The above verses were given to me in the order set down. They are strung together as such, for behind them lies a prophetic word, a truth, that the Lord wanted me to see. It is not for knowing the future but as a word of correction and of encouragement. It is as true for me as it is for all those who profess that Jesus is Lord.
By this we know love, because he laid down His life for us. Please read that line for what it says. It is not because He hugged us when we were blue. Nor because He gave us what we needed; food, shelter, clothing, etc. It was not because He liked to be around us all the time. That is not how He showed us that He loved us. Yes, He does all those things, but that is not the evidence that He loves us. It was by laying down His life, to pay the penalty due us for our sins, that we know that He loved us. Not by giving us all that He had, for that is abundance, and He had plenty and more besides. Nor by giving us out of His need. But by laying down His life.
And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. How often do we as christians think that we have arrived to maturity because we give to causes out of our abundance. Even more mature when we give out of our need, such as the widow giving her two cents. We put our time in at church and do the things that we believe are right... then pat ourselves on the back, with a humble hand. But tell me friend, would you lay down your life for me? A man will give everything he has as long as he can keep his life. Isn't it your life, giving it, the show of maturity in Christ, the proof of love?
And by this we know that we are of the truth, Do you have that proof in your life? Are you of the truth? Yes, we would all lay down our lives for our spouse, children, perhaps for a friend, but would you lay down your life for the person you always seem to argue with at church: the mouthy teenager, the lazy person, the self righteous deacon or elder? We sometimes think it would be better if they left, or at least changed a little, ahem, a lot. Jesus died for them, would you?
To answer that question myself... no. Judging myself from that view point I knew that I still had a long way to go. I used to think that I was of the truth but to know that I was.....
And shall assure (persuade) our hearts before Him. There will come moments in our lives when we will be faced with the truth; of our actions or lack of them. When we come face to face with disaster and need His help, will your own heart and thoughts condemn you? Will your faith win the day? Do you really want to see Jesus return today?
Beloved, now we know that we are children of God, Understand, I am not calling into question whether a person is saved but rather whether the person is mature. Those who believe in Jesus and what He did for us and have accepted His Lordship, are saved.
and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,There is no room for speculation here... the things that God has in store for us we cannot even imagine, for it would pale by comparison. The truth of the matter is that...
but we know when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, and this is part of our great hope. This will be the moment when our bodies will compare to our born again spirit. Whoa... do you expect a better body than the born again mature spirit that you have become. Some will yield 10 times... others a 100... When you are raised to meet Him, I hope that your heart will not condemn you.
For we shall see Him as He is.We will also see ourselves for what we really are. Will you feel shame when that times comes? Most don't even look that far into the future. Nor do we judge ourselves to see whether we are in the truth. What can persuade our hearts today... will you die for the brethren? If you can answer this yes, you are far along the way. You are like our Lord. If not...?
And everyone who has this hope in Him (him) purifies himself, just as He is pure. My friend, if you have the hope of the resurrection in you, take every opportunity the Lord brings your way to grow in the one area that counts the most... love. Use wisdom in its application, but for the love of God, and His love in you... grow. Assure your heart because you know that you live the truth, not just giving lip service. And when He appears we shall stand confident before Him.
May the Lord give you a heart that will follow Him into eternity. Amen!
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