THIS WEEKS MESSAGE
Presented by Pastor
John S. Torell from his home church
Your reactions and comments are always welcome.
26 October 97
HOW TO LIVE IN GOD'S LOVE
I have been preaching a series of messages on different things. I started two weeks ago: GOD LOVES YOU-BUT DO YOU LOVE GOD?, HOW TO RESPOND TO GOD'S LOVE. Today, we will look upon HOW TO LIVE IN GOD'S LOVE.
I have been agonizing for some time about this problem. I want to speak very candid to you this morning. When you are a pastor of a church, your salary depends upon the congregation. Many times the people or the congregation will control the pastor through the finances. This is one of the things I have been very blessed with; we don't have that problem here. What I'm going to share with you today, some of you might be very upset with. So be it. I have to be very truthful to you and rely upon God the Father. If I rely upon you as a congregation we're done.
I wrote this, Jesus Christ has been speaking to us for the past month. He has been giving me message after message to prepare our hearts for a greater outpouring of His power and love in our lives. I want you to know that each message I give is birthed. It takes a tremendous effort because I agonize over it, I pray over it. After our vacation last summer God showed me many things. I feel he has increased his flow of the Holy Spirit in my personal life. The tragedy is that so many people that are regular attendees here at Resurrection Life of Jesus Christ, do not come every Sunday. What happens is this; if you were taking a college class and only attended occasionally, or came in from time to time, you would miss a vital part of the instruction. This means you would not grasp where we're going or what the program is about.
I was severely criticized years ago by people saying that I only spoke about world government and the anti-Christ. If you have been listening to me for the past few years, I very seldom have a message on the end times. Instead I have been preaching on personal growth through the power of the Holy Spirit. We started on the message INTEGRITY. Then we spoke on THE JOY OF THE LORD. Then God began to deal with THE SPIRIT OF OFFENSE, THE GRUDGE DEMON, THE SPIRIT OF ERROR, THE SPIRIT OF STRIFE, BREAKTHROUGH, THAT KINGSHIP OF BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, YOU ARE A KING, YOU ARE A PRIEST. We spoke about THE REJECTION OF GOD, LYING TO GOD. Then God said, "After you have cleared the deck, begin to tell them about My love. There is a great tragedy in our church. Many people have made Resurrection Life of Jesus their home church, but do not attend regularly, which means they have missed hearing what God is speaking to them. When I asked someone if they have heard the message on cassette tape, I'm told there's no time to listen to the cassette. Many mothers who have small children miss out several weeks at a time. This is due to illnesses with the children or businesses that interferes with church time. When we offer them a cassette, I'm told that the children keep them so busy there is not time to hear a cassette. When I gently ask, "How is your prayer life and Bible reading?" - I'm talking to everyone now-I'm told that urgent business or the children are taking so much time that there is no time for Jesus anymore. I wanted to weep as I wrote this and as I am reading it now! This brings us to the naked truth. When there is no time for Jesus anymore, no time to pray, no time to read the Bible and meditate on the word God, WE HAVE LEFT OUR FIRST LOVE. When there's no time for Jesus there will be famine of the word of God.
Please turn to the book of Amos chapter 8 verse 11. [I pray today that there's no one here that will say, "So what Brother John. Who cares?" I pray that you will care today for your sake.] Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst of water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
I want to try and paint a picture for you as we examine this, this morning. We have some neighbors that live on one side of us. Early this year they started having some sheep. I remember in the spring, around April, that there was a number of newborn lambs. These lambs were very active and happy. They would run around like little puppy dogs. They would run all over their large fenced in area. The sun was shining. The grass was green. The water was cool. These lambs were having a wonderful time. About a month and a half ago I noticed that some of the lambs were put into a smaller area where there was no grass to feed on. I went over one day and I said, "Are you running out of grass? Do you need to have more feed? We have plenty of grass on our property; you are welcome to have some. He said, "No, that is not the problem." The lady said this, "we are preparing these for slaughter. We are not feeding them grass or letting them run anymore. We're feeding them grain and preparing them for slaughter." These lambs had grown and still had a fairly good size area to run and roam around on. Yesterday as a walk by I noticed that the area had been decreased. They had made a pen that was about 20 by 20 feet. There were about four lambs in this area. I realize that these lambs had water and grain but they could no longer run. They were now fenced in. Their mobility had not changed. The lady said, "The butcher will come Monday and slit their throats. That'll be the end of these lambs. I thought that is what the Devil does to you and I. We get saved. We get filled with the Holy Spirit. Our sins are washed away. We are so happy. We have a huge pasture and we run around. We feed on the word of God. We are joyous. We can't wait to tell everyone how great God is and all the things that are happening in our lives. God will begin to bless us. He does bless us and then all the blessings begin to fence us in. The area we move in is now smaller. These lambs do not know today that the sun is still shining and that the sky is still blue. They do not know come Monday there will be a truck driving up to take them to slaughter, where there throats will be slit and bleed them. It is the end of their lives. This is what I see the Devil is doing to, to many of us. We are not recognizing it. We do not understand it. We say we are serving God. We do this and that. I want you today to really examine yourself. Examine yourself; HAVE YOU LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE? Do you take the time to read the Bible on a daily basis? Do you still have your prayer time on a daily basis? Do you still have devotion with your husband or wife on a daily basis? ARE YOU STILL DOING IT? Or have their been fetters laid around you?
When there is famine of God's word in your life, it will result in more strife in your marriage, difficulty in controlling your children, financial difficulties, loss of faith, a general deterioration of your Christian beliefs. Ask yourself this; Is it true with pastor John is saying today? I know this; You can say, "Don't put pressure on me. I'm going to go to another neighborhood church or some other place, where they are a little more understanding." There's nothing I can do. God bless you! I have to give you the best possible advice I can give you. Some of you are spiritually starved. SPIRITUALLY STARVED! I know it. You know it. I AM CONCERNED! But I pray to God you will take my advice. I have spoken these words because I love you. If I didn't love you, I would not speak these things. I would have simply said, "Let's make them very happy today." You will notice that the offering is going to be taken at the end of service. It would be so easy to massage you and make you feel good. I would rather have you be disturbed and talk to Jesus then to make you feel good and be destroyed.
Please turn to the gospel of Luke chapter 9 vs. 51. [We are going to look upon what is God's love and how to live in it. I want to share one more thing with you this morning. I believe this is God's Love coming forth. Listen closely. I received a phone call from a sister in the Lord. She said, "Pastor John, I need permission from you to bring my children today. They have colds and are not well. I have not been to the church for a longtime. I do not want to stay home today." I said to her, "We love you. I would bend over backwards for you. If I would allow you to bring your children to the nursery, I would make the other parents upset. I know you want to come to church, but God has given you these children." I said, "We cannot do it." She said, "Will you pray for me?" I said, "I will pray with you." We prayed. I wanted to do something more. She had been weeping. I could not give her any comfort. The Holy Spirit was giving her comfort. As she hung up the phone, she turned around and talked to her husband. Her husband said to her, "Go get yourself cleaned up and go church. I will watch the children today. You need to go today, I was there last week. Her tears dried up. In the meantime I was praying at home. I was disturbed. The Lord gave me Ephesians chapter 5 about parents, about husbands and wives. Fifteen minutes later I called and spoke to her husband. I said, "I have a message for you." I gave him the scripture and read it to him. He said, "The Holy Spirit has already spoken to me. Praise God this is a confirmation. I'm going to stay at home today. I want to be there with you, but my wife is going to go today in my place." This is love in action. I'm not saying this to lift up one family. I'm saying this to show how the Holy Spirit is working in our church right now. He wants to increase the moving of that love. This is where we unselfishly give of ourselves. Instead of saying, "I want this. I want that."] And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
The key is in verse 55. You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the son of man has not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. You and I need to know this: the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is a Spirit of love. God wants to save all men, women, boys and girls. He does not want anyone to perish. He wants them to have everlasting life.
Please turn to the gospel of John chapter 3 verse 12. [Jesus is speaking here.} If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son in to the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
This is the love of God. This is what we need to sir come to, that we would be able to begin to love people with all of our heart and all of our mind. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.
Turned to first John chapter 3 verse 8. [Last sentence in this verse.] For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
When you lead some to Christ, you destroy the works of the devil. When you are praying for someone that is sick, you destroy the works of the devil. When you forgive someone you destroy the works of the devil.
Turn to the book of Act chapter 10 verse 38. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
I pray to God right now that you will hear me with your spirit man, with your spiritual ears. I cannot preach something if I don't live it. I cannot be a pastor unless I walk with the Lord. I have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. There was a man I had some unfinished business with. This goes back about four or five years. I was very bitter and very angry. I prayed about it. I said in my heart I forgive him, but I do not want to meet him. The man wrote me two letters. He said, "John, will you please meet with me?" His wife wrote a letter saying, "Will you please meet with us? Let us at least pray together and settle this." I refused to answer the letter. The man then went to a pastor in another city. He said, "Would you talk to John? I want you to do it scripturally. I don't have peace. I have to get this settled. There is something between us." The pastor called me up and said, "This man wants to meet with you." Hear me now with your spiritual ears. My heart was cold. I said that I had forgiven him. I spoke the words that I had forgiven him, but I did not want to see his face. I did not want to release him. He had done tremendous harm to this ministry. God let me cook for about three to four years. About three months ago the Lord spoke to me very vividly. He said, "You better meet with that man, now!" I discussed it with my wife and my elder. I called the man up. He said, "What do you want?" I said, "We have some unfinished business. I have sinned against you. When you asked for a meeting, I would not give it to you. You know what happened. We will meet, you and I, no one else, just you and I and the Holy Ghost. We met here in my office for about two to three hours. I had a tremendous release. We were able to pray together. We spoke to one another. I finished that business. What I am talking about here is God's love.
There was another incident that I had not cleared up in my life. Some 11 to 12 years ago. We had some relatives that wanted to come from Sweden to here. They had not been too Swift with us. After the death of my grandmother, one of the in-laws did some cruel action. He re-wrote her testament and numerous other things. He stole from my dad and did many other things to him through the courts. The man wanted to visit with us. My parents and I said, "No!" My wife was not in on this. These people came all the way from Sweden. The day they came to visit we were not home. We simply left town. I had a cold heart. We found that they had been to our homes and left a little note. It said, "We were here, sorry we missed you." They had taken some pictures.
This thing kept festering in me. About two weeks ago this man wrote me a letter saying thank you for the Dove he had been receiving. God said, "Now it is time to settle." IT IS TIME TO SETTLE. Do you hear what I am saying today. It is time to settle some scores. I sat down and I wrote a letter. I said, "I want to ask you for forgiveness, you and your son that came to visit." He is my uncle. I said, "I want to tell you the truth. We were not gone because we had some place special to go. We were gone because we did not want to meet you. That was wrong. Can you and your son forgive me, my dad and my mom for doing this? I quoted the some scripture. I sent the letter off and God gave me one more release.
As we are moving into revival and a spiritual awakening, the Holy Spirit is fine-tuning us. That's what an awakening is-the fine-tuning by the Holy Spirit. We don't have the big sins to deal with anymore such as pornography. God is now dealing with our attitude, our hearts. God wants us to be walking with Him in such love, that His love can be poured out through us and there is no bitterness, no anger, no coldness of heart. I want to tell you this: there is nothing greater than to clear and ask for forgiveness, forgive and break the fetters. The bitterness is gone. The anger is gone. The resentment is gone. Listen to me closely. People have done us wrong. They have hurt us. They stole from us. They took things from us. They did great destruction. When we forgive, God will replace it. Do you understand this? God will replace what they took 100 fold. I have learned this; what I lost, God simply replaces. Don't hang onto your grudges. Don't hang onto unforgiveness. Don't hang onto your anger. This is the reason we preached this some time ago. Today release every person who ever hurt you in your life.
Please turn to Matthew chapter 22 verse 35. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Beloved, this is a great spiritual law given to believers in Christ, not to unbelievers, but to believers in Christ. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and we are to love our neighbor. It has always been a question; who is our neighbor?
Please turn to Luke chapter 10 verse 28. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my nighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I came again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him, Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The priest was a man of God. The Levite was a man God. The Samaritan was a half breed. They were considered outcasts, no good because they were a mixture between Jews. Jesus said this outcast who had no rights according to the Jews, showed more compassion than the children of God. Who is our neighbor? Any person you meet, at anytime: The unlovely, the ungodly, the rebel, the smart mouth person that knows it all, the whiz kid, all these people that rub us wrong that we would simply like to wipe out. Jesus loves them, died for them. God wants us to begin to pour out our love on people around us. It starts in the family. I'm not pointing any fingers today, but I know within this church family there are probably families that have conflicts from time to time. If you say you don't, you are probably lying. We do get upset. Where does love begin? Love begins at home. What happens many times is after we have been married for a while we lose respect for one another. We feel while we are in church we have to be civilized. I don't want them to think that I'm a jerk. I have to be civilized. When I am around my husband or my wife who cares. They know I am a jerk anyway, so I might as well act like one. We hurt each other. This is where love begins when we say I'm going to treat my spouse, my children, my parents and my grandparents the very best I can because they are the closest to me. They have loved me. If I should love anyone it should be those that are closest to me. If you start there you can do a lot of loving with other people.
There are different kinds of love in the Bible. I'm not going to look up the different scripture to it except one. We have one word in Greek. The English usage of love is poor. We love ice cream. We love our dogs. We love God. We love sex. We only have one word. The Greeks had about six different words for love. One is Philadelphia, meaning brotherly love. There is another love called Phileo, which is a love between friends. It has nothing to do with sex.
Please turn to Matthew chapter 10 verse 37. [When I read this God showed me finally what that scripture really meant. I want you to see this today. You have read this verse many times. If you're like me, you say, "I do not understand it", and you move on.] Jesus said, "He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." The Greek word used here is Phileo. He says he that loves father or mother with a friendly love. This is a friendly love toward your people here on earth. The friendly love cannot be compared with the Agape love. God is saying, "If you cannot love me more than a friendly love, you are out." God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit does not want you to have a friends love toward Him. He wants you to have an Agape love, meaning a divine love. There is another word for love in the Greek which is Philanthropia. This word is used to describe rich people who give money and gifts. It means the general love of mankind. The Greek word for sexual love is Eros. This word means physical and action. The love that Jesus talked about is Agape love. It is used in the new Testament as a love that God has for man.
Please turn to first Corinthians chapter 13 verse 1. [If you do not have a Greek inter-linear I would urge you to buy one. This will help you to do word studies. You'll see the differences as you study the word.] Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not[Agape] charity, [the old English word for love is charity. You hear the word charity today and you think of the Salvation Army or Good Will. The word here is love, Agape.] I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 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, [Agape, God's divine love.]I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity,[Agape love, divine love.] it profiteth me nothing. Charity [Agape] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [God's love.] envieth not; charity [God's love does not want itself.] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not herown, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [This is the kind of love that God want this church to have. Agape love. A driving burning desire to reach out, to tough somebody, to minister to someones need who is hurting. To give of yourself. To give of your needs. When this love is operating the Holy Ghost is all over you. It was the Agape love that sustained Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.
Please turn to Matthew chapter 26 verse 36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. than saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry you here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. [What did Jesus saying at that time? He saw a merciless crowd. He saw a crowd that would beat him up all night. He saw a crowd that would rip off his beard with the skin. He saw a crowd that would spit in his face and hit him and then say, "Prophesy if you be the son of God." He saw the Roman soldier with the whip that was nine feet long giving him 39 lashes, starting at the neck and ending at the ankles, where he was naked and tied to a whipping post. The Roman soldier would whip him with that whip that had glass sewed into the leather and scraps of metal. It would cut every part of his skin. He knew at that time, with every stripe, every disease from Adam and Eve to today to the last man that lives would be poured out upon him. Every cancer, arthritis, pneumonia, all skin diseases, every disease that will ever exist on this planet Earth would be laid upon Jesus Christ. He would be the sickest man in the universe. He knew that he would have to stagger to the cross and receive a nail in each wrist, His legs crossed and a nail put through his feet. He knew after a few hours His chest muscles would go into spasms. People that were crucified would have spasms that would rip the muscles and burst. The person would be unable to breathe and their lungs would fill up with water. Then the person would try to hold themselves up with their legs so that they could breathe. The leg muscles would eventually start cramping and then they would rip. It is the most agonizing death. The worst thing of all is He knew that God would be separated from Him. Understand this, He said, "Oh my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as you will." Beloved while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. When you scream at the top of your lungs, when you are the ugliest that you can be, remember this, Jesus saw you, he died for you just as you are because he loves you that much. THAT IS LOVE! That is Agape love. Divine love. Forgiveness is what made him walk to Calvary and die for you and I.]
Please turn to the gospel of Luke chapter 23 verse 27. [I have never spoken these words before I just wrote them out. God gave them to me. FORGIVENESS IS DIVINE. This is one of God's divine attributes. Satan does not have this attribute, neither do the demons (Satan cannot forgive, a demon cannot forgive. Forgiveness is not in their nature.) forgiveness is BORN OUT OF AGAPE LOVE. Get this picture right now. Forgiveness is when God the creator, the maker of all things, in his glory and splendor and full strength says, "Yes, I could wipe you out as an ant, but through my strength and love I choose to forgive you." A weak man and a weak woman cannot forgive. Drug dealers do not forgive; they kill. Pimps do not forgive; they kill. Possessive love does not forgive; it kills. We see the possessive love of many people as marriages breakup the man or woman would take a gun and say, "If I can't have you no one will." They shoot their spouse and then take their own life. That is possessive love, which is of Satan. It is not divine. To forgive is to show strength. It used be that I was afraid to forgive because I thought I would lose face. I have learned that I would rather lose face with people and gain respect in the spiritual world then to lose face before God and have fear of men. You think about that.] And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him, but Jesus turning unto them and said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
In the early 1950s five young American men said goodbye to their wives and children here in America. They had selected to go as missionaries to a tribe in the Amazon. This was a tribe that had never heard the gospel. They went down to Brazil, to the Amazon River where these Indians lived. They landed at a beach area. I believe their missionary work did not last more than 15 minutes. All five were killed savagely at that beach. When their wives heard the news that there husbands had been murdered, all five of them a gave their children to relatives to take care of. The five women went down to Brazil to the Amazon River. When the tribesmen saw these women coming with an interpreter they asked, "What do you want?" These five women said, "God loves you. You killed our husbands, but we still want to tell you that Jesus loves you and give you the gospel." It shattered the tribesmen. They did not know what forgiveness was. They did not know what love was. In a few years that entire group of Indians accepted Christ and became mighty preachers of God in that region. Do you have this kind of love? I want you to think about yourself today. Do you really have this Agape love in you so that you are a giver of yourself or are you just saved. You want to go to heaven, you love the Lord, but at the same time you are cautious; you're not giving of yourself completely. God wants you and I to surrender totally to Him. Can you say that when someone does you in, in traffic or when someone has cheated you in business, will you say, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Or do give them the finger or a dirty word. Forgiveness is divine.
Holding a grudge is Satanic. Forgiveness is an ABSOLUTE MUST FOR THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST!
Please turn to Matthew chapter 6 verse 14. [For years I harbored anger, resentment and unforgiveness. Yes, I was saved. Yes, I could preach. I was limited. God is love could not flow through me completely.] For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
This is what came to me and broke me. I cannot be forgiven unless I forgive. I want to be forgive. I do not want to carry a burden.
Please turn to Mark Chapter 11 verse 25. [This is Jesus speaking] And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
We have no choice but to forgive.
Please turn to Matthew chapter 18 verse 21. [A believer in Christ who cannot forgive does not have God's Agape love in him. For years I have been limited. God has used me, but I was limited. Sometime ago God broke that. I no longer have to live with that.] Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 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. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: [about 50 cents] and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 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: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservants, even as I had pity on thee?
Husbands, Jesus is asking you this question. I forgave all what you did to me and all your sinful life; should you not forgive your wife? Wives, Jesus is saying to you, I forgave you all those things should you not also forgive your husband?
Verse 34, And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.
What does it mean to forgive with your heart? It is not enough to say I will forgive you. I will not hold any grudge against them. If they are alive, it means to be able see their face and say, "In the name of Jesus, I forgive you." It kills your pride. It destroys the work of Satan. It builds the love of God. In order to worship our heavenly Father in spirit and truth, we have to have forgiveness.
Please turn to Matthew chapter 5 verse 23. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
Have you thought about this? You raise your hands to worship the Lord. You raise your hands and sing your song. Have you thought about this? Maybe God is saying these hands are not clean because there's unforgiveness on them. There is a grudge. There is unfinished business. God says, "I cannot receive your worship until you have clean hands." Let the blood of Jesus wash them. We cannot be forgiven until we forgive and we release. ARE YOU HEARING WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SAYING TODAY? Jesus said, "Serve one another." Look this up yourself please in the gospel of John chapter 13.
Please turn to John chapter 15 verse 8. [Jesus is speaking here.] Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. [AGAPE] Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. [We have to begin to love one another like we have never done before. It is divine.] You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.
Please turn to second Corinthians Chapter 11 verse 22. [We wonder what kind of man was Paul. He was a man of love.] Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are the ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? [Verse 11] Wherefore? because I love you not? [The word for love here is Agape.] God knoweth.
Beloved, Paul lived about 2,000 years ago. Understand this, without the Apostle Paul, you and I would not be here today. The Apostle Paul was a man living some 1900 years ago. He was a Pharisee, the chief of the secret police in Israel. A murderer. God saved him. Filled him with the Holy Ghost. His name was changed from Saul to Paul. He was filled with so much love that he broke his body. He died at the age of 60 when he laid down his neck. The man with the big sword severed his head from his body. He said in his letter, "I have finished my course. I am ready to be sacrificed." It was Paul that delayed the foundation of the gospel into the West. Without Paul the gospel would have gone east and God knows what would have happened. We still read Paul's letters today and preach from them. You talk about a pyramid thing. Brother Paul is still receiving dividends, rolling in 1900 years after his death; they are still putting dividends in his account in heaven. He gave his life. He gave it all. He said, "I am a bond slave for Jesus Christ." What have you given for Christ in your life? If you were to die today, what would be said on your tombstone at the cemetery? What would it say there? Would it say, "Here lies a man that knew how to play bridge." Or would it say, "A man that loved much and gave of himself for Jesus Christ." How do you want to be known as a man or woman of God? How deep is the Agape love in you? HOW DEEP IS THE AGAPE LOVE IN YOU? Only you can answer that question.
Please turn to the book of Revelation chapter 2 verse 1. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left they first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches. As you come to the invitation right now, some of you have heard my message on Integrity. You heard my message on The Joy of the Lord. I went on to speak about The Spirit of Offense, The Grudge Demon, The Spirit of ERROR, The Spirit of Strife, Breakthrough, Kingship, The Office of a Priest, The Rejection of God, Lying to God, God Loves You-But Do You Love God, How to Respond to God's Love; today is the finale-How to Live in God's Love. The Holy Spirit is telling me that He is pleased with this church because we do not do Halloween. He is pleased with us because we do not do idolatry, Christmas and the rest of the worldly holidays. He is pleased with us because we are trying to walk with Him, but He has one thing against us. WE HAVE LEFT OUR FIRST LOVE! [Many of us.] We have left our first love. Today he is saying like He did to this church-He will remove the Candlestick, which means the anointing. God does not need another church that is a mausoleum. He does not need another maga-church that does like the rest of the church world. God is looking for a people that are pliable, that are willing to repent, that are willing to pour out our love, to be poured out ourselves, so that Christ can use us. I want to be that church. I cannot be at alone. It takes all of us. Will you be willing today to say, "God, today I hurt. God, today I know I have to deal with my unforgiveness." Some of you may already have done this. Praise God, pray for the rest of them. Some of you have some unfinished business. It needs to be handled.
There is a special song that we're going to sing. It is called The Altars are Open. We're going to pray first. My heavenly Father, we thank You for being here today. Father God, You know that I love these people very much Lord. You made this church not the pastor. These are the sheep that you gave me, Father God, to be the elder pastor over. Father God, I just pray you touch them. Touch them, Father God, like you have never touch them before. Lord give us ears to here with today.
May God richly bless you is my prayer!