Love is Key

I received this letter March 9, and feel that it echoes many of the things I’ve been hearing around the blogosphere. I have copied it in its entirety. (I wanted to scan it and simply insert it into this post, but I couldn’t make that happen. So, I’ve had time to practice my typing skills yet again. I take full responsibility for any misspelled words, dangling modifiers, palpitating participles, and typos. All bold and italicized words in the letter are in the original)

Love Perfected

I have walked in this Kingdom message for many years and it seems to me that the longer I walk the more apparent the division in the Body of Christ becomes. We see little groups here and there that may agree on most things, but as a whole there seems to be division in even some basic doctrinal beliefs. We expect there to be division in the 1500 or so Christian denominations and sects, but I have been amazed that those who claim to be the overcoming sons of the Living God are also divided in many areas.

My heart has asked over and over, “How will the watchmen ever see eye to eye?” It has been my assumption that f we are anywhere near the time of the unveiling of the sons, shouldn’t the more mature ones be speaking the same things as it also says in  I Cor. 1:10?

However, recently the Lord has given me some understanding that has changed the way I see this. I heard the Lord say that He is not perfecting “doctrine” in us at this present time, although he has and is giving such great light in this hour. He is now perfecting “Love” in us. Even if we have all knowledge, faith, etc. it profits nothing without love. Just knowing the great mysteries of God and speaking them is not enough to bring us to that ‘perfect man’ we are called to be.

Yet, how do I manifest this love to another? This love must go beyond compassion in dealing with those God has placed in our lives with whom we must interrelate.. We have gotten very religious with our ‘I love you brother’ and words are easy to say. In seeking to understand another person we will listen with an open, non-judgmental heart, and then validate him as a person. It does not necessarily mean that we will see things the same way. They may even believe doctrinal elements that you consider to be heresy, but God loves them as much as he loves you. He may not see clearly yet, but every person needs validating. Also, I am coming to understand that we are stewards (managers) of God’s ‘multi-faceted grace.’(I Peter 4:10)  Multi-faceted means one grace with many facets. There are 6.5 billion people on this earth and each person needs grace in diverse areas. No two people are alike. Remember, we are steward/managers of His grace. I am not talking about God giving these people grace, for they already have His grace. It is grace that I must give. The homosexual needs grace in his area. The harlot another, the alcoholic another. That doesn’t mean I agree with his lifestyle, but I validate him as a person that God loves and can receive him as he is.

I dare say that most people have, to some degree or another, a deep feeling of unworthiness and inadequacy. What we as God’s people have done in the past is confirm those very feelings in one another in word or attitude. Love does just the opposite. It esteems another better than ourselves. It has been said that knowing I am loved just as I am, unconditionally, gives me the power to change.

What we have called love in the past has fallen woefully short of what God has called us to. What we have loved has been our doctrines, our ministry, our church, and we will go to any measure to defend any of these, even if it means to leave others wounded along the way and invalidate other brethren in the Lord, if they do not see things exactly as we do.

The past two years God has been dealing in every area in my life, leaving no stone unturned concerning this unconditional love. He has gone into every dark corner and crevice of my being searching out any last vestige of superficial love, where any traces of prejudice and bigotry might remain and is shining His spot light of Truth upon it. Love must not just be words anymore brethren but in actions and deed.

I have also wondered how it would be possible in a lifetime to learn enough knowledge of God to rule and reign with Christ as the scriptures say in the Book of Revelation. Rev. 12:5 says that the manchild will be caught up to God and to His throne to rule all nations. I believe we are at the threshold for the body to be changed from mortal to immortal and I am seeing that this love is the key.

My heart has been given fresh hope with the insight about being perfected in Love. I saw in the spirit as God perfects His love in us, then that Love which we are will flow out to all that is needed to bring deliverance to a groaning world. The two words ‘caught up’ mean ‘to be seized upon.’ The action is not on our part but on the One doing the seizing. I believe that we will be drawn into that realm of dominion in a moment and be given unlearned knowledge. I have known in a moment things by the spirit that I had not learned in the natural.

So, I am no longer waiting for the watchmen to see eye to eye. I believe God is not as concerned about getting our doctrine straight as He is about getting our hearts right with one another. He is causing us to see each one through His eyes. Then when that Love is perfected in us we shall know as we are known.

Betty Houk
newdaymin@coxnet
Phoenix, AZ

God’s Home

Revelation 21:3-4  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them.

Yesterday (or two days ago if you are on the other side of the date line) millions of Christians heard something along the lines of, “Isn’t it wonderful to be in the house of the Lord?” And many of those same millions know–at least intellectually–the statement is untrue.

It is those kinds of things that we do and say out of habit that continue to perpetrate incorrect thoughts to the Body of Christ. It is those incorrect thoughts that help to weaken us in our pursuit of the Lord.

We know, and say a hearty Amen! when the truth of God’s temple is taught. Yet, we continue to use language that goes against the assimilation of that truth into the core of our being. Why?

Are we not willing to bring a conscious awareness to our speech? The tongue is a small yet strong member, according to James 3:5. It is difficult to control. Some would say even impossible to control. But, we should not buy into that negative thinking. We should try to make controlling the tongue of primary importance.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Don’t we all know that when the preacher or worship leader asks if it’s good to be in the house of God, that we mentally make the transition to correct thinking? No, because if we did, then we would all shout out, “NO! It is good that the house of God is among us!”

The building that we call church is neither a church nor God’s house.

We are God’s temple. The other translations render this verse with the words residence, tabernacle, dwelling, and dwelling place. We are God’s house.

While there are other verses that teach the individual aspect of being the Lord’s temple, this verse specifically teaches that it is the corporate expression of the Body of Christ where God chooses to dwell.

I get the sense that the Lord is speaking to the Church in this hour about this aspect of our life together. Everywhere I read, as I listen to others, I hear about the corporate expression, community, or koinonia. It is the current emphasis of the Holy Spirit.

Do you sense the same importance? Why is this word coming now?

Gracie’s Quest

When I first began this blog, I had Gracie sign on as an author. I knew that she had things to say that would be a blessing to the Body of Christ.

Her first article, “Learning to Speak the Word” is still the most viewed post on this blog. It is read by someone almost everyday, according to my stats page.

When we share in the mornings after our individual time in  the Word, her insights into a passage are always an inspiration to me. I just don’t see the way she sees. I love hearing what she gets from the Lord.

She often sees what is not written, and that helps my understanding of a particular passage, adding color for this otherwise “Dr. Dry-As-Dust” teacher.

However, her contributions were too few and far between.

As she has been going through her healing from a traumatic past, I have encouraged her to write publicly about her process, with no success. Then the Noreaster put out a call for Storm Stories. I pressured Gracie to join in, and, thankfully she gave in.

Writing her story gave her the impetus to write even more.

I had hinted more than once that she should have her own blog so that she could post at any time the mood struck. (I didn’t like her being under my shadow. She has her own light that needs to shine for all to see.)

I must be getting better at being an encourager, because she has given in to this request also. (Might be ’cause she loves me 🙂 )

Gracie has started her own blog called Gracie’s Quest.

I look forward to how the Lord will use this new addition to the blogosphere.

Our virtual community is growing.

Give her a visit and share the love.

All of One

1 Co 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.       KJV

The Lord is saying something significant to us in this passage that I find to be usually glossed over in many circles.

This is something that we all certainly give lip service to, but the experiential outworking is quite different.

We all admit that we are a part of the Body, and that anyone can be a part of that same Body. But, when it comes to accepting someone from the ‘outside’ into our own local fellowship, that is a different story.

There are many within the church who want that new person who was saved Saturday night to get cleaned up, get rid of their body piercings and their cigarettes and their sleeping partner before they can come to church on Sunday.

Or, there are those who look askance at someone from a different culture who dresses differently from the accepted norm.

We are all of One. We are each a part of that One.

Regardless of what we look like, or what we wear, or how we talk, each one who comes to the Lord is a part of the Body.

Nothing must change but their inward devotion to sin and their outward practice of the same.

But, many of the saints among us, especially those of a more staid bent, tend to keep their distance from the new ones coming into their midst.

Most of the changes that people look for are merely cultural and have little to do with the reality of being a Christian. For too long now, we have used our culture to inform our religion, rather than our religion informing our culture.

Will the Lord find this acceptable when we stand before Him?