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AND THEY SHALL KNOW
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And They Shall Know
You Are My Disciples

By The Love You Show One To Another


By Pamela S. Martin

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DEDICATION
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER ONE ... THE WHOLE ARMOR
CHAPTER TWO ... LET US CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER
CHAPTER THREE ... FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER. WHY?
CHAPTER FOUR ... THE LOVE CHAPTER
CHAPTER FIVE ... CHRISTIAN UNITY
CHAPTER SIX ... LOVE AND UNITY REINFORCED BY PRAYER
FROM THE AUTHOR
REFERENCES

 

DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to my loving husband, my mighty man of valor, my gentle encourager…

My best friend.

I thank God for making us one.

May I always be the help- meet you so rightly deserve.

 

In loving memory of

Leverne

A dear friend and classmate

I will see you when I get there but until then I will continue to do the work of the ministry.

 

INTRODUCTION

Once while in a church meeting I heard a brother-in-Christ, (we’ll call him Bill for the sake of clarity) mention how his life had changed once he heard another brother-in-Christ give a message about three characteristics demonstrated in the life of Christ. The three characteristics were the love of Christ, the compassion of Christ and Christ’s obedience to the Father. LOVE, COMPASSION and OBEDIENCE. I had no earthly idea that just by Bill’s mentioning of these characteristics of Christ; my life would be impacted so. My life took on a whole new pursuit. The Spirit of God stirred within me a desire to KNOW the love and compassion of Christ.

As I read through the New Testament, I would study and search intently to find the characteristics of love and compassion of Jesus within the scriptures. I meditated so much on these two characteristics that I almost forgot about the third one, which is obedience. I would later know why, which is another whole story, maybe even a book by itself.

Through searching the scriptures, I began to see the Jesus I did not know and thus the Father I never knew. A transformation began to take place in my life. I yearned to see others as Jesus saw them. Oh to see others through the eyes of Christ! I wanted to see past someone’s faults and see their need. My soul cried out to God for these characteristics to be forever present in my life. Then revelation…For God so loved the world, He gave all that He had to show that love. That love is revealed in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. By Faith, Christ resides in me. In me Christ resides. The love and compassion resides in me! I vowed I would allow Christ to shine forth and His love to be revealed in and through me.

I am a firm believer that when truth of the scripture is revealed, as soon as possible one should act on that knowledge. If it is not possible to do the Word at that moment I purpose in my heart to do it as soon as an opportunity presents itself. Therefore it never fails, after a revelation; I’m often put to the test. Thus the test…

There was this person at work that everyone seemed to detest for one reason or another. Well, almost everyone did. Personally until this particular day I had no dealings with this individual. Our paths had never crossed. On this particular day, our paths did cross.

It was lunchtime and everyone was out of the area except the two of us. This person seemed to be having difficulty with a piece of office equipment and verbalized this. After getting tired of hearing the complaints and feeling a little guilty (I was the last person to use the equipment so I knew what the problem was and how to solve it), I thought I would render assistance. I just knew the person would be able to get their work done and I could get some peace and quiet and we both would be happy. I thought if I would be careful and polite while assisting I wouldn’t offend this person. Needless to say, my approach didn’t work as I had planned. I was not prepared for the response I received.

With hindsight, my response to this individual’s overreaction should have been… ”Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they do.” Instead OFFENSE came and I took it. I held my tongue, took OFFENSE with me and walked back to my desk. (The point is OFFENSE will come but we don’t have to take it.) There I sat boiling with anger. To make matters worst, I played the harsh words spoken to me over and over in my thoughts. I MEDITATED on them.

I should have been thinking… “whatever things are true… whatever things are lovely… of good report… meditate on these things.”

Oh how I wanted to retaliate! I didn’t like what I was feeling toward this person. I ran to the bathroom, found an empty stall (my prayer closet) and vented all my feelings to the Lord. I also told Him I didn’t like what I was feeling toward this person. I used a few descriptive adjectives (all within a vocabulary that is acceptable to God’s ears and mine… mind you… be angry but sin not!) to describe what I perceived this person to be. Then I recall saying to God, that I could see why no one liked this person. In my spirit I heard these words, quietly and calmly…

“That’s true…”

Then it seemed as if my words, “No One” had lingered in the room and now echoed back to me.

For a split second I felt what it must be like to not have anyone to care, no one to love you. The rage subsided. The tears of anger now became tears of compassion for this sad individual who knew not love.

The quiet voice within continued “…but I love them… (…for God so loved the world…)”

My heart broke. Now my prayer of complaint and hurt feelings became one of intercessory for one who was hurting but didn’t know how to find help. I “chose” to put aside my hurt feelings and my right to be vindicated that day in order to see what God was showing and teaching me about His love.

Yes, our paths had crossed in more ways than one. For me it was a spiritual crossroad. I could have taken the way the flesh was leading or the way the Spirit of God was leading. I “chose” on that particular day, to continually demonstrate, and to show forth the love of Christ to that person and others who are really hurting and don’t know where to find the help that they so desperately need.

It is sad to say many of those hurting makeup the body of Christ. What is sadder is the “church” has caused a lot of this hurt.

To see past the faults and see the need, to love one unconditionally, to show compassion is Christ. If we as the body of Christ are to function effectively as the body of Christ, and reach out to a hurting and dying world, then we must first become aware of and stop the hurt within the body. This book is written to and for the body of Christ for that very purpose… to help us to STOP THE HURT WITHIN.

When the LOVE WITHIN flows, HEALING and RESTORATION of the church will take place. God’s POWER will be unleashed! Then we will reach the world as never before. As in the words of Jesus… “By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. John 13:35

 

Chapter 1

THE WHOLE ARMOR

…For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood… (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)

The armor of God has been taught, preached and taught and preached again. I will not attempt to do an in-depth teaching on this subject. So, please open up your hearts to what the Spirit of God wants me to share with you from these scriptures. Keep a teachable spirit. For now is the time for the body of Christ to put into action all that has been made plain, that which has been revealed.

Ephesians 6:11-18 [AMP]

1Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
 

DISCERN THE STRUGGLE

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood…

BE AWARE this has been one of Satan’s greatest deceits.

…[contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

This verse clearly reveals that which is behind all that comes against us to cause us harm and undue distress. Not physical but spiritual. Not merely flesh and blood.


TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTIONS

13 Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.

18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people).


DRAMATIZATION

There was a Christian Youth Group in Europe that brought to life these versus in a powerful manner with dramatization. They used laser lights, enriched music and sounds to help reveal the spiritual nature of our warfare.

One particular scene (in the dramatization) kept repeating itself over and over in my mind for months.


The Scene:

There were several ranks of what was to be soldiers positioned in a “battle stance” and fully alert. They seemed to be engaging in a battle but the enemy was invisible to the natural eye. When a soldier on the front line(s) was wounded (which lights and sound indicated) and fell, immediately he was removed to the rear of the ranks. Almost simultaneously another soldier moved up to take the wounded soldier’s place.

Seeing this stirred my spirit and touched the very depth of my heart. The group’s movements were sharp, precise and timely. As I stated earlier this scene was like a continuous playback in my thoughts, forever etched in my mind. Even now, more than ten years later I can recall it vividly.

One day as I was reading over Ephesians 6:11-18, this scene came to mind. Finally, I realized that the Holy Spirit was trying to get my attention. (Okay, sometimes I’m a lil’ slow). I began to praise God for giving us all the protection and resources we would ever need to engage the true enemy. I thanked Him for Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Then my eyes fell downward to the 18th verse. Oh, how could I have missed this? I then thanked God for Prayer. True spiritual warfare takes place in prayer. We are to bombard heaven with prayers… Pray at all times [on every occasion, in every season] in the Spirit, with all (manner of) prayer and entreaty (Ephesians 6:18). Truly He has given us everything for the engaging of spiritual warfare.

I sensed the urge to look closer still. As the scene of the youth’s dramatization flooded my mind, I read verse 18 again.

Let us take a closer look at this verse together.

18 Pray at all times-on every occasion, in every season- in the Spirit, with all (manner of) prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding on behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people).

In reality this verse correlates to the scene in the dramatization that we are discussing. Upon realizing this, the Holy Spirit helped me to see another resource that is given which I had overlooked…interceding on behalf of ALL the SAINTS (emphasis are mine). “One another” is implied. He has given us “one another!”

Keep in mind when Paul wrote these scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he used words that painted a portrait of a Roman soldier dressed for battle to help us grasp the picture of God’s armor. The Roman soldier’s shield was long, either oblong or oval in nature. It was crafted from two layers of wood covered with linen or animal hides, bound together with iron. When the soldiers were fighting “side-by-side” they could hold the shields “together” to form a long wall. When the shields were soaked in water, they served as adequate defense against the enemy’s “fiery darts” or “flaming missiles”.

With the above in mind, let us read the 16th verse of Ephesians 6 (NKJ).

16 … above all, taking the shield of “faith” (emphasis mine) with which you will be able to quench “all” the fiery darts of the wicked one.

For so long we have read this to say “above all else” or “besides all”. A better translation for this should be rendered “over all”. It covers all that has been put on before which are the breastplate, the girdle and the shoes.

Let’s read it in another translation.

Lift up over all the (covering) shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked (one). (Eph 6:16 AMP)

When we take up and put on God’s armor, which is really the “new man”, we each have the breastplate of God’s Righteousness imparted to us through Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:21-23, 2 Corinthians 5:21). We have His truth and His integrity. Our feet are firm, stable and ready because of the Gospel of Peace we stand on. Also we all have been given the measure of faith.

Follow closely…

When fighting the enemy, I can’t use my breastplate that I have been given for you, my girdle nor my shoes. But TOGETHER WE can lift up overall and cover (the entire breastplate, the girdle and the shoes) with the shield of faith. We can pray the prayer of faith for ALL. WE can help to quench all those fiery darts and missiles! How exciting!

As Christian soldiers we should always fight “together” shoulder to shoulder in prayer. We should fight the good fight of faith! We shouldn’t be struggling with one another. Flesh and blood is not the enemy. They are devices that the enemy has been able to skillfully use. But we won’t fall victim any more to his schemes, right? We will only yield our members as instruments of righteousness to God (Romans 6:13).

We should always pray one for another-putting others first in our prayer life with joy, as did the New Testament saints (read 1 Corinthians 1:11, 2 Corinthians 9:14 and Philippians 1:4). Our Faith is activated, energized, expressed and works through love (Galatians 5:6 AMP). Faith then causes prayer to work. You see, by design God has given us one another!


God Has Given Us One Another

This is a good time to get apart with your bible and writing materials. Spend some time reading and meditating on the following scriptures. Listen intently to what the Spirit of God is saying. (Do you know the bible is the only book you can read at anytime anywhere and have the author sit with you to explain what He IS saying)? At any rate take time to record your thoughts and revelations. Proceed, as you are led.

John 13:34-35 (AMP)

I give you a new commandment, that you should love one another; just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.

Ephesians 4:32 (AMP)

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Romans 12:5 (AMP)

So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ, the Messiah, and individually we are part of one another—mutually dependent on one another.

Galatians 5:13 (AMP)

For you brethren, were (indeed) called to freedom; only (do not let your) freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse (for selfishness), but through love you should serve one another.

1 Thessalonians 5:4 (AMP)

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify-strengthen and build up-one another…

Romans 12:10 (AMP)

Love one another with brotherly affection-as members of one family-giving precedence and showing honor to one another.

Ephesians 4:2 (AMP)

Living as become you-with complete lowness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.

 

Chapter 2

LET US CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER

Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…exhorting one another, so much the more as you see the Day approaching.  (Hebrews 10:24, 25)

Having read and meditated on the previous “one another” scriptures, (If you have not done so, please go back and do that before continuing) let us build upon this foundation.

I rejoice at the awesomeness of God and the fact that He gave us one another to love, to help build-up and strengthen each other along our Christian journey. The mere thought of this should bring you joy also.

You the reader must know that the things I am writing are to stir up love and good works. Considering the time we now live in I must take the liberty to shout from the rooftop, if you will, the word of God, which is truth. Truly God has given us one another, but we as the body of Christ have left many of our wounded out on the battlefield.

This is a very serious matter. Bruised, wounded and even broken individuals have at some point in time, paraded before me as prisoners of war. They lived unproductive and unfruitful lives because the true enemy of their souls held them captive. Their stories varied but the theme was the same; they felt rejected and even forgotten by the body of Christ. As I interceded on behalf of these and others like them, I sought the Lord for understanding. I needed to know how this atrocity came about and why we continue to ignore it. How can we leave the wounded on the battlefield and allow them to become prisoners?

An answer came after months of contemplation and carrying around the sorrow of such a realization. The answer came but with a greater revelation and a deeper hurt.

The answer…Not only do we leave our wounded on the battlefield, we help the “world” to bury them and they are not yet dead! (When one is dead they are soon forgotten).

When the Spirit of God spoke this to my heart, I felt as if my heart would break forth and come right through my body. To put it in words for you to grasp is very difficult. Imagine a battering ram that the police or other law enforcement agencies use to force their way into a locked and well-secured building. Now imagine this being used full force within you in order for the users to exit. I recall suddenly stopping in my tracks, doubling over and letting out a wail of a cry. Large drops of tears streamed down my face as I thought to myself that if the feeling didn’t subside, I could not withstand it. The pain lasted for only a matter of seconds; the hard sobbing lasted for minutes, but the whole experience will be remembered for a lifetime.

This initial experience happened approximately ten years ago from the writing of this book. I have felt similar heartaches pertaining to the body of Christ, but none as intense as on that day. I know the Lord knew I would not be able to bear it. I do believe it would add new meaning to the saying… ”died with a broken heart”.

As I begin to see where Christ is hurling the Church in this period of time, I must tell of these revelations. I must reveal the “hurt within”. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

You see we must no longer…

Leave our wounded on the battlefield

Nor are we to…

Help the world to bury them when they are not dead. For there is a vast majority of the wounded who are that way because of “friendly fire”.

We will take a look at some scriptures that the Holy Spirit led me to. They helped me to understand what I was experiencing when I realize what we, the body of Christ, were doing to ourselves.

Be sober be vigilant because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour.  (1 Peter 5:8)

Now let’s look at the next scripture I was lead to.

But if you bite and devour, be aware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:15) (emphasis mine)

The word devour” loomed out at me in both verses. In 1 Peter 5:8 it is our adversary, the devil who wishes to do the devouring. According to Galatians 5:15, we help, aid and abet our adversary by biting and devouring one another. (emphasis is mine)


THE HURT WITHIN, THE HURT WITHIN, THE HURT WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST!

When we complain and criticize about non-issues, or fuss and fight because of differences of opinions concerning things of little or no significance…we bite and devour. Each time we become offensive by doing or saying hurtful things, such as talking down and belittling someone, we bite and devour each other. If we do not cease we will consume or destroy one another! This is so much more than “sibling rivalry” in the sight of God.

Let us read Galatians 5:14-15 in the Amplified Version of the bible.

  1. For the whole law concerning (human relations) is complied within the one precept, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

  2. But if you bite and devour one another (in partisan strife ) be careful that you and your whole fellowship are not consumed by one another.(emphasis is mine)

Now let us read 1 Peter 5:9 in the Amplified Version of the bible.

Be well-balanced-temperate, sober minded; be vigilant and cautious at all times, for the enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.(emphasis is mine)

The picture I hope to impart is not a pretty one. I want you to see the biting and devouring that takes place. Imagine a pack of wild animals in deadly combat. For this is what is taking place in Christ’s body. Now I want you to see the devil roaring to stir things up. Also, see him watching and sniffing like the predator that he is. He is sniffing for the scent of blood and watching for it to begin trickling. You know his job is to steal, kill and destroy. After we have drawn blood and wounded each other; he goes in for the kill. His best prey is those who are wounded and not sure of whom they are in Christ. They are the ones who are not aware of the power and authority they still possess and therefore present the devil with the least amount of resistance.

As I write this, the “babes” in Christ and those that are maybe going through some type of trail right now come to mind. (Be of good courage, the Lord thy God is with you! You are MORE THAN a conqueror through Him that loved and still loves you.)

Nevertheless, we all should practice self-control and be ever so watchful as we pray one for another.


Grieving the Holy Spirit

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. (Ephesians 4:30-32)

I am sure by now you can see why the Holy Spirit is grieved. When I think back to my experience, I can remember feeling His grief for only a second or so. During my lifetime I have experienced some deep emotional and mental anguish and mournful sorrow due to the loss of close family members or dear friends. However, nothing compares to the anguish or the depth of the mourn I experienced on that day. All the inward pain I have personally suffered pales in comparison to the grief I was allowed to experience briefly with the Holy Spirit.

At first I did a self-check. Where have I not been vigilant and failed to show Calvary’s love? Then I observed the local church in which I was attending. Finally, I realized what I had experienced was so much bigger than my church group, or any one denomination, let alone, me. It is a reality that encompasses and affects the entire body of Christ, the universal Church. For the Holy Spirit continues to grieve as the “body” continues to bite and devour. Let us not be of those that grieve the Holy Spirit. Let us be the one who ministers healing. Let us help, not hurt. (Romans 15:1-4)

Let us go back to the word of God for more insight.

Read Galatians 5 (the entire chapter)

Record your thoughts.

We see that Christ has given us the ability to live godly lives by walking in the freedom He has purchased for us. We remain free by walking in the Holy Spirit’s control, thus walking in love. We are not to use our Christian liberty as an excuse for selfishness, but rather we are to use our liberty through love to serve one another.

Galatians 5:25-26 (AMP)

25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]

26 Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.

From seeds of envy in the heart

Grow tiny weeds of hate,

And when allowed to get a start,

Much strife they generate.

Dennis J. DeHann

A Heart Full of Love Has No Room for Envy

 

DEEPER STUDY – CHAPTER 2

Which “one another” scripture (s) spoke to you in volumes?

Why?

Additional Notes:

 

Chapter 3

FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, WHY?


Offenses

I am convinced that a lot of the “the hurt within” the body of Christ is being inflicted by those who themselves are in need of healing of past hurts. Someone took offense, which is a snare devised by satan himself…

They became wounded…

Have not yet forgiven the offender and,

Bitterness has now set in and wishes to breed!

Let me take a moment here and address the offense issue.


Woes of Offense

I am not an intense person, but this is not about me. Therefore with the Holy Spirit’s help, I pray this comes with the same intensity in which He revealed it to me.

The scriptures tell us offenses will come, but “woe” to the one who causes offense. Let us not cause others to stumble in their spiritual walk with the Lord. We should desire to be “stepping stones” rather than “stumbling blocks” to others. (Matthew 19:6-7, Luke 17:1-2)

Leaders, pastors and all who serve in leadership positions that require “shepherding”, remember with authority comes responsibility and accountability. You must read and take heed to the warnings found in Ezekiel 34:1-10. Take time to meditate on this passage even if you are familiar with it.

You must know that God sets Himself against those that take care of themselves and neglect to attend to the welfare of His people. Be ever so careful as not to misuse, abuse, or scatter His sheep.

Lead by example.

Guide, don’t drive the people (1 Peter5:1-4)

Identify with the “Good Shepherd.”

Please read John 10:1-15.

As you read this passage I urge you to renounce any hidden motives of your hearts. Is not the time coming and is yet now upon us that our true hearts will be revealed?

He who covers his sins will not prosper but whosoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Proverbs 28:1)


The Sin We Try to Cover Up Will Eventually Bring Us Down

Be careful to preach not yourselves but Jesus Christ the Lord.

See yourselves as servants to “God’s people” for the sake of Christ. Give Christ His rightful place once again in the body of Christ.

He (Christ) has given you, those of you in the “five-fold” ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers), as gifts for the edifying and equipping of the saints so that they can do the work of the ministry. You are “Gifts” to the body of Christ. I know Christ would only give good gifts. So, I am convinced and sure of this very thing; that He who began a good work in you will continue until the Day of Jesus Christ. He is developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6)

None of us are greater than our Lord and Master, Jesus the Christ. As members of the body of Christ we can let His words and His life be examples unto us. Therefore it is my prayer that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight. That your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment. Why? So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value. You will be able to recognize the highest and the best and distinguish the moral differences that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless. With hearts sincere and certain you may approach the day of Christ, not stumbling nor causing others to stumble. (Philippians 1:9-10 AMP) [paraphrased]

Okay, let us get back to where we were before having to deal with the ”woes” of offense. Once offense is taken which is a snare devised by the enemy of our souls to cause us to stumble, one falls for his trickery and becomes wounded and refuses to forgive. Bitterness will set in and its desire is to BREED!


So Why Forgive????

One may think that unforgiveness of another individual, (Remember, God has given us one another) is a private matter. However, you, being a part of the Body of Christ must realize where there is unforgiveness there is division. When there is division in the Body of Christ, we all suffer.


Division

The devil wants to …

Deceive us as to who the real enemy is (we wrestle not against flesh and blood…)

Distort the facts in order to…

Discourage us, so he can…

Divide us with an objective to….

Destroy the Body of Christ with our help

Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, have a uniformed testimony regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that there be no divisions (schisms or dissension) among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:12)

…for you are still carnal. For where there is envy, strife, and division among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:30)

Christ has built His Church on Himself (for we are His Body) and has declared that even the power of hell, which is death, can not prevail against our advancing the kingdom of God. The devil knows this. His strategy is to divide, first then conquer. Even when there were only two in the garden, he had to divide them first. He worked on Eve alone. However, we are not ignorant of his devices. We know that the weapon of our warfare is not carnal, weak and worldly, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strong holds. Division is a stronghold in the Body of Christ, which must be demolished!

Where there is “unity”, there is power!


Power Block

Unforgiveness blocks the flow of the power of God. This is true because unforgiveness blocks access to the Kingdom of God. Had the Disciples walked in love and forgiveness instead of strife that came from competing for positions, they would have had greater faith to do greater works. Remember faith works by love. They would have been able to experience a greater measure of power flowing in and through their lives to accomplish the work they had been given. After all they were given the power and authority by Christ to accomplish the work of the ministry. Also with the strife came “spiritual dullness”. They were unable to comprehend the spiritual things Jesus wanted to share with them. (Matthew 18:21-22, Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 11:22-25)

Does this sound like the anemic state of the body of Christ today? For Christ has given the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us to do the work of the ministry, to enforce the reality of that which He has already accomplished for us.

Take the time to read and meditate on these scriptures. Record your thoughts.

Luke 10:19 (AMP)

Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and physical and mental strength and ability, over all the power that the enemy possesses, and nothing shall in anyway harm you.

Acts 1:8 (AMP)

But you shall receive power – ability, efficiency and might when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses…

Acts 3:12 (AMP)

…Why do you keep starring at us, as though by our own individual power active piety we had made this man able to walk?

Romans 1:16 (AMP)

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, (good news) of Christ for it is God’s power working unto salvation for deliverance from eternal death to every one who believes…

2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.

Ephesians 1:18b-20 (AMP)

…so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:10 (AMP)

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

Let’s continue with the question… Why Forgive?


Right Relationships

Remember God is a God of relationships. He gave us His Son so that He might re-establish a right relationship with us. He also gave us His Son to teach us how to have a right relationship with one another. (Remember, He gave us one another). God the Father is concerned about us having a right relationship with Him and mankind. Our continuous personal relationship with Him is designed to produce the fruit and the character in us to be able to build and sustain right relationships with others. (Take time to read 2 Peter: 1-11)

So, even if you are feeling justified in your resentfulness and unforgiveness because of the magnitude of the injustice and great evil you may have incurred by someone, forgive them. I don’t say this to intentionally diminish what they may have done, but I ask you to forgive them because of your relationship with God and not to hinder the fellowship that you share with Him through Christ. Forgiveness will allow His power to freely flow in and through your life. Open up yourself once again to experience His love flooding your being. His love is a healing balm for all those who hurt deep within.

You see, the truth of the matter is, one can cause great pain, physically, mentally, emotionally etc. But they are powerless to remove the hurt they have caused. Only Jehovah-Rapha can heal the hurt that others have tried to remove, but failed. For He is your Healer and the One who makes bitter experiences sweet.


Prayer For Removal Of Hurt

“Lord as my sisters and my brothers read this and purpose in their heart to forgive…flood them with your love and remove the HURT DEEP WITHIN like only you can do. Thank you Father that you have sent your Word to heal them!”

Additional Notes:

 

Year Of Jubilee

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim LIBERTY to the captives…

Let us get excited about Jesus, bodily being our Jubilee! Let us get excited about setting some people free because of this truth. Let us cancel some “debts owed.” Let us stamp on their account PAID IN FULL. From this moment forward, let us decide to release some folks! We should release even those who have not even sought after our forgiveness. Just decide here and now to no longer HOLD THEM IN BONDAGE by not forgiving them. Instead we BIND the demonic forces behind the unkind and even hurtful deed(s). Now you take the AUTHORITY to set these people FREE! (Matthew 6:5-15).

Take the time now to mentally and spiritually through prayers and petitions…SET SOME PEOPLE FREE.

SET FREE that person or those people that come to your mind as you read this. Now watch and see that your season of harvest becomes plentiful! You will have an overflow of Christ’s love and power operating in and through your life as a result. (You will discover that you have just set yourself FREE as well!)

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV)

When salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound Luke 4:19 (AMP)


Forgiveness is God’s Idea

This forgiveness concept is not mine. Forgiveness is God’s idea. He demonstrated this by first giving us His Son to reconcile to Himself a people who did not deserve forgiveness. But, before I get ahead of myself, let us talk about another reason for forgiving just in case you are still not convinced it is necessary.


Why Forgive?

Allow me to illuminate another reason for forgiving…to prevent the setting in of BITTERNESS. You see, bitterness breeds and wishes to defile many with the evil it produces within.


Bitterness

God wants us to honor Him with our hearts. Our hearts were never meant to hold or store up anger, unforgiveness or bitterness. They cause spiritual and physical sickness. Our hearts will become hardened. The word (seed) of God will have little or no affect in one’s life for it needs to penetrate the heart, take root and grow to produce fruit. (Luke 8:4-15)

Note: If you have gotten this far in your reading without forgiving, it is a strong possibility bitterness has already set in. Fear not! There is still hope. Just keep reading.


Hardening of the Heart is More Serious Than Hardening of the Arteries

Looking careful lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled. (Hebrews 12:15)

We are told here to ensure the grace of God, which we didn’t earn, be something that no one falls short of. We are further instructed to watch and look after one another in order that bitterness doesn’t take its toll.

I believe that all scripture is given by God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work, don’t you?

Bitterness defiles and contaminates all that it touches. It is like cancer that desires to spread. Spiritual blindness is one of the main things it causes making one unable to see when good comes. Refuse to harbor unforgiveness in your heart.

Refuse to be consumed with the hatred that bitterness breeds. It will produce evil fruit and extreme wickedness and defile many before it destroys you.

So that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go serve the gods of these nations and that there may not be among you a root bearing BITTERNESS or wormwood (emphasis mine) (Deuteronomy 29:10)

Guard against bitterness in your heart and among God’s people. It most often causes people to turn away from God. It is important to deal with sins of the heart and attitude before they fester, poisoning our lives and resulting in hateful actions.

[Spirit Filled Life (SFL) Bible, NKJV, pg. 303]

Know this: A changed heart

Will always result in a changed life.

 

I hope you are getting an up close look at the HURT WITHIN the Body of Christ which takes place when we fail to realize God has given us one another. Once again I admonish you to let all bitterness be put away from you and grieve not the Holy Spirit. As I write this, I am reminded of the seriousness of this matter. We MUST take care of heart issues, and bitterness is a serious heart issue.


Why Forgive?

Lastly, but most importantly, forgive for the sake of Christ.


For The Sake Of Christ

I am thoroughly convinced, that once the forgiveness of Christ becomes a personal, heart revelation to someone, they will in turn, live a life of forgiveness. They will practice instant reconciliation. Also offense will less likely be taken and/or given. For they will know, come to recognize and comprehend that they are a recipient of the forgiveness of a debt that they could never repay.


The Unforgiving Servant

The scriptures tells us to whom much is given, much is expected. It also implies if one is forgiven much, he loves much. If you are forgiven little, you love little. (Luke 7:47)

I thought about this. The question arose in my time of pondering … Why in the parable of the Unforgiving Servant, who was forgiven the highest sum imaginable was not more forgiving? After being forgiven of such a large debt, the Unforgiving Servant then refused to forgive his fellow servant who owed him a very insignificant sum of money. In fact the amount that his fellow servant owed to him paled in comparison to the huge debt that the Unforgiving Servant owed and was forgiven of. The Unforgiving Servant placed his hand around his debtor’s neck and demanded payment while his debtor begged for mercy.

How much forgiveness was the Unforgiving Servant showing here? I just did not see the principal spoken of in Luke 8:47, “of forgiven much, loves much” working in this passage of scripture. I told the Lord that and asked Him what happened to this principle of truth in this parable.

 

The Two Debtors

The two debtors in Luke 7 illustrated that the one who was forgiven the greatest debt loved more. Also the sinful woman showed her gratitude of the sin forgiven. However, the Unforgiving Servant still did not follow these examples.

Soon my understanding would be enlightened. The sinful woman and the debtor had to first come to the realization of the insurmountable debt of their sins, which they were forgiven of. They also came to recognize and understand the mercy in which they had received.

Even though the Unforgiving Servant was forgiven of an insurmountable debt himself with great mercy, he did not receive a revelation of the depth of the debt of sin of which he had been forgiven. He had no concept of the grace and mercy he had received when he was granted his freedom, along with a canceled debt. Therefore, it was unlikely that he could go out, show mercy and forgive someone of a smaller debt.

So, you see it is the “realization” of just how much you have been forgiven that allows you to operate in this truth:

Forgiven much = forgives much + loves much!


For Christ’s Sake

Remember we all owed a debt that we could never repay. Yet you must come to understand we were forgiven! Understand the forgiveness you received from God the Father through Christ His Son. Did you deserve it? When you forgive for Christ’s sake and the sake of the cross, you are saying I’m willing to show mercy to forgive you and allow the Lord to contend with you. I pray His mercy and blessing upon you, for you know not what you do. (Isaiah 49:25, Romans 12:17-21, 1Corinthians 6:7)


An Act of Your Will

Forgiveness is an act of our will. So by faith, if you are still harboring unforgiveness, by faith forgive that person or persons which come to mind. Don’t be moved by your feelings. By faith forgive them. This act of forgiveness glorifies the Father.


Dying to Self

Just as Christ’s life and resurrection glorified the Father, so did His death glorify the Father. We too can obey the Father unto death. When we refuse to retaliate against the wrong done to us by forgiving, a “dying to self” takes place in us. We are laying down our life for the sake of Christ and the body of Christ. We die to ourselves to the Christ that is in us. With this act, God’s love shines forth drawing the sinner and embracing the brethren.

Take some time to read and mediate on these scriptures. Feel free to record your thoughts. Proceed, as you are led.

Philippians 2:3-4

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

2 Timothy 2:11

For this is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.

Ephesians 5:8

You were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord, Walk as children of light.

Romans 6:5-8

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died to Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

Colossians 3:1-3

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

FOR THEY SHALL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES BY THE LOVE YOU SHOW ONE TO ANOTHER

Additional Notes:

 

DEEPER STUDY – CHAPTER 3

Can you think of a time when you may have “grieved” the Holy Spirit regarding your relationship with others? Read Ephesians 4:30-32 (AMP).

How can you improve your love walk? Read Galatians 5:6, 22-26.

 

Chapter 4

THE LOVE CHAPTER


A Lesson In Love

When my oldest son was just a toddler, we often played a game that we made up. It was called the “I Love You This Much Game” (Okay, we probably could have come up with a better name.) We made this game up based on the comic character Ziggy. It originated from having a little statue of Ziggy standing with his arms stretched out and on the base of the statue read “I Love You This Much!”

When playing our game, I would always win because my arms were much longer and I could stretch the farthest. Even when my son would stretch his little arms with all his might, (as if his arms would grow with each grunt) I would of course, always win. On one particular occasion though, he won. How, you ask? Well, as I told him that I loved him and I then used my arms to demonstrate. After asking him how much he loved me, he refused to be out done.

He looked at me and said “I love you all the sky, mommy…all the stars, all the sky!” as he waved one little arm in the air. Now, he may have said that because he was not about to stop playing with his favorite toy to get up and play with me. I don’t know.

As I looked at my baby, I thought…gosh, that is a lot of love. I also thought how could someone so small have so much love within. As tears welt up in my eyes, I scooped up my son to give him the best hug ever. I may have had the longest arms but I was sure he had the biggest heart. That much I did know. I remember his statement making me feel so very special, as if I and I alone were loved so much. Deep inside I thought I might had just discovered what it must be like to be loved by God.

 

God’s Love

We know that God’s love is immeasurable. As vast as He is, so is His love for us. His love is unconditional. He will never love us any more or less than He does at this very moment. He alone loves each individual as if they were the only one He had to love. You and I were not designed to contain such great love. That is why we must give it away so that it may continue to flow to, in, and through us. I am reminded also of His Son, who came to show us the love of the Father.


Christ, God’s Love Manifested, The Cross, God’s Love Demonstrated

If you are uncertain about His love, just remember Calvary. As Christ stretched out His arms on the cross, hung down His head and died… remember He loved you that much! Even if you are estranged from Him or a sinner that has rejected Him, the same still holds true. For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son…Christ still suffered, bled and died for you. Oh, Holy God, who can fathom the depth of your love?

As the body of Christ, we can now demonstrate this love in and through our lives. It will be His love that will cause a yearning and a stirring in the lives of others, to know this great God and His love. It will be through a relationship with His Son that they too will be dispensers of this incredible gift called love.


Prayer

It is my prayer that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. That you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the width, length, depth and height of that love. I pray that you come to know the love of Christ that passes knowledge; that you may be filled with the fullness of God!


Love God and Love Your Neighbor

We are to love God with all our being. Equal to this, we are to love one another as Christ has loved us, laying down His life for us unto death. (John 15:12-13; Matthew 22:39). This is a simple command that we seemed to have gotten away from. At some point in our search for the “deep” and “spiritual”, we strayed from the way that was laid out for us. Our vision became cloudy and so did our interpretation of “walking in the spirit”. Let us now return by following the footsteps of Jesus. We will soon discover that “walking in the spirit” is indeed, walking in LOVE

**WARNING: Jesus’ footsteps lead to a self-less life rather than a self-ish life!**


Love Obeys God and Lays Down His Life for Others

Read John 15:9-14

The one who says he loves God must love. The true lover of God will not find this command grievous (1 John 4:4-21:5:3). The fact is, God is Love, therefore the Son of God is the Love of God. You, having accepted His Son also have his love residing in you. However, it will only spring forth from a pure heart, from a pure, clear conscience and from sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5).


What Manner of Love is This?

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 8:5)

For further study of the God kind of love, let’s look up some more scriptures. Read and meditate on the verses below and proceed as you are led. Feel free to record what you are personally receiving from these scriptures.

Luke 6:27

But I say to you who hear “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

1 Peter 2:17

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

1 Peter 4:8

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 1:7-8 (You may want to begin in v2)

To godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love. For if these are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(You may also want to read I John 3:10-23)


Love Obeys God and Does No Harm to His Brother

So, we agree love obeys God and does no harm to his brother. It instead edifies, builds-up and encourages one to grow to his full statue in Christ.

Read and reread the following scriptures until they are etched in your heart and mind so that they can become a part of your daily life. Ask the Lord for new insight into His word so that it may become precious and personal to you. For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the joints and marrow. It is indeed a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is my desire that you be changed and not just moved by what is written. It is for this reason that I give you the word of God.

Romans 12:9-10

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.

Romans 13:8

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:10

Love does no harm to a neighbor therefore love is the fullness of the law.

1 Corinthians 8:1b (AMP)

…but love that is affection and good will and benevolence, -edifies and builds-up and encourages one to grow to his full stature.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (AMP)

…but love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealously; it is not boastful; or vainglorious, does not display it’s self haughtily.

It is not conceited, arrogant and inflated with pride; it is not rude. Unmannerly, and does not act unbecomingly.

Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights, or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it –pays no attention to a suffered wrong.

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything without weakening;

Love never fails, never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end.

Make a commitment to walk in this God kind of love. Oh my friend, it is possible! For God is love, therefore the Son of God is the love of God. If you have accepted Christ into your life, then in you this love dwells as Christ dwells. Just allow Him to be Lord and have full reign in every area of your life. Just say and mean…Not my will Lord but your will for and in my life! Now confess with your mouth by the grace of God, “I will walk in love by the power that dwells within me.” Yes, let us love one another for love is of God and every one that loves is born of God.

If you are reading this and do not know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord of your life, then of course this kind of love eludes you. However, if you will to love this way, then turn from your own way and call upon Jesus to come in your heart and dwell there. He who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Read Romans 10:9-13)

Record your decision or rededication:

Date I decided to turn from my own way (repent) and follow Christ (for real!): 

___________________________________

In your own words/prayer of confession:

___________________________________

 

 


Follow-Up:

[Daily read the bible starting with the book of Romans or the book of John and pray/talk to the Lord each day about any and everything.]

Public Confession (baptism) Date: _______________________

Discipleship and Accountability (record the name of the individual or church that you have made yourself accountable to:

____________________________________________________

We would love to hear of your decision to follow Christ for the first time or rededication. Please contact us at the following email address:

Andtheyshallknow@comcast.com

 

Love..Agape (Greek)

*Christian love has God for its primary object and expresses itself first of all in obedience to His commandments. (John 14:15,21,23; 15:10; 1 John 6)

*Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren or toward men generally, is not an impulse from feelings, it does not always run with natural inclinations, nor does it expend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all (Romans 15:2), and works no ill to any (Romans 13:8-10); love seeks the opportunity to do good to all men and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith. (Gal 6:10)

(*Quotes from “Notes on Thessalonians” by Hogg and Vine, pg. 105)

**Agape indicates a choice to serve God, to love your neighbor and accept yourself without expecting something in return (Matt 22:34-40).

** Agape is a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the lover rather than the worthiness of the one loved (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

(**Quotes from the “What Is Love” chart of the Women’s Study bible, pg. 1918)

 

DEEPER STUDY – CHAPTER 4

Negative heart issues can be serious. Why do you think it is important to God that we deal with them expediently? Read Matthew 5:3, 22, Matthew 15:18-20, and Matthew 22:37.

Additional Notes:

Over all virtues

Put on “love”

And

Enfold yourselves with

The bonds of perfectness which binds everything

Together

In harmony

Colossians 3:14 (AMP)

 

Chapter 5

CHRISTIAN UNITY

And the Lord said, “Behold they are one people, and they all have one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible to them.” (Genesis 11:6)

One summer, some years ago, my younger son experienced a real growth spurt. During the following fall, my husband and I attended one of his high school basketball games. We watched the game from a level where the whole court was visible and we could actually look down on the players. From our view it was apparent to us that our son had not yet realized the advantage of the additional inches that his arms and legs had given him. He was not playing with the “full reach” of his arms or full extension of his legs. The thought came to me that once our son realized the true advantage that his growth had given him and used this knowledge to booster his natural God-given abilities, he would be unstoppable on the courts.

He had to first know that he could reach further and jump higher. Then he could get all the members of his body to flow in sync with that knowledge.

Once the body of Christ, as diverse as it is, realizes the strength that is in unity, we too will be unstoppable. When we allow ourselves to be governed by the Head, who is Christ, we will function as one. Every member of His body will find their place in their local body, their assembly of believers. Each one will then operate in the spiritual gifts that Christ has given them. (1 Corinthians 12) We will flow in love and in the power of the Anointed One and His anointing. We will “fully extend our reach” to a hurting and dying world. We will witness lives that become totally transformed as people around us are radically saved. For they will see Christ within us. (Galatians 3:20)

Picture with me…all the members of Christ’s body standing firm, united in spirit and purpose. We are of one mind. Now see us side-by-side as we strive together for the faith of the gospel. We are more than conquerors who are not intimidated, not even for a moment, nor frightened by our adversaries. We are fearless; for perfect love casts out fear. (Phil 1:27-28, AMP)

This is the Church that Christ will be coming back for. It is my prayer that we all live in mutual harmony and display such full sympathy with one another that we will walk in one accord with Christ Jesus. So, that together we will unanimously, with united hearts and one voice praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that we welcome and receive one another as Christ has welcomed and received each of us for the glory of God.


Jesus’ Prayer

This prayer was simply put as our Savoir poured out His heart to the Father on our behalf over 2000 years ago. Go with me to John 17:19-23(AMP).

And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy in Truth.)

Neither for these alone do I pray. It is not for their sake only that I make this request, but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust, cling to rely on) Me through their word and teaching. (emphasis mine)

(Open your mind and your heart that you may gain full spiritual insight into the rest of His prayer.)

So that they all may be one just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also maybe one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You sent Me.

I have given to them the glory and honor which you have given Me, that they may be one, (even) as We are one:

I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and definitely recognize that You sent Me, and that You loved them even as you have loved Me.(emphasis mine)


You see, by design…

We, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ, the Messiah, and individually we are parts of another-mutually dependent on one another. (Romans 12:5, AMP)


When Christians Draw Close to Christ,
They Draw Close to One Another

We are all members of Christ’s body. See the harmonious and glorious church that we are to be. I urge you to take your place in this marvelous, magnificent and totally victorious body of Christ. I challenge you to come up to where you belong, where Christ sacrificed His life for you to be.

Can you see yourself among all the other members of this sanctified and set apart body, flowing in the things of God? If not, why? Whatever comes to mind I urge you to set aside the weight that so easily hinders you. You see, the day of the “True Church manifestation is drawing nigh. His true sons will be known. For He will have a Church/Bride without spot or wrinkle and all of creation awaits our revealing! (Romans 8:12-19; Colossians 3:5-14)

Listed are other scriptures referring to Christian Unity. Take time to read and meditate on these additional scriptures. Feel Free to record your thoughts.

Galatians 3:26

…for you are all one in Christ Jesus

Acts 2:46-47 (AMP)

And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose…Constantly praising God and being in favor and goodwill with all people and adding to their number daily those who were being saved from spiritual death.

Ephesians 4:1-4 (AMP)

…lead a life worthy of your calling…living as becomes you…bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of, and produce by the Spirit in the binding power of peace.

1 Peter 3:8 (AMP)

Finally, all of you should be one of mind, united spirit, sympathizing with one another loving each other as brethren of one household, compassionate and courteous-tenderhearted and humble-minded.

Colossians 2:19 (AMP)

…not holding fast to the Head, from Whom the entire body, supplied and knot together by means of it’s joints and ligaments, grow with a growth that is from God.

1 Corinthians 12:20

In deed there are many members, yet one body.

I strongly suggest reading the entire book of Ephesians for more on Christian unity. Ephesians reveals the enigma, God’s purpose for the church. The church, as the body of Christ, is to be united under the headship of Christ and express the fullness of Christ on this earth. (Ephesians 1:15-23)

It is equipped, empowered and matured by God Himself for the purpose of enforcing Christ’s triumph and victory over satan and the evil associated with him. (Ephesians 3:13-20; 6:12-20)


Christ’s Prayer

I have given them the glory and the honor which you have given Me that they may be one, even as We are one:

I in them and you in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and definitely recognize that You sent Me, and that You loved them even as You loved Me. (John 17:22-23)


Christ Creates Unity Out of Diversity

 

DEEPER STUDY – CHAPTER 5

Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Write out personal confessions about each of the verses. Pray and ask God for grace to fulfill your commitment.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (example: I suffer long and am kind…)

1 Corinthians 13:5

1 Corinthians 13:6

1 Corinthians 13:7

1 Corinthians 13:8

 

Chapter 6

LOVE AND UNITY REINFORCED BY PRAYER

But the culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound-minded and self restrained and alert therefore for the practice of prayer.

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. (1 Peter 4:7-8)

It has often been during my time in prayer, in the presence of my Holy Father, that I have seen the beam sticking out of my eye enabling me to remove it through repentance and the washing of the word. Having better sight, I can recall handling the delicate task of removing what could now be seen as a splinter from the eye of my sister or brother.

I have also found that it is very difficult to remain estranged from one’s sister or brother in the Lord while praying for them. As I have prayed for God’s blessing, restoration and maturing of others, I have also found God most often uses the one who is doing the interceding to help bring about the answer to that prayer.

Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those that curse you, implore God’s (favor) upon those who misuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage and high-handedly misuse you.] (Luke 6:28, AMP)

Also…

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose perseverance, interceding on behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).  (Ephesians 6:18, AMP)

I will not cease to continue to pray for you, Christ’s Body, for you are His “Pearl of Great Price”. I pray His word for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

I also pray that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.

Let us continue to give thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Remember, a city that sets on a hill cannot be hidden, neither can we. Encourage, build-up, and edify one another with these words. We are the salt, we are the light. As we continue to love one another, the world will see The Light and yearn for His living waters. And They Shall Know


To Have Harmony With Other Believers,
We Must Be In Tune To Christ
 

Scriptures for further reading and meditation:

Acts 1:14 (AMP)

All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer…

Acts 2:42-44 (AMP)

And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread, including the Lord’s Supper and prayers.

A sense of awe, reverential fear came upon every soul and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles…

…all who believed, that is who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ were united, and together they had everything in common;

Hebrews 10:24-25

Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…


Closing Prayer

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, infinitely above our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams, according to the power that works in us , to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever. Amen…so be it! Ephesians 3:20-21 (AMP)

 

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against “one another”. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And overall these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

Colossians 3:12-15, (NIV)

 

 

FROM THE AUTHOR:

Since the initial publication of this book, the world has drastically changed. There has been complete upheaval caused by the events of September 11, 2001. There are wars and rumors of wars. There has also been continued erosion of moral values across our nation. A sense of lawlessness has invaded our society. Even the geographical aspect of the earth has changed due to record breaking natural disasters. Yet, this is the church’s finest hour. This is a time when the Kingdom of God can be revealed to all those who would allow its entrance.

To summarize the role of the body of Christ, the following quote from Rick Joyner, Morning Star Ministries,* is offered:

“The devil is trying to control the world through fear and terror, but the kingdom is coming because of love, and on a highway of love. It is tough love but it is in fact love that will ultimately cast out all fear.

To be rejected as you are laying down your life for others is a cross that Jesus had to bear, and it is the one we are commanded to take up daily. We have to fight for love even for those who hate us. We have to love even our enemies. We cannot fail to answer the call to this war. We do not have the option to remain at home or this war will certainly destroy our homes. True warriors always run to the sound of battle, not away from it. This is the time when the true soldiers of the cross are mobilizing. We must each take our place in His army. If you are not in your place, you will not hear the orders when they are given, and you will not be able to be used to give them. Get in your place!”

*The Morning Star Prophetic Bulletin, “Love and War”, June 2007, pg. 6

Christ forewarned His disciples about the evil one who was coming. He stated that the ruler of this world had no claim on Him, nothing in common with Him. There was nothing in Jesus that belonged to satan. Christ gave the devil no place. So satan had no power over Him. (John 14:30, AMP).

If the evil one has no claim on us, nothing in common with us, and there is nothing we have that belongs to him, it is settled…he has no power over us! I urge you, if you haven’t done so, strip off that old nature and be done with it! Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind. (As a man thinks, so is he). We will need a fresh mental attitude in order to advance the kingdom in this hour. (Ephesians 4:22-23, AMP)

As we walk in the newness of life, let us allow the peace of God to abide. We must stop allowing ourselves to be agitated and disturbed by every negative turn of events. Let us not permit ourselves to be fearful, intimidated or unsettled any longer! We have a destiny to fulfill.

It is true; great darkness will cover the earth, but it is His glory that others should see on us. We are Jesus in the earth! Even if the earth begins to resemble a teeter-totter and a merry-go-round at the same time (as in an earthquake), we should still be walking “upright” and not shaken.

We are Christ’s body! We are born again believers, made up of both Jews and those of every other nation. We, the One New Man in Christ Jesus, are the light that cannot be hidden! It is our time to shine gloriously so that those who are not yet “believers” in our Messiah will come to believe.

Come on! Arise from any form of depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you. Shake off the weariness and excessive weights and cast off the cares of this world because our Father lovingly and watchfully cares for and about us. Arise to this newness of life that we have in Christ! Since the grave couldn’t hold Him down, then nothing should be able to hold us “down” either. For the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, is in us!

We must remember that our warfare is spiritual. Therefore, it is imperative that we submit wholly to God and to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. We must submit to the point of “no return”…no more me but Christ in me. Then we can stand our ground, “firmly” in our “place” facing the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. (We must be properly aligned and positioned!) Together we can push back the darkness while advancing the Kingdom of God and recover all. 

In conclusion, dear reader, be strong in the Lord. Be empowered through your union with Him.  Draw your strength from Him.  Remember we have been predestined and appointed for the praise of His glory! (Ephesians 6:10)

Stay humble, but remain confident! (Bold as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, yet harmless as a dove.)

And of course…Keep on “showing” love!!!

…AND THEY SHALL KNOW

 

REFERENCES

The Comparative Study Bible, Zondervan Corporation, 1984.

Spirit-Filled Life Bible, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991.

Vines Expository Dictionary, Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997.

Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, Michigan, July-August, Sept.-Oct. 1999.

Jameison, Faucet, Brown, www.biblestudytools.net/commentaries/JameisonFaussetBrown 1999

The Parallel Bible Commentary, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994.

The Women’s Study Bible, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995.

 

HOW TO CONTACT

Comments and Prayer Requests can be forward to

Pamela Martin

P.O. Box 1712

Glen Allen, Virginia 23059
 


And They Shall Know

You Are My Disciples By The Love You Show One To Another

Pamela S. Martin

Copyright © 2000

All Rights Reserved

2nd Publishing

Revised Edition 2007 with Study Guide

Edited by Priscilla Hicks

All scripture is from the New King James Version of the bible unless otherwise noted.

Directly quoted scripture passages are indicated in Italics.

Scripture taken from The Amplified New Testament. Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1987 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission

 

 

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