January 2014 Newsletter
The Love War
By Patricia King
Sometimes God will use people in our life to teach us how to love. Several years ago, there was a young homeless man whom we invited off the street to attend my meetings. He was very unlovable in his behavior and his dress and his odors. Everything about him was very difficult.
This young man got born again, but he was still an aggravation to the flesh. And he really liked me. He would sit right up front near me. He had poor vision so he would look at me close in the face. He had really bad breath. Everything about him made me want to reject him. And I did reject him. When I would see him come into the room, I knew he was headed straight for me, so I would conveniently move somewhere else.
I remember one time when he arrived at the meeting, I quickly slipped into the prayer room, closed the door and thought, “Ah, I am rescued!” But the Lord convicted me. He said, “If you believe that man is rejectable, he will become more rejectable to you. But if you choose to believe he is acceptable, he will become more acceptable to you. What will you choose to believe?”
I repented. I realized I had been so cruel to the homeless man because he was an aggravation to me. He was an irritant. But do you know what irritants do in an oyster shell? They create pearls.
When I stepped out of the prayer room, I found him waiting right outside the door. He greeted me with an enthusiastic “Hi!” But now my attitude had changed because my belief about him had changed. I now saw him as a gift that God was giving to me to teach me how to love and to accept what society would reject.
I said, “Come and sit down beside me tonight.” He lit up like a Christmas tree, he was so happy. Prior to that night, when my friends and I would go out for coffee after the meeting, we would always try to leave before he could find us. That night I invited him to join us.
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Something supernatural happened because we chose to accept him and make him our little love project. And because we believed he was acceptable, that he was a gift instead of a hindrance, we all fell in love with him.
Months later, after we had helped him through a number of things, he announced one day, “God answered my prayer! I got a job!” When we found out he had to move away to take the job, we were all truly sad to see him go. Our belief and attitude toward him had changed, and it changed everything. We all grew in the love of God. This was one of the greatest gifts I have received in my life.
Another time when God taught me how to love was when I went through a long season of pretty hefty persecution. There were a lot of people speaking negative and bitter things against me publicly. Some of it was really hurtful, especially the attacks from people whom I considered to be friends. I finally reached a point where I thought, “I can’t take this!” Out of my spirit, I screamed, “I declare a war! I declare a war! I declare a love war!”
Then I realized God wanted me to fight the persecution, the slander and the pain… with love. He didn’t want me to use the same weapons that were being used against me, and He definitely didn’t want me to fall into self-pity and sadness. He wanted me to rise up in victory — the love victory.
It was at that point that I determined to spend my whole life learning how to love. In the Bible it says “Let love be your greatest aim.” I said, “Lord, if I don’t learn how to love in my life, I have nothing.” In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says that if you don’t have love, it profits nothing.
I want to challenge you to come into freedom today. Forgive those who have hurt you. God has His way of dealing with them. But He wants to get that hook out of you so that you can be like Him.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to reconnect or allow those people back into your life. But you have to clear your heart and make a choice to want the very best for them. What is the best? That they come into alignment with God’s purposes. That they come to full repentance. That they see things from God’s perspective. Make a commitment right now to love, love, love! And remember this about God’s love for you — He loves you with an everlasting love. It’s an unfailing love.
The young homeless man taught me so much about becoming love. I had initially treated him badly and I feel terrible about that. But God gave me an opportunity to overcome and He worked it together for good. Through the precious gift of my new friend, I became more like Jesus. I was becoming love.
If you are ready to declare a love war, I want to pray this supernatural prayer over you:
Father, I pray for my friends right now that you would heal them of the pain in their heart caused by mistreatment, persecution, slander and betrayal, and show them how to forgive and how to love as You love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Patricia King is an accomplished speaker, author, television host, and media producer. She is the co-founder of XPmedia.com and overseer of Christian Services Association.
Dear Mishpochah: My Great Quest
Is there not a cause?
Recently I was having dinner with several friends when some of us got into a great theological discussion. We were respectful to each other, but it turned into a strong debate. Then out of the blue someone started speaking about the cross of Jesus. The anointing exploded! There had been no presence of the Holy Spirit on the theological discussion. The difference was so dramatic even the others at the table commented.
I learned an important lesson about how the Spirit responds when we focus on the love of God. Why should I waste my time on areas where God is not glorified and where the Spirit is not present? Is there not a cause greater than politics, sports, entertainment and fruitless theological debates?
How to Have the Faith of God
Paul declares in Galatians 5:6 that “the only thing that matters is faith working through love” (NET). Also in Mark 11:22, Jesus told His disciples, “Have faith in God.” But the Greek wording for this verse can be translated, “Have the faith of God.”
Since faith works through love, we can have the “faith of God” by walking not in natural love but in the God kind of love. When we truly walk in God’s love, even mountains cannot stand in our way!
How can I walk in His love and be so irresistible to Him that His Glory is always tangibly with me? I believe the key to this God kind of love starts and ends with His grace. His grace has led me to be a worshipper of God continually and to meditate (i.e., speak out loud a personalized version of His Word).
God’s love is a fruit of His Spirit. Fruit must grow. It will grow as you meditate and act on His promises. This God kind of love is my passion, my great quest. Read this amazing description of the God kind of love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (Wuest, personalized), 14:1 (Amp.):
If in the languages of men I speak and the languages of the angels but do not have love [Greek word here used of God’s love produced in the heart of the yielded saint by the Holy Spirit, a love that impels me to deny myself for the sake of the loved one], I have already become and at present am sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have the gift of uttering divine revelations and know all the mysteries and all the knowledge, and if I have all the faith so that I am able to keep on removing mountain after mountain, but am not possessing this kind of love, I am nothing.
And if I use all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver up my body [as a martyr] in order that I may glory, but do not have love, I am being profited in not even one thing.
God’s love in me meekly and patiently bears ill treatment from others. It enables me to be kind, gentle, benign (harmless),
This love in me pervades and penetrates my whole nature, mellowing all which would have been harsh and austere; it is not envious.
I do not brag, nor show myself off, I am not ostentatious (showy), I do not have an inflated ego, I do not act unbecomingly!
God’s love in me does not allow me to seek after my own rights, I am not irritated, provoked, exasperated, aroused to anger, I do not take into account the evil [which I suffer],
I do not rejoice at iniquity but rejoice with the truth,
I endure all things, believe all things, hope all things, bear up under all things, not losing heart nor courage.
This kind of love never fails.
I EAGERLY PURSUE and seek to acquire [this] love [make it my aim, my great quest].
Let’s meditate on this Scripture together. Let’s be irresistible to God and to people. When you are pondering a decision, always filter it through the love test found in 1 Corinthians 13.
Then meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 from a different perspective. As you read through the characteristics of love, comprehend God’s love for us. It is an amazing, incredible revelation!
I pray you use, enjoy and meditate on the Scripture on the two enclosed bookmarks I have designed for both of us.
Shalom and Love,
Sid Israel Roth