A Little Scratch

Text: Romans 8:37; Isaiah 41: 10

The Lord spoke a word to me about you today and He told me to stop what I was doing and share it with you. So, here I am.

We're in a war! You know that, don't you? The good news is that only strong warriors get to enlist in the army of the Lord. That's you, my friend.

I once saw a movie where a handful of Spartan warriors stood up to the entire Persian army. When one of the good guys got sliced up real bad with an enemy sword the captain said to him, "You're not going to let that little scratch stop you, are ya?"

Ha! Ha! I like that. My friend, when the devil attacks you that's all it is...a little scratch. I ask you, "You're not going to let a little scratch stop you, are ya?" Of course not because you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus!

The Lord would have me tell you to stand strong and to assure you that you are not alone. I am by your side, and most important, Jesus is by your side. Yes, the victory is yours.

On a more personal note, there is nothing more important to me than the fulfillment of the call of God that is on my life. My dream is to encourage and exhort my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord with anointed messages that come straight from the throne room of God.

I've worked long and hard on this assignment from God and I've got the scars to prove it. For sure, I have shed gallons and gallons of blood, sweat, and tears. The fact that you are reading this letter today is the result of years and years of hard work and toil. However, I didn't let a "little scratch" stop me.

As I was meditating on all the Lord and I have been through together He brought to my attention the verse that says, "Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men." He then said to me, "Randall, the people who read your messages are the 'great men' this verse is talking about. Your gift has come before them, thus they are great."

I'm telling you, thousands of people, Christians mind you, have rejected these messages. They've written me cruel and nasty letters and one person even called me "Satan in email clothing" (that's a new one). Why do they do this?  Apparently they are not great.

But you are different and that is the message the Lord wanted me to share with you today. The great God of the universe thinks you're great. So do I. And it's the great men of God who are in the league of the "chosen few", those born again believers who are willing to pick up their sword and march headfirst into battle, those who won't be stopped by a "little scratch." That's you, my friend. That's what being a "great warrior" is all about.

The Lord loves you and so do I. We both think you're great. God bless.

*** Written by Randall Brewer ***

...building the body of Christ.

Jesus Is Coming Again

Text: Matthew 24:44; Revelations 22:12

Marvelous message we bring,
Glorious carol we sing,
Wonderful word of the King:
Jesus is coming again!...

Coming again, coming again;
May be morning, may be noon,
May be evening and may be soon!
Coming again, coming again;
O what a wonderful day it will be!
Jesus is coming again!

Forest and flower exclaim,
Mountain and meadow the same,
All earth and heaven proclaim:
Jesus is coming again!...

Standing before Him at last,
Trail and trouble all past,
Crowns at His feet we will cast:
Jesus is coming again!...

...building the body of Christ.

Hurt By Friend

Text: Genesis 4:7; Galatians 5:16

When the eight plotters surrounded Julius Caesar and began to attack him with their daggers, the stab of Brutus was the most brutal and the most painful. "Et Tu, Brute?" ("Even you, Brutus?"), lamented Caesar. He was heart-broken. Brutus was his closest and trusted friend.

Have you ever been hurt or betrayed by a close friend? It is painful. King David suffered the same fate at the hands of his trusted friend and counsellor, Ahitophel, who sided with Absalom, David's son to wage war against his father; so did our Lord Jesus Christ at the hands of Judas Iscariot.

Do you know that any sin by a Christian is like a stab in the heart of Jesus? It is like crucifying afresh the son of God and putting him to an open shame. When Peter openly denied Jesus, He gave him a knowing look in pain and pity. The secret sin of a Christian is an open scandal in heaven. Always live holy to give Christ joy, and strive to be a trustworthy friend.

...building the body of Christ.

You Don't Need God?

Text: Ruth 1:1-5; Isaiah 40:31; Proverbs 16:9, 19:16

Key Verse: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12)

The times were tough. Famine dawned on the land and the people had very little to survive on. They were perturbed by their present circumstance and saw no rays of hope in sight, but hardly could they forget that “they that know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).

The people of Bethlehemjudah waited on the Lord for succor but among them was one so unfortunate who took not counsel from the Lord and felt he didn’t need God to tell him what to do with his life. He chose the path that pleased him only that it led to his death and destruction.

The story of Elimelech often reminds me of man’s weakness, naivety and folly to think we can live our lives without God (Proverbs 19:3a). We feel we own our lives and can do whatever pleases us forgetting that “many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the will and counsel of the Lord that shall prevail.”

Elimelech and his family chose the way of pride by leaving the tabernacle of the Lord in Bethlehemjudah to seek refuge in a foreign land of Moab where its people neither revered nor obeyed the commandments of God. This teaches a lesson that no matter how awful our predicaments in life may be, forsaking the Lord and choosing our own path will always turn out to be a grave mistake.

Our resolve to stick with God should be on the basis of “for better or worse”, “in good times and bad times”, till thy kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven. We must put God first in everything we do, trusting Him with all of our hearts and leaning not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

If only had Elimelech sought the face of the Lord before making the move to Moab, his death and that of his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, would have been averted. Naomi, his wife and mother of his sons, wouldn’t have turned out a helpless widow.

I believe God wants us to learn and understand that decisions made without His acknowledgement doesn’t end well. He wants us to have at the back of our minds that without Him we can do nothing on our own.

We shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the gains of pride and get to the point we feel we do not need God in our lives (Proverbs 16:18a). Elimelech thought he had escaped the burdens of famine and delighted is soul with the fleeting abundance of an ungodly city as Moab. Sadly, he never for once thought of going back to where he came from.

Folly is what makes a man think he can find happiness and fulfillment on his own terms without God. But hear the words of wisdom: “Man’s going are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way? The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil (Proverbs 19:23; 20:24).”

When Naomi realized her mistakes with tears and sorrow in her heart (Ruth 1:19-22), she returned to the Lord and look what happened to her in the succeeding chapters of the book of Ruth. She found favour and grace from God. Even Ruth, her daughter in law wasn’t exempted from this favour because she decided to worship and service the living God of Israel (Ruth 1:14-18).

Haven’t you suffered enough to still think you do not need God in your life? Now is the acceptable time to return to the Lord. “Seek Him while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near…return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon you; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

*** Written by Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***

building the body of Christ


Text: John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Ecclesiates 12:13-14

***Excerpt from a conversation between Robert Leslie Holmes and his uncle Sam Heslip from the book: The Breath of Abundant Life.***

“Leslie, have you reached that point in your spiritual life where you know for certain that if you died today you would spend eternity with God in His heaven?” Uncle Sam’s words gripped me because they were direct and because I felt they begged for only one acceptable answer. For me that answer was “No.” It seemed to me that for anyone to “know for certain” was presumptuous and egotistical.

I replied, “I don’t think anybody can know that for sure.”


“Really?” Uncle Sam opined, “Suppose I could show you that God actually wants you to know? What would you say?”

I said, “If that was the case, I’d say that I need to know.” Without saying a word, he opened one of his Bible on his desk and pointed out these words: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

Uncle Sam continued, “If God wants you to know that you have eternal life, shouldn’t pursuing that become one of your life’s main goals?” His words made sense. Somewhere within me there was a rapidly growing desire to listen carefully. It was God’s Holy Spirit prompting me to take careful stock of what I was being told.

Uncle Sam asked me another question, “Suppose you were to die today and God asked you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven?’ What would you say to Him?”


I do not recall the exact words of my answer, but something about this question brought me face to face with the reality of mortality. I knew that I could die today. None of us will leave this world alive and most of us will have no control of when we do die. I was at the same time realizing that I could die at any moment and recognizing that it was clearly foolish for me not to have made preparation for that possibility and trying to frame what would be my best answer in words God might find acceptable. What would I say to God? What could I say to God?

To the best of my recollection, my answer went something like this: “I would say that I had not committed any big sins like murder or adultery and I had attended church and I pray sometimes.”

I was caught! The twinkle in my Uncle Sam’s eyes told me he knew already exactly where I was with God. He said, “Leslie, there is nothing worse than good works that think they can satisfy a sinner’s need of God!”

He proceeded at that point to tell me his own story of coming to faith. He began with a reassurance that there was a time in his own life when he would have answered as I had just done. “I needed to learn,” he said, “that all my good works together could never save my soul. One day I read in Isaiah, ‘We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags” (64:6).’” Then, he said, “I made the most amazingly wonderful discovery of my entire life. I learned that heaven is a free gift. Would you like to learn what I did?” I said I would and he invited me to draw my chair to his desk where we could look together at his Bible.


He pointed out these words: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). I had seen these words before. I remembered that they were painted on the side of a barn along the coast near where I had grown up.

“Do you realize what this tells us?” he asked. Quickly he added, “What, in your opinion, is the difference between wages and gift?” “The difference between wages and a gift”, I answered, “is that wages are something we earn and a gift is something someone gives us for nothing.”

“Exactly”, he said. “Now think about your answer a moment ago when I asked what you would tell God if you were asked why you should get into heaven. Were you describing wages or a gift?”

I realized immediately that my answer was all about wages. It spoke about what I might have earned by what I had done and not done. I had done what I considered to be some commendable things and I had not committed what I called “big sins.” Here was God’s own Word telling me that all the wages I had ever earned could never total enough to make me fit for heaven. I thought of that barn sign again and realized that as many times as I had read it I had never thought about what it was telling me.

Uncle Sam said, “Let me show you something else.” Opening his Bible at another place, he pointed out these words: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:8-10).

I knew these words too. I remembered preachers reciting them in sermons. I had read them in the Bible previously, but they seemed to have no particular meaning to me. “It’s not that works are a bad thing,” Uncle Sam said, “It is just that works by themselves cannot earn heaven. It takes something more. That something more is called grace. ‘For by grace are ye saved.’”


He opened his Bible at another place and showed me these words, “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Romans 3:10-12). “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“Do you see our human predicament?” he asked me. “All of us are stained by the same thing; you and me and everybody else in the world. We have all fallen short of God’s glory. We are unanimous in our guilt.”

He paused again before adding, “God, however, is holy. Look at what the Bible says here, ‘Be ye holy; for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16)… ‘The Lord our God is righteous in all His works’ (Daniel 9:14). He always does the right things. Because God is holy and righteous, He must keep His Word and His Word says, ‘the soul that sinneth, it shall die; and this, of course, ‘For the wages of sin is death’ (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). This means that we have an impossible predicament. We have sinned and our death sentence has already been pronounced.

…Uncle Sam added, “what is more, we cannot save ourselves.” I knew that, for already I had resolved more times than I could remember to do better than I had done and I had failed every time. Like a kite on a windless day, I kept falling. I lacked the necessary power.

Truly, we all lack the necessary power to save ourselves. “Not the labours of your hands can fulfill the Lords demands…” There is salvation in no one else other than in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). And God has commandeth His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Love has paid the prize for our death, and none other can equal the sacrifice Jesus made for you and I on the Cross. “There is no love greater than this, for someone (Jesus Christ) to die for His friends, for you and I” (John 15:12-13).

Finally, the whole essence of this piece is to reveal God’s will and desire for your life, to help you search deep into your soul and discover where you stand spiritually, and to help you determine your end when the roll is called up yonder. However, just re-echoing Uncle Sam's pertinent and profound question begging an answer, “Suppose you were to die today and God asked you, ‘Why should I let you into my heaven?’ What would you say to Him?” RSVP

*** Slightly edited by Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***

...building the body of Christ.

Take Time To Be Holy

Text: Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word;
Make friends of God’s children help those who are weak;
Forgetting in nothing, His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone-
By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide;
In joy or in sorrow still follow thy Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul;
Each thought and each temper beneath His control:
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

...building the body of Christ.

Needed Works Of Faith

Text: JAMES 2:10-26

An unsparing holiness preacher concerning whom little is known of his domestic life lived down town in a Council flat. He told his staff and congregation never to visit him at home without an appointment.
An usher living close by frequently flouted this rule preferring to come to the pastor’s house to submit reports without prior notice. The pastor desiring to know the reason asked the young man: “Did you realize you are disobedient by coming to my house without inviting you?” The usher answered: “I am sorry, but I did it that I might, by some chance, come to discover how you react to the provocations of belligerent neighbours, the disturbing noises of infant wards and mischief of domestic staff in your home. This I hoped, would help me beyond lessons from your sermons.”

Our profession may be great, but our conduct and attitude both in good and bad times are the real proofs of our hearts and the evidence of our faith.

In the text above, high premium is placed on faith evidenced by works. The faith that shows no corresponding positive traits is dead, and to say the least, worthless. True faith in the Lord Jesus Christ works out positive changes in the believer. If these desirable changes are not in our lives, it is doubtful whether we have been united with Christ.

Works of faith are the fruits of our Christian life made possible because of our living union with Christ. Those who are destitute of them have never known the Saviour including others who made only superficial commitment to follow Him.

We cannot produce this fruits on our own efforts outside of Christ. Even though we try to do what is good and right, staying close to Jesus and being obedient to His word is the only way to live a fruitful Christian life. We must determine to quit superficial Christianity and show evidence of our walk with God by bearing fruits of the Spirit.

Thought for you: A tree is known not by the leaves but by the fruits.

…building the body of Christ

Don't Forget The Mirror

Text: James 1:16-27

Key Verse: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1:23, 24)

Imagine yourself standing before your mirror in the morning dressed to go out. As you look at the mirror, you observed your hair is not combed, your clothes not well adjusted and everything just looked rough and disheveled. What would you do?

Would you ignore what you saw in the mirror and feel it is not important? Would you think it would be okay to go out all the same and manage that shameful look? Do you think you would be able to carry on with an air of confidence all through the day if you went out the way you looked without making every necessary adjustment? Certainly not. When you take a look at the mirror each day, it is not just for the fun of it. It is to ensure you are looking good enough and well suited for the day.

This is the same thing we do each time we look at the Word of God. The Word of God is the divine mirror that tells us exactly how we look. It reveals our true spiritual state to us and tells what we need to add on or put away in order to have a perfect day. In our text today, we are admonished to receive the Word of God with meekness. As we read the Word, we are to adjust our lives by it. This is what it means to be doers of the word.

We cannot really tell our true spiritual state until we take a deep and sincere look at the Bible. While it is possible for some mirror to give us a distorted impression of ourselves, the Word of God shows us exactly how we look. There is no defect in God’s Word.

More than showing us how we look, the Word of God has the power to set our lives right if we allow it. This is why we must make it a daily practice to take a look at the mirror of the Word of God before we set out each day. This gives us the confidence we need and guarantees our success in all that we do.

Thought for you: You are not ready for the day without a look at God’s Word

…building the body of Christ

The Cross, Stark And Still

Text: Isaiah 55:6; John 3:16

Into the depths of untold depravity,
A perfect creation had fallen away;
Unimagined grace poured out from our God above -
As His Hand of wrath was firmly stayed.

The Cross, stark and still, standing upon a naked hill…
Subtly calls for the World’s attention.

Since the dawn of everlasting time,
Our Savior awaited His appointed day;
Despite humanity’s race to certain doom –
His Hand of wrath was intentionally stayed.

The Cross, stark and still, standing upon a naked hill…
Continues to demonstrate His gift of Salvation.

The twinkling stars danced across the midnight blue
As songs arose from the angelic array;
Quietly the Messianic babe in a manger lay –
As His Hand of wrath was lovingly stayed.

The Cross, stark and still, standing upon a naked hill…
Serves as a testament of Love’s perfection.

A carpenter's son? He’s just a man!
His godly claim on earth displayed
Had believers searching for purest faith –
His Hand of wrath was securely stayed.

The Cross, stark and still, standing upon a naked hill…
Reminds that our debt was paid for sin’s violation.

In the face of false accusations,
Christ held His tongue to Pilate’s dismay,
For God’s plan played out for all to see –
As His Hand of wrath was purposely stayed.

The Cross, stark and still, standing upon a naked hill…
Is a backdrop for a risen Lord calling us with adoration.

*** Author's Notes ***
This is a collaboration piece with Mr. Jeffrey Jordan of Wichita Falls, Texas.
Learn more about me and my poetry at:

By Joseph J. Breunig 3rd, © 2012, All rights reserved.

...building the body of Christ.

Soaring Alone

Text: 2 Timothy 1:7; Exodus 19:4

I recently listened to a teaching series where the way of the eagle was compared to the Christian life. It was a powerful series to say the least. One thing that was said really struck a chord with me, “Chickens flock together but eagles soar alone.” I was reminded of what Jesus said in John 16:32, “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” In my heart at this moment is the subject of “aloneness.” Not loneliness - “aloneness.” Chickens flock together but eagles soar alone. We must ask ourselves, do we want to be chickens who flap their wings but go nowhere or do we want to be mighty eagles who spread their wings and soar on the wind currents of the Holy Spirit?

Sad to say, the world is filled with “flapping” Christians and I am not one of them. No sir! I strive every day to be an “eagle” Christian and one main attribute of these kind of believers is that they soar alone. John the Baptist comes to my mind. Yes, he had a following but he soared alone. As I look back on my life I can say that “aloneness” has been a major characteristic of my life. I am not what you would call a “people person.” I would rather spend the day alone hiking in the woods than to have a huge gathering of people over to my house for Sunday dinner. I love people but I don’t need them to feel a sense of value about myself.

A “people person” tends to rely on people more than they rely on God. They need people the same way they need food and water. Oftentimes they go to God as a last resort. They ask their friends to pray for them instead of going into the throne room themselves. Chickens flock together but eagles soar alone. Eagles say, “Where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord!” I learned at an early age to live a life of total dependence on God. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I never had a bunch of people to help me during times of trouble. Nobody gave me a free car or paid for my college education. I never had a “free ride” in life and this is why I am the person I am today. Character was developed as a result of “soaring alone” and faith came as a result of depending on God to meet my every need.

When you soar alone you can be friends with others where your only objective is to be a blessing to them. Because you depend on God and not people there will be no strings attached to your friendship. Gone will be the pressure they may feel thinking that you are expecting something from them. Now you can “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” What you make happen for others, God (not people) will make happen for you. Only an eagle believer can be a friend who sticks closer than a brother. All this is possible when one has a sense of “aloneness.” When you are alone with God you can soar like an eagle.

I cannot count the times I have needed a helping hand or an encouraging word from another person. Countless times! But they were never there. They were either too caught up in their own problems or were too self-centered to care what was happening to somebody else. But praise God, He was always there with open, outstretched arms! My Lord! My “ever present help in time of need.”

I firmly believe that God designed it that way. He will share the glory with no man. All people - I don’t care who they are - have the potential of letting you down. When you put all your trust and dependence on a certain individual God will arrange it for that person to somehow not meet your need to total satisfaction. God wants to be the only one you go to with total trust and confidence. Soaring alone doesn't mean you don’t have fellowship with other people. It means your dependence is on God and Him alone.

On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came as “a mighty rushing wind.” An eagle soars on the wind currents of the Spirit of God. Not long ago I was at my favorite state park and I hiked to a point called “Eagle Cliff.” I looked up and saw a giant bird with outstretched wings soaring in the air. That’s all it did. It soared! Not once as I watched it did it flap it’s wings. No, it soared! I envied that bird and then I noticed that it was all by itself. It soared alone! What am I saying? Trust in God and Him alone. Then go out and soar like an eagle. God said in Ex. 19:4: “…I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”

*** Written by Randall J. Brewer ***

...building the body of Christ.

The Reciprocity Of Love

Text: 2 Corinthians 6:11-13

Key Verse: "Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide" (2 Corinthians 6-11 RSV).

Paul loved these people in Corinth, and he has manifested that love in various ways toward them. He has demonstrated it, as he says here, by two special things. Our mouth is open to you, he says. That means he communicated with them; he told them what was going on in his own life; he shared with them his feelings, struggles, failures, pressures, and problems, and he let them know how he coped with them. That is always a mark of love. To open up to others is to love them. Conversely, to close up and not communicate is to violate love.

This is a frequent problem in churches today. Christians actually think it is right for them to be closed in on themselves, to be private persons, unwilling to communicate who they are and how they feel and where they are in their lives. That, of course, is the way of the world. The world teaches us to let no one see who we are. But we need to understand that when we become Christians, we must learn to open up to one another.

Our heart is wide, he says. He means there is no favoritism; he includes the whole congregation. He did not merely love the nice people among them. He loved them all: the difficult ones, the ones who were struggling, and the hard-to-get-along-with ones as well. There were no preconditions that he demanded before he would love somebody in the congregation either. He accepted them as people. Though he knew their struggles, their weaknesses, their heartaches, their failures, and their resistance, he loved them.

The problem was that they did not love him in return. This is the problem in churches, in individual lives, in homes, in families, and in marriages today. It is a failure to understand the reciprocal nature of love. Love is a two-way street. It always is; it is inherently so. Love requires a response. Paul was loving them, but they were not loving him back. They were closed; they were unresponsive; they were coldly self-contained toward him. And the result? Paul puts it in one word: They were restricted (2 Corinthians 6:12 RSV). What does that mean? It means they were limited; they were imprisoned within the narrow boundaries of their own selfish lives.

That is why Paul pleads here with these Corinthians: Oh! Corinthians, widen your hearts unto us. You are not restricted by us. You are restricted by yourselves, in your own affections. If you really want to experience the richness of love, then love back when you are loved. This is one of the most important lessons we can ever learn in life. Love must respond. When you are loved, what do you do? Do you love back, or do you say, What a wonderful feeling! I hope they will keep that up? Do you expect it all to come to you without a reciprocal response from you? No, that is impossible. Love must respond.

*** Ray Stedman Minsistry Daily Devotional | www.raystedman.org ***

...building the body of Christ

Love Is A Debt You Owe

Text: Romans 13:8

Paul wrote in Romans 13:8 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Love is a debt you owe to everybody even if you feel like they don’t deserve it. It should be on the forefront of our minds that God loved each of us when we were yet sinners and also didn't deserve it.

Love is not a feeling, but rather is a spiritual force radiating out of your innermost being. God is love and His love is revealed and manifested by you being nice to someone. This love can produce good feelings, but you can love without feelings or even with bad feelings.

Love is a decision, and when the right decision is made you can love somebody even when you want to tell them off or punch their lights out. The nature of the flesh is to respond to hurt feelings. If someone slaps you, you want to slap them back harder.

The key is to be led by the Spirit and not by fickle feelings that are forever changing from one moment to the next. Galatians 5:15, 16 tell us, “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Love does no harm to a neighbor Romans 13:10 and the Message Bible records these instructions from Romans 12: “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle” (Verses 9, 10). “Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath” (Verse 14). “Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you have got it in you, get along with everybody” (Verses 17, 18). “Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good” (Verse 21).

“Love thinks no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:50) and takes no thought about how to hurt somebody. Neither should one rejoice if and when your enemy falls and gets hurt. God loves through you, and you should help that fallen person get back on his feet and point him in the right direction.

In the Spirit we are to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” (Eph. 6:10) but in our relationships with other people we are to be harmless as a dove. Titus 3:1b, 2 tell us “to be ready for every good work, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”

Love cares when something good happens to somebody else. Love is not jealous or envious, but instead rejoices when somebody else gets blessed. John, the disciple of love who laid his head on the bosom of Jesus, gave what is probably the most prominent instruction about love when he wrote in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

The Message Bible says, “Let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.” John knew that God will move when love is demonstrated.

*** Written by Randall Brewer ***

...building the body of Christ.