Many people who do not believe in Christ do not see what He did on the cross as love either– but that was the GREATEST form of love!
Sharing the truth is love!
“Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
Pinocchio is a fictional character carved out of wood by Gepetto, a lonely woodcarver who longed for a son. The puppet is brought to life by a blue fairy, who informs him that he can become a real boy if he proves himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish”. Pinocchio’s efforts to become a real boy involve encounters with a host of unsavory characters.
Familiarity with the story of Pinocchio shows that we are all formed by God
and given the gift of a conscience but repeatedly turning to go our own
ways and following the lies of Satan, harden our hearts to sin and its
road to ruin. As Pinocchio lied, it was evidenced in the growing of his nose.
Jesus sent us to go and make disciples; not to
sit and make excuses.
There are two roads, one is the path of least resistance and it is the road to hell, albeit paved with good intentions, nevertheless, it only ends in death. The narrow road is the one that leads to life, ever-lasting and more abundant.
A Story About Forgiveness
One of Satan’s scheming tactics is to cause you to get your nose out of joint over something trivial so he can get you off-balance, not trusting in the Lord but walking unsteady.
He is trying to get you to give up.
But Jesus SAYS, “Never betray My trust; “get over it” and keep walking in My will.”
In other words, it takes BOTH faith and patience to inherit God’s PROMISES so just persevere through it,
for THERE will be grace to handle it if you chose not to believe Satan’s lies.
No sitting on your hands making excuses, rise and walk in the name of Jesus the Christ.
This is how we OVER COME:
Salvation and power are established!
Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves;
they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
but doom to earth and sea,
For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet;
he’s had a great fall;
He’s wild and raging with anger;
he hasn’t much time and he knows it.
“It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
If your love is “selfish” then it’s not truely love.
For instance, if you’re an inquisitor, trying to force someone to see God the same way you do,
that’s not true love of your neighbor, but selfish love of your own mind,
and trying to force others to be the same mind as you.
BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them.
They seem like so much silliness.
Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion.
Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.
Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?”
has been answered:
Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16)
Beautiful feet don’t come from a SPA.
Beautiful feet come from the MISSION FIELD.
Pinnochio’s true freedom and real identity came in seeking to rescue Gepetto:
Joy is spelt J(esus), O(thers), S(elf).
If you find any comfort from being in the Anointed, if His love brings you some encouragement, if you experience true companionship with the Spirit, if His tenderness and mercy fill your heart; then, brothers and sisters, 2 here is one thing that would complete my joy—come together as one in mind and spirit and purpose, sharing in the same love. Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first.
In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts. Remember:
Though He was in the form of God,
He chose not to cling to equality with God;
But He poured Himself out to fill a vessel brand new;
a servant in form
and a man indeed.
The very likeness of humanity,
He humbled Himself,
obedient to death—
a merciless death on the cross!
So God raised Him up to the highest place
and gave Him the name above all.
So when His name is called,
every knee will bow,
in heaven, on earth, and below.
And every tongue will confess
“Jesus, the Anointed One, is Lord,”
to the glory of God our Father!
Pinocchio has proven himself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and he is reborn as a real human boy
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in Him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust Him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to Him.
“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”
25:19. Confidence in an unfaithful man is painful and vexatious; when we put any stress on him, he not only fails, but makes us feel for it. 20. We take a wrong course if we think to relieve those in sorrow by endeavouring to make them merry. 21,22. The precept to love even our enemies is an Old Testament commandment. Our Saviour has shown his own great example in loving us when we were enemies. 23. Slanders would not be so readily spoken, if they were not readily heard. Sin, if it receives any check, becomes cowardly. 24. It is better to be alone, than to be joined to one who is a hinderance to the comfort of life. 25. Heaven is a country afar off; how refreshing is good news from thence, in the everlasting gospel, which signifies glad tidings, and in the witness of the Spirit with our spirits that we are God’s children! 26. When the righteous are led into sin, it is as hurtful as if the public fountains were poisoned. 27. We must be, through grace, dead to the pleasures of sense, and also to the praises of men. 28. The man who has no command over his anger, is easily robbed of peace. Let us give up ourselves to the Lord, and pray him to put his Spirit within us, and cause us to walk in his statutes.
(Matthew Henry, commentary on Proverbs 25:19-28)
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
He will watch over the footsteps of the faithful,
but the wicked will be made silent in the darkness,
for one does not win by strength alone.
The Eternal One will shatter His foes;
from His throne in heaven, He will thunder with rage.
The Eternal One will be judge to the ends of the earth;
He gives strength to His king,
And power to the one He chooses to rule.
(1 Samuel 2:9-10)
Who, then, are those who fear the LORD? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
a If we claim that we experience a shared life with Him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God Himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.
In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.
Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet,
so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
The LORD delights in those who fear Him,
who put their hope in His unfailing love.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.