Who Loves God The Most?

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Hi J____,
No need to apologize for the “mis- send.” I cannot tell you how many times I have done the same thing. Sometimes I realize what I did and at other times it seems inexplicable. I always remind myself of the fact that God is working everything and then I go on in the assurance of that fact. God really is love, and all things will work to prove that love in His time.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Now concerning your experience of remembering and repenting of past sins, I must confess that I do at times recall what a heel and a beast I have been in the past. This is common to us all. I find myself quoting these verses a lot in the past three years:

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

“Ye” and “we all” proves that this is common to all mankind “each in his own order.” But just look at what comes next:

Eph 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

We “are a kind of first fruits” who will be used to show Christ’s kindness to the rest of mankind.” What a gift! I know fully well this does not make the trial any less strenuous, but it certainly does give our trials purpose, and just knowing there is a purpose for suffering is an enormous help when we are enduring the fire of those trials. All things really do work together for good for us all. That is really the very meaning of “calling light out of darkness.”
Go ahead and thank God for the trial itself, and thank Him for His mercy in forgiving you all your past sins. It really is the ones who are forgiven most who love most:

Luk 7:40  And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
Luk 7:41  There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
Luk 7:42  And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Luk 7:43  Simon answered and said, I suppose that [ he], to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
Luk 7:44  And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped [ them] with the hairs of her head.
Luk 7:45  Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
Luk 7:46  My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Luk 7:47  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
Luk 7:48  And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

The Lord has shown me that we must come to see ourselves as “chief of sinners… guilty of the blood of all the prophets from Abel to Zacharias.” It is only those who do so who even understand the meaning of these words:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

“Chief of sinners… guilty of the blood of all of the prophets” are words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God. Hard as it is for us to believe, Christ knew that all of this was in His Adamic flesh and blood:

Mat 19:17  (a) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: 

Anyone who disagrees with this statement can take it up with Christ. These words too, have proceeded out of the mouth of God, and you and I will live every word. “There is none good, no not one.” If the risen Christ is not in us, we will not overcome sin in our lives.
But twice in Eph 2:2-3 Paul uses the phrase “in time past,” showing that we really are, in time, given dominion over sin in our flesh. Nevertheless it is a life- long dying process which continues daily up until the day we die.

1Co 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

So keep the faith. It is the chief of sinners who loves most. When our trials are all said and done, the glory revealed in us will far surpass all of our sufferings.

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Lest I forget, the bible studies that are broadcast from here are on the first through the fourth Sundays at 3 p. m.  If you go to IWWB, there will be directions on the home page how to do it.  And feel free to ‘stick around’ afterward for a question and answer and fellowship time.  That has proven to be very uplifting to us all as well. Other areas are beginning to broadcast as well.  Last Sunday Steve Crook led a bible study from the Indiana area.
Your brother in Christ,
Mike>

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