Saturday, March 31, 2018

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In this blog, I provide encouragement and biblical teaching on seeking the Lord with all your heart, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and living a life of holiness, righteousness, and truth.

As the Scripture says:

'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

And "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mat 7:13-14)

Some of the topics covered include seeking the Lord, prayer, worship, tithing, inquiring of the Lord, hearing His voice, obedience, grace, godly attire and adornment, sanctification, consecration, backsliding, repentance, brokenness, suffering, humility, the fear of the Lord, the role of the commandments for the disciple of Christ, and the conditions of the New Covenant.  I hope this will be an edifying and encouraging experience for you that will help you to grow in your walk with the Lord.

Seeking the Lord Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God Holy Fire Baptism
Lifting Your Face in Prayer Lifting Hands in Prayer Crying Out to God Loudly
Pressing on Toward the Goal Taking Heaven by Force God Exalts the Humble and Brings Down the Proud
Whom Are You Seeking? Should you fear the Lord? Is a Woman's Hair Her Head Covering?
Aim for Perfection Obedience by the Spirit Is Obedience Optional?
Salvation with Fear and Trembling Holy Living in a Perverted World Drifting Away
The Cost of Discipleship Deleted Scriptures in the Bible? Is Tithing Required?
Where Should You Give Your Tithe? Walking in the Perfect Will of God Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian
The Obedience of Faith Did Jesus Nail the Law to the Cross? Law of Love in the New Testament
The New Covenant Law of Love in the New Testament The Law Fulfilled in Us
The Law Established Through Faith Costly Grace The Law of Christ
The Eyes of the Lord Garments of Godliness The Three Elijahs
The Burning Ones The End Has Come Now, But Not Yet
The Happy Hunters on Fire You're Better Off Following Jesus God Chooses the Weak Things 
The Beauty of Brokenness Seeing Jesus, Loving Him, Character and Glory Hearing the Lord's Voice
Hearing the Lord's Voice Inquiring of the Lord Praise the Lord!
The Loving God Who Bids Us to Come One thing Righteousness, Peace, and Joy
Is the the Self-Help and Actualization Movement a Sham? From Self-confidence to Confidence in the Lord The Self-Help Gospel
Checklist for Revival God Has Not Rejected His Jewish People, Has He? The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer
The Flaming Sword Clean Hands and a Pure Heart The Spirit of the Law
Keeping Your Body Pure and Holy An Open Mind that Loves the Truth Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?
Is Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth? The Apostasy Parables

The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught
The Disciples’ Prayer Is Tolerance a Virtue? Righteousness by Faith not Law
Life is Short. Eternity is Not. Noah's Ark a Type of Christ Grace, Mercy, and Peace
Ultimate Accountability Separation from the World The Knowledge of the Holy
The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness Ask for the Ancient Paths Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven
The Straight and Narrow Path Unhealthy Competition A Peculiar People
Listen to Jesus, Who Upholds Moses and the Prophets Hope for You

Beware of Philosophy and Empty Deception
The Love of Jesus The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer Having a Servant's Heart
Avoiding Worldly Worship Purge the Evil from Among You Who is God?
Living a Life Worthy of the Lord Praying for the Lord Jesus Who is God? - Part II
The Way, Will, and Word of God Overcomers in This Life The Afflictions of the Righteous
Saints Alive in Jesus Bowing Low in Worship Repentance That Leads to Life
Keeping a Good Conscience Remember Lot’s Wife Called to be Blameless
If -- A Picture Paints a Thousand Words The Lord Will Rejoice Over You The Nature of Persecution
The Wardrobe of the Saints Filled Up to All the Fullness of God Loving Deeply
Seeking Glory from God Amazing Grace God's Sovereign Plans and Purposes
Abominations in the Sight of God Identification with Christ Alabaster Jar
Running from God Forgetting the Past Was Jesus Seeker Friendly?
God's View of Public Bathing Is Secular Music for Christians? Ignorance is Not Bliss
In the Yolk of Christianity Songs of the Holy Fire Known by God
Modern Day Idols Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Walking in Truth, Righteousness, and Holiness
Escaping from Dead Religion Living Sacrifices in Consuming Fire God's Amazing Plan for Your Life
Your Identity in Christ Having the Love of God in Your Heart

Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry. Partner with us online.  You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Seek My Face" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Having the Love of God in Your Heart

Dear God seekers,

I'd like to address a very important issue for each and every one of us to consider. As I have written in my article, Jesus Knows, the Lord knows everyone's heart, and you cannot fool Him. Neither can you hide from him the true condition of your heart. The apostle John wrote, "For He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man." (Joh 2:24b-25, NIV). Something that Jesus once said to His opponents was this: "But I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts." (Jn 5:42, NIV).

Now that's something that I would never want to have the Lord look me in the eye and say of me. That would be terrifying, because love is the greatest commandment, and if you don't have God's love in your heart, then you are breaking the most important commandment, which means you are not going to make it to heaven.

The apostle Paul said it like this:

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing." (1 Cor 13:1-3, NIV).

It doesn't matter if you speak in tongues, prophesy, know mysteries, interpret dreams, expound the Scriptures, know the Bible inside and out, know everything there is to know, have correct theology, have mountain-moving faith, work miracles, give generously of your financial resources to the poor, or even die for your beliefs. If you don't have love, then all those other things are of no value to you or God. You're going to come up short on judgment day.

The Lord is amazing. He could take you into a very large church on a Sunday, where thousands and even tens of thousands of people are pouring through the doors into the sanctuary, and although you may look at the crowds thinking that this church is truly bustling with life, He would not be fooled at all. He could look at each person coming in and know whether or not they have the love of God in their hearts. He knows what they are there for, and whether they have come out of their love for God or for some other reason. He knows if they are there to worship Him or if they have come for the entertainment, to sing and dance, to network with others, for business opportunities, or for the social experience, to meet fine people, such as those of the opposite sex, to show off their clothes, to show others how religious they are, or to appease their own guilty conscience. While you may not be able to tell the difference between those who have the love of God in their hearts and those who don't, the Lord can instantly tell who does and who doesn't. And that's the most important thing to Him.

A Pharisee, who was an expert in the law, once asked Him, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Mat 22:34-40, NIV).

He clearly emphasized that love is foremost in the sight of God. The greatest commandments He has ever given to us are to love Him with all our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Everything else that God has commanded us or spoken through His prophets hangs on -- or depends on -- our obeying these two commandments. He said we must abide in His love (Jn 15:10). The apostle Paul said, "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Rom 13:8,10).

The apostle John wrote: "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen." (1 Joh 4:20, NIV). It begs the question: how can you love God, if you don't love your brother or sister?

John also gave us another way to know if we have God's love in us. He said, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 Jn 2:15). Clearly he taught that if you love the world, then the love of God is not in your heart. Yet so many in the Church today are pursuing the things of the world -- its wealth, luxury, fashion, entertainment, and material possessions. Therefore, let's be sure to avoid loving the world, because all that is in the world is passing away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Every disciple of Christ should live according to the way of love. That's the distinguishing characteristic by which others will know we are His disciples. Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Joh 13:34-35, NIV). Over the past two thousand years, this has always been the hallmark by which the true people of God are recognized. The reason is that when you are born again and you truly come to know Him, His love is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. As the apostle Paul said, "God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (Ro 5:5b, NIV).

Making it Personal
You see, Jesus knows all men. He knows you, and He knows what’s inside your heart. He knows your motives for the things you do, including the religious things as well. Do you have the love of God in your heart? Ask yourself that question, and ask the Lord to show you if you do or not. If not, then repent for not having the love of God in your heart, and ask for His forgiveness. Then open your heart up to God and pray that He will pour His love out into your heart by His precious Holy Spirit. Put the love of God in your heart.

He still loves you, but love on your part is not optional; it's a commandment. Jesus requires it. And mercy is only available while you are on earth. You cannot repent and ask forgiveness after you die. So if you don't have the love of God in your heart, then He knows it and nothing else you do for Him even matters. This is the high and holy standard by which you will be judged. May we all be ready to stand before Him on that great day.

Attribution Notice: Most Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible NIV, which is subject to copyright by Zondervan. Other Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright by the Lockman Foundation. Image may be subject to copyright, used according to Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes only.

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this article, you may also like reading From Religion to RelationshipJesus KnowsCompelled by Love, The Forgotten Sin of WorldlinessThe Law of Christ, The Law of Love in the New TestamentAvoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, Deleted Scriptures in the Bible?, Having a Servant's Heart, Unselfish Hearts, Pleasing the Lord, The Practice of AbidingThe Judgment Seat of Christ, One Thing, Bowing Low in Worship, What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?, and Is Obedience Optional? More articles like this may be found on the Home Page of this blog. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.