It’s all about LOVE.

The Power of Love

Luke 10

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

A Lawyer had asked Jesus this, and no one could argue with Jesus about the answer.  This was truly the Word of God.  Back in Deutoronomy 6, we have

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

And in Leviticus 19:

18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:34

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

So this is truly the law.  But in verse 29, the lawyer feels a need to justify himself, so he asks…

“AND WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?”

And of course, in response, Jesus presents the parable we all know, of the The Good Samaritan.

To the Judean Jew, and especially to the Pharisees, the Samaritans were the enemy.  There was enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans, the Jews and the Greeks, the Jews and the Romans, the Jews and the Publicans, the Jews and Other Jews (Essenes and Saducees), and Jesus comes to walk the earth in the midst of all this enmity, and makes a proclamation:

Matthew 5:43-48 King James Version (KJV)

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

This is a foreign concept to the Jews of Jesus’ day.  Even though the Israelites were told from the beginning:

Leviticus 19:18

18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:34

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

What they HEARD was:

exodus 21

23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Does this contradict?  No. 

Matt 19

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Jesus, being the Word Made Flesh, knew from the beginning the difference between what God Permits and what God Prefers.  Although remedies were put into the law for different circumstances, what God WANTED was that we Love our Neighbor as Ourselves, and not bear any grudge or seek vengeance.

Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord.  That means if you take vengeance into your own hands, you are Stealing something that belongs to God.  Thou shalt not steal.

God’s way has always been to forgive.  And if you consider the cause and effect of things, Love is the cause, and forgiveness is the effect. 

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 17:9

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

So this applies today then.  But we were warned by Jesus, that in these last days, 

Matthew 24:12

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Do we want our love to wax cold?  NO!  of course not!  But we have to see that love and forgiveness are entertwined.  

The Law, Love your neighbor as yourself, had been in force for thousands of years when Jesus came, but when he presented these cases, many of the religious elite were stunned. 

Consider the woman with the ointment:

Luke 7:47

37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

Even Jesus’s disciples were in need of clarification.

In Matt 6

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

But then Peter needs clarification.

Matt 18

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

THIS IS CLEAR, AND REPEATED THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT.  Forgive others so your father can forgive you!

So here you are, faced with a dilemma.  Someone did something to you that you can’t forgive.  You can’t let it go.  It’s eating me.  It’s producing a root of bitterness in me.  So you turn to the Lord, and tell him, Jesus, I can’t forgive this person.

You expect a pep talk and a reminder of His Grace and Mercy, and a Word from the Scripture, a reminder of a parable, but what you get is….

                                                I know.

Well that’s not what you’re expecting.

                             I know you can’t forgive that person.

                                                But I can.

This has happened to me, but what happens next is incredible. The Lord does a work in me, which I will never forget, a work that has changed me, turns me inside out, and produces in me a New Creature!

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

So the Lord does this work in me, and sets me free!  And then He reveals how He did it, so hopefully someone else can be set free today!

And it starts here:

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

You see, it’s a heart problem.  I was trying to forgive from myself, and to love with the love that I knew.  But that’s not what God has for me.  He has something better.

Consider David, a man after God’s own heart, who after he sinned, cried out to God:

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

The verb used there is Berali, a form of Bara, Which is only used in the context of God, for only God can create something Yesh me’ayin:  Something from nothing.  ONLY GOD DOES THAT!

Proverbs 20:9

Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

ONLY GOD DOES THAT!

Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

Ezekiel 36:26

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

ONLY GOD DOES THAT!

Phil 2

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

REMEMBER THAT. THAT’S IMPORTANT.

As Jesus was about to complete his ministry and give himself as a sacrifice, being obedient even unto death, as they were leaving the Last Supper, He gave these words to his disciples:

John 13:34-35

A NEW commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

How is this new?  The command to love your neighbor already existed.  It had for almost 4000 years, between Moses and Jesus.  It is new because It is no longer Love your Neighbor as yourself. 

Back in Luke 10, the lawyer asked the Lord, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  And when the lawyer quoted the law, Jesus said, this do, and thou shalt live.  

But what if we can’t?

Some of us have a hard time loving ourselves, don’t we.  So if we have a hard time loving ourselves, how can we love one another? 

So Jesus, gives a NEW Commandment to go with his NEW Covenant.

 John 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

The Key here is AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.

And how did Jesus love us? 

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.

John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

He created us, watched in sorrow as we fell and became separated from him, and robed himself in humility and flesh, came walking onto this earth, to set the captives free, to proclaim liberty in the land, and to shed his blood for the remission of sins, to tear the veil so that nothing can separate us.

Romans 8

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

THIS IS HOW JESUS HAS LOVED US.

AND THIS IS HOW HE EXPECTS US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS HE HAS LOVED US.

So how do we fulfill this commandment?  We can’t.  We couldn’t follow the original command, love God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself.  So how can we follow this one?  Love one another as Jesus has loved us?

The answer is We can’t.

BUT HE CAN.

AND HE IS HERE, WITHIN US, SITTING HERE IN HIS HOLY LIVING TEMPLE, HE IS HERE ON THE THRONE OF MY HEART, AND HE LOVES THROUGH ME.  AND HE FORGIVES THROUGH ME. 

Romans 5:5

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

THE LOVE OF GOD COMES FROM THE HOLY GHOST!  Which is given unto us!

1 Thessalonians 1:5

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL, TO LOVE AND TO FORGIVE AS JESUS DID, COMES THROUGH THE HOLY GHOST!

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

WE HAVE NO GOOD WORKS!  IT IS THE HOLY GHOST THAT DOES THE WORK IN US!

THE HOLY GHOST EMPOWERS US!

Acts 1:8

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

POWER TO DO WHAT?  KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!

Acts 5:32

And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

WHEN YOU HAVE A DESIRE TO OBEY HIM, HE GIVES THE POWER TO OBEY HIM!

2 Thessalonians 3:5

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

IT IS THE LORD WHO DIRECTS OUR HEARTS INTO HIS LOVE, WHEN WE ALLOW HIM TO.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

GOD GIVES US THE SPIRIT OF LOVE.  NOT LOVE AS WE CAN GIVE, BUT POWER, LOVE, AND A SOUND MIND, ABLE TO FORGIVE AS GOD HAS FORGIVEN, TO RESTORE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, AND OUR SANITY!

YOU SEE, JESUS DIDN’T JUST DIE TO SAVE YOU FROM YOUR SINS, HE DIED TO SAVE YOU FROM EVERYONE ELSE’S SINS TOO.

PEOPLE HAVE AND ARE GOING TO HURT US.  THEY ARE GOING TO DO DEVASTATING THINGS TO US.  AND THOSE HURTS HAVE THE POWER TO GROW WITHIN US,  AS BITTER ROOTS, AND THOSE BITTER ROOTS ENTANGLE THE GROUND, SO WHAT GOD IS TRYING TO SOW INTO US CANNOT GROW. 

CAN YOU REMOVE THE ROOTS OF BITTERNESS?  NO!  YOU MUST TURN YOUR HEART OVER TO GOD, ASK HIM TO REMOVE THEM FOR YOU!  AND THEN GIVE HIM PERMISSION TO MOVE, TO OPERATE, TO ACT!  AND YOU MUST RESPOND TO WHAT HE GIVES YOU!  IT MEANS YOU GIVE UP CONTROL, IT MEANS YOU GIVE UP PRIDE, IT MEANS YOU GIVE UP HARDNESS. 

IN OTHER WORDS, JUST AS JESUS LAID HIS LIFE DOWN, WE LAY OUR LIVES DOWN, AND ALLOW JESUS TO RESTORE AND RESURRECT WHAT IS INSIDE OF US.  WE DIE TO OUR FLESH AND REPLACE IT WITH A NEW HEART, A NEW CREATURE. 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  JOHN 15:13 

WHEN JESUS PRAYED OVER HIS DISCIPLES, HE PRAYED THIS WAY:

John 17:26

And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

HE DECLARED HERE THAT THE LOVE OF THE FATHER FOR THE SON MAY BE IN THEM.  THAT’S US. 

John 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 14:23

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 14:24

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

1 JOHN 3

23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 4

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

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 ought also to love one another.

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

GOD IS THE CAUSE AND EFFECT OF ALL THINGS.  LOVE IS THE CAUSE, AND FORGIVENESS IS THE EFFECT. WE DO NOT POSSESS THE POWER IN AND OF OURSELVES TO LOVE AS GOD HAS LOVED, THEREFORE WE CANNOT FORGIVE AS GOD HAS FORGIVEN.  IT TAKES A MOVE OF THE HOLY GHOST.  LOVE WAXES COLD WHERE INIQUITY ABOUNDS AND THE SPIRIT IS STIFLED.  IT TAKES GOD TO MOVE UPON US, CREATE A NEW, CLEAN HEART INSIDE OF US, AND TEACH US ABOUT HIS ABUNDANT EVERLASTING LOVE FOR US, AND THEN DWELL WITHIN US, INFILL US WITH HIS HOLY GHOST, SO THAT WE BECOME NEW CREATURES, WITH GOD DWELLING WITHIN, LOVING THROUGH US, FORGIVING THROUGH US. 

EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST, IF YOU NEED A NEW, CLEAN HEART, NOW IS THE TIME, WHILE IT IS CALLED TODAY.  GOD WANTS TO SET SOMEONE FREE TODAY.   (the end.)

16

OTHER inspirations, that didn’t quite fit in the flow of things but are still incredibly important.

Galatians 5:13

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Galatians 5:14

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

James 2

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

1 peter

22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Romans 13

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Philippians 2:5

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Matt 18
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Luke 17

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

WHEN WE LOOK AT WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US, IN THE WAY OF SALVATION, FILLING US WITH HIS SPIRIT, WE DON’T GO FAR ENOUGH.  THE GIFTS OF GOD ARE WITHOUT RECOMPENSE, AND HE TELLS US THROUGH PAUL TO SEEK THE BEST ONES, BUT DON’T FORGET THE FUNDAMENTAL PART HERE.

1 cor 13

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 JOHN 3

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

1 JOHN 4

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

1 john 5

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Published by neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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