Kingdom Principle: Love is Power. God communicates love.
Kingdom Servants will hear the voice of God or learn God’s sign-language.
|Acts 11:1-18||Psalm 148||Revelation 21:1-6||John 13:31-35|
Unfortunately many in the Christian church have lived with a lifeboat mentality. In this way of thinking; one looks around and sees the “signs” that the world is quickly sinking into a hellish and repulsive state. Since they believe that doing anything about it futile, they separate themselves from the “world” before they go down with the ship. It is time we re-ignite a Love Boat mentality. (not the one of the early 80’s) but the one where the world knows that we are Christians ( better said Disciples of Jesus) by our Love. Those who see the signs as more than suffering have learned to understand God’s sign-language, others simply wander in fear. The reason I believe that God communicates mainly using sign-language is because we are generally deaf. Bob Goff author of Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World says it this way, “I used to think God wouldn’t talk to me, but now I know I’m just selective with what I choose to hear.” God is constantly communicating with His Kingdom. This communication is powerful, and it is Love. “But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It’s a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright.” What to hear more from Bob Goff – click here Love Does .
Last week we looked briefly at the difference between healings and miracles. There we established that Authority brings healing, and Power brings Miracles. If authority is grown and matured in relationship, then Power is given and expressed as a gift. (Mark 5:30, John 19:10-11, & throughout the Book of Revelation power is seen as being given) Miracles do not need to be the exceptions. C.S. Lewis argues that while a Miracle is improbable the fact that it takes place does not need to render it incredible… this argument is based in the fact that God is supernatural and it is His natural way of communicating with his creation. It is not incredible from God’s perspective to send Jesus to the world to die for our sin, and to raise him from the grave – it is an act of Love which is altogether a very expected act of God. While this act seems improbable to us, that is only due to the fact that we remain at a distance from God, all the while He summons us to be intimate with him. . God is Love and He cannot act without the action being love and powerful. When this love and power flows through us we experience it as Intimacy, Fecundity and Ecstasy. Miracles are the work of Ecstasy.
Why then don’t we see more miracles? The answer is not in a lack of miracles or even a lack of faith – rather it is in an abundance of noise and choas. It is as if you are trying to have a personal conversation while there is a resounding gong or clanging cymbal drowning the out the movement of God in our lives. (1 Cor 13) This movement is love and it is powerful. The more we dwell with God, the more we are aligned with His purpose in our lives, the more we hear His voice and see His sign-language. This type of living removes the desire to escape in a life-boat – rather we take on an improbable act and demonstrate the joy of the Love boat amongst as dark and dying world as an everyday experience.
Looking back in time we see that this as possible. A Roman historian named Tertullian, who lived in the late second to early third centuries (AD 155-220), wrote that even those who opposed Christianity knew that the mutual love of those who followed Christ was unique. “Our (disciples) care for the derelict and our active love have become our distinctive sign before the enemy … See, they say, how they love one another and how ready they are to die for each other.” (Apology 39) Another historian Tacitus, writing earlier in the first decade of the second century C.E., contasts the Jewish understanding of love from that of we just read above. ““The Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity”
In the last 72 posts – I have addressed the theme of Love on an average of 1 every 8 posts. Love must be foundation to all that is…. I’ve summarize those posts below. This week we see Jesus telling the disciples of new commandment – Love One Another – Yet it is not so new (Lev. 19:18, 19:34) it had simply been lost amongst the “noise”. Jesus is calling for love not of obligation or even religion, rather to be one of demonstration and relationship. This demonstration much like a miracle is not supposed to be incredible much less improbable; it is to be an everyday conversation. Further last week we also brought to light that the enemy has not lost their power. (Luke 10:19, Acts 10:38, 26:18, Romans 3:9, Eph. 6:12, 2 Thess. 2:7, Hebrews 2:14) So there are two expressions of power – The pure source of power which is Love, (Mark 9:1, Luke 1:35, Acts 1:8, 1 Cor. 1:24, 4:20, 2 Cor. 13:4, Col. 1:16, 2:10) and the corrupted expression of power which is anything less than love. (This act is much like “Good is the Enemy of Great” – Jim Collins) There are many good ways to be with God, but only one GREAT I AM. For the vast majority of you reading this blog, there is no question as to which source of power we desire to draw from, however it may not be so clear if we are living with a life-boat or love-boat purpose. If you struggle to love those who are hard to love – it may simply be a lack of power… not faith or authority. You need a power boost! You need a re-charge of your Love bank.
We all have come to grips with the tangible need for a power source. We have accepted the fact that technology (especially smart phones) must be re-charged daily. But we struggle to accept that we must be “re-charged” daily. (this applies body, soul & spirit) It is this reason that Jesus teaches us to pray for our daily bread, not because God is limited, but rather, because we are – we can only contain so much of God’s power at any one time… and we must return to him in dependence daily. And thus – Power is a gift, and when we are fully charged, we are a gift of love to those around us. Peter had no intention to love Cornelius the way he ended up doing so – but God spoke and Peter heard and saw the signs, then had the power to overcome the tradition, social, religious and Jewish expectations that still were rooted in his life.
Close with a Question: Do you have the power?
Assuming you can reach the person and will not fall victim yourself….
Do you have the power to save a drowning victim if they are 5000 miles away?
Do you have the power to save a drowning victim if they are 500 miles away?
Do you have the power to save a drowning victim if they are 50 miles away?
Do you have the power to save a drowning victim if they are 5 miles away?
Do you have the power to save a drowning victim if they are 5 feet away?
Our answer is usually dependent on proximity, rather than power… Now let’s intentionally shift our proximity to be with God – this is called intimacy. If God grants you the power – how do the answers to the questions change? If proximity is what is limiting you from loving others – you may without knowing have found your seat in a life-boat.
RECAP of LOVE posts:
Kingdom Principle – Fail forward in Love, rather than being frozen in Fear.
Love drives out fear, freeing us to doing the impossible.
Kingdom Principle: The Kingdom advances, but not at a consistent pace or set direction. Kingdom progress cannot be measured in linear distance or positive experiences.
Love is to embrace God’s plan to use brokenness in our lives.
Kingdom Principle: Fear causes us to look at our obstacles, love moves us to opportunity.
Love empowers and removes all excuses (the “but”). We need to take our eyes off the obstacles of love and focus our attention on the source of all love.
Kingdom Principle: The war of the Kingdom is not of flesh and blood, but first we must win the war that wages within us.
Love is expressed via partnership between a disciplined body and a developed soul.
Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Servants enjoy peace & prosperity as a way of life. Kingdom Servants – Fulfill their Purpose of Love
Love is Action. We are to live out our purpose (of love) as the Bride of Christ.
Kingdom Principle: Loves does not make you strong, rather it breaks you.
Love is to be vulnerable by giving up worldly sources of security.
Kingdom Principle: A kingdom servant’s need to give is greater than other’s need to receive.
To Love is our greatest need, rather than as many assume it is to be loved.
Kingdom Principle: Love is the only constant of the Kingdom.
Love is the only eternal thing that we can truly touch in this life and world until Jesus Christ returns to make all things new.
Kingdom Principle: I. A.M. witness of the great I AM
Love is to be our Motivation in all things. This Purpose of Love leads us to Praise the Lord in all things.