Better than the Blood of Bulls and Goats
FROM THE CROSS TO THE RAPTURE
(Our part in the new covenant)
Fellowship With Each Other
What does God want? He wants us to love one another. We are to be
in fellowship with Him and WITH THE BODY OF CHRIST.
Psalms 133:1 "Behold,
how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
What breaks fellowship? Sin does, we had that clearly laid out for
us in the garden of Eden. What is sin? It is missing the mark. What
ever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23. Sin is NOT obeying the established
rules of God. A rule, or a law is a standard by which we regulate our lives.
Can you imagine a city without traffic lights to regulate and govern the
flow of traffic? What chaos. That is what it is like for Christians who try
to live outside of God's rules. They end up singing "When we all get to heaven,
by and by, it's all going to be wonderful, no disasters, no tears, no sorrows.
In heaven, we will be happy. They think every good thing is reserved for
the future. They have neatly tied the power of God up in a small package.
God is labeled as, the God who was, and the God who will be. They do not
recognize Him as the great I AM who has a plan for our lives TODAY.
NOW is the accepted time. He is a God of the present.
Traffic lights give us rules to live by. Stop on the red, use caution on
the amber, and go on the green. These rules prevent accidents. God's rules
are meant to regulate our lives and prevent disasters. They are not grievous
and something to be struggled against. We are to be yoked up with Jesus.
A yoke is not meant to restrain us, it is meant to increase our abilities.
When two oxen are yoked together, they can carry a bigger load. Being yoked
together takes the strain off of one and spreads it over two. The Lord's
yoke will not cause us pain unless we dig our heels in and hump up our backs.
If we walk in fellowship with Him, then we have fellowship one with
another. We can not pick apart other members of the body of Christ and
be in fellowship with Him. We are to allow the life of Christ to live through
us. We must remember Jesus died for ALL OF US. Thinking our particular
denomination is going to be the only one in Heaven is arrogant and prideful.
God's word tells us we must be born again to enter eternal life. Nowhere
will we read that we must be a member of the XYZ denomination in order to
be in heaven. Jesus is the door, being born again is what makes other believers
our brothers and sisters.
When Jesus died, the old legal laws were put to rest, but that does not mean
we are without a law. Our law is called the royal law of love. The
royal law of love is an agape kind of love that is poured out on others.
This love endures and is patient and kind and does not act unbecomingly toward
our brothers and sisters in the Lord. This love is ever ready to believe
the best of every person is not arrogant and filled with pride. 1 Corinthians
What does that word, love, really mean?
1 Corinthians 13:1 "Though
I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I become
as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
In this verse we are told love is not necessarily eloquence. As a matter
of fact, it is sometimes totally silent. I remember when our oldest son died.
There was a great deal of pain for those of us who remained. A week after
the funeral, a friend came to visit our church. As he approached me, he didn't
say anything. He just took my hand and looked into my eyes, and I saw there
in his eyes, a mirror of my own pain. Even now these many years later, I
am moved that he loved enough to share our pain.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; Love does not parade
itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own,
is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does
not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Love bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never
Love does not necessarily mean a feeling or an emotion or even to like.
God's love for us is measureless and yet He surely sees many things
in us that He doesn't like.
What is love? Love has the law of kindness in it's mouth and hands.
Love moves quickly to ease the struggle or embarrassment of others. How quickly
Jesus stepped forward to shield the feeling of she who was criticized for
anointing His feet with costly ointment. Love, gives a word of encouragement
and a smile to the sales clerk, who is weary and has just made a mistake.
Love, draws a tub of hot water for a weary mate, not grudgingly but gladly.
Love, is polite and considerate and picks up after itself instead of leaving
it for someone else. Love thinks of the comfort of the other person first.
Love prays for the lost and the hurting.
Love, forgives and forgets, not holding grudges. Once a long time ago I stood
in my utility room talking to a son, who was seeing (what I thought was)
to much of a girl whose reputation was not so good. He listened, with his
eyes full of pain and then that teenager taught me a lesson I have not forgotten.
He said, "Well, Mother, she's sorry for what she has done." Love
forgives and forgets. Everyone deserves the chance to live down their
past. It is the nature of God to forgive and forget, as we are partakers
of His divine nature, we also will be able to forgive and forget.
Love never fails, never runs out. Where does it come from, the love
that endures and gives and gives and gives? Jesus never ran out of love,
because love came from a source outside of Himself. He could give and give
and give, because He could say "All my deep well springs are in thee, Oh
There is an oriental story that tells of a tent made of such delicate fabric
it could be folded into the palm of a mans hand. Yet this tent when unrolled
was large enough to give shelter to thousands of people. Love is such a tent,
it is small enough to be held in your hand. Yet when it is unrolled by a
consecrated imagination, it is big enough to cover the whole earth. We are
enjoying God's love because, love moved someone else. They decided serving
God was more than going to church and receiving a blessing. Someone became
a channel so God's love could be unfolded to shelter us.
Love provides things honest in the sight of all men. Love does unto
others as it would be done unto. Love does not commit sexual sins. Love doesn't
cheat. Love doesn't steal.
Love honors parents and other people, because Jesus died for them. Love doesn't
have idols in it's life. Love doesn't lust. Love rejoices with others when
they are blessed. These are established rules of God, not open for discussion,
they are to be obeyed. Our being blessed, depends upon it.
What is Love? the real thing is described in John 3:16. He loved,
so He gave, Himself.
What is Love? the real thing is described in Romans 4:17 where it
says that God (who is love) calls those things that be not as though they
were. Love calls unlovable us lovable.
Luke 6:27 "But I
say to you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,"
Love your enemies!!! Isn't that a little much, Lord? Don't
you know what they did to me?.........I mean, I was really wounded. God isn't
asking us to do something He hasn't already done many times over. People
have cursed Him, rejected Him, rebelled against Him, and blamed Him for all
kinds of evil......Yet He has maintained a heart of love for them and us.
We are to love our enemies, not just our friends. Just like God. As new covenant
people we are to allow Jesus to live out His life in us. He has given us
the power and the desire to obey, if we do not, we are in open hostile, rebellion
1 Samuel 15:23 "For rebellion is the same as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is
the same as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of
the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king."
I can not envision anyone who would read this teaching as being involved
in anything that even remotely resembles witchcraft; but rebellion is
as the sin of witchcraft. Unfortunately, we are all rebellious at one
time or another. We don't have to be murderers in order to need repentance
in our lives. Rebellion against His established rules requires repentance.
What does God want? He wants us to forgive.
Mark 11:25-26 amp. "And whenever
you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let
it drop...leave it, let it go...in order that your Father who is in heaven
may also forgive you (your own failings and shortcomings) and let them drop.
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your
failings and shortcomings."
Recently I heard some one say the reason so many people want to sit when
they pray is because it says "whenever you stand praying, if you have anything
against anyone you must forgive them. Many people want to cherish their
animosities and not forgive. They don't want to stand because they would
have to obey the forgiving part." That may be true. There is a sample in
God's word of a man who had that problem. King Herod cherished bitter animosity
and hostility for the people of Tyre and Sidon. Acts 12:20-25. He died in
the midst of the people he hated. There were other factors involved, but
unforgiveness may have played a big part in his death.
Matthew 18:21-35 "Then
came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against
me, and I forgive him? up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say
to you, Up to seven times: but, up to seventy times seven. Therefore the
kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to settle accounts with
his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to
him, who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his
master ordered that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he
had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him,
saying, master, have patience with me and I will pay you all. Then the master
of that servant was moved with compassion and released him, and forgave him
the debt. But the same servant went out,
and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred pence: and he
laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what you owe.
And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and begged him, saying, Have
patience with me, and I will pay you all. And he would not: but went and
threw him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants
saw what had been done, they were very grieved and came and told their master
all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to
him, you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged
me: Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even
as I had pity on you? And his master was angry, and delivered him to the
tormentors, until he should pay all that was due him. So my heavenly Father
will also do to you, if each of you from his heart does not forgive every
one his brother his trespasses."
Lack of forgiveness invites death into our lives. Un-forgiveness binds us
so tightly to the person we refuse to forgive, that we are actually in jail
with them. In fact, when we don't forgive someone, that person has more control
over us, than WE have over us. When we do not forgive, all of our thoughts
are directed toward how much we dislike that person and how unjust they were
toward us. Lack of forgiveness causes our thoughts to center on how great
it would be if something unfortunate would happen to the one who grieved
us. That's cherishing animosity.
We need to be ABLE to stand, when we pray, even when we are sitting. If we
let go and forgive, we are free. When we let it drop, and leave all those
things which we have against others, then our Father can also forgive us
our OWN failing and shortcomings and let them drop. If we want to be forgiven,
then we must forgive. This is called a rule of right relationships. We
must also remind ourselves that this rule of right relationships includes
our parents, mates, children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and family
in the Lord. These are the ones we fuss with most often. "Be kind one to
another" includes our own households, not just strangers. Forgiving is an
established rule of God.
Next LESSON FOURTEEN