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We Love Because He First Loved Us

We Love Because

HE FIRST LOVED US

By Annette Gallagher

Copyright 2015 Annette Gallagher

All Scripture references are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version ® (NKJV). Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations taken from The Amplified Bible ® (AMP) copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition ® (AMPC) copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from The Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE (MSG). Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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Shakespir Edition, License Notes

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

GOD FIRST LOVED US

OBEY THE STILL SMALL VOICE

SEATED AT HIS RIGHT HAND

PUT THE ANGELS TO WORK

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

HE WENT ABOUT DOING GOOD

BE FOLLOWERS

CHANGE YOUR MIND

NEVER GIVE UP

HE WILL TELL YOU THINGS TO COME

Prayer of Salvation

About the Author, Other Titles by the Author

INTRODUCTION

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 John 4:10-11, 19

10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

In today’s world, with its violence and bloodshed; terrorist attacks and death on the roads; ‘natural’ disasters like cyclones, volcanic eruptions, sink holes, and mudslides, we need to know there is One who offers every person on this earth unconditional Love in the Person of Jesus.

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GOD FIRST LOVED US

30 August 2015

This devotion was started in July 2014, but the Lord has continually challenged me with more revelation. I am sure there is more to come, so perhaps a mini eBook is in the future.

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Have you heard Christians say, “You don’t have to like everyone but you must love them”? How can that be? Is it Scriptural? A Christian friend says you can’t dislike someone and still love them.

When a lawyer Pharisee asked for “the greatest commandment in the law” Jesus said,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

The same law is seen in Leviticus 19, when the Lord is speaking to Moses (bold by author),

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel ….

18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (NKJV)

Understand that this message to Moses/the Pharisees was before Jesus went to the cross. The Mosaic Law was in effect, the Holy Spirit was still to come. It is evident in the Leviticus passage that the Lord is speaking of a neighbour as one of “your people”. This was the same law that the Pharisees practised and that Jesus reminded them about in Matthew 22:39. The Mosaic Law to “love your neighbor as yourself” still carried the definition of neighbor as “the congregation of the children of Israel”.

When Jesus uttered these words to the Pharisees, He was, in effect, saying, “Forget all those other laws, (the 600 plus laws, including the Ten Commandments), I’m telling you, obey these and you will fulfil the others”.

But Jesus went further than the Mosaic Law. He was ushering in the New (better) Covenant; of love and grace and forgiveness. Jesus urged people to love their enemies; to treat them the way they want to be treated, to pray for them.

Luke 6:27; 31 (AMP)

27 “But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you,

31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you,

Matthew 7:12 (NLT)

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

Paul, speaking to Christians in Rome, that is people of the new covenant, reinforces that “love is the fulfilment of the law”.

Romans 13 (NKJV)

8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

In Luke 10, Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan, emphasising that He is telling us “your neighbour is not only those of your own tribe or nation, but of any tribe or nation”. Here’s how it started.

Luke 10 (AMP)

25 And a certain lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law] stood up to test Him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”

27 And he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

28 Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this habitually and you will live.”

29 But he, wishing to justify and vindicate himself, asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

This parable is the story of a man (possibly a Jew – see Luke 10:30 NLT), who is stripped, beaten, robbed and left for dead. Along comes a priest, then a Levite. Both pass by on the other side of the road, “None of my business”. Next comes a man from the tribe of Samaritans, despised by the Jews because they worshipped pagan idols alongside the God of Israel. But it is the Samaritan who has compassion, ministers to the man, puts him on a donkey, and arranges for his board and lodging until he is well.

Jesus asks,

36 Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to the man who encountered the robbers?”

37 He answered, “The one who showed compassion and mercy to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and constantly do the same.” (Luke 10 AMP)

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Can we love God with all our hearts, all our soul and all our mind, and love our neighbour as we love ourselves? Can we love our enemies, those we might not be well disposed towards? How are we able to “seek the best for our enemies … treat them the same way we want to be treated… pray for them …. go out of our way to minister to them”? If Jesus commanded it (and He did), then “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

We love with the unconditional love through which God loves us.

1 John 4:10-11; 19

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…

19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

Joseph Prince (Joseph Prince Ministries) says, “… The cross is God’s demonstration of His perfect love and His perfect grace (unmerited favor) toward us”.

We no longer live under the law and the prophets but under grace (Romans 6:14); we live by the leading of the Spirit, just like Jesus did. Meditate on how totally and completely He has forgiven you, and loving Him will be your natural response! Then we can follow with loving ourselves and everyone else.

There were times when my children were disobedient (or just plain naughty) that I didn’t like them, but it didn’t stop me loving them. Why? Because it was their actions I didn’t like. And I let them know I loved them unconditionally; that they could come to me no matter how disobedient or naughty they had been and I wouldn’t judge them. It wasn’t about what they had done wrong, but about how much I loved them. Just like it is between us and God.

But ……..Jesus tells us it is easy to love those who loves us, as He admonishes us to pray for our enemies

Matthew 5 (NLT)

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.

44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.

47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

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Even when we don’t like someone (our enemies, children, next door neighbour, work colleague, family members, politicians, those of other faiths) we must love them. But that love is impossible unless we are fully persuaded that God first loved us.

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OBEY THE STILL, SMALL VOICE

3 October 2014

As we prepared to leave the motel after an overnight stay I heard the still, small voice of the Lord in my spirit. I realised that I had not spent time with Him that morning. I initially dismissed it – we’ll be OK, I prayed last night, the favour of God will protect us. But no, there was still a scratchiness in my spirit and I remembered a story told by Rick Renner. He ignored the voice of the Spirit, “Don’t leave your hotel room” and went to a meeting because he was keen to hear the preaching. When he finally obeyed and returned, the room had been burgled – he and his wife lost jewellery, computer, passports, and nine years of notes. To read the full story go [+ here+]

“OK. What do I do?” The Lord led me to read Psalm 103, out loud. Then we went on our way. Nothing untoward happened and we arrived home unscathed.

In Acts 16:7 it was said of Paul and Silas, “…they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them.” (AMP) so they bypassed Bithynia and went on to Troas. On another occasion, though warned of dire consequences, and though begged not to go, Paul went anyway. Why?

Acts 21 (NKJV):

4 And finding disciples, we stayed there seven days. They told Paul through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem…

10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.

11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”

12 Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

14 So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”

Paul was being warned by the Holy Spirit of the consequences of going to Jerusalem; he wasn’t being told not to go. God does not change His mind; the Holy Spirit had already spoken to Paul about visiting Jerusalem.

Acts 20:22-23 (AMPC)

And now, you see, I am going to Jerusalem, bound by the [Holy] Spirit and obligated and compelled by the [convictions of my own] spirit, not knowing what will befall me there—Except that the Holy Spirit clearly and emphatically affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me”.

Of course his disciples didn’t want Paul to go. They heard from the Holy Spirit what would happen and they urged him, out of their own spirit, not to go. The prophet Agabus didn’t say “Don’t go”, he only said what he was told to say by the Spirit of God, just as Jesus only said and did what the Father told him (John 5:19 & 30; 12:49-50).

We may find out later or we may never know why the Spirit urges us to carry out a particular action; Paul was very aware of what would happen, but he obeyed anyway. In Galatians 1:15-17, he said:

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me …

The New Living Testament translates verse 16 as “…I did not rush out to consult with anyone else”. When you know you have heard from the Lord, it is wrong to listen to what man (flesh and blood) has to say. They may well have your best interests at heart because they love you and don’t want you hurt. But it is imperative that we obey that still, small voice, the Holy Spirit.

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SEATED AT HIS RIGHT HAND

2 January 2015

This is an excerpt from a mini eBook I am currently writing for publishing in 2016.

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Are born again Christians seated at the right hand of the Father with Jesus? If so, what does that mean for us?

Ephesians 2:6 (NLT)

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

This Scripture clearly says He (God) seated us with Him (Jesus) in the heavenly realms. What and where are these ‘heavenly realms’ where we are with Jesus?

Hebrews 10:12 (NKJV)

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

Ephesians 1 (NKJV)

19… and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,

20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

These Scriptures tell us (and there are many more, check at the end of this devotional), that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Lord in ‘heavenly places’ and that we are seated with Him in the ‘heavenly realms’. Both ‘heavenly places’ and ‘heavenly realms’ are translated from the same Greek word ‘epouraniois’. The definition is “heavenly, celestial, in the heavenly sphere, the sphere of spiritual activities”.

Putting these Scriptures together we see that we are also seated at the right hand of the Father in those heavenly realms…. and that, with Jesus, we are -

Ephesians 1 (AMP)

21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human], and [far above] every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and world but also in the one to come.

22 And He put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church,

23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers].

That’s powerful! We are seated with Jesus far above ALL rule and authority and power dominion. We have THE NAME, JESUS, which is above ALL names – above the name of cancer, ebola, bird flu, debt, stock market crashes, bankruptcy, and divorce – ALL names, even those still to come and those that are not named (Deuteronomy 28:61 says every sickness and every plague will come on you, even those not written in the book. We are redeemed from these curses, even those not written, through the blood of Jesus).

Philippians 2 (NKJV)

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Time to start shouting. Hallelujah! Evil spirits can’t harm us, sickness and poverty and lack can’t come near us. We are jointly seated with Jesus in heavenly places.

You might say, “But that’s not me. I don’t see evidence of that in my life”. Kenneth Hagin in his article, “Where Are You Seated?” (Timeless Teaching) says,

… Our position as believers is one of joint-seating with Christ in heavenly places. That may not always be our circumstance, but that is our position.

If we want to rise above our circumstances, we must take advantage of our position in Christ.”

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The Scriptures tell us that, being seated at the right hand of the Father, Jesus our High Priest, is ever ready to make intercession with the Father for us. He is also authorized to carry out our confession, or the words we speak that are in accord with God’s Word.

Romans 8:34 (NKJV)

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Hebrews 8:1 (AMP)

Now the main point of what we have to say is this: we have such a High Priest, [the Christ] who is seated [in the place of honor] at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty (God) in heaven,

Hebrews 3:1 (KJV)

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession [or confession], Christ Jesus.

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As God has placed Jesus, our High Priest, at His right hand in heaven, so we born again believers are placed to rule and reign as kings in this life.

Ecclesiastes 8:4 (AMP)

For the word of a king is authoritative and powerful, And who will say to him, “What are you doing?”

Romans 5:17 (NKJV)

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

To return to the original question, “Are we seated at the right hand of the Father with Jesus?” We have established that we are.

“If so, what does that mean for us?” It means;

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We have the Name that is above all names, Jesus.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We have the place of power and authority high above all principalities, power and dominion.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We have Jesus, our High Priest, ever ready to make intercession for us, to carry out our confession AND

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We rule and reign as kings in life (here, on this earth).

Shout Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

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Let Scripture interpret Scripture. See further Scriptures below (bold and brackets by author):

Matthew 26 (NKJV)

63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Also Mark 14:62)

Ephesians 1:19-20 (AMPC)

19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,

20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places]..

Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV)

He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has* (past tense) *sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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PUT YOUR ANGELS TO WORK

3 January 2015

“Jesus! Angels! Please!” was my heartfelt prayer as my cat, Monty, raced towards the fence. Usually he was over in a flash and off to annoy the (non-cat-loving) neighbours. I’d end up chasing him up and down the street, crawling under hedges or dragging him out from under the neighbour’s car. This time it was different. Monty stopped in his tracks, subsided on the ground and waited for me to carry him inside.

What happened? My words, based on God’s Word, put my angels to work. Let’s look at some Scriptures.

Psalms 103:20 (AMP)

Bless the LORD, you His angels, You mighty ones who do His commandments, Obeying the voice of His word!

Hebrews 1:14 (AMP)

Are not all the angels ministering spirits sent [by God] to serve (accompany, protect) those who will inherit salvation? [Of course they are!]

1 Peter 3:22 (AMPC)

[And He] has now entered into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with [all] angels and authorities and powers made subservient to Him.

Psalm 91 (AMPC)

10 There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].

We see from the above examples that the angels will “obey the voice of His word”, that they are “ministering spirits sent out to serve”, are “subservient to Jesus” and they will, “accompany and defend and preserve” us.

Therefore when we speak the Word, the angels go to work on our behalf. If we mumble and grumble, or bawl and squall, the angels are standing with their arms folded unable to work on our behalf. I often wonder what they think. Are they saying, What are you doing? Come on, speak the Word, we want to move on your behalf. We want to protect you and your family, your property and possessions. Come on, just say it. Give us something to do. That’s what we’re here for”.

“When we speak the Word …” What does that mean? It means we do exactly what Jesus did, “say only what the Father tells me to say … do only what the Father tells me to do”. (John 5:19, John 8:28; John 12:49). How do we know what the Father tells us to say and do? We have the Holy Spirit speaking to our spirit, and we have God’s written Word, the Bible.

You may think you can’t hear from God, but Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and a stranger’s voice they will not follow” (John 10:3-4; 27). How do we do this? Below is an excerpt from an article by Gloria Copeland, “Expect to Hear His Voice”.

Get familiar with God’s voice by meditating and studying the Word of God. Follow God’s instruction to Joshua and meditate on it day and night. Act on what you find in the Word, not just when it’s easy but every time. Be obedient even in the slightest things.

That continual obedience to the written Word will bring you into maturity and tune your inward ear to the voice of the Spirit. You’ll soon be able to recognize it as easily as you recognize the voice of your dearest friend.

So, instead of wondering about it, start expecting to hear from Him.

Then start sharpening your spiritual ears by spending time in the Word.”

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We are armed with the Word of God. Ephesians 6:17 tells us to “take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. We have the Holy Spirit talking to our spirit (our inner man) and we can go out and put paid to any evil thing the devil tries to do to us or our families.

You can see from my example with Monty that we don’t have to use a lot of words or be super spiritual. We put our angels to work by quoting God’s Word, as the Lord shows us, in any situation.

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If you would like more on the subject of hearing God’s voice – search your internet browser for “Tune In to the Voice of God” by Kenneth Copeland Publications. It is currently a FREE mini book PDF download.

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LOVE ONE ANOTHER

16 March 2015

Jesus said,

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.” (John 15:13 AMPC).

Some may say this means we should be willing to die for our friends. And that is true on one level, but it is much more than that.

Let’s look again at John 15 (NKJV)

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to lay down His life for us. He would do and say only what the Father told Him to do and say (John 5:19, John 8:28; John 12:49). For this reason He was willing to give up His Godly heritage and become fully man (Hebrews 2:14); to be subject to every temptation, every evil attack from the devil (Hebrews 4:15) just like you. Then he did the one thing only He could do, He died on the cross, went to hell, was raised from the dead and arose into heaven to be seated, with us, at the right hand of the Father.

Verse 14 goes on to say “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you”. Here is the confirmation of verses 12 and 13, “I have loved you. You are My friends therefore I lay down my life for you”.

What about “… if you do whatever I command you”? That is the command in verses 12 and 17, “Love one another as I have loved you”. Be willing to do as the One who IS Love does, LOVE! How? By doing and saying whatever the Father tells us.

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He Went About Doing Good

23 March 2015

“The Good Lord has seen fit to afflict me (my son/daughter/husband) with …. reflux/ cancer/ halitosis/ poverty/ death” (choose an illness, disease or calamity). What an interesting combination of words “good” and “inflict” used in reference to the Lord. I have heard this stated by Christian friends, Christians in the media who have suffered tragedy, precious little children with physical abnormalities stating “Mummy told me I was born like this because I’m special to God”, or platitudes to parents of special needs children such as “God only gives ‘special’ children to special parents He knows will love them. He trusts you!”

Even in the secular world these words aren’t usually used together. Citizens are awarded for “good deeds” with special commendations. We see the headlines – “Child rescued from a blazing house by a passer-by … Woman has spent thirty years delivering Meals on Wheels … Koala rescued from dog attack”. Later, a ceremony honours these people for their “good deeds”.

So, why are many Christians convinced the “Good Lord” is responsible for sickness and disease, for calamities like cyclones, for the death of a child? I am reminded of a story, told by Pastor Greg Biddell, of when he was missionary in New Guinea forty-five years ago. The chief of a certain village continually affirmed that God was a fraud and didn’t exist. One day as his son was crossing a nearby river, a wave of water engulfed him and he was swept away. His body was never found. The chief was angry and went to the riverbank seeking revenge. He started throwing stones toward heaven and this God Who had let his son die. After a while he realized he was throwing stones at Someone he didn’t believe existed. He fell on his knees and gave his heart to the Lord. This primitive chieftain had the sense to realise how crazy it was; firstly to rail at Someone he didn’t believe existed; secondly to believe that the God he didn’t believe in had let his son die.

Some say that God is tempting or testing us when bad things happen, particularly illness and disease. Consider Acts 10:38 (NKJV)

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Those who say that God is testing us are saying, in effect, ”God puts sickness on us to test us and see if we will turn to Him, so that He can heal us”. But this Scripture tells us that Jesus “went about doing good and healing all”. Wow, something to get excited about. Then it says “… healing all who were oppressed by the devil”. The oppression comes from the devil, not from God. God is the One Who heals – “for God was with Him (Jesus).

To quote my favourite Greek scholar, Pastor Rick Renner – “oppression” in the Greek describes a tyrant, a wicked ruler who lords himself over the people, someone with absolute control over them. This Scripture is describing the devil as a tyrant, the enemy who wants to rule your mind, your body, your emotions, your destiny. The devil wants to dictate to you what is going to be the outcome of your life. As my pastor son-in-law says, “Always remember, ‘God good, devil bad’”.

Hebrews 13:8 (AMPC)

Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).

1 Peter 2:24 (AMP)

He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.

We have a better Covenant than did those alive when Jesus walked the earth (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6). Jesus is still doing good and healing all who are oppressed of the devil.

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BE FOLLOWERS

10 July 2015

The Bible tells us to be “followers” or “imitators” of those who inherit God’s promises.

Hebrews 6:10-12

10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises

12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (NKJV).

Verse 12 Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them (MSG).

Verse 12 tells us “you will follow … imitate … be like …” those who “because of their faith and patience and endurance inherit God’s promises”. How awesome is that? If we find men and women who lived, or are living, this kind of committed faith and patience and have inherited God’s promises we can use their example.

How do we find “those” people? There are examples from the Bible; Hebrews 6:13 “For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham”. (NLT) Verse 15 “Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.” Then there was Noah who waited decades until God’s promise was fulfilled; Joseph who could have given up many times on the fulfilment of God’s promise; Caleb who waited 40 years to enter the land of promise.

Then there are the precious saints who are with the Lord – Oral Roberts, Kenneth E Hagin, Smith Wigglesworth, as well as men and women today who have ‘committed faith’ and have inherited the promises of God, those who learned from the saints above – Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Jesse Duplantis, Keith Moore, Creflo Dollar, Billye Brim and so many others too numerous to mention.

Luke 8:17-18 (NKJV)

For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light, Therefore take heed how you hear…

Ephesians 1:9 (NKJV)

Having made know to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which he purposed in Himself.

The secrets of the Bible are not held back from us. They are there for us. God will give wisdom and revelation to anyone who is willing to hear, to study and learn. It is His will! But, we don’t have to “start at the very beginning” as a famous song says. Those saints who have gone before us (currently living on earth or in heaven) have learned a thing or two. They have been “diligent to present themselves approved to God, who do not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV).

How do we learn from ‘those’? How do we know ‘those’ we can follow and imitate? In Matthew 7 Jesus who went up into the mountains to escape the multitudes, is speaking to his disciples.

Matthew 7 (NKJV)

17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

We will know those to follow by their fruit. Does what they say line up with the Word of God? Paul instructs Timothy to teach what he has taught to faithful men in order for them to teach others. However, Paul also tells Timothy to “rightly divide the word of truth”. Everything we learn and hear, we must run it by the Scriptures. If it doesn’t line up throw it out.

2 Timothy 2 (NKJV)

1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Godly men and women, through the ages, have “through faith and patience inherited the promise”. The Word of God is there for us to study. We can take the wisdom from what others have studied and learned and go forward for greater revelation.

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CHANGE YOUR MIND

14 July 2015

The Word of God “has the power to save our souls” (James 1:21 NLT). This passage is not referring to salvation; being born again and entering heaven when we leave our earthly bodies. This is referring to our souls, our MIND (intellect), our will, and our emotions. We live eternally as a spirit, we have a soul, and we dwell in a body.

This passage is about how we live on this earth. Even if there is a problem with our brain, it’s our MIND that tells the brain what to do. It is the Holy Spirit who speaks to our spirit and our spirit speaks to our mind.

James 1:21 (NLT)

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

Dr Caroline Leaf, a born-again child of God, and a cognitive neuroscientist, who has worked with those with dementia, brain injury, ADHD and the like, says that you can turn brain “illnesses”, and wrong (Dr Leaf calls them “toxic”) thought patterns around using (doing) the Word of God.

James 1 goes on:

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.

24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

How are we to be ‘doers’ of the Word? By using God’s Words from our own mouth to “say the same things” just like Jesus did (John 5:19, John 8:28; John 12:49).

John 12:49 (NLT)

I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.

Notice Jesus says, “The Father has commanded me what to say and how to say it”. We need to be diligent to say only what the Lord tells us and how he tells us to say it. If we try to use our own intellect, (from our own thoughts and beliefs), those words may be mistaken or corrupt and may turn our life in the wrong direction.

I recall a time when I was praying for my son-in-law who had been vomiting violently for some time. As I prayed I heard one word, “Dehydration”. My first thought was that he was dehydrated from the vomiting. However, I gave only that word to him. Later, when he was praying, the Lord showed him that the vomiting was coming because he was dehydrated. I was so glad I did not add my own opinion or my own words.

James 3:2-5 (NLT)

2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.

4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.

5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.

In Romans 12:2, Paul says:

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (NLT)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)

How does this transformation come about? With our ‘doing’ (saying) of the Word God has planted in our hearts.

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NEVER GIVE UP

6 August 2015

“I might as well give up and let this illness take its course, just like everyone else is doing”. That was my thought as I lay in bed for the second week of a debilitating cold. I thought if I just let the cold take its course the devil would move on to someone else.

When the first symptoms appeared, I prayed for healing, declared I’d received it, thanked the Lord and forgave (Mark 11:23-24). But it didn’t work out that way. I just became sicker and was soon confined to bed for nearly 3 weeks. My faith took a battering; I didn’t stop loving God, or praying, or believing it was His will for me to be healed, but I felt bruised and beaten. A few days after my recovery the cold freshened up for another week. Then I recovered. A few days later it was back. With other health issues this went on for almost 3 months. Each time I fought back, thinking, “This is it, this is the last time”. The devil was having a field day with me – and with my family.

What was happening? What was I doing wrong? I had done all that I knew to do (in my thinking). I asked the Lord to show me what I had done wrong. Perhaps there was something I needed to rectify in my life. Unforgiveness? I searched my heart and prayed, “Lord, I forgive if I have aught against any”. What else? Fear, unbelief, doubt, walking out of love. The devil was working with me on this, “It’s all your fault; it’s something you did. How could God love you and take care of you when you don’t obey Him? You reap what you sow, you must have sown something to cause this”.

When I received Jerry Savelle’s monthly partner letter I saw an answer to my prayer. But in an unexpected way. Yes, I gave the devil place to keep on attacking, to get me to give up. It reminded me of “The Screwtape Letters” (C S Lewis) where the little devil wasn’t allowed to give up even after his ‘person’ gave his heart to the Lord. When Jerry said the devil designs every attack to get us to quit, I saw it all in a different light. The devil is the accuser, like a wrecking ball that keeps attacking in the same spot over and over until that spot weakens and breaks. The devil didn’t want that cold to “take its course”. He wanted me to give up on God, give up on my Christian walk and turn to his ways.

Jerry says, “Don’t fall for the false idea that the reason you’re under attack is always because you’ve done something wrong …. sometimes (it is) but not always”. Attacks often come because you are doing something RIGHT. This is what happened to the apostle Paul after he had received revelation when he was caught up to Paradise.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NKJV)

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.

9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

The apostle Paul is saying, that, because of the abundance of the revelations he received, a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him. But here’s the good news, in verse 8 Paul pleaded with God to take it from him, and the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”.

The grace of God was available to Paul. He could stomp on the devil and he would have to leave. That grace is also available to us. We are seated at the right hand of the Father with Jesus who is interceding for us continually (Hebrews 7:25).

[* Ephesians 1:19- 20 *]

19 … what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

I will never give up; victory is mine! I am seated at the right hand of the Father with Jesus. And Jesus is ever interceding for me.

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HE WILL TELL YOU THINGS TO COME

15 August 2015

At the time of writing world financial markets are volatile; the Greek government is in crisis, the Chinese stock market was down 30% in July and there are signs and wonders in the heavens with a Blood Moon Tetrad in 2014-15 occurring at the same time as the beginning of the Jewish Shemitah Year, and a Jubilee Year… (See Note below)

I believe the Lord is asking me to share my testimony of what happened when he told us how to handle our finances before the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

First some background information. In 1992 the Australian Government legislated that employers be required to pay a proportion on top of an employee’s salaries and wages into a superannuation fund, which is invested into Australian and overseas stocks as well as a cash component. Employees are allowed to ‘top up’ this fund from their own money. They are also able to manage and change their investment mix. This money, under certain circumstances, may be accessed as a small regular payment (as a pension) from age 55 but cannot currently be withdrawn until age 65.

In 2008 I began planning for retirement at age 60 (at the end of 2009) and was topping up my superannuation weekly. My husband, Bill, ten years older, was planning to retire at the same time. In August of 2008 Bill began talking about converting his Superannuation Fund to ‘Cash’, earning only a fraction of what was possible with stocks and share.

As Bill was adamant, I began praying and asking the Lord if it was his will for us to make this change. While I prayed over a two-week period, Bill transferred his superannuation into ‘Cash’, against the advice of our financial advisor (also a Christian). At the end of that time I had a peace in my heart about transferring my funds to ‘Cash’ as well and immediately expedited the transfer.

During those two weeks of praying the stock market fell and I lost a few thousand (AU) dollars from my superannuation. But, two days AFTER I transferred my superannuation the global financial markets were reeling.

The GFC of 2008; anyone who was there will remember it. In September of that year The Dow Jones industrial average lost 777.68 points, surpassing the 684.81 points loss on September 17, 2001 – the first trading day after the September 11 attacks. This was publicized as the biggest one day stock market loss in history (greater than the loss of 1929 which ushered in the Great Depression). Both occurred (2001 and 2008), seven years apart, on the biblical day of Elul 29 (see note below). The next Elul 29 occurs on September 13, 2015.

In Australia in 2008 this loss was felt by everyday Mums and Dads more than ever before. The GFC wiped out tens of thousands of dollars from their superannuation. Many had to continue working into their late sixties and early seventies.

Why am I passing on this information?

John 16:13 (NKJV)

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

The King James Versions says “He will show you things to come”.

The Holy Spirit guided us. He will always tell us, and / or show us, things to come but we need ears to hear what He is telling us. Though we didn’t know exactly what was to come we knew it involved finances. He most certainly told us what to do.

He will always warn us. When the September 11 attacks occurred many were asking, “Where was God when all this happened? If God is so good why would He allow it?” We know the answer to that, there is a devil in this world and we have a choice, to follow the devil or to follow God.

I enquired of the Lord about all those who went to the work that day; and of those who had heeded a warning, or been somehow delayed in going to work. We know that thousands of people who should have been in the towers were not. What I heard in my spirit was this, “I warned everyone, those going to the Twin Towers, those in the planes, those in the Pentagon. Some chose to listen, some didn’t”.

“… He will tell you things to come”. When He does it is up to us, we choose. Will we follow God, or will we follow the devil? I CHOOSE LIFE.

Deuteronomy 30:19

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

There are signs in our time, signs in the heavens, a Blood Moon Tetrad once again occurring at a time of Jewish High Holy Days. We don’t know what this means, but the Holy Spirit will tell us things to come, He will lead us into all truth (John 16:13). We need to enquire of the Lord, and open our hearts to hear what he has to say about what is coming.

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NOTE:

During a Shemitah (or Sabbath) Year, according to Exodus 23:11 and Leviticus 25:4, there was to be no working of the land. The last day of the Shemitah, Elul 29, is considered the “wipeout day” when all debts of a nation were “wiped clean”.

A Jubilee (50th) year comes after 7 sabbatical cycles of 7 years (7×7=49).

A Blood Moon Tetrad is when there are four consecutive total lunar eclipses (defined by NASA). According to NASA, the dates of the most recent lunar tetrads have been 1492-93, 1948-49, 1967-68 and 2014-15. Each of these are marked by key events in Jewish history and all fell on Jewish High Holy Days.

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PRAYER OF SALVATION

If you have never made Jesus Lord of your life, and would like to, pray the prayer on this page.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus died and took the punishment for my sins. I believe He rose from the dead and delivered me from hell. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and life right now, and be my Lord. Thank You for making me clean. I turn away from my past and receive my forgiveness. I forgive if there is anything in my heart against anyone. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. I receive everything You have for me, in Jesus Name! THANK YOU LORD!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In 1992 Annette Gallagher was suffering from a painful medical condition for which there was no cure. She called out to Jesus and promised to give her life to Him if He healed her. He did and she did.

Her spiritual journey began with listening to Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and other like-minded men and women of God. Shortly, the Lord led her to fellowship at Abundant Life, Toowoomba Qld with Pastors Ray and Carol Gale.

As well as writing at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Annette feels particularly privileged to have had the opportunity to impart the goodness of God to the young people at Children’s Church. This is Annette’s second eBook

Annette resides in Cleveland Queensland (Australia) with her mighty man of God, husband Bill, and cats Sir Montague and Princess Millicent-Molly-Mandy. Their four children, spouses and seven grandchildren live in SE Qld and central NSW.

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Connect with Me

Go to our HisWay ministry website here for more articles and videos by myself and others in our ministry. Or you may email me at Annette Gallagher. If this email does not work use the HisWay Contact Us page which has a link to my current email address.

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Previous Title by the Author

Living the Good Life: a life of abundance and plenty (2014)

Coming in 2016

Seated at the Right Hand of the Father – mini eBook

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We Love Because He First Loved Us

This is the author's second book of short devotionals to uphold you and uplift you. This book illustrates how much God loves us. He said He will be with us always, even to the end of our days. John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 1 John 4 - 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another... 19 We love Him, because He first loved us. In today’s world, with its violence and bloodshed; terrorist attacks and death on the roads; ‘natural’ disasters like cyclones, volcanic eruptions, sink holes, and mudslides, we need to know there is One who offers every person on this earth unconditional Love in the Person of Jesus.

  • ISBN: 9781311585677
  • Author: Annette Gallagher
  • Published: 2015-12-25 12:35:09
  • Words: 9115
We Love Because He First Loved Us We Love Because He First Loved Us