This is the second week in a series called Simple Discipleship:
The topic for next week will be Worship/Sacrifice and we will be discussing:
2 Chronicles 20:1-30, Genesis 22:1-19, John 4:20-24, Malachi 1:6-14, 2 Samuel 24:18-25, and Luke 7:36-50
This week, we are learning about Intimacy/Love of God.
Here are my notes: Simple Discipleship Week 2
Here is the recording of the teaching, Feb 10, 2016: Intimacy/Love of God
This week’s teaching is what I would consider as the most important one to come to understand in the whole series. The love of God and the relationship that we have with Him will affect every other aspect of our lives.
What is Intimacy? to know deeply, completely and have a greater love for then when you did not know as much.
What is Love? A deep, selfless, pure closeness and knowing of a person no matter what their words, actions, or behavior. This closeness is promised with words, but proven by action.
Our revelation of the Love that God has for us will color every other thing that we come into contact with. How can we love others if we do not love God? How can we even love God if we do not understand the enormity of His love for us?
In John 15 Jesus speaks of an illustration of how close we should be in relationship with Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We must be in such a relationship that we are a part of Him, and we are getting everything we need for us to live from Him . Without this relationship with Him, we can do nothing. I know that all of us want to be doing great things for the Lord. However, if we are not constantly and consistently connected with Him, we are doing absolutely nothing no matter how great we may look.
If you don’t remember anything else remember this, everything we do flows from our relationship with Jesus!!! You want to do great things? You must have a great relationship with Jesus.
1 Corinthians 13 gives us a picture of the perfect God kind of love. Paul is very clear at the beginning that no matter what you may be doing, saying, or giving to the Lord if it is not done in love, it is worthless.
Paul is very intentional about describing the God kind of love because it is so different than our view of love. This love is God’s love for us and the kind of love we should be seeking to have for him and for each other. We have a long way to go until we are able to obtain a love that begins to look like this perfect God kind of love.
Ephesians 3 speaks even more to how important this love is for us to have and know. We are strengthened in our inner selves by this love. In fact, this power, the Love of God and our revelation of this love, is the power with which God works out exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask for, hope for, or imagine. Our faith opens the door for this love to come in and each new revelation of this love that we have unlocks a greater power to work in and through us in every area of our lives.
It is evident in Deuteronomy 7:6-9 that God has chosen you as a special treasure and set you apart for holiness. There was nothing that you have done or ever could do to deserve this, but God did it because He loves you. God is full of mercy or he never would have chosen any of us sinful creatures. He is faithful because He continues to pour out His mercy when over and over again we prove that we do not deserve it.
I challenge you to sit down in a quiet place by yourself with a pen and some paper. Ask Holy Spirit to come and speak to you. Ask Him a simple question “How much do You love me?” Then, simple write or draw whatever He speaks to you. The voice of God is always loving, encouraging, and full of life. This is what He will speak to you.
After you have completed the above exercise, I would encourage you to pray and ask Holy Spirit:
Do I have a deepening relationship with you? Does my life sustaining force flow from my relationship with You?
Am i being obedient to You out of love or am I trying to prove I am worthy of Your love?
Am I glorifying You through my love for You?
Finally, pray this with me: “Father, bring a new revelation of the love that you have for me. Show me how much you truly love me and help me to do better at showing that love to the people around me.”
May the Lord bless you with new revelations of His love ever-increasing and ever-strengthening you with power for great and mighty works.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
This past weekend, we had the privilege to take a small group of people to a conference in Austin. While this conference was amazing in every way, God was speaking to me something deeper and more profound than I could ever learn at the conference.
While we were in Austin, I got the opportunity to look up some of my parent’s good friends who are pastoring a church in Round Rock. In fact, this couple Jim and Sylvia Patterson, were my first pastors. That was about 21 years ago though, so I really had no relationship with them, but with their daughters. Since that time, we had all but lost contact with them until the advent of the Facebook. I reconnected with them in July and had the desire to reconnect with them. God opened the door and we were able to eat lunch with them and then attend their church on Sunday before returning home.
Now, I could have reasoned within myself that I do not really know them and it might be kind of awkward. I will probably even miss part of the conference that we are attending. I could have explained away all the reasons to meet with them, but I thank the Lord that I did not. Meeting these pastor friends was such a blessing to me and the people with me. We were able to share our hearts and get to be inspired by theirs. In the end, we encouraged and blessed one another just because we were willing to go out of our way and off our regularly scheduled programming.
Yesterday, I was reading Romans once again and rediscovered a passage that was so central to our journeys around the world. Romans 1:11-12 “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” Contained within this passage is our heart for the people of God all over the world. We desire to come to them and encourage and be encouraged and help them out in any way that we can. This is what being a family is. We went out of our way to meet with this couple that I barely knew, and my wife and friends did not know at all. In the end, we had a great God moment in the middle of the restaurant praying and blessing each other. We were truly family even though we had barely met.
I want to encourage you in two ways today. First, do not allow silly things to keep you from relationship with the family of God. We can allow inconvenience, awkwardness, earthly divisions, and other earthly things to keep us from getting to know the true family of God. When Jesus is the center, we have the ability not only to encourage, but be encouraged by our brothers and sisters. Seek to be in unity with the family of God so that the blessing of unity may come upon you. Practically encourage someone today, not because they are your friend, but because they are a brother or sister in Jesus. Secondly, we must be willing to be inconvenienced so that Holy Spirit can lead us into obedience and blessing. We got to hear a lovely couple from Africa speak about how inconvenience had led them into more ministry in South Africa. People interrupting them while they were building ended up getting saved and discipled because they took the time to be with them and realized the true treasure in people. We make special time for our physical family, and we must be willing to take time for the children of God. If not, we are throwing away not only the very treasure that God wants but the treasure that He wants to bring us!!!
Look for the treasures of the Lord today and do not let inconvenience, selfishness, or fear keep you from receiving these blessings from the Good Father!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
Our time in Scotland was a flurry of unceasing activity and I barely had any time to stop and breath let alone write a blog. It was a nice feeling being so involved with ministry that by the end of the day, we were exhausted. So, I did not write anything while I was in Scotland, but my wife is amazing and somehow found time. Now, we are at the next stop on our trip Newcastle, England, but I thought I would write a retro blog about two things while I had a little time to sit and reflect on our Awesome Father!
The first is that it was just a blessing to be in Scotland. We were welcomed in such a mighty way and never got a negative glance. We got to encourage, strengthen, and pray for so many people and this was not even a place we planned on coming. At the beginning, God told us to look for the open doors and go there along the way. This was such a wide open door that it did not even appear to have one. It truly was a blessing to be in Scotland, and we know that God used us to bless many people.
While we were there, I got to share several times a message God gave me while we were landing in Edinburgh. I did not get a prophetic vision like my wife (which she shared earlier in a blog titled Lighthouse of Life), but these two messages working together, hers and mine, blessed many people. God spoke the word to me to remind the people of Scotland that He is Faithful! The promises that He has spoken will come about, it just takes our faith and patient perseverance until it happens (Hebrews 6:12). The people in Scotland have been praying the promises of God into existence for so long. We met so many small fiery prayers groups who were all contending for God to come and do a mighty work in their land. How many years of prayer did it take for God to bring about freedom from slavery? How many were praying that this would be ended that we will never know or hear of? These faithful prayers prepared the way for God to move mightily. They are praying that God will send revival to their country and to Europe with the same fervor and expectation.
Just as I reminded the people of Scotland of the Faithfulness of God and the surety of His promises coming about, I want to mind you as well. It seems that as we go throughout this life, the thorns of this world grow up and choke out the fruit from the promises God has made to us or given us through His Word. The cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and pleasures of this life choke out the fruit that the promises of God wants to bring about in our lives. Gods promises will always come about, but it depends on our continued faith and perseverance as to the timing and fruitfulness of these promises (Luke 8:14-15).
So, hold on to every promise of God as if your life depends on it, because it does. Never let the lack of seeing things happen hinder you from believing and praying that the promises of God will come about. Trust and obey what God has said to you and never let anything else keep you from bearing the fruitful reward of His promises in your life!!! Never accept any less than the very best, the promises of God being fulfilled completely in your life and the lives of all you are around!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!