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Living under God’s Canopy of Love

Welcome to the first study of our New Series entitled, “Living under God’s Canopy of Love”.

The next several studies we will look at what it means to live under God’s canopy of love.

We will look at many aspects of Christians living under this banner. Our theme verse is taken from Song of Solomon 2:4. This verse will be our theme but we will be searching the scriptures that will describe “God’s Banner of Love” He has for His children.

My prayer is for us all to be better equipped for God’s service as we discover what it means to live under the canopy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Today is an introduction of the lessons we will study in the following days ahead by taking a closer look at each attribute, word by word that is described in Galatians 5:22-23.

Each characteristic of the Fruit will demonstrate how we God’s children can best live under “God’s Canopy of Love” keeping in mind that God desires the best for us and wants us to live a life that will truly bring glory and honor to Him. Galatians 5:22-23 states: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.

There are nine attributes (characteristic’s) of the Fruit of the Spirit. Everyday Jesus lived under His Father’s canopy of Love. He lived a life fully submitted to His Father’s Will. He never once strayed from His Father’s Love and Guidance. Jesus set the standard by demonstrating what He taught us in Scripture. John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary states: “The fruits of the Spirit, or of the renewed nature, which we are to do, are named. And as the apostle had chiefly named works of the flesh, not only hurtful to men themselves, but tending to make them so to one another, so here he chiefly notices the fruits of the Spirit, which tend to make Christians agreeable one to another, as well as to make them happy.

The fruits of the Spirit plainly present, that such are led by the Spirit. By describing the works of the flesh & fruits of the Spirit, we are told what to avoid & oppose, and what we are to cherish & cultivate; and this is the sincere care & endeavor of all real Christians”.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

To re-cap our introductory study we have learned that Jesus is our perfect example in living out a life that demonstrates all nine attributes (characteristic’s) of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Indeed throughout Christ’s life he demonstrated a life of obedience filled with the Fruit of the Spirit.

1 Chronicles 16:11- Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always… As we truly look to the Lord seeking His face in all that we do the Fruit of God’s Holy Spirit will be lived out through us. Spending time with God in prayer and Bible Study will draw us closer to the Lord and we will stay close to our Heavenly Father living under His watchful eye, under the canopy of His love.

Indeed Love is allowing the love of Christ to flow through you. Love is kind, Love is gentle, and love is putting others before your own needs.

1 Corinthians 13:4-10 and Verse 13

4- Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up,

5- Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil

6- Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth

7- Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

8- Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away

9- For we know in part and we prophecy in part.

10- But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
1 Corinthians13:13 and now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.

Footnotes taken from Nelson Study Bible on 1 Corinthians 13:13: Here is something to ponder within your heart: “Faith enables us to come to God, (Hebrews 11:6) but love enables us to imitate Him”. Christ truly imitated His Father’s Love, daily Christ walked on this earth demonstrating His Father’s love. He fulfilled the Plan and Purpose of His Father, He set the standard and He has laid out the ground work for us showing us how to “Live under God’s Canopy of Love” and His ever watchful eye as He instructs us to be “Imitators of God’s love”.

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Portraits of Christ

Hi All

I am planning to post a Series of Bible Studies entitled Portraits of Christ.

The next several studies will take us on a journey looking at the Character and the Work of Christ through the Gospel of John and the Titles of Christ through Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecies.

Each of the 21 chapters of John contains a portrayal of some aspect of the “Character & or Work of Christ

This study we look at Jesus, the Son of God; His deity (humanity) portrayed.

John 1:1-14

Devotional: Introduction

The Deity of Christ John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

The Word Becomes Flesh: John 1:14

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 10:30 I and My Father are one.”

John 1:1-2 describes the deity (humanity) of Christ.

Jesus the precious Son of God literally put on the Robes of Humanity for you and for me. He came down from Glory, walked this earth to fulfill the Will of His Father to give us abundant life, a life rich in God’s Grace and Truth!

Have you begun this abundant life’s journey? You can by inviting Jesus the Son of God to reign in your heart and life.

Closing Thoughts

To re-cap our study we have embarked on a new series that will be divided into 2 areas of study: Part 1: The Characteristics of Christ through the Book of John and Part 2: The Titles of Christ through the Messianic Prophecies described in the Book of Isaiah.

John’s Gospel takes us on a pictorial journey describing the characteristics and work of Christ; it is through this study that we will hopefully be able to learn from Christ, how He lived & responded in the face of adversity and apply the same truths to our own everyday lives and be the Men and Women God would have us be in our homes, work places and the communities in which we live.

Next Study: Portraits of Christ/Jesus the Divine Teacher. John 3:2-21. This study will teach us principles of Discipleship and Spiritual Vision.

The “I AM’s” of God

The “I AM’s” of God

I AM
I AM THAT I AM
I am a father to Israel
I am a great King
I am alive for evermore (Jesus)
I am Alpha and Omega (Jesus)
I am for you
I am from above (Jesus)
I am God
I am God Almighty
I am gracious
I am he
I am he that comforteth you
I am he that doth speak
I am he that liveth, and was dead (Jesus)
I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts (Jesus)
I am holy
I am in the midst of Israel
I am married unto you
I am meek and lowly in heart (Jesus)
I am merciful
I am the Almighty God
I am the bread of life (Jesus)
I am the door (Jesus)
I am the door of the sheep (Jesus)
I am the first and the last
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob
I am the God of thy fathers
I am the good shepherd (Jesus)
I am the light of the world (Jesus)
I am the living bread (Jesus)
I am the LORD
I am the LORD, and there is none else
I am the Lord GOD
I am the LORD in the midst of the earth
I am the LORD that doth sanctify you
I am the LORD that healeth thee
I am the LORD that maketh all things
I am the LORD that smiteth
I am the LORD, the God of all flesh
I am the LORD thy God
I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt
I am the LORD thy God that divideth the sea
I am the LORD thy God which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go
I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit
I am the LORD which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness
I am the LORD which hallow you
I am the LORD, your Holy One
I am the resurrection, and the life (Jesus)
I am the root and offspring of David (Jesus)
I am the Son of God (Jesus)
I am the vine (Jesus)
I am the way, the truth, and the life (Jesus)
I am their inheritance (speaking of the priests)
I am thy exceeding great reward
I am thy part and thine inheritance (said to the Levites)
I am thy salvation
I am thy Savior
I am thy shield
I am with thee
I am with thee to deliver thee
I am with thee to save thee
I am with you alway (Jesus)

Seeking God with a Compassionate Heart

“Seeking God with a Compassionate Heart”

Opening Comments: What is key here in this study is being men and women consumed with God’s Love and Compassion for a lost and hurting world.

Devotional Study:

We have a perfect example of a compassionate heart through our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He made provision for us by sending Jesus who took our place and went to Calvary’s Cross and paid the penalty for our sins. Because of Christ’s Shed Blood on Calvary’s Cross we have been washed and cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. God’s compassion prevailed.

God’s compassion would not leave us to ourselves. If it were not for our Heavenly Father’s compassion we would still be dead in our sins with no hope, headed for an eternity forever separated from the Love of the Father. Now that is the ultimate compassion, a pure love & compassion that can never be equaled by anyone else.

Lamentations 3:22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.

Over and over again we have seen how Scripture repeats itself telling us that God had compassion on His people, He often repented from the thing He intended to do. God often spared the people because He looked on them with a heart of compassion. Often after the people prayed and poured out their heart before God in repentance He demonstrated a heart of compassion to His people.

Many times God brought blessing down on the people rather than judgment.

That same compassion can fill us and be a reservoir that will overflow from us to the people and the nations we are praying for.

Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jonah 3:10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

John 3:16 says: 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.

Indeed we serve a God who is full of compassion. He truly cares about His people. As we seek the face of God and ask the Lord to change us and give us a heart that is filled with compassion we will set the stage for revival to take place in our lives and in those who we come in contact with. God can change the hearts of the people giving them a heart after God. He can give us hearts that are softened and full of compassion for the nation and its people we are praying for.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says: If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

A B Simpson one of the great revivalist of our time came to know Christ in 1858. It wasn’t long after that his heart was stirred by the power of God, He quickly had a desire to attend Bible College. Soon after he became a Pastor and served in that capacity until 1873 at Knox Church in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was a man of great faith who spent much time in prayer seeking the face of God. He desired to see lives transformed and drawn to the Lord. During the time Simpson served as Pastor in Hamilton the Lord began to stir his heart and gave him a compassion for souls. He surrendered his life completely and died daily to self committing himself to the Work of God.

God gave him a deep desire to “evangelize” which caused his whole life to be consumed praying for the lost. During that time he also wrote a hymn called A Missionary’s Cry.

A hundred thousand souls a day,
Are passing one by one away, in
Christ less guilt and gloom.
Without one ray of hope or light,
With future dark as endless night,
They’re passing to their doom,
They’re passing to their doom.

Just as A B Simpson’s life was transformed and filled with a compassion for the lost, we too can have a heart that is truly seeking after God. We can be vessels that are filled with compassion one for another. Our communities and nations will be impacted for the Kingdom of God. Once the people begin to seek the face of God and pray for a revival to sweep over their land we will see a mighty outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit flowing over the hearts of God’s people.

As individuals and churches are renewed and filled with God’s compassion they will prepare the way for revival to happen in their communities and in their countries. Lives will be transformed, many souls will be won to Christ, healings and deliverance’s will take place. Many will be delivered from drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Communities, Nations and individual lives will forever be transformed to the Glory of God.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

God gave Simpson a vision for a city wide revival in Louisville. As he waited on God in prayer revival broke out in the city. Simpson was used of God and hundreds of people were converted, many were received in to the churches. Lives were delivered, healed and gloriously saved by the Power of God. Simpson lived a consecrated life devoted to reaching souls for Christ. He remained devoted to serving Jesus and was known as a man of Vision and of Faith.

We can follow after Simpson’s footsteps and be men and women of Faith and have a Vision for the Lost. As we wait on God, seek the Lord in Prayer and seek to surrender all to Jesus we too can hear the Still Small Voice of God and be Men and Women after God’s Own Heart. We too can make a difference in our own communities, in our work places, and in our neighborhoods, touching lives and impacting souls for the Kingdom of God.

Canada & the USA are ripe and ready for harvest. We can impact our nation by joining our prayers with others. We as fellow believers can pray that both Canada & the United States of America will be restored and be drawn back to its First Love.

We can learn from Simpson and be men and women who inspire others to live a live that is committed to serving Jesus and one that is committed to serving others. As we seek to hear from God and fulfill our calling there is no telling what God may do with a life that is totally surrendered. A life that is fully surrendered to Jesus can be a life that will do great exploits for God. Indeed Revival begins in the hearts of the people. As our hearts are changed, as we are filled with compassion for the lost, we will impact lives for the Kingdom of God.

Let us be challenged today with A B Simpson’s life, as he was a man of Prayer, Faith and Vision, let us also be Men and Women who are filled with God’s Compassion winning a harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God. Let us be Men and Women who are impacting our Communities & Nations for the Glory of God.

“Believer’s Kept by the Power of God”

“Believer’s Kept” By the Power of God

Text: John 17

1. Kept in the Father’s Name, John 17:11 this was a prayer that Jesus prayed for the keeping of the saints… Jesus asked the Father to protect them so they could remain as One as Jesus and the Father were One. We too can know that no matter what circumstance we face here on earth we are kept by the power of God.

2. Kept in Safety, In Verse 12 Jesus reminded his disciples that while He was with them He protected them. He reminded them that none had been lost except the son of perdition, referring to Judas, who betrayed Jesus. He reminded them that according to John 18:8-9 that Judas was never really one of those given to Christ, and John 6:64-71 that Judas had never really been a believer, and John 13:11 made reference that he had not been cleansed.

3. Kept in Joyfulness, in verse 13 Jesus prayed that they would have a full measure of joy within them, John 15:11 Christ’s joy abides in believers, in us, that His joy might be in us and our joy might be complete. According to Romans 14:17Joy has been promised to the believers.

4. Kept in Purity, in verse 15 Jesus prayed to the Father that He wouldn’t take the disciples out of the world but that He would keep them from the evil one. That they would keep themselves separated, pure before God, fulfilling all that was required of them.

5. Kept Separated from the World, in verse 16 Jesus prayed reminding the Father that they were not of this world as He himself was not of the world…Something to think about, we live in this world, but we are not a part of this world, meaning our real home is in Heaven. Jesus has gone on before us, preparing a place for us when it is our time to be called home, in the meantime we live here on earth doing the Father’s work, abiding in Christ, keeping our eyes on the Finishing Line, Amen!

6. Kept in Process of Sanctification, in verse 17..Jesus prayed that they would be sanctified by the truth, and said Your Word is truth…Sanctify is to be purified, set apart…Isn’t it awesome to know we are sanctified, purified and kept by the power of God, that our lives are held in the palm of His Hands.

7. Kept in Active Service, in verse 18 Jesus prayed to the Father saying as You sent me into the world I have sent them in to the world…they were set apart for active service, they were kept by the power of God, we too can be kept by the power of God in active service, we can depend on God to equip us for active duty. Knowing that we are kept by God’s power it strengthens us knowing that even in this world, we are kept safe, knowing, having the confidence that God is surrounding us with His love and protection.

8. Kept in Perfect Unity, in verse 20-21, here Jesus prays for all believers, praying that they might be one as He was one with the Father. He prayed that the world would know that the Father had sent Him.

9. Kept for the Coming Glory, in verses 22-24 Jesus again prayed for unity, for oneness, for the world to be brought to a complete place of unity knowing that the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus prayed , “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Closing Thought:

Our Heavenly Father has promised to “Keep us”

We are kept by the Power of God, It is the Father’s protection that surrounds us. John 17:11