Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” For the past few days, we looked at John 1:14&17 and Galatians 5:6. I recently added Ephesians 3:16-20 and today we will add 1 John 4:13-16 as we continue to flow in this vein.
(John 1:14 NIV)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 NIV)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5:6 KJV)
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
(Ephesians 3:16-20 TPT)
16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.
17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
(1 John 4:13-16 ERV)
13 We know that we live in God and God lives in us. We know this because he gave us his Spirit.
14 We have seen that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world, and this is what we tell people now.
15 Anyone who says, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” is a person who lives in God, and God lives in that person.
16 So we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love. God is love. Everyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in them.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. God gave us His Spirit so we can know Him intimately and so we can believe the love God has for us.
The Bible says, “We know that we live in God and God lives in us. We know this because he gave us his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).
— One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to assure us of our relationship with the Father. This assurance is critical on many levels because we are learning that faith works by love. Unless we are convinced that God loves us with an unconditional love, our faith will not be strong. So the reassurance of the Holy Spirit impacts just about every area of our lives.
— The Holy Spirit reveals to us that we are in God, and God is in us. It is because of the Holy Spirit that we are able to cry out, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). The Holy Spirit reassures us that we are a child of God and that God is not just a God but our Heavenly Father.
— The Holy Spirit assures us of the Father’s commitment to us. He reveals the plans God made for us before the world began, and He assures us that God the Father is committed to those plans simply because He loves us.
— The Holy Spirit reveals TO you the plans God made FOR you from the foundations of the world. These plans were concealed FROM you until the right time. So He reveals TO you what was prepared FOR you but concealed FROM you. Once He does, your job is to believe what He revealed by faith, knowing that God wants to manifest His promises because of His unearned grace. In this way, your faith lays hold of God’s grace. But none of this will work unless you are convinced that God loves you because faith works by love.
— When God reveals His plans to you, it is easy to feel un or underprepared, unqualified, and/or unworthy. But this is where the love of God comes in. After revealing things to you about your divine purpose, the Holy Spirit then reveals to you the love of God. He does this because you will never open your heart to the fullness of God’s plans until you are convinced that He loves you!
2. The revelation of the Father is a revelation of love because God IS love.
— The more the Holy Spirit reveals the Father to us, the greater the revelation we get of God’s love. Why? Because God IS love.
— The text we have been looking at says, “the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life” (Ephesians 3:17 TPT).
— The love of God is so amazing that we need the Holy Spirit to reveal the height, length, breadth, and depth of God’s love to us. Why? It is because God’s love is so different from this world’s concept of love. In the world, people say they love houses and cars and then sell them. In the world, people say they love this person or that person, but they later get married, divorced, and remarried. So the concept of love people see in this world is extremely different from the love of God. God’s love is unconditional. It is also unsearchable and immeasurable. God’s love is SO far above our concept of love that it takes the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us and to explain God’s unyielding commitment. The more we get to know God’s love, the more it will change us from the inside out.
— Once you are Born-Again, you have all the God inside of you that you are going to get. It’s not like you get 10% God at salvation, and the more you walk with God, the more Holy Spirit God deposits inside of you. That’s not how it works. Once you are Born-Again, you have the fullness of the Godhead on the inside of you. You have God, but the truth is that God does not have you yet. You are Born-Again, but you have not died to self yet. So the more Christ is released deep down inside of you, the more you open your heart to Him, the more revelation you get of Him and His love, the more apt you will be to die to self, and the more you will freely GIVE YOURSELF to Him. It is at this point that you get to fully embrace the love of God, and once you do, your life will never be the same!
— The dying-to-self aspect of your walk with Christ is critical. Because you will never become the man/woman, God planned until you die to the person you became on your own. And you will never WANT to willing give up your life for the life God planned until you are convinced that God loves you. It is the revelation of God’s love that causes you to believe it and trust it enough to give up things for it. Said another way, you will never give up your will for God’s will until you are convinced that He loves you and that He only wants to bless you. I hope you are getting this. Faith only works by love. Your faith will not work until you are convinced that God loves you and that He wants to bless you. He is not trying to take anything from you. He is trying to get something to you. It is the life He planned for you before the world began. Please believe His love and trust it enough to DIE to sin, self, and selfish desires.
3. Once we know the love God has for us, our challenge is to believe and trust in that love.
The Bible says, “So we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love.” Other translations say, “We believe the love” (1 John 4:16)
— Once the Holy Spirit reveals to us the height, length, breadth, and depth of God’s love, it becomes a challenge for many humans to believe the love because God’s love is so far above the ways of this world.
— Believing God’s love is hard because we live in a fallen world, and we are accustomed to dealing with fallen people. The human concept of love is far below God’s love.
— Humans have a hard time believing in a love that is truly one-sided and unconditional.
— We live in a world where people say they fall in and out of love all the time. Human love is not one-sided. Many humans say they love, but if the love is not reciprocated, the love they claim to have dies out over time. But God’s love is not this way. His love is truly one-sided. He loves you, and it has NOTHING to do with what you do on your side.
— God’s love is not performance-based. God’s love is grace-based. This means that He loves you by grace. His grace is unearned, unmerited, and undeserved. God loves you, and there is nothing you can do about it.
— God’s love is not contingent upon you or your performance. God’s love is contingent on Him and Him alone. Our actions do not change His love. Simply put, this love is hard for many of us to believe. But if we are ever going to be the men/women God called us to be, we must believe in the love of God!
— Once we believe in God’s love, the next step is to trust it. Trusting in God’s love frees us to believe the invisible, attempt the impossible, and operate in the supernatural.
— If you can ever get to the point where you believe AND trust in God’s love, then our text says, “He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.” (Ephesians 3:20 TPT).
— When you fail to believe and trust in God’s love, you are holding God back from doing what He wants to do in your life. Because God is not going to force His will upon you. He has grace, but He is looking for your faith. You must provide the faith that will lay hold of His grace to receive and do what you could never receive or do without Him. However, you will never provide the faith until you are convinced that God loves you, because faith works by love!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, by faith, I declare that I believe and trust in Your amazing and unconditional love. I embrace Your love in my heart. I love You because you first loved me. You gave me Your Spirit when I accepted Jesus as Lord. Your Spirit reveals to me Your person. The more I know You, the more I know true love becuase You ARE love!
Your love is unconditional, unfailing, and eternal. Your love is one-sided. It is not conditional upon my performance. Your love is not like anything I have ever experienced in this world. I open my heart to Your love. I believe in Your love. I receive Your love. I trust in Your love. I enter every day, ready to change the world by Your power. I don’t do this because I am so good. I do this because I know You love me. Your love fills my heart through the Holy Spirit. And with a heart filled with love, I boldly declare: GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.