Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Are You Walking in Love?
1 John 4:16: "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him."
1 John 3:14: "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
This is the evidence of love, because we love the brethren. Love is not an emotional feeling. Love is a person. God is love. God is moved by compassion but He is love.
When we are truly walking in love toward our brothers and sisters, we intercede for them and seek others needs before we seek our own. We will find that God will meet our needs when we quit being so ME conscious and start esteeming one another more highly than ourselves.
James 5:16: "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
God’s Word is telling us to pray for one another so that you may be healed.
Love affects everything we do. As the Word says, "give and it shall be given unto you."
This is a scriptural principal in the Word of God. Giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, are Biblical principals. They do not just apply just to money and financial needs but to every aspect of giving.
You will reap what you sow.
If you are constantly sowing out of love than that is what you will reap.
Love always gives. If you are continually being "me, me minded" than you are going to have a hard time reaping. This is trying to reap without sowing.
Remember, "give and it will be given unto you."
This is not just referring to tithes and offerings, but your time, talents and prayers as well.
Faith works by love and we know that "without faith it is impossible to please God."
We can, therefore, infer from this that if you are not walking in love, your faith is not working the way it should and you are not pleasing to God as a result.
God is not mocked, what you sow you shall also reap. Sow in love and reap the harvest, then you will have more to sow into the kingdom.
Let us repent of our selfish motives and start praying for others. This strengthens the bonds within the body of Christ, making us all stronger.
Ephesians 4:16: "from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love."
If we are constantly backstabbing and gossiping about one another, how is the Holy Spirit
going to move and minister? We are not lifting Jesus up with these kinds of actions and behaviors.
Romans 5:5: "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Let us love one another, The love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Let us therefore not grieve the Holy Spirit. Love affects everything we do!
When we see a brother or sister in Christ struggling in any way, your first motive should be to help them. Love them unconditionally, as Christ loved us unconditionally and gave Himself for us.
Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Do you remember the parable of the servant who borrowed a great sum of money from his master and his master forgave him the debt? But than he turned around and would not forgive one of his fellow servant the small debt that he owed. (Matthew 18: 24-35)
Let us forgive one another and walk in love toward one another!
Love never fails! If you want to never fail, than walk in love!
God said this in His Word and His Word is true. He is not a man that He should lie.
Jesus always walked in love. Always! Jesus was a giver. Always!
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
This is our example. Let us follow after this with a pure heart before God.
John 13:34: ""A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
Matthew 22:37-40: "Jesus said to him, " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
All the law and the prophets are summed up in one word – love. What an awesome statement, and yet we just gloss over it and act the way we want. Jesus made it a commandment. It is not an option for born again believers.
If you are going to be obedient to God’s Word, than there is only one way. The love way.
Remember, love never fails, it always gives, it always places others first, it always esteems others more highly than ourselves.
The Apostle Paul understood this when he wrote I Corinthians 13, the great love chapter.
They tried to kill him and could not, until Paul made the decision to go home and be with the Lord.
Walking in love is being obedient to God’s Word. When we walk in love we are pursuing God’s will, not our own. That is why love doesn’t fail. God doesn’t fail, ever.
We are His children and His commandment to us is to walk in love.
Just as no parent wants to see their children at odds with each other, but to see them happy and working together, helping one another. How that pleases a parent to see their children grow together in harmony. How much more do you suppose our Heavenly Father wants to see us working together in harmony?
This is where true power comes from!
Acts 2:1-2: "Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting."
First they were in one accord and then, there came.
Glory to God!
This is such a simple message but so profound as to be the first and greatest commandment. If Jesus called it the great commandment, then we surely must pay attention to it! Let us hold fast to our course and walk in love, for this is the Will of God.
Father God, I know that you are love, and if I am born again I have your nature in me. Your nature is love. Fill me completely with that love, so that I am a cup running over. Help me to pour out that love to others, Lord. Not just to my friends, but my enemies as well. I know that your Word says, "Forgive and it will be forgiven me." Help me to forgive, Father. Help me to forgive anyone who has hurt me or done me wrong. Help me to forgive myself for things I did wrong in the past. Lord, with your love dwelling in me,
I am able to forgive others and I thank you for that.
Father, if there is anyone I have hurt or offended, show me, so that I can ask their forgiveness. Forgive me; Father, for hurting others, intentionally and unintentionally.
Help me now; Father, to put that love in practice. Help me to not be angry or offended, to not fight back but to keep quiet and pray for that person. I walk in your peace and love; Father because Your Word says that is what I am to do.
Show me how to pray for my brothers and sister, Lord. Show me how to pray for my enemies also.
Lord; help me to prosper in all that I do, by walking in love and faith. Help me to be strong, because I know that my strength comes from you, Lord.
Thank you. Father. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
If you do not know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I ask that you earnestly pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37), So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.