When You Know You Are Loved

Outstanding research has recently been done by Dr. Gail Ironson, a leading mind-body medicine researcher and professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Miami.[1] She found that the most significant factor that made a difference in healing for those with HIV was their choice to believe in a benevolent and loving God, especially if they also chose to have a personal relationship with a benevolent and loving God.

Her study ran over four years and her determination of healing was based on the decrease of the amount of the AIDS virus in a sample of blood, and the increased concentration of “helper T-cells”—the higher the concentration, the more the body is able to fight disease.  She found that those who did not believe God loved them, lost helper T-cells three times faster. Their viral load also increased three times faster, and their stress levels were higher.

“If you believe God loves you, it’s an enormously protective factor, even more protective than scoring low for depression or high for optimism. A view of a benevolent God is protective, but scoring high on the personalized statement ‘God loves me’ is even stronger.”[2]

You might have heard many sermons on the judgement of God, or how God will “get” you if you sin.  However, the “good news” is that God loves you all the time.  Yes, even if you sin.  Does sin have consequences?  Absolutely, but the consequence is from the sin itself; it is not God getting you.  He loves His children and desires the best for them.  That is why Jesus came – to take our punishment.

Do you know that God loves you as much as He loves His son Jesus?

John 17.23 (Passion Translation) says,
“You live fully in me
And now I live fully in them
So that they will experience perfect unity,
And the world will be convinced
That you have sent me,
For they will see that you love each one of them
With the same passionate love
That you have for me.”

-Pastor

[1] “Gail Ironson et al., “An Increase in Religiousness/Spirituality Occurs after HIV Diagnosis and Predicts Slower Disease Progression over Four Years in People with HIV,” Journal of General Internal Medicine 21 (2006): 62–68.”

[2] “As quoted in Church, Genie in Your Genes, 65.”

 

Love Never Fails!

Colossians 1:22 (NLT) says, “Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”

In Col. 1:22, the Passion Translation says, “And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored!”

Why do we let our faults come between us and God?

It’s because we don’t really know God.

Wouldn’t it be great if your friends knew everything about you and not only loved you, but still thought you were AWESOME!!

That is what our heavenly Father does for us every day!!

Fault, sin, weakness…whatever it may be, none of it can separate us from God’s love.

-Pastor

A Good Day to Think About Skiing!

While writing this blog, I’m watching my boys ski down the mountains in Loveland.  I noticed that as they ski, they just turn their skis to come down the slopes.  It’s the law of gravity that causes them to come down and it gives them the speed they need.  They ride up the ski lift and do it all over again.

When going through the daily cares of life, it’s the law of God’s love that we should never forget. We should gently turn our eyes on Him, knowing that we will get to our destination.

When we read the love chapter in 1 Corinthians, we can replace the word “Love” with “Our Father” because God is love.

1 Corinthians 13:5–8 (AMP) says, “Our Father is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); He is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Our Father does not insist on His own rights or His own way, for He is not self-seeking; He is not touchy or fretful or resentful; He takes no account of the evil done to Him [He pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. He does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Our Father bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, His hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and He endures everything [without weakening]. Our Father never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].”

This is what your Father thinks about you every day.  His love will gently lead you to the left and to the right. It is directing you down the mountains of your life. Just like the ski lift, His love will lift you up the mountains that seem impossible to climb.

-Pastor

 

 

Your Heavenly Father is Extreme

Everything about the grace God is extreme because your heavenly Father is extreme.  His love for you is greater than you can possibly conceive or imagine.  If you think you have a handle on the grace of God, you don’t.  The Bible declares His love and grace surpass knowledge.  However grand or over-the-top you imagine His grace to be, His grace is greater still.

The unfathomableness of God’s goodness towards us reminds me of a conversation Clark Whitten once had with a cosmologist. The two men were talking about how the universe is growing rapidly. “The universe is expanding at the rate of 186,000 miles per second in all directions,” said the cosmologist.  “It has been doing so from the moment God spoke it into existence.” Having said this, the cosmologist asked a profound question.  “Do you know why it is expanding?” Pastor Whitten confessed he did not know.  “Because it’s not big enough,” came the reply.

What the cosmologist said next is startling.  It will fry your mind and change the way you think about God.  “The universe is expanding at the speed of light in all directions because it isn’t yet big enough to contain all the things God has prepared for those who love Him! ”

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV) says, But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”  That’s the kind of Father you have.  He’s excessive, extreme and over-the-top in ways that only He can be.  Everything He does is very good and very great.

(Story by Paul Ellis)

-Pastor

God’s Love Makes Us Bullet Proof

Fear is the bullet that eliminates happiness.  Fear is the bullet that kills the dream.  Fear is the assassin of success.  Fear is the bullet that causes us to lose our peace.  Have you ever wished you were bullet-proof?

A bullet proof vest is an item of personal armor that helps absorb the impact from firearm-fired projectiles and shrapnel from explosions.   The truth is, the more we know our Heavenly Father’s love for us, the more bullet proof we become.  Love is the great bullet proof vest that fear cannot penetrate.  Your shield of faith will only be as strong as your personal knowledge of God’s love for you.

1 John 4:18 (NLT) says, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”

-Pastor

 

The Mind Eraser (He Remembers Our Sins No More)

The Bible says that God’s love for us has nothing to do with our loveliness or our behavior, whether good or bad.  “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

God simply loves us because He is love and it’s His nature to love.  That’s who He is. When we accept what Jesus has done for us, we GET the unconditional love of our Father, which means from the moment we believe on Jesus, the acceptance of our Father is not based upon our performance.

God has already dealt with our sins and He is not holding any sin against us.

1 Cor 13:5 (AMP) says, ““(Agape-love) is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it…”

Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV) says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:16–17 (NKJV) says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

2 Corinthians 5:19 (NLT) says, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”

Romans 4:8 (AMP) syas, “Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him. [Ps. 32:1, 2.]”

Our Father is the Ultimate Mind Eraser.  He has ERASED our sins and remembers them NO MORE!

-Pastor

Which Son Are You?

The Prodigal son ran off and wasted his inheritance.  He ended up eating pigs food and living in poverty.  So he decided to go back to his fathers house and ask to be one of his servants. He had nothing to offer, but his father said, “you’re still my son and my love for you is the same.”

Luke 15:20 (NLT) says, ““So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”  The heart of the older son, the one who had stayed home and kept working for his father,  was revealed when he was angry that his father showed his younger brother love and acceptance.  It became obvious that he had been working to get his fathers love and acceptance.

Luke 15:29–32 (NLT) says, “…but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends.  Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours.  We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”  Christians today are still trying to work for God’s love and acceptance like the older son.  It’s called self-righteousness.

God’s love cannot be worked for.  No, I’m not saying to go out and live like the devil.  But understand that you cannot work for God’s love.  All we need to do is receive and accept His love –  that’s called “grace.”

-Pastor

The Fear Test

There is no fear in love, yet many Christians are trying to balance the two. They say you have to love God yet be afraid of Him at the same time.

Christians often interpret God’s love for them through their circumstances. “I got a raise – He loves me.”  “I lost my job – He loves me not.”

1 John 4:16–18 (ESV) says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

If we have any fear in our lives, it’s because we don’t fully understand how much God loves us.  It is not because of what we have done that we can have such confidence before God, but because of what He has done for us.

-Pastor

Unconditional

More opportunities come to those who are walking in a mind that thinks like Christ. We will never think right until we have some kind of revelation of the love of our Heavenly Father.

You probably know about the different words for love in the Greek language. The phrase “unconditional love” is nowhere in the Bible.  That would be like saying “sunny sunshine,” “wet water” or “good ice cream.” All ice cream is GOOD!

Love must be unconditional or it’s not love. There is no such thing as conditional love. When believers lose sight of Christ’s love they tend to become religious. So, please know that, every day of your life, your Heavenly Father loves you – unconditionally!

-Pastor

Amazon’s Big Seller

Amazon.com lists 507,878 book titles about heaven, 547,195 about sex, 766,921 about God, and 884,737 about money. Isn’t this astounding?

Even more staggering is the fact that one topic beats out all of these — love. There are 922,816 that contain love in their title.

God loves you.

John 16:26–27 (NKJV) says, “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.”

If we know that we are righteous and if we know that God loves us unconditionally, we will be able to receive from God easily. Why? Righteousness takes away the unworthiness; Love takes away the guilt so there is nothing else for us to do but believe.

So, feel the love, church – because your Father loves you!

-Pastor