Supernatural Love

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

We hear it said, “You can be whatever you want to be.” That advice should have these two words added: “within reason.” Try as they might, some people will never become Olympic athletes, astronauts, concert violinists, or Arctic explorers. They may be too old or too young, lack the necessary ability, or have started too late in life. No amount of desire or willpower can overcome some obstacles in life.

The same is true when it comes to manifesting love of a supernatural quality. It is not part of man’s natural constitution to love selflessly, sacrificially, or unconditionally. That doesn’t mean it never happens in the natural world. It simply means it is contrary, in the long run, to man’s self-centered motivation. We cannot naturally love like God, but we can supernaturally love like God. Paul writes that, by the indwelling Spirit of God, we can manifest God-like love: “The fruit of the Spirit is love . . ..” (Galatians 5:22). If God is love, and God indwells us by His Spirit, we can love as He loves.

Ask God to empower you with His Spirit daily to display the love of God to everyone you meet.

It is no use to anybody for a tree to bud and blossom if the blossom does not develop into fruit.  Martin Luther 

Our Rewards in Heaven

Matthew 6:16-20

Have you ever thought about what type of rewards you are going to receive when you get to heaven? The Bible explains the criteria God will use to determine these rewards and what kind of conduct will deserve them. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we will be judged on the basis of the light we have received—that is, the truth God has made available to us—and what we have done with the opportunities we were given.

Furthermore, we find that some specific actions and attitudes will result in certain rewards. For instance, we are told in the book of Matthew that there is a great reward stored up in heaven for those who are insulted and persecuted for Jesus’ sake (Matt. 5:11-12). Elsewhere, the Lord tells us that acts of kindness done for His followers will be noted and rewarded (Matt. 25:40). Even a cup of water given to a thirsty disciple will not be overlooked on judgment day (Matt. 10:42).

Included among the rewarded are those whom God calls to leave family and personal possessions for the sake of the gospel. Another action that draws the Father’s special attention is love directed toward our enemies. For this behavior, there will be a great reward, and we will be called “sons of the Most High” (Luke 6:35).

Sometimes others seem to prosper and reap a great harvest without even noticing how we prepared the soil. Yet God assures us that neither the one who plants nor the one who waters will be overlooked (1 Cor. 3:8). The Lord sees each detail, and everything done for His sake will be rewarded.

Job and Friends

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite.” (Job 2:11)

When this epic poem begins, Job is wealthy by any standards (Job 1:3). He was likely a tradesman, something of an import-export businessman, with vast livestock and wholesale food supplies, equipping distance caravans for himself and others.

His friends lived at different points across the Arabian Peninsula. Eliphaz was from Teman, a city in the northern part of the land later known as Edom. Bildad was from Shuhu, somewhat south of Haran near the southern borders of what is now Turkey. Zophar was from Naamah, which was likely located to the east in the south of Canaan. Elihu, the young man who speaks later in the book, was from Buz, in northern Arabia.

These men came to comfort Job from some distance, but although they had a strong conviction about a Creator God, they struggled with a “works” salvation, continually accusing Job of having a secret sin of some sort. But God had said, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8).

In his own defense, Job insisted that everyone knew of his godly behavior. “When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me. . . . I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind. . . . I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth” (Job 29:11-17). Would to God that each of us could have the same confidence in our behavior. HMM III

Adapted from The Book of Beginnings  by Dr. Henry M. Morris III.

“Be careful for nothing.”

Matthew 6:25-34

The way in which the Lord supplied the needs of his people in the desert, suggests to us a meditation upon the divine care and faithfulness as to the temporal wants of his people. It is our privilege to depend upon the Lord for everything as much as Israel did in the wilderness. It is still true that our God will supply all our needs. Hence our Lord Jesus has taught us to keep clear of all carking care and to walk by faith. Let us read his words in

Matthew 6:25

So not fret and worry about such secondary things. God who gives us lives and bodies will give us food and clothing.

Matthew 6:26

Martin Luther was one day walking in the fields when in great straits’, with his Bible in his hands, and reading the Sermon on the Mount, was much comforted by Matt 6:26, “Behold the fowls of the air, they toil not neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.” Just then a little bird was hopping from sprig to spray, with its sweet chirping note, seeming to say


“Mortals, cease from toil and sorrow,

God provideth for the morrow.”


It then came to the ground to pick up a crumb, and rising merrily, again seemed to repeat its simple song—


“Mortals, cease from toil and sorrow,

God provideth for the morrow.”


This greatly comforted the Reformers heart.

Matthew 6:27

All the thought in the world cannot lengthen our stature or our life.

Matthew 6:28-30

This is good reasoning: he who cares for poor fading lilies and robes them so sumptuously, will not let his own immortal sons go bare. Surely we can trust our own Father.

Matthew 6:31, 32

All anxious care is forbidden. We have a Father in heaven, shall we fret as if we had none? Doubt not till you have cause to doubt.

Matthew 6:34

Never anticipate troubles, each day has its own, and enough of them; yes, and enough grace comes daily to bear us through them.

Psalm 23

Let us cheer our hearts by reading that delicious song of contentment, Psalm 23.


He leads me to the place

Where heavenly pasture grows,

Where living waters gently pass,

And full salvation flows.


If e’er I go astray,

He doth my soul reclaim;

And guides me in his own right way,

For his most holy name.


Are You an ‘Amateur’ Or a ‘Professional’?

2 Timothy 2:5

It is a fact that hardships nearly always reveal the real level of a person’s commitment to Jesus Christ. When everything is going well and there are no challenges, it’s easy to serve God. But when things get tough and people are faced with hard decisions, this is the golden moment when the real level of their commitment is revealed—when they have to decide, Will I remain faithful in the hard times? You can be certain that if a flaw exists in their commitment to Jesus, difficult episodes in life will bring that defect to the surface.

In the former Soviet Union, I know many people who paid a very high price for their faith in Jesus Christ. The rulers of that past time sent many believers to prison; deported others to slave labor camps; and incarcerated still others in psychiatric hospitals, where they were treated as mental patients because they believed in God. The Soviet leadership found all sorts of ways to disdain, humiliate, and mock Christians for being different. It was therefore a very serious matter to believe in Jesus Christ, requiring a life commitment.

This is really true about all levels of life. For instance, you may say that you are committed to your spouse, a friend, to your employer, or even to your church. But what if problems emerge in those relationships that make you feel uncomfortable? What if being faithful requires you to stick with someone who is suddenly unpopular? Will you remain faithful to that relationship if problems arise in it? Will you stick to your commitment and keep your word—or will you tuck your tail and run from the stress, tossing the relationship to the wind?

You see, hard times really do reveal the truth about who people are! Doesn’t it make you grateful for the people who have stayed with you through the high moments and low moments, through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad times? Friends like these are very rare, so make sure you never take them for granted. They have proven the sincerity of their commitment to you by sticking with you through it all.

In Second Timothy, many people were defecting from the faith because hard times had come. Staying faithful to Jesus meant they might face persecution, beatings, imprisonment, or even death. Before the persecution commenced, the church at Ephesus was growing rapidly. But now it was declining as the newly arrived adversities exposed the genuine level of people’s faith.

In the midst of these trying times, Paul wrote to Timothy about the attitude that is essential to survive difficult times. Although Paul was making a statement, he was also asking a very pointed question. He said, “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”

The word “strive” is the Greek word athlesis, which always describes athletic activities or sporting events. It also notably depicted professional athletes. As time passed, it expressed the idea of any event in life that demands one’s labor or sweat and tears. It indicated exertion, effort, and commitment. It could refer to either physical exertion or mental exertion.

Just as in our world today, there were both amateur and professional athletes at the time Paul wrote this letter. If someone was an amateur, he wasn’t a serious contender and would not participate in the harshest competitions. However, if he was a professional athlete, he was so committed that he was ready to compete, no matter how intense the opposition or how difficult the circumstances. This is the idea Paul is conveying when he used the word athlesis in this verse.

Paul was in essence asking:

  • Are you an amateur who serves the Lord just for fun?
  • Have you committed yourself to go all the way to the end, regardless of the fight that ensues?
  • Are you serving the Lord only because it’s popular and enjoyable for the moment?
  • Are you a professional that is willing to pay any price, undergo any kind of hardship, bear up under any pressure, and endure it all until you come out the winner?
  • Are you really committed?

If you’re not committed, you’ll never make it to the end. But if you do, Paul says there is a “crown” waiting for you. That word “crown” is the word Stephanos, and it refers to a victor’s crown. In the ancient games, it was a wreath of leaves placed on the head of the winning athlete. As far as value goes, it wasn’t worth anything—but what it represented was worth the struggle! An athlete who walked away with the victor’s crown was honored for the rest of his life. The memory of his achievement would be etched into society, ensuring that he would never be overlooked or forgotten during the course of his life.

If you are a serious contender for doing the will of God—if you don’t allow anything to stop you, no matter what challenges the devil and life may try to throw at you—you will walk away with the respect and honor of others at the end of the battle. They will see that the sincerity of your faith was genuine and proven, surviving the hard times. Yours wasn’t a flawed faith that tucked its tail and ran in tough times. No, you stuck it out and showed who you really are! As a result, people will never forget that you stood true to your commitment!

Isn’t it true that you remember and almost stand in awe of people:

  • Who stayed faithful to their friends, even through hard times?
  • Who kept their commitment to their spouse, even though their marriage was hurting?
  • Who remained faithful to their pastor in spite of the hard times in the church?
  • Who stuck by their principles and refused to bend to the pressures that came to break them?

Let’s face it—people who fit into these categories are pretty rare in today’s world. But they are champions to the rest of us! They are examples of what we should try to become. Although they endured a lot to keep their commitments, as a result they stand as heroes to those who have observed their spiritual race. Their crown in this life is the special place of honor that has been etched in other people’s minds because of their accomplishments. They proved to be professional believers—not just amateurs who were along for the ride until it cost them something!

What kind of believer are you today, friend? Are you a professional, or are you an amateur?

You must come to a place of honesty in your spiritual walk where you are willing to ask yourself these questions. You see, it’s fun to serve the Lord when it’s easy and convenient. But what if God asks you to step out of your life of ease to accept a bigger challenge? That’s the moment of discovery when you find out what kind of spiritual athlete you really are!


Lord, I want You to see me as a professional! Therefore, I choose to put away amateurish Christian attitudes and behaviors! For me to be all You want me to be, I understand that it’s going to require more of me. Right now I am making up my mind to move to a higher level of commitment with God, to give Him all that I have, and to never stop until the job is done and the assignment is complete! Help me move into the “professional league” as a believer and to leave the life of the amateur behind forever!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I confess that I am a serious contender for doing the will of God! In spite of what the devil and life may try to throw at me, I will walk away as the winner. I will survive hard times and thus prove the sincerity of my faith. Mine isn’t a flawed faith that tucks its tail and runs. I am the kind of Christian who sticks it out to the end!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. Does your level of commitment reveal that you are an amateur or a professional Christian?
  2. Do you face hardships bravely, or do you tuck your tail and run when things get tough?
  3. What would other people say about your level of commitment? Why not ask a few friends to tell you what they think, giving them the right to be totally honest with you?


Want To Stay Out Of Trouble With Your Tongue?

Then consider three simple suggestions wise old Solomon makes from Proverbs 15:1.


1. Speak Gently


A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)


The sure way to ignite an already explosive situation is to respond to an angry person in like manner. The formula for assuaging anger is to answer in tenderness.


2. Speak Wisely


The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:2)


The wise person speaks with intelligence and skill to the issue at hand, while the fool emits the first thought that enters his head.


3. Speak Healingly


The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)


Solomon reminds us that the power of life and death lie with the tongue. By our kind words we can bring healing and life. Or by our destructive words we can destroy. (See Proverbs 18:21)


As we struggle with our speech it may help to keep in mind two stark realities:


(1) Our speech simply mirrors the condition of our heart: “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Matthew 12:34b)


(2) God ultimately will judge us by the quality of our words: “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will shall be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37)