Share with Love

Sharing the gospel is sharing Christ. We are assailed with different messages about the Bible and sometimes there are messages that seemingly preach about God but they leave an awkward feeling that somehow they were not so. There are fake gospels out there. They are fake gospels because they use Christ but they do not preach Christ. They preach their church and their religion. Some preach for their own selfish ambitions. This is not the gospel. The gospel centers on the saving grace of Jesus Christ for all man through His death and resurrection at the cross.

It is then important that we read and study the Bible. We should know the truth as given in the Bible so that we will not be easily deceived by false doctrines. We will not be easily swayed by rumors.

Then if any man tells you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There!’ don’t believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.”

– Matthew 24:23-24 (WEB)

I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts …”

2 Timothy 4:1-3 (WEB)

Sharing the gospel is about the message and the intention. Whatever manner the gospel is spread or shared, it opens wider opportunity for more and more people to know Christ. The bearers of the message may have different intentions for sharing the gospel, but one common thing occurs, Christ is shared. Like during Paul’s time, the wide spread of gospel when Paul was imprisoned in Rome was due to two reasons.

Some indeed preach Christ even out of envy and strife, and some also out of good will. The former insincerely preach Christ from selfish ambition, thinking that they add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the Good News. What does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed. I rejoice in this, yes, and will rejoice.”

– Philippians 1:15-18 (WEB)

1. Due to selfish ambitions to inflict more damage to Paul.

2. Due to love in the belief that Paul’s ministry is in defense for the gospel of Christ.

Yet, even with this differing motives for preaching the gospel, Paul said it did not matter because what mattered most was that Christ was proclaimed. Yes, indeed. In both ways, Christ was preached and the gospel was all the more advanced to many people.

The differing motives were there because there were two different groups who preached Christ. The group who preached Christ out of selfish ambition were the ones who did not really followed Christ but they preached the gospel because they wanted to cause more harm to Paul who was imprisoned because of the gospel. The group who preached Christ out of love were those who followed Jesus and who supported Paul in spreading the gospel. God can use both situations and both groups to bring the message of salvation to all but I believe one group pleased Christ while the other did not. And Christian living is all about pleasing Christ as our Master.

For Christians, it is important that we glorify God in whatever we do. When we share the gospel we have to bring glory to God through the purity of our intention. Christians who love God out of a pure heart bring the message of the gospel with love. They are messengers that share Christ alone without any other agenda. They preach the gospel that is complete, pure, and unblemished.

All who experienced the saving grace of Jesus deep within their soul naturally has that “fire in their bones” to share the love of Jesus to others. Share with fire. Share with love.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:19-20 (WEB)

God’s Look of Favor

Living by faith is all about trusting God. It is easy for most of us to live by faith in God when we could see clearly how God planned out things for us. It is comfortable for us to walk in faith when we see and understand the circumstances. Walking in faith is a joyful journey for us when we feel blessed and we feel great. But this is not always the case. There are times in our faith journey that we feel like God is far away from us. All we see is darkness. We feel like “walking through the valley of the shadow of death”. When we are unable to feel and see God’s presence in our difficult situation, we limp through the path. We drag our feet to press on moving forward. It feels laborious and heavy because we could barely see how help will come our way. It is a basic need for us to be able to see and feel to understand. Take for example the relationship of a husband and wife. When one of the spouses fails to demonstrate intimacy or love in action and affection, the other spouse would naturally feel neglected. This is how important for us to see and feel things around us. Thus, it amazes me to see the strength of the blind, the mute, and deaf. They are limited in their senses, in a way, but they are keener than us in how they perceive, feel, and understand.

God allows us to go through times of spiritual darkness when we could hardly understand where He is or how He works because He wants to train us to be keener of His constant presence, not through feelings or through our sight, but only through faith. In military, soldiers are being trained for night combats. Their battle do not always happen during the day, it could happen even at night. Night combats reduces visibility and increases hearing ability of the soldiers. They should be trained to know how to fight in the darkness and this could not be done if soldiers are only trained during the day. They have to have night training. As Christians, we also need “night training” for “night combats”. Our battles are almost always in the dark. God allows it and God uses these night experiences to train us in faith for battle. When we experience darkness, we have low visibility or zero visibility of what is ahead of us. We need someone to rely on. We could only rely on someone who sees all and knows all — God. This is our training for faith. It tests our trust in God. If we do not trust in the very nature of God’s sovereignty, power, might, and ultimate wisdom, we won’t be able to pass the night training in faith. Trust is best demonstrated when our vision and senses are limited. The night trainings that God allows may blind our sight and feelings but it sharpens our faith in God. When we experience these valleys of shadows of harships and difficulties, we could also say like David did, “we do not fear for God is with us”, but only when we fully trust God because we know who He is!

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.

– Psalms 23:4-5 (WEB)

God looks with favor on those who fear and trust Him. In those dark periods of our life when we are most likely to feel doubtful, fearful, and confused, we can be assured of the constant presence of God. God tells us through His Word that He is faithful and He is with us all the time regardless if we cannot feel this truth all the time. Not feeling it does not nullify the truth. The truth of God’s constancy and faithfulness remains even when we could not see it or feel it.

Those who fear God experiences God’s look of favor upon them. Who are the people who fear God? What does it mean to fear God? Fearing God is not a negative feeling of threat or danger. It is deep reverence for God out of love for Him. Fear of God leads to life (Proverbs 19:23, 14:27). Fear of God causes us to turn away from evil (Proverbs 3:7, 8:13). The fear of God gives us wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). When we fear God, we obey the Lord out of love for Him and this brings us blessed benefits. God takes pleasure in those who fear Him and trust His name. He looks with favor upon people who fear His name. It is comforting to know that we are never out of God’s sight. Even in the dark times of problems, sorrows, and trials, God keeps a watchful eye on us and blesses us.

Behold, Yahweh’s eye is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his loving kindness, to deliver their soul from death, to keep them alive in famine.

– Proverbs 13:18-19 (WEB)

Two things God does to those who walk in obedience to Him and who hope in His loving kindness. He keeps a steady eye to those who who fear Him to

  1. Deliver their soul from death.
  2. Keep them alive in famine.

Those who fear God are kept from harm both physically and spiritually. God can deliver them from physical death (protection from harm or any danger that threatens life) and He can also deliver their soul from death (salvation from hell or spiritual death) through Jesus Christ. He gives life to them that fear His name. Also, those who fear God are kept alive in famine. Famine is a condition of shortages in food and water supply. It is a condition of extreme lack that causes death of people. We all experience famine in different forms. We have famine in the area of finances, famine in the area of physical health, famine in emotional or mental health, famine in the area of relationships, famine in the area of habits and addictions, and many more. We experience lack that stumps us and stops us from moving steadily forward. But for those who fear God and who hope in Him, they are kept alive and sustained throughout the famine. God is there. God remains present. God keeps His promises. God is faithful and He is constantly watching over those who fear His name. Even in the days of famine, His people are satisfied.

“They shall not be disappointed in the time of evil. In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”

– Psalms 37:19 (WEB)

Is there anything that troubles you? Is there anything that obscures your sight and feelings as you walk in faith? Is there any “famine” in your life right now? Keep on walking in obedience to God. Keep steady on walking by faith and not by sight. He is always with you and He shall sustain you and save you from any threat and need you have.

Fit to Praise God

Uprightness comes from genuineness and sincerity to walk righteously. Upright is defined as “vertically straight”. It is being straight in thought, in word, and in deed. An upright person is someone who remains in the straight way of God and unchanging in principle and belief based on the Word of God. Uprightness does not bend but remains straight in the path of righteousness. It does not rest on external actions but it comes from the sincerity of the heart and is manifested through works. This is why being upright is a consistent action of goodness, integrity, and blamelessness. It is an intentional walk of pleasing God out of a pure heart. The fear of God makes one upright.

“Praise Yah!Blessed is the man who fears Yahweh, who delights greatly in his commandments. His offspring will be mighty in the land. The generation of the upright will be blessed.”

-Psalms 112:1-2

Praise befits the upright. Because uprightness results from fearing God, an upright person has been transformed from the old to the new nature.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.”

– 2 Corinthians 5:17 (WEB)

And, so an upright person should have qualities that are distinct or characteristic of a person who follows Christ as Lord. An upright person has put to death what is earthly (Colossians 3:5), has a new way of thinking (Philippians 4:8-9), and walks in the Spirit and bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 22).

There is also another great attribute ascribed to and expected from the upright. The upright praises God. The Bible commands the upright, people who honor God and fear His name, to praise God because praising God is what fits the upright. To praise God, the upright should rejoice in God, sing songs to God, give thanks to Him, and skillfully play music to Him.

“Rejoice in Yahweh, you righteous! Praise is fitting for the upright. Give thanks to Yahweh with the lyre. Sing praises to him with the harp of ten strings. Sing to him a new song. Play skillfully with a shout of joy!

– Psalms 33:1-3 (WEB)

Praise befits the upright because one cannot praise without focusing on God and His goodness. That is what an upright person does. The upright looks to God and depends on God always. Therefore, it makes the heart joyful in every season in life. It does not mean that he or she never gets sad, never worries, and never experiences loneliness. It means that the person can steadily look to God, hope in Him, and trusts that God is in control. It enables the person to rejoice in the truth of God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and love in difficulty or in ease.

God’s children are expected to be upright people and a rejoicing people who developed the habit of praise along with all other righteous works as moved by God Holy Spirit. Let us be grateful, be thankful, and be joyful to the Lord. Let us praise Him every day because this is what is fitting for all the children of God.

What do you praise God for today?

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