You Can Be Certain That God Loves You

It’s amazing how many people I have spoken with over the years who have said something to me along the lines of “I wish I knew that God loved me”, “I really wish He would just tell me!”. I know that feeling well, myself. I used to say the exact same things… I just wanted some assurance, I wanted some sign, to prove to myself that not only was God out there, but on a more personal level, that He actually cared for me, and that He actually loved me. So I absolutely understand and appreciate what people mean when they say this to me.

God understands it too, and there is nothing wrong with wanting such a sign, or a proof of God’s love! In-fact He has given us exactly what we have asked for… a sign of His love for us.

What I want to share with you today, is precisely how and why you can be completely certain of God’s love for you, personally. And by seeing this, you will be able to have a more relaxed, and open and free relationship with God, built solid on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

The Last Adam and Who You Really Are

People often ask me why I talk so much about our identity in Christ. I have been asked on more than one occasion, why I don’t talk about something “more relevant”… and each time I respond the exact same way: I say, Sir / Ma’am, there is nothing more relevant than the Gospel of Jesus Christ; there is nothing more relevant than the truth of what He has done and of who we are in Him. That is the very truth that makes us free.

Now there have been some I have said that to, that had their eyes opened, and suddenly realized what I was saying – and there have been others I have said that to, that have snickered and became offended and went off in search of whatever trending topic was going on for that week, but the truth remains, that a vast majority of Christians in the world today are still living weak and powerless lives, with more defeats than victories, and it’s all because of a simple lack of understanding regarding the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s all due to ignorance of what Jesus has really done, and who we are in Him; and so that is what I want to share with you today.

The Essence of the Gospel and Love

At first, the title of today’s study might seem a bit disjointed, the essence of the Gospel and love. You might wonder if it wouldn’t be better to split these into two separate studies. Well, I thought about it, but the more that I explored each, I came to realize that the two cannot truly be separated; they are integral to one another. Without Love, there is no Gospel, and without the Gospel there is no Love. A surprising number of people today do not understand the basic foundation, the basic central core and essence of the Gospel message… all they really know, is that this guy Jesus, at some place and some time, died by crucifixion, and that for some reason He did it for them. (They may also include that He died for their sins).

What I have found is that for most people, these have become empty statements, lacking substance, lacking the essence of God’s Love and their personal identity in Christ. It’s one thing to say with your mouth that Jesus died for your sins – but it’s quite another to apply that reality to your life and to live from that place every single day. To take the fact that Christ has made you a completely new creation, and to apply it personally, and to make that identity completely yours, is the true essence of the Gospel. A fact that has been largely watered-down and even lost in many Christian circles today.

True Fasting in God’s Eyes

Simply mention the word “fasting” and most people will conjure up images of giving up food, depriving oneself of something vital, or otherwise sacrificing something. The word “fasting” in secular usage has only the meaning of abstaining from food and/or drink, and that is what most Christians understand it to mean as well.

Furthermore, I have encountered many people that fast as a religious observance, because they are trying to “get God’s attention” – although not everyone will readily admit that. In our discussions, when I have asked them why they were fasting, it has always boiled down to the core of either wanting an answer to prayer or wanting to be closer to God – and while these may seem like holy and righteous reasons, I have had to tell them the honest truth, that nothing they could ever do, will ever make them closer to God than what Jesus did over 2,000 years ago on the cross. No sacrifice that we can make today, can ever make us closer to God than the one offered by His Son all those years ago. And most of these people were offended at that statement.

What I want to share with you today, is the portrait of true fasting. Not what man thinks fasting is, but instead what God says fasting is, and the type of fasting that He actually wants. And I believe that by the end of our study today, many chains will be broken, and many burdens lifted, because it is the truth of Jesus Christ that will make us free, and that includes His truth regarding fasting as well.

Don’t Let the Tares Spoil Your Harvest

A popular phrase, is that “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.” It’s a bit simplistic. My mother managed to simplify it even further to “Don’t be a downer!”. And there is no place that this advice is needed more, than in the realm of the spirit. I remember one time when I was in a small group and we were having a time of prayer, specifically for healing; we were praying for a specific person who was sick and not able to attend that meeting, and it seemed as though a were achieving breakthroughs, but then as our prayer time came to an end, one lady spoke up and said “you know, my friend had those same exact symptoms and she died.”

As soon as those words were uttered, the atmosphere completely changed. The hearts of everyone became somber, and their spirits were all moved from “Yes God is a great Healer!” to “Well, maybe He doesn’t heal.” – all of the belief was sucked out of the room.

My friend, this is not always just blind ignorance. There is a deliberate strategy of the enemy at work here to sabotage the faith and belief of God’s children. Jesus spoke about this exact thing, He taught on it, and the disciples and apostles also warned against it. And today I want to share with you, what Jesus said about the wheat and the tares, and how to not let them spoil you from receiving everything that God has given to you.

Live in Love, Live in Jesus

There’s a lot of religious lingo in our culture today – and Christianity is no exception to that statement. Christians use phrases such as “being in Christ” a phrase that I use often as well, and even borrowed it for the title of today’s study. Some others are “saved” and “redeemed”,”sanctified / holy”, even “eternal life”. We use these words, but do we really have an understanding of what they truly mean?

If we don’t know the meaning of words, the message falls flat… if I’m speaking another language, one that you don’t know, the message of what I am saying will be lost to you.

Even the word “Gospel” has lost it’s meaning to people today. The word comes from the phrase “God Spel” meaning “good news”. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed good news, even better than what we have come to make it out to be most of the time. God has done something greater than what we can even imagine. And it is the good news for us to receive; but many have not been receiving because the message has been lost. This is what what we will be studying today.

Eternal Life, A Relationship With Jesus

When we hear the words “eternal life” many images and ideas come to mind. For most, it conjures a moment in time when one prayed a payer to go to heaven, that is what is generally believed because that is the idea that is most often taught in churches all across the world. They say “if you are unsure of your destination when you die, simply pray this prayer and you can go to heaven.” Simply pray the sinners prayer, or invite Jesus into your heart, are all common Christian lingo, for what amounts to basically nothing more than spiritual fire-insurance.

It’s no surprise then that people see God as distant and impersonal – just a being up in heaven, with no real interest in their day-to-day lives. They don’t know Him, because honestly, they have never been introduced! The finished work of Christ has been reduced to a cold, emotionless contract.

The scriptures however paint a very different view of God, and the sacrifice of Jesus for you; as well as eternal life. In truth they are much more than the way in which they have been presented. And this is what we will be studying today.

Relax, God is Not Angry With You

I’ve encountered many people throughout my years, whom I have shared the truth with, that God is not angry with them. And many times, their response, was “I wish I could believe that.” They couldn’t receive the truth of God not being angry with them, because they were measuring His attitude towards them using a different standard. Instead of looking at the truth in scripture, they were looking at their current circumstances, their emotions and feelings of the moment, to gauge God’s mood, instead of what His eternal word says. When things were going well, God was obviously happy, and when things were not going well, God was obviously displeased. And so for these people, thy were constantly living a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Never on a solid foundation, but always on the shifting sand of the present moment.

However, God does not want us to live that way… that’s not the abundant life that He came to give us. He paid a high and precious price to reconcile us with Himself – and that is not a maybe, or a half-hearted reconciliation. Jesus has done a complete work, one that has a sure result; one that we can be confident in, and one that does not waiver back and forth like the wind, or get tossed around by the waters of daily life. What we will be studying today is why you can be absolutely sure of your status with God today. Why you can be bold and confident in your relationship with Him, and know beyond all doubt, why He is not angry with you today.

Stay in the Simplicity of Christ

There’s a statement I often say that sometimes offends people… that the Gospel is simple, and there is great simplicity in Christ. This sometimes offends people because they are thinking of the word “simple” to mean stupid. This sometimes also offends people because they have spent their entire lives working hard and studying the scriptures, yet the Gospel is so simple that even a child can understand. So with one single statement I have managed to offend a wide audience. Yet in no way am I suggesting that the Gospel of Christ or Christ Himself are stupid, nor am I suggesting that studying the Gospel is of no value. It may in-fact surprise you to learn that my statement does not originate with me, but it is from the scriptures themselves.

The simplicity of the Gospel of Christ has been largely corrupted in modern Christianity today; replaced by something complicated, convoluted and full of mans efforts… not at all what Jesus intended. This is what we will be studying today. We will be taking a look at what the true simplicity of the Gospel is, and by seeing this we will also be able to see some of the ways man has complicated what God has made simple.

Healing is Your Right in Christ

Over the years I have talked with a lot of people about healing. And it is surprising how often the conversations take the same paths over and over again. Many people suffer from the same misconceptions and wrong beliefs when it comes to the blessings of God and specifically healing. Sure they know that God is capable to heal, but they do not believe that he is willing to heal, and this can take many different forms, such as God is using a sickness to teach me a lesson, or that God is keeping me sick so that I can be a greater witness for Him – even though none of these ideas are supported in the scriptures. However, the fact that these wrong beliefs are not taught in this scriptures, has not really stopped them from spreading to many people in the body of Christ, and caused them to develop a wrong understanding of the nature and character of God as a result.

That’s why in this study today, we will be examining how healing is actually your right in Christ Jesus. He has paid for you to have it, and He wants you to be healed even more-so than you can possibly imagine. God is not withholding healing from you, nor is He your enemy. As you see these truths from scripture, they will expand and increase your ability to see the goodness and mercy of God, and will help you to replace the many misconceptions about God and healing with right believing founded on Biblical truth.