The Walk of Love (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Sometimes Christianity can become confusing when external tagalongs fasten themselves to the believer’s walk. There are many things that appear to be a part of the Church of God yet only hinder the believer from walking in the light of God’s Word. For instance: Have you ever been told “the Bible says that you have to do this, or you need to do this?” However, the Epistles never say “thou shalt, or thou shalt not,” regarding laws or commandments, rather the Epistles give the believers almost unimaginable freedom by offering to give us whatever we need to enjoy our eternal lives with God in Christ which has already begun in our lives.

Galatians 5:1:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Philippians 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Anything and everything that the Epistles reveal to the believers is offered by God’s grace, and it is literally God’s love that activates our believing to receive from God. God never made the Christian lifestyle to be burdensome but rather easy to know, to live, and to enjoy. In God’s family, He is the provider for our needs, and gives us His love so that we may walk with Him being well pleasing before Him in His unending love.

Ephesians 1:4:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

It is man’s personal baggage, his condemnation, his own inability to be perfect which slows and hinders his personal walk and fellowship with God. But when the believer can recognize the truth that God looks at the heart and blesses our lives for believing in our Savior Jesus Christ, and that God loves us just as we are — then we can begin walking and growing in the spiritual nurturing that emanates out of God’s love for us.

I Thessalonians 3:11:
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

The word direct means to guide and show the way. Paul was teaching that it was God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who guides, directs, and shows the believers the godly way in which to walk before God in His family.

I Thessalonians 3:12;
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, being in us, can inspire the desire within our hearts to walk and conduct our lives within the love of God. The purpose is so we may increase and abound in love toward each other (toward every believer) and for all other people. It is true that most people have the inability to love others outside their sphere of influence, either believers from other Churches or unbelievers in their communities.

This is a great lesson in learning that God’s love transcends all human barriers, for God’s love is spiritual and is for everyone, “for God so love the world” (John 3:16). God has given to us His love and this love can only be spiritually ascertained when manifested by loving believers.

This is not a “thou shalt” walk in love commandment, but rather this is something Christ inspires within our own hearts.

As we look to God and Christ the Lord, we will find their strength in us that increases and abounds in love so that we can apply this spiritual love in never-ending abundance. When we do apply the love of God in Christ in us we will realize how terrific love truly is, for the rewards will always return back to those who apply spiritual love.

I Thessalonians 3:13:
To the end he {Jesus Christ} may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Jesus Christ is always at work within our hearts to help us recognize and acknowledge our God-given rights of being unblameable in holiness before God our Father. This is how we are viewed (in the sight of God) at this very moment as we stand purely in God’s love, and our heavenly Father will see us this way until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when he gathers us up to take us home in the eternity of God’s love.

The Body of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Since the day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts 2:1-4, the Christian Church of believers has belonged to God in what the Epistles call “the body of Christ.” The body of Christ has many individual members (including you and me). This body is spiritually one in Christ. The new body of Christ to which we belong grows in the knowledge of God’s Word, and lives in the sanctity of Christ who is the head of the spiritual Church. Before the day of Pentecost, the believers belonged to what was called “the bride of Christ.” One of the greatest misunderstandings in the whole of Christendom today is not recognizing this huge difference.

I Corinthians 12:12:
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

We will further discover as we go into the Epistle of Ephesians that God has set Christ to be the head of the Christian Church, and this Church is his body, and his body has many members (Ephesians 1:22-23). Christians are spiritually linked to one another in the body of Christ, and God’s will is for His children to begin understanding this dynamic truth. For knowing this gives the Christian Church as a whole, greater strength than perhaps we have ever considered or even imagined. Consider how great the power of God can be as we together believe in unison.

I Corinthians 12:14, 27:
-14: For the body is not one member, but many.
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

We are not simply faces in the crowd, or a no account nobody, but rather we are individual members in the body of Christ, members in particular called by God into His family to stand with one another right in the communities where we live. Thankfully the body of Christ does indeed have many individual members in almost every corner of the world.

God’s loving heart and desire is that we delight in the simplicity of the Christian lifestyle, for this brings honor to God, dignity to Christ, and joy into our lives, as we recognize our own spiritual membership into the body of Christ.

The Word Girdeth by Itself Sounds Silly, but when you are with God it is Perfect

“Psalms 18:30 reads, As for God, his way is perfect. Men may think that God’s way and His Word are full of imperfections; however, in the eyes of God, as we are taught His Word, and when we believe to live the way that is called perfect, then God begins revealing the realities of Himself to our minds. This is what is important to us who believe ─ who gives a hoot what unbelievers think? We can live it up with our heavenly Father in the way that is perfect rather than to worry what the neighbors might think about our enjoying and living in the way God teaches us. It is God that girdeth me {and you} with strength, and maketh my way {and yours} perfect– Psalms 18:32.” ~LMJ~

Habakkuk – Revealing Our Joy in God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Habakkuk, Jesus Christ is the marvelous wonder whom God would send to redeem, and he is our joy in God. The marvelous wonder of Jesus Christ’s life is so thrilling to our lives as we come to know him more and more, the greatest and most marvelous wonder of all is his Resurrection and our subsequent new and eternal life that we receive through him.

Habakkuk 1:4-5:
-4: Therefore {because of strife and contention} the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for wickedness doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
-5: Behold ye {Israel} among the heathen, and regard {look and behold}, and wonder marvellously {in astonishment}: for I will work a work {miraculous miracles} in your days {in the days that the Messiah would be present}, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Israel was living among the heathen, i.e., the unbelievers, and they refused God’s Law that was written and spoken to them, and they refused the righteous judgment that only God’s Word could reveal.

Verse 5 is a prophecy regarding the coming of Jesus Christ, whom Israel would behold with their very eyes. They would see him and be completely astonished with utter amazement at the miraculous ways he presents himself and his Father to them, and still not believe that he was the Messiah.

This prophecy is also written in Acts 13:41 in the past tense, because Christ came, and today we can be astonished in his completed work on our behalf and rejoice in him.

Following are only a few examples of Israel’s astonishment in the miraculous work that Jesus would do.

Matthew 7:28-29:
-28: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, {the Sermon on the Mount}, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
-29: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 5:42 – And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

The damsel in Mark 5 was dead and Jesus raised her, which was nothing short of a miracle. When the people saw this miracle they were greatly astonished.

Everywhere Jesus walked he gave infallible proofs that he was the true Messiah, yet in the end of his ministry they refused to believe on him, and so Israel as a nation rejected and crucified him. There were some who always believed in hope, but they were few, and the few had great joy because of their steadfastness in their believing God’s healing Word.

Habakkuk was a prophet of the Most High God, and Habakkuk in the midst of Israel’s unbelief received joy from his God because he believed.

Habakkuk 3:18-19:
-18: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
-19: The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

A hind is a deer that places his two back feet in the exact place his front feet were, and his front feet went first to check and make sure that the ground was safe.  What Habakkuk was saying is that when we believe and look to God through our Savior, then we will also be walking in the steps of Jesus Christ, who always walked perfectly with his heavenly Father.

Walking with God will always bring to us joy and rejoicing in the God of our salvation, and in our Lord who made our salvation a reality, and today our “high places” are at the right hand of God.

The Mind of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Did you know it is available for believers to actually have the mind of Christ? This is a foreign concept for all too many Christian people, yet the Epistles are full of encouraging statements to inspire us to begin thinking in terms of having the Savior’s thoughts be also in our own minds so that we as individual believers can be more than a conqueror in daily living. One such thought that I think about daily is “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). I think about this verse when doing the most challenging task that is before me as well as when I am relaxing and enjoying the life God has afforded me so that I can be at spiritual peace with Him (Colossians 3:15).

Where does the Bible say the life of a Christian would be easy? The Bible does not say that standing for God is easy (Mark 10:29–30, and II Timothy 3:12), but the life of a Christian man or woman can be strengthened with joy, peace, love, and grace through life’s challenges and adversities (I Corinthians 10:13). Even though life is filled with challenging pressures and pleasures by way of venues offering many temptations, by utilizing the mind of Christ we can overcome such obstacles and be successful in our personal endeavors.

I Corinthians 2:16: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who knows the mind of the Lord (i.e., the mind of God Himself), and who has instructed Him? Well the definitive answer is that no one has ever been His teacher or completely understood everything about Him. The word mind is the Greek word nous and means the entire mind; the whole of God’s thoughts is known only to Him (Romans 11:33–36). Then the Scriptures say, “but {in contrast} we have the mind {nous} of Christ.” This means that we can understand the mind of Christ completely and intimately, for we have the God-given right to have the thoughts of Christ in our minds. The reason that we have this ability is that we have Christ within, and Christ’s mission has always been to reveal and explain God (John 1:18, 17:25–26, and Hebrews 13:8). So then when we retain in our minds the Word of God, we will be experiencing the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” thus, the Bible encourages believers to put on in our minds the thoughts of Jesus Christ that are exclusively revealed to us from the Scriptures.

Romans 13:14a: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put the thoughts of Christ into our minds. The Word reveals Christ (John 5:39) and Christ reveals glimpses of God for our understanding (John 14:6). Christians have Christ within by virtue of receiving the gift of holy spirit, and as we go to the Scriptures and begin understanding the words therein, we will discover the mind of Christ is the express lane on a paved highway to godliness.

II Corinthians 1:21–22:
-21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
-22: Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

God sealed us with holy spirit so that we can be with Him for eternity, establishing every believer by a spiritual anointing to have and to know the mind of Christ who can become such an integral part of ourselves. So as we have Christ in our minds via the teachings of the Scriptures we will begin to realize that “Christ who is our {spiritual} life” (Colossians 3:4), is the way to manifest the power of God. We are encouraged to enjoy access to the mind of Christ, who is eternally alive and spiritually energizing believers as he indeed is the physician of the heart.

Some people think in the heart of their hearts that success is not forthcoming and that they must suffer their way through this life and believe themselves destined to failure as their true lot in life. But this is just not so for you ― you have the ability to have the mind of Christ and he is no failure, God made no failures, and with the mind of Christ, you can think and believe that for once – NO – from now on, victory is in your grasp. Think this, say this, and begin to believe this until you actually triumph over something ― anything, and then start riding on that momentous wave of success that will rise up on the winds of your positive confessions of the Word, for the fresh air of God’s Word inspires you to achieve. Yes, it WILL happen for you ― you who believe to receive. Repeat to yourself, “I am successful and I am more than a conqueror because this is my lot in life ― I was born to be a winner and become triumphant and I am just going to have to learn to live with that destiny!” And then – begin living with this mindset ­­– as this is your true lot in life, allotted to you by God Himself.

You can reward yourself by being your best for your God, for your Savior, and for yourself! You already have been awarded the God-given permission to have the mind of Christ, and with him, you may be at rest as he helps lift your burdens and he will lighten the load you carry.

Matthew 11:28–30:
-29: Come unto me {says Jesus}, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

When the thought arises to either do your best or take the easy road and the simple way out of something, think about that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and you will be empowered to succeed, and you will “mount up with wings as eagles” with the mind of Christ. This is the renewed mind in its wonderful manifestation. This is the powerful permission and commission you have been given through God’s Word; this is following through with Jesus’ instruction in John 14:12, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” And he has gone unto his Father (Mark 16:19), and so we can ― do!

Isaiah 40:31: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Recall Philippians 4:13 encourages that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If we are really going to believe this verse ― it will take some action on our parts because believing is a verb that signifies action. When we believe on what the Word encourages in our renewed mind, then all kinds of things that used to defeat us, things that seemed too big and appeared unobtainable suddenly seem to become reachable because Jesus said “all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

When we have the mind of Christ by placing God’s Word on in our minds, then we will understand the true spiritual knowledge that is within the mind of Christ, and his thoughts give men and women true spiritual understanding with heavenly glimpses of God. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). When we know that we have the mind of Christ, we will enjoy a spirit-to-Spirit connection with our God, one that gives us spiritual power and love that is empowered by sound thinking.

Romans 13:14: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and {then you will} make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

By putting on the thoughts of Christ today, we will recognize the true wisdom and power of God (I Corinthians 1:24). Men and women individually find the wisdom of God with the wonderful mind of Christ.

Isaiah 40:31 (The Amplified Bible):*  But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Philippians 4:13 (The Amplified Bible):**   I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permission.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.