Fingerprint of God, love God by loving each other.
Earth is a hard place to live, but in our living here we are given our own, personal opportunities to love God.
We express our love for God each time we show love to our brothers and sisters, His ‘other kids’. And also when we love those ‘still on the outside’, those kids of His yet to be born.
Every moment we are still here says not only that we still have a purpose here, but also says He is trusting us to love Him still. It is an entrusting to us with His family, His loved ones. (Tim. 6:19-21~…guard what was committed to your trust…which is referring to the Holy Spirit in us, the fruit of Whom is Love…)
Song: I can see the fingerprints of God when I look at you! ~ resonates in me, and plays in my mind whether or not I have heard it recently.
In Exodus 31:17-19 and 32:15-17, (and in Deuteronomy 9:10-12) we see the first mention that God wrote with His own finger on tablets of stone, writing on the tablets what was originally called ‘the Testimony’ and the perpetual covenant, later to be called the commandments (law).
(Also, in these chapters 31 and 32 of Exodus we see Moses as the great intercessor of the people, his brothers and sisters, though they deserved great wrath and judgment, and though the cost of their sin was great to himself. He not only pleaded for their salvation, but also, as he stood in a position of knowing God, He was able to remind Him of His own testimony to the nations through His people.)
The finger of God is still this day writing His testimony on us, tablets of flesh, as the testimony of His grace and love.
2 Cor. 3:2-4 States: “You are our epistle (letter, written instruction, message or command) written in our hearts, known and read by all men; you are manifestly (to make known or visible what has been hidden or unknown, make actual, realized, be made known of a person, expose to view, to show one’s self, to be plainly recognized, thoroughly understood who and what one is) an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is of the heart.”
In John 13:34,35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We have a new commandment written upon the flesh of our hearts that should be able to be read by others, testifying of God’s goodness in each of our lives ~ love one another.
1 Peter 4:7-10 And above all things have fervent (stretched out, stretched forth, over, towards; put forth, cast, earnestly, without ceasing) love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.
Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold (various colours, variegated, of various sorts) grace of God.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.”
1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
In these scriptures, it becomes clear that there is a purpose for every member of this body, this brotherhood that we are born into. It is even clearer that each person has an important part, and separate, various gifts, as well as various expressions of the grace of God-even showing the colors of God and His grace!
The more of us that are present together, the more known the grace and love of God become, visible in and through us. As we honor all people, and they witness our love for one another, they will come in. They will see a more complete picture of the variety of God’s grace and more readily come to Him, realizing that they too have a place, a part, their own colour, and that there is room for yet one more.
Not only should we stir up the gift of God that is in us ourselves (2 Tim. 1:6), but we should also consider each other to stir up love and good works (Heb. 10:24, above). We are to be exhorters, all of us with the gifts we have, encouraging each other, building each other up. In so doing, we stir up the love and individual variety of good works of the whole group.
Now, as the scripture says in John 17:20-23
“That they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
…in other words, separately together. He thinks of us as one-together. In the trinity of God, there are three separate beings, each with His own personality and purpose. (1 John 5:7) Yet, they all three together are one God. Separately together.
We are all connected and each one part of the whole body, yet each part is also separate. We each have our own individual identity, but must remember that we are all one body, and the body has an identity of its own, also.
We are to know and maintain our own individual purpose and destiny, while also remembering the corporate purpose and destiny-that the world may know Him.
1 Corinthians 12:12, 26,27
“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
Remember also that to lose one is to be amputated.
And not just that if we lose the little toe, we have a toe amputated, but potentially the whole foot, or worse! Not only do we as individuals have influence in our own “personal circle”-those we touch, but we also have those we touch who are ‘still on the outside’!
So, what if that part of the foot was to be the one to connect to each part of the foot, keeping it all together and functioning, yet was cut off, or cut itself off? Where would the foot be then? What if the ankle on that side of the body decided to go with the foot? And what about the knee on that side? Without the foot, where would the whole body be?
…Disabled. Moving and functioning, but with great difficulty, with less freedom and ease, and certainly not with the beauty and grace that was intended.
Who would want to be part of that body?
Yet our Lord and Savior chooses to be the head of this body, which has such a pattern of self injury and mutilation! He sees the finished work in the body, and is patient with us until the work is complete.
Are we, as His body, showing the beauty of His grace?
In Matthew 7:22,23 (which is given in context of bearing fruit and doing the will of the Father) we see people standing before the Lord, thinking and believing that they are His. They are reminding Him of all their great exploits, having prophesied in His name, having worked miracles in His name, etc. It is interesting that they have been riding on, and cashing in on, the authority of His name and it has had the power and effect desired, with the fruit being that those things were performed.
Yet He says here, I never knew you! They were not part of His own body, yet they believed they were.
It was possible for these to perform miracles, signs and wonders in His name without ever knowing Him, or being known by Him.
It is my belief that since it says He never knew them, yet they seemed to think they knew Him, it is quite possible that they even read the word, quoted it and prayed, perhaps even feeling some “anointing”. Yet He says He did not know them.
They thought He knew them, and so obviously they were not in touch with what really mattered to Him.
His mark-fingerprint-was not on them, nor His name.
Is it possible that this was because they did not love Him by loving their brothers and sisters? Or by loving their neighbors? Did they cut themselves off thinking they did not have to ‘put up with’ these others?
He says if we love Him we will love one another, that we cannot love Him and withhold love from each other.
The truth is that while many are moving in great gifts, not all are bearing the fruit of His Spirit, and the first fruit listed in Galatians 5:22 is love. Could loving the brethren be the firstfruit that He desires for us to bring Him?
In 1 John 2:9-11 it says the “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother is in darkness until now.
He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know here he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
1 John 2:5 “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
1 John 1:5-9
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and then when we confess our sins they will be cleansed. I believe break in fellowship can very much block the cleansing of sin in each of us.
Notice how many times He has to tell us, even command us to love one another. Obviously it is not natural, and does not come easily. It is certainly not in reference to the love that we extend to those we like to love and get along with.
This must be the tough love that comes from pressing into Him, through whatever the problems and natural responses we would have, and insisting on obeying Him, no matter the cost.
Love is obedience in action.
It is really not a feeling at all, or even a warm fuzzy. It is an act of the will.
I choose to obey, because it is the highest expression of love for My Father in heaven, and of Christ who sacrificed all for me, for us all.
It really is not about you, or me. It is about us in Him, so that the world may know Him.
I choose to love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love my neighbor- the one who is in need (Luke 10:29-37) as myself. I choose to love the brotherhood of Christ, whether they please me or not, whether I agree with them or not, whether I like them or not, whether they love me or not.
Easy or hard. I will love my brothers and sisters. Easy or hard.
May the finger of God write the testimony of His grace and love in each of our lives.
“egal was es Kostet” (No matter the cost.)