A NEW BRAIN (Growing up to be a child)

Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering                                         Morphed Series/ Lesson 2

 NewBrain

If we only had a brain  Isaiah 55:8-9

I would not be just a nothin’
My head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain…

Gosh, it would be awful pleasin’
To reason out the reason
For things I can’t explain                                                                                                               Then perhaps I’ll deserve you
And be even worthy of you
If I only had a brain

Original lyrics (last 6 lines cut from film)                                                                                            If I Only Had A  Brain by Harold Arlen (music) & E.Y. Harburg (Lyrics)

Ray Bolger did such an amazing job of acting out the Scarecrow in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s production of The   Wizard of Oz. He was idiotic and loveable at the same time. Perhaps he evoked in us a similar kind of love for his character that God extends to us.  God loves us dearly, however stupid we may be in regards to His ways. “His ways are not our ways.” The way we think produces “nothin” (John 15:5) and brings a “heart full of pain”.  The only way for humanity to “reason out the reason” for the “things we can’t explain” is to put on a new mind.  It is only with that new mind that God gives us that we can “be worthy” of our creator.

The new mind 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 12:1-2

In our last lesson we learned about being “Born Again” by the Spirit of God.  No one can give us this new birth but Jesus Christ.  When we come to Jesus in repentance for the forgiveness of sin and believe in Him we are born of His Spirit. We become spiritually new!

We also get a new brain so we become mentally new; however, its growth is a progressive    process that comes over time.  The brain that you were born with must be retrained to think spiritually.  Let’s just be honest…you must be brainwashed!  Christians can spiritualize this all they want but God wants to wash your dirty brain out so that you begin to think clean and pure.

The Apostle Paul described our new mind in his first letter to the Corinthian Church;  a mind of wisdom that is not of this world, a mind that will be in tune with the mind of God, a mind that can learn from the Spirit of God. Paul is clear, only a person who has been “Born Again” of God’s Spirit can develop this new brain. In fact people who are not born of God’s Spirit will find this kind of thinking foolishness.  This mind that we are given is the “Mind of Christ.”  In other words we are learning to think as Jesus does!

Paul continued this teaching to the Church in Ephesus. He reminded them that they were to put away their old thoughts because their brain had been corrupted  by the influences of the world. He instructed them to rethink everything by holding it up to God’s Word.  As a new   person in Christ we are to mistrust our first intentions because these knee-jerk reactions come from our polluted brain.  We are to “take every thought captive  to make it obedient to Christ” and even to “punish every act of disobedience”.(2 Corinthians 10:5-6).”We must be made new in the attitudes of our mind.  We must put on the new self guided and instructed by God’s Spirit.  As we do this our mind begins to transform…yes, it begins to wash clean. As the scriptures say: you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11).   The definition of brainwashing certainly comes to bear:

brain·wash  to make (someone) adopt radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible pressure. “the organization could brainwash young people”/  synonyms: indoctrinate, condition, reeducate, persuade, influence, propagandize, inculcate “the evidence is compelling that these cult members were indeed brainwashed

According to Webster’s Dictionary Christianity could appear cultish to people with polluted brains, but think about it…who else is trying to brainwash you?  The media, politicians, pundits, musicians, entertainers, the advertising industry, teachers, college professors, religionists, authors, Isis…  Honestly, who isn’t trying to change your thinking through systematic and often forcible pressure?  Let us just narrow it all down to two:  the Devil or Christ.  As Bob Dylan once sang, You’re  Gonna’ Have To Serve Somebody.

We are to willfully become “transformed by the renewing of our mind”. We are no longer to conform to the pattern of the world. We are to offer ourselves as instruments of righteousness to God.  As we do this our brain becomes new!

Growing up to be a child Mark 10:13-16

Sometimes our thinking is just plain wrong.  The disciples proved this time and time again and we modern day disciples prove it too.  In the passage above children were brought to Jesus and the disciples tried to send them away.  Their thoughts were likely “hey, these little rattle brains don’t even know who Jesus is.  This great teacher can’t be bothered by the likes of them., but Jesus surprised them all by saying that  “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

A child’s mind is influenceable. Especially by one they trust.  A small child will leap off of a ledge into the arms of their mother or father.  If you tell a small child that he can fly he’ll try.  This is faith at its core!  Jesus said that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed  that     Nothing will be impossible (Matthew 17:20). ” Oh, to be a child in our faith.  No wonder Jesus said that we must receive the kingdom of God like a child.

Oh, if we only had a brain!  Stay on that straight and narrow road to Jesus scarecrow.  Your new brain is being birthed daily as you grow up to be His child.

BORN AGAIN (Morphed)

Baptisim2Pastor Barry Bruce: The Gathering Church                                Morphed Series/ Lesson 1

morph [mawrf] verb  to be transformed/  from metamorphosis:  a change of the      form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means

Metamorphosis

“Morph” is a modern word derived from the word metamorphosis and you will recognize that word from your elementary school lessons of the miraculous change from the caterpillar to the   butterfly or the tadpole to the frog.  Metamorphosis is also visible in the development of animals and humans. A simple look at the stages of development through a time lapse camera producing a morphed video will amaze anyone, and yet some still refuse to believe in a creator God.  What more does one need to see? Still, there is even a greater metamorphosis that God has provided as a witness to His transforming work.  That metamorphosis is called being born again and that morphing process is done by the Spirit of God in one who believes. This process changes a person spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically from darkness to light—earthbound to flight! And that is what this series is all about.  Get ready to transform!

Being Born Again   John 3:1-8, 15:5

Everyone is born of water (birthed from the amniotic sack in our mother’s womb) but Jesus said one must be “born again”, and without that new birth no one can enter the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus was a man of the Pharisees (a religious Jewish teacher), and he did not understand this fact.  Many religious people do not because being born again is about being morphed by the power of the Holy Spirit into someone all together new. It is not the accumulation of knowledge or even the religious practices of a devout person that brings salvation. Only God’s supernatural work in a person can bring that. The caterpillar must actually choose to die    before he can be reborn to fly.  Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of night because he was afraid of what his contemporaries might think of him. He tried to make small talk with Jesus, but Jesus quickly revealed his intent and answered the question beating in his soul. “You must be born again” Jesus proclaimed. “How can man be born when he old?” Nicodemus responded. Nicodemus was referring to the physical act of being born; Jesus was speaking about spiritual rebirth accomplished by the Holy Spirit.  Without the spirit of God, we remain a worm or dead in a cocoon at best.  The miracle of rebirth comes when we choose to die to ourselves in faith that God will give us wings!

John’s Amazing Grace   2 Corinthians 5:17-19

John Newton was a slave trader in the mid seventeen hundreds.  One night, during an awful storm at sea, John Newton turned to God.  Later he began to study the Bible and dedicated his life to the ministry.  He became a great preacher and hymn writer.  His most well-known hymn is “Amazing Grace”.  he originally wrote, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a worm like me”.  Later, others turned the nasty word to “wretch”.  Some churches, afraid of offending their congregations, actually use the word, “soul”, instead.  I like the original word because it is the worm that becomes a butterfly in the metamorphosis that God brings through our repentance.  (1 John 1:9).  It also creates the picture of how nasty our life is to God when we remain a sinner. Like the butterfly and John Newton, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new      creation!”  It is not because of the worm’s amazing work in climbing up to his hanging spot that he becomes a new creature.  He climbs up to die.  It is God who makes the butterfly.  In the same way, it is not by our religiosity that we come into God’s favor; it is by dying to ourselves that we are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God’s amazing grace has not crushed us in our sinfulness; instead, He has brought us into a living hope that will not spoil or fade.  He has chosen to redeem our miserable states and bring us into new life that resonates with His love.  He even sets us in flight with a new mission in life:  to reconcile others to Him.

An Imperishable Seed   1 Peter 1:23-25

If any person is in Christ, he is a new creation with a new purpose.  Unlike the butterfly we have been born again of an “imperishable seed”.  In other word we will never die.  As a matter of fact, the Bible does not even use the word death to describe the departure of this life for a Christian.  We simply “fall asleep” and wake in the kingdom of God with a new heavenly body.  Our Final Physical Metamorphosis!

Can I Get a Witness? 1 John 1:1-4

The greatest proof of Jesus is a person’s witness or testimony (1 John 1:1-4)  No can    argue with that!  When one is truly morphed by God there is no arguing with their witness.  That is why Nicodemus came to Jesus.  Jesus was the leader of that band of morphed disciples.

Are you a searcher like Nicodemus? If you are then you have come to the right place for there are many butterflies present here today!  Meet them, ask them about their former ways of life.  See what has changed…you can change too.  All you have to do is die.  Repent and come to Christ.  He will morph the miracle in you and spiritually cause you to be ”Born Again”!

ETERNAL LOVE

Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering                      HEAVENBrutal Love Series Conclusion: Lesson 7

Eternity John 3:16, Psalm 136, Isaiah 49:15-16, 53:5-6

Consider all the history of mankind from the first found name on a cuneiform tablet from    3200 B.C. to the present day.  From the earliest civilizations of the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia and the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt to the crazy world where we now live

in the year AD 2017.  Consider all of these years, and who knows how many before history was even recorded, and you have not even scratched the beginnings of eternity.  There is really no way for our finite minds to grasp what “forever” even means because we have nothing to compare it to; yet, “forever” is what God has promised to those who love Him — this is “Everlasting Life”.

It is clear in scripture that God and His love endures forever.  The psalmist proclaims that in Psalm 136.  God Himself proclaimed His great love to His people through His prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49:15-16):  In regards to forgetting we who belong to Him He says:  “I have     engraved you on the palms of my hands.” That is exactly what Jesus did on the cross when He paid the eternal price for our sin (Isaiah 53:5-6/ 1 Peter 2:23-25).  

When God makes the promise of His love to us it is lavish, costly, brutal and eternal…He never betrays His love for us. “His love endures forever” and God also expects that our love for Him will endure forever too.

Heaven is for Eternal Lovers of God Only John 3:16, 1 John 3:1-3

I have heard some people say that Heaven sounds boring.  People that say such things will certainly never go there because Heaven is for eternal lovers only.  In other words, no one will be spending an eternity with God and His people unless they are eternally in love with Him. One of the most memorized verses of the Bible is John 3:16 and yet so many people misinterpret it.  The verse actually both states God’s eternal love for the believer and the believer’s eternal love for God. It also states the duration of that promised love: “eternal life”.  The correct interpretation of that passage is found in the original Greek translation of the word “believe” which is the word  πιστευων:

pisteuo  pist-yoo’-o:  to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ) commit (to trust), put in trust with. A form of the word πίστις:  pístis, pis’-tis: assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

fi·del·i·ty  /fəˈdelədē/noun Faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.  The degree of exactness with which something is copied or reproduced

According to the actual definition of the word used in scripture the verse would be better translated as follows:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever     commits themselves to Him, puts their trust in Him and clings to Him in faith with continuing loyalty and seeks to copy Him with exactness shall not perish but have eternal life.

This passage is not a promise for the cognitive thinker:

[Cognitive: of or relating to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes

[volitional: act of committing oneself]   

This passage is a promise for one who is truly and eternally in love with God.  Only a     person who is truly in love would live out the belief above.  A true lover is never bored with his love.  Heaven is being with the one we love who is God.  It is not being with our loved ones who have departed from this earth.  Heaven is being with our God!  We may have loved ones who have gone to Heaven because of their love for God, but they do not make Heaven so grand.  God does!  We can be absolutely sure of one thing about Heaven.  No one will be there who does not have an eternal love for God.  That love does not begin in Heaven.  That love begins here on earth and transports us to Heaven by the promise of God to His beloved.  

What Kind of Love? 1 John 3:18, 4:10, 19

 What is your love like for God?  Does everyone know that you’re in love?  Do people    recognize your continuing loyalty and support of Jesus. Do they see you as one who   desires to be like Him?  Do they see you holding up all things of life to His word so that you can be exact in your doctrine?  Do you cling to Him in faith despite the circumstances of life?  Do you spend your time, talents, and money on things that proclaim His kingdom and advance His causes? What kind of love do you have for God? Would it be enough love to keep an earthly relationship?  Could it be proved in a court of law?

Love is verb.  Love is action according to 1 John 3:18 and 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Love is a cross or nothing at all. That is to say that love is a sacrifice and Jesus sacrificed His life for our love.  What do we sacrifice in thanksgiving?  It is no amazing thing that we should love Jesus for what He has done on the cross to secure our salvation. He has demonstrated love to us in every way.  Our natural response should be love for Him that is nothing short of brutal! Humble, active, sacrificial, reconciling, vested, supernatural and eternal love lived out with everything we’ve got.

Learning to Love Mark 12:30

Perhaps your love for God is far from eternal. To know God is to love Him, your knowledge begins with His Word. As you come to know Him deeper you will desire Him, yearn for His righteousness, His Word, and His grace. Then naturally worship and praise will come and obedience will follow, because we want to please those we love. Suddenly your keeping His greatest commandment, not out of obligation or religious duty but because you truly love Him…all because He first loved you so brutally well…and so we are eternally His.

SUPERNATURAL LOVE

PenticostPastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering Church          Brutal Love Series: Lesson 6

Waiting Acts 1:3-11, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

You’ve all heard the words… ”you can’t hurry love, no, you’ll just have to wait”.  Even God says so.  As a matter of fact the Supremes number one hit by the same title originally came from a gospel song entitled “You Can’t Hurry God,” which was sung by Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes, a Gospel group based in Birmingham, Alabama.  That song says “you cant hurry God but He’s right on time.”  Those of you who have come to trust Jesus Christ know that is true…can I get an “Amen”? (Lit. so be it)

In the book of Acts we read about the time period that the followers of Jesus had to endure while they waited for the “gift” His Father promised.  That “gift” didn’t come until 50 days after the resurrection.  Have you ever given up on waiting for something to happen because it just took too long? When waiting for something promised, hope must be kept alive for its delivery or a person will just give up (“where there is no vision the people perish” Proverbs 29:18 KJV).  In God’s loving provision He considered this fact and gives His children supernatural vision while we wait on the total fulfillment of His promises. God did this for His church then and He continues to do this for His church today!

After Jesus’ suffering on the cross and His glorious resurrection He made multiple supernatural appearances over a period of forty days and then He supernaturally ascended into Heaven from the Mount of Olives before His disciples. The Apostle Paul gives us a little more detail on these supernatural events in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8:  Jesus appeared to well over 500 people, most of whom were still alive at the time Paul and the other  Apostles began planting the first churches. The beginnings of those early churches were based on those who relayed first hand experiences of seeing the supernatural event of Jesus rising from the dead.  Though some conjecture that the New Testament was written 100-300 years after Christ died, the truth is that it was written before the close of the first century by those who knew Christ personally, had encountered him, or were under the direction of those who were His disciples.

Note: Being the detailed writer he was, Luke would not have failed to mention (in the book of Acts) the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., or the deaths of James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65) in his account of the early church.  The only possible reasoning for these omissions is that the book was written earlier than Liberal theologians give it credit for.  There are some conservative theologians that hold to the view that the entire New Testament, including Revelation, was written before 70 A.D.  

The church was therefore established by first hand witnesses of supernatural events and not by a bunch of mystics who believed in legendary stories embellished by controlling religious clerics.  Make no mistake about it, God’s church was built upon the brutal and supernatural love of Christ and His Holy Spirit is the same force that propels the true church today!  The true church also demonstrates this supernatural love on earth now while waiting for the return of Christ just as the disciples then waited for the promised Holy Spirit.  Don’t stand there next to your chair “looking into the sky” we need to do something in reaction to His ascension!  This same Jesus who has been taken into Heaven will come back.  While we are waiting for Him to come we need to get busy and be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.  For us we might better say: in Hawaiian Gardens, and in all of Los Angeles and California, the United States and all other countries on the earth.

Seeing is Believing  Acts 2:1-14, 38 John 14:9-11, 15-18, 25-27, 15:26-27, 16:7-11.             Ten days after Jesus ascended the supernatural power of God was released upon His people, just as He had promised, on the day of Pentecost.

Note: Pentecost was a great harvest celebration of the Jews. The streets of Jerusalem were clogged with   thousands of pilgrims who had come from every point of the compass to celebrate the goodness of God and the bringing in of the wheat harvest.  Today Christians celebrate it as the day The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church. Pentecost is celebrated the 50th day after Easter Sunday each year.

God’s people are to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) but even Thomas was given supernatural proof in his doubt (John 20:29).  In fact Jesus came producing miracles to show the proof of God to those that needed to see (Colossians 1:15).  When Jesus addressed Phillip in John 14:9-11 He asked Phillip to believe on the evidence of the works He did. God’s love is so awesome that He provides supernatural proof of His presence through manifestations of His love.  He promised that whoever would love Him and keep His commandments would be sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit continually reminds the believer of Christ’s presence, teaches us all things, fills us with God’s peace (John 14:15-27) and provides us with power (Acts 1:8) to preach and teach the gospel. The Spirit of God also produces the fruit of Jesus’ characteristics in us: Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). He also   distributes various supernatural “gifts” to believers to be used in ministry: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, speaking in tongues, and the interpreting of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). None of this would have been possible if Jesus would have remained on earth.  He departed so that the Holy Spirit would be in all believers everywhere so we would testify about Christ and prove to the whole world it’s need for salvation. (John 15:26-27, 16:7-11). This is why supernatural power poured down that day and continues fill the true church today.

Supernatural Love Through You 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

We must understand that the Holy Spirit was released in believers to offer evidence of God’s presence and to spread the gospel— not for the ecstasy or entertainment of the individual or the church.  

The gift of “tongues” that day was given to present every person present with the gospel in their own language (Acts 2:9-11). The Holy Spirit is given to believers to get the work of God done, not so that we can stand around looking up (in “spirit filled” worship) until He comes.  He expects us to love others with this supernatural gift, and His instruction is clear.  Lastly, we need to earnestly desire His Spirit to operate in us, remember it was the disciples that waited on the Spirit and not the other way around.

ACTIVE LOVE

For those of you wondering “what happened to lesson 2 of the series on BRUTAL LOVE”–here it is.  Better late posting than never.

Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering Church                        Brutal Love Series Lesson 2

A Busy Little Boy JesusBoyTeaches3

I got to spend a night and day with my grandson Isaiah…alone! For anyone who has had the privilege of knowing Zaya you will understand that it was a very busy time, but I was prepared.  I had planned out every minute before hand because I know that Isaiah is a very active kid. We went to the park twice–once with the dog and once with his bike and no dog.  A more inexperienced babysitter might have taken the bike, the dog and Zaya to the park all in one trip but that would have been a mistake, because Isaiah is a very active kid.  The dog, the bike or Zaya would have been lost or stolen for sure.

For dinner we cooked cheesy chicken nuggets and asparagus. Zaya’s chosen menu.  I stood him on a chair and he and I did every step together because I knew he would insist on helping.  A more inexperienced baby sitter would have tried to cook for both of them. That action would have burned the house down (or at least splattered hot oil over the both of them) when Zaya’s little “helping hands” got in the way.   After dinner I planned on watching one movie with Zaya while eating snacks. I got two movies and multiple snacks and drinks because Zaya is a very active kid!  This was a good plan because Zaya didn’t think the first movie was funny enough so we watched the second one…three times!

Zaya fell asleep at 1:30AM and he woke up with a great big smile and a hearty “Good morning Papa” at 7AM, because Isaiah is an early riser… I am not.  We went out for breakfast!  We spent the morning at the park, made more cheesy nuggets for lunch and I was beat by nap time, but Zaya wasn’t sleepy because he is a very active kid.  I was elated when Terryl and his mother came home earlier than I expected.  Zaya and I had a wonderful time together, but it was great to get back to the work that I had left to do.  You see, I’m also a very active person, but you can’t take your eyes off of Isaiah for one minute.

“Father’s Business” Luke 2:41-52, Matthew 4:19, 5:13-16, 16:21-27

We don’t know much about Jesus’ childhood but we do know that He was an active child by the account in Luke’s gospel.  Mary and Joseph should not have taken their eyes off of the boy on that Passover when they lost Him for three days, but what is even more alarming is the way that Jesus responded to His frantic parents when they finally found Him in         conversation with the teachers in the Temple.  “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”  The KJV reads: “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

Jesus was on a mission even as a boy.  He was active in building God’s kingdom from the onset of His life.  Active in His Father’s business and active in demonstrating His love. He calls His followers to that action too.  Jesus’ call to His first disciples was to one of action:  Follow me he said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).  A fish does not just jump into your boat.  A fisherman must exert action to catch fish. To follow Jesus was and is to be in action for God’s kingdom. He taught His disciples to pray: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, (not “my” will) on earth as it is in Heaven”. (Matthew 6:10).  Surely he expected that Mary and Joseph would know such a thing.  That is why He said: “Didn’t you know?”(Luke 2:49)   Do you know? Following Jesus means that you are to be actively   involved in God’s kingdom work: learning about it, conversing about it, teaching it and demonstrating it in “deed and truth” (John 3:18).  In fact Jesus told His followers to let their light shine (act out what is inside of them: God’s love in action: Matthew 5:17).  Later, when Peter moved towards a selfish action that was not part of God’s “kingdom plan” Jesus called him “Satan!”  Our human concerns are not to be what controls our actions.  We are to “pick up our cross” (die to selfishness) and follow Him otherwise Satan is working in us.

“Brutal” Love in Action  

brutal bru·tal : 1. savagely violent  2. punishingly hard or uncomfortable   3. direct and lacking any attempt to disguise unpleasantness. “the brutal honesty of his observations.”  synonyms:  unsparing, unstinting, unembellished, unvarnished, bald, naked, stark, blunt, direct, straightforward, frank, outspoken, forthright, plain-spoken.                      

The third definition of “brutal” certainly defines the love that Christ demonstrated to us in His actions.  The first two definitions of the word define what was done to Him because of the love He demonstrated.  Like the song says: “He loves like a hurricane, I am a tree.”  How He Loves Us: John Mark McMillan  Jesus loves directly, blunt and straight-forwardly.  He is frank, outspoken and unsparing of anyone or anything that might get in the way of His love for us.  Consider these statements of His love and affection:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. John  6:53  “Apart from Me you can do nothing” John 15:5 “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”. Matthew 18:6 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me”.… Matthew 10:37-38 

The most brutal aspect of Jesus’ love is that he demonstrated all of His words with action and He never asked His followers to do anything that He himself did not do first;  therefore: We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19   Do we ACT like we love Him?   

Our Love in Action James 2:17-19, John 21:15-19, 2 Peter 1:5-11

James said it bluntly:  “Faith without action is dead.” Jesus simply said to Peter “Do you love me? (3x due to his denial: Luke 22:54-62) Then He challenged Peters affirmative response with a call to action. “Then feed My sheep”. Peter did just that and later wrote to “make every effort” towards action in love.  May we act accordingly to these encouragements.