What Kind of Love is This?

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Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 NKJV

John asks, “What kind of love is this? That we would be called God the Father’s children.” As we belong to Him, the world no longer knows us. As we come into alignment with Him, the world understands us less because the world doesn’t know Him. As the Father’s children, we don’t know what we will become as life continues in Him. We do know that we will be like Him, but it is not yet revealed. When it is revealed, we will be like Him and see Him finally, just as He is, in His glory.

Everyone who has this hope, and understands, purifies himself as Jesus is pure. The more we seek Him, the more we find, the more we find, the more we want. The more we want Him, the more He reveals the junk between us and Him. As He reveals it, we must confess it and repent of it. If we’re obedient to submit it and turn from it, He takes us deeper, and the cycle continues as we purify our lives in Him.

We have this idea that the process is harsh or abstract. The Father calls us His children. Bad teaching gives us a bad picture of who He is. He is a loving Father, and gentle with us. More so when we walk according to His leading. He exalts the humble, and humbles the proud. Would a good man set his children up for failure or success? Would he offer gentle and understanding correction, or allow his child to walk in error and deceit? Wouldn’t he pour out his heart and his best on his child when they come to him with their struggles, hopes, and questions? The Father of all creation is a Good Father who welcomes us as His children. He picks us up when we fall. He doesn’t wait with lightning bolts in hand like darts. He teaches and leads His attentive children and showers them with favor, though that rarely means wealth.

We have a very real enemy, and He stands watch only allowing the enemy to test us in ways He approves of for our growth. Yes, we learn and grow in struggle, and He strategically allows us to hurt. Move forward men, as children growing with the Father.

Become Holy.

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Abide in Him

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And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. — 1 John 2:28-29

Brothers, we all have junk to answer for, but John encourages us to remain in Him. One fine day, He is coming back. Will we welcome Him or shrink away in the shame of our sinful state? We know that He is perfect, Holy, righteous, the Author and Perfector. So, if we walk in righteousness we know we are Fathered by Him.

I hear it often said, if God would appear, manifest, or reveal something profound I’d believe and change. Truly, even to those who know Him intimately, when He takes us to the next level it freaks us out. Even after an encounter, there is still a struggle with the flesh. We still try to explain it away. How much more will it freak us all out when we see Him after being caught up to meet Him in the clouds? The closer our walk with Him, the easier, and more welcome that experience will be.

Many of us desire a next level encounter, but not enough to open our Bibles, spend an hour or more in prayer, or to engage in Him outside the box of our traditions. Friends, He doesn’t fit in your box! To abide in Him is to abide in the weird, beyond the laws of physics, where He’s bigger than our imagination, where there is no box except what’s true in His Word, where our living sacrifice is our reasonable duty. When He comes back for us, how will we respond if it isn’t what we were taught, or what we expected? When Jesus came as a sacrifice it was not what the Jews had hoped or expected. What if it’s an inconvenient time for us in our flesh life?

Move forward men, remaining in Him. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the daily routine and unprepared to be “Caught Up” with Him. Be flexible when seeking Him. He knows your heart, and knows how to approach you, but He can’t lead us to the next level if we are stiff rooted in our traditions. Abide in Him and be Fathered by Him, not your parameters. Hide His Word in your heart, but when the Word is revealed different than your interpretation, follow Him into deeper Truth.

Vance Durrance

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The Holy Spirit

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I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. — 1 John 2:26-27.

Too often when we discuss the Holy Spirit, we view that part of the Trinity as an abstract. We believe in the Spirit through doctrine, but too few of us have learned to acknowledge His Spirit within us.

There is no denying His Spirit however when we discover it through earnest seeking, following the prescription in scripture. Often people who have gained awareness are overlooked as weird or undisciplined. John has another take… John says the anointing of His Spirit teaches all things. That doesn’t mean we will suddenly walk around as a genius. But, when we encounter evil, false teachings, hidden agenda and such His Spirit speaks to us and alerts us to the issue at that moment.

The Spirit is the Lord’s heart with us daily. If we abide in Him, He abides in us through His Spirit placed inside us. The Spirit identifies falsehood as we engage life and He brings to mind the truth of His Word so we can combat those false ideas and teachings. When the Word tells us to stand strong in the faith, it isn’t telling us to do so without being equipped.

Too often we try to rationalize a situation even though we know something inside us is saying it’s not a good idea. We are denying the Spirit an opportunity to help us in those moments. Other times we dismiss His Spirit as some chance or coincidence. Be careful with that, dismissing Him borders on blasphemy. Other times, we know it’s Him, but reject His leading. We know the Father chastises His disobedient children who He loves.

Move forward men, as teachable children. His Spirit is real, He is alive, and He resides in you as much as you make room for Him. He is accessible to you at an instant contingent upon your willingness to seek Him, submit to Him, and hear from Him. He helps to aid in your walk in Truth and light. He interprets circumstances, environments, dreams, and even interprets His own heart into language we are ready and able to receive. He’s a comforter, closer than a brother.

Blessed be His name,
Vance Durrance

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Walking in the Light

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Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. — 1 John 2:7-11, ESV.

John reminds us of the new commandment Jesus left for us in John 13:34-35: “Love one another as I have loved you.” John is not writing a new command, but reminding the people of Christ’s fulfillment of the law by His display of love on our behalf, that while we were still sinners, He came and died. If we say we are of Him and we are in the Light but hate a fellow believer, we are in darkness, stumbling, and we don’t know where we are going as in a blinded state.

Light and dark can’t coexist. Love and hate can’t exist together. When the sun comes up, night is over. When Jesus ascends the throne of your life, hate bows down. If we have Jesus’ Spirit within us, then we will begin to see people as He sees. We will feel for them the compassion that He would feel. We will love them as Jesus loves them, and again, love and hate can’t coexist. We live in a world of jealousy and malice. Our age is filled with messages like “get yours before someone else does”, “he who is on top wins” and the list goes on. Love compels us to help others first and wait on the Lord for ours. Love compels us to be humble and lift our brothers up.

What is your and my own life speaking of us? Is love evident within us? Is it hidden and obscured? Is it out in front of you recklessly spilling on whomever? If a brother does us wrong, what is our response? Move forward men, loving our brothers with abandon. Walk in light, and let it shine as evidence of the changing grace of our Lord’s work within us.

Vance Durrance

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