when the world says you have every right to hate. My husband is the love of my life so perhaps that is not the best example, however when I think about those that I don’t quite get along with, or those that don’t like me, when I love them the way Jesus tells me to love them, that is the perfect example of what it means to love. Think about the people in your life that have made your life hard. How can you show Jesus to them the next time they screw up your day?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

Fruits Audit ~ What does it mean to “bear fruit”?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23a

Most people when they ask themselves the question, “Am I bearing good fruit?” think of the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They simply run through the list to make sure they are “bearing good fruit.” While this is a good place to start, it is by no means an exhaustive list of what what Jesus meant when he said we need to “bear good fruit.” Jesus said in Matthew 7:18-20, “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” There are over 40 verses in the New Testament that talk about fruit as it pertains to being a converted follower of Christ. Here is a more complete list of what it means to “bear good fruit” but again, it is not exhaustive.

1. Jesus calls us to “make disciples.”
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:19

2. Do you crave God more and more each day?
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” – Matthew 22:36-38

3. Do you walk by the Spirit (Fruit of the Spirit)
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians 5:16-26

4. Do you have chronic sin?
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” – 1 John 3:6-10

5. Do you keep His Commandments?
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. [4] Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, [5] but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: [6] whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” – 1 John 2:3-6

6. Do you love others?
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” – 1 John 4:7-12

7. Do you love your enemy?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

8. Do you love the things of this world?
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:15-17

9. Are you convicted by the Holy Spirit?
“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” – John 16:8-11

10. Do you grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word?
“Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” – John 8:47

Again, this list is not exhaustive but I encourage you to take a look at our Fruits Audit section and read a bit more on each topic.

Below are just a few verses regarding fruit.

“so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:10

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.” – Matthew 12:33

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:2

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” – John 15:16

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” – Matthew 13:23

Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. (Eph. 6:24)
Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

~ Jen O’Sullivan
www.HolyJustLove.com

Thursday Theology ~ Dr. Mike Fabarez “Unchanged”

Sermon Notes on UNCHANGED by Dr. Mike Fabarez of Compass Bible Church
The resources are free. Just click on the play button under the image on the Focal Point website.

Unchanged

The worst kind of counterfeiting of all is Counterfeiting Christianity.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. – Matthew 7:13-14

60% of Americans believe there is a Hell and 4% believe they are going there.
78% of Americans believe in Heaven and they believe they are going there when they die.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. – Matthew 7:15-20

Here’s the thing that ought to wrench our hearts… verse 21… you gotta sit down for this one. This is terrible. Look at it. The Bible says,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 7:21

Tell me this? Who is going to heaven? Does that scare you? Look at the text. It is not those who claim to know God, it is those who do the will of my Father, Jesus says.

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ – Matthew 7:22-23

The acid test of real Christianity is the fruit. It’s the behavior. It’s what they do. The deception goes like this. He who does what is right is righteous. Here is the deception. You can be righteous before God and not be right. I can be right before God and not live for God. That’s the deception.

Here’s what people say:

“I’m not really into God and I’m not really doing all the things I should do, but… I know God’s not going to send me to Hell because I’m a pretty good person. I do more good than bad.”

“I’m not a Jesus freak, and I don’t take it to an extreme but… I believe.”

Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. – John 3:7-10

If you are a Christian your behavior in life will change. No ifs ands or buts. No exceptions.

Tuesday Teaching ~ Messianic Prophecy

Messianic Prophecy - Compelling Predictions
http://www.allabouttruth.org/messianic-prophecy.htm

Dead Sea ScrollMessianic Prophecy: What Is It?
Messianic prophecy is the collection of over 100 predictions (a conservative estimate) in the Old Testament about the future Messiah of the Jewish people. These predictions were written by multiple authors, in numerous books, over approximately 1,000 years. Messianic Prophecy is so dramatic today, because with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the reliability of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament (both of which have been proven to exist prior to the time Jesus walked on the earth) you can be assured that these prophecies were not “conspired” after-the-fact.

Messianic Prophecy: Fulfillment by Jesus Christ
Messianic prophecy was fulfilled by the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Although many Jews did not accept Jesus as their Messiah, many did, and they became the Jewish sect later known as the Christians. Christianity, based in dramatic part on the fulfillment of historical prophecy, spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire of the 1st Century. Examine the prophecies yourself, and calculate the probability of one man fulfilling just a handful of the most specific ones, and you’ll be amazed.

“Jesus said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’” Luke 24:44 (NIV)

The Old Testament verses are the prophecy; the New Testament verses proclaim the fulfillment. Check them all out for yourself!

Messianic Prophecy – What Are The Odds of Fulfillment Without God?
Messianic Prophecy is so powerful because of the statistical odds that one man would fulfill every single one of them. If we just analyze seven of the more specific prophecies in the Old Testament, that were later fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ, we are stunned by the statistical impossibility of such an historical reality. As an illustration, we have inserted some conservative “odds” alongside seven established prophecies. Please feel free to propose your own prophecies and your own odds – the dramatic point will still be made!
Messianic Prophecy


Messianic Prophecy – The Challenge

Messianic prophecy is phenomenal evidence that sets the Bible apart from the other “holy books.” We strongly encourage you to read the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament fulfillments on the previous page. Better yet, get a Jewish Tanakh (the Hebrew scripture read in the Jewish synagogues) and read the Messianic prophecies from there. It is dramatic, eye-opening and potentially life-changing!

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