The Sweet Stuff Ministry

Monday, December 20, 2010

AGAPE love

     Luke 10:27   He answered:  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself".

     AGAPE is the Greek word for love.  Agape is a non-romantic, brotherly, Christian love, representative of how Christ love humankind.  It means to love without expecting anything in return.  Charity and service are types of agape love.  To give freely from the heart whether the giving is time, money, compassion, material possessions, or kindness.   Agape is the type of love that Christ offered during his time on earth.  He gave of himself as representation of God by teaching, healing, and showing love and compassion.  He did all this freely, never expecting anything in return and by the way, most of the time what he did get in return was mockery, persecution and mistreatment. 
     As we enter the Christmas season, many people feel a desire to give to those in need.  I challenge each of you to search your hearts for agape love, offer it to someone and serve God by doing so.  May agape love become a permanent attitude of the heart and not just a mindset at the Christmas season.   


Monday, December 13, 2010

JOB

     As I reflect upon the message presented to us, last evening, by Bro. Vincent Agbodo, a West African missionary, I cannot help but desire to share it with you.  It was powerful and meaningful. The message came from Job 1:1-22.  In this passage, Job is tempted by Satan as Satan tries to cause Job to curse God.  Job lost his children and Satan came to laugh about this as he thought this would be enough to cause Job to turn against God.  However, in this situation, Job fell to the ground and worshiped the Lord.  He said, "Blessed be the name of the Lord".
     In how many of our situations, trials and troubles do we fall down and worship?  Generally, we want to blame God or be angry, especially when we feel that we know what is best.  If we truly fear God and trust him, we should worship and rejoice in every situation.
     The title of Bro. Agbodo's message  was What Would God Say About Me?   In Job 1:8, God asked Satan, "Has thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  Could God say this about me?  Job feared (respected) God and served Him no matter what!  Talk about LONGSUFFERING.   I want to be like this.  Believe me when I say, as I write this I am "preaching" to myself.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wisdom

Psalm 111:10  Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.  All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.

What does wisdom look like?  What does wisdom feel like?  What does wisdom act like?  The Bible tells us in Psalms 111:10 that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Fear in this sense does not mean to be afraid, but it means to respect.  A respect and deep appreciation for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This is where to start in becoming wise. 
    
Webster's Dictionary defines wisdom as an understanding of what is TRUE.   Understanding truth is understanding the Bible (God's word).  We understand God's word first by having a strong desire to obtain wisdom.  Secondly, we should pray, read scripture, and seek the counsel of God and godly people. 
    
Worldly wisdom can be dangerous.  Being of great intelligence or possessing worldly knowledge does NOT equal wisdom.  Man's wisdom often responds to the flesh and emotions that one is feeling.  Godly wisdom responds to the Holy Spirit. 

So what does wisdom look like?  
Wisdom is first a deep love and respect for God.  
Wisdom is righteous living by obeying God's commandments. 
Wisdom is calm. 
Wisdom is finding the truth in situations before reacting and knowing when not to react at all.  Wisdom embraces integrity. 
Wisdom seeks God in all situations, no matter how small or large. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PATIENCE

Galatians 5:22-23--But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperence: against such there is no law.

Longsuffering is patience. Patience is defined in Webster's dictionary as the capability of bearing affliction with calmness; able to tolerate delay; understanding. We must have patience in all aspects of our world around us. Patience is required when we deal with people, situations, God and ourselves.
Is patience always easy? NO! Even some of the most patient people in small everyday situations are tested when trials seem to have no clear end or resolution. One might be patient enough with children, traffic or small frustations, but when that longsuffering is put to a test, how well does it hold? How do we endure the trials of our patience such as praying for a family member that is unsaved, enduring a chronic illness, loss of a loved one, or dealing with a job lay off and financial uncertainties?

Christian character comes from the Holy Spirit. We must seek character and desire to possess the fruits of the spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Longsuffering should draw us nearer to God, more dependent upon him and his timing, trusting that he has the plan best suited for us. Events and situations that we describe as "trying our patience" are really tests of our Christian character. So, the next time your patience is put to the test, seek what God is showing you, strengthen your Christian character and thank him for the experience.