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LEARNING TO HEAR GOD
Steven Ray Bragg
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A Missionary’s Story in the Philippines.
In the morning, the thought came to me that I need to preach at Grace Chapel this afternoon. I thought maybe I could preach last week’s message of HAPPY TOGETHER. It’s a good message I would like Grace Chapel to hear. Then the thought was no you need to preach the message before that LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. I thought, but Lord JoJo is their pastor, he will have a message already. Lord, should I ask him to let me preach? So then no more thoughts of that conversation.
later that morning, Pastor JoJo ask if I can preach at Grace Chapel in the afternoon…
I told Pastor JoJo of my thoughts with God earlier, and we both praised God with laughter of joy at such an awesome God we have.
That afternoon, the time for service arrived. However, we had torrent rain from the coming typhoon. No one had showed for service. I prayed God you moved so much to have me here, and now this rain? Slowly people started to arrive. Eventually, we had more people than usual and even a new person. But still the heavy rain would not letup. We have a steel roof on the Chapel, and when the heavy rain hits it, you can hear nothing else. We waited and waited. Finally, Juliana said Dad you will have to use your big voice.
I prayed again. Lord forgive me for my sins, and anoint this worship service so your word may be heard! I approached the podium, and the rain stopped.
The closing of the message came and just at the end of the prayer the torrent rain hit again.
Powerful, mighty, majestic, awesome, and sovereign is our God! I love serving our Lord!
Here Is A Summary Of The Message.
COURAGEOUS LOVE – LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
Mat 5:44 But I SAY, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES! [Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you.] Pray for those who persecute you!
It is only possible to love our enemies through Jesus Christ. The command to love our enemies is fully understood through the cross.
Love your enemies is a central theme of the Bible; the Cross. We were the enemies of God because of our sins; our rebellion. Jesus died for us while we were enemies. It was our sin that caused all of His sufferings. Our sin that scourged Him bloody almost to death, our sin that hung Him on the cross, our sin that mocked Him in His suffering. While suffering for our rebellious sin He said, “forgive them.” It was our sin that caused Him to hold Himself on the cross and suffer the complete penalty until His last breath. This was His demonstration of His love for us in order that we could become enemies no more, but transformed to become His beloved children. But it was not possible until Jesus loved us through the Cross!
Rom 5:10 FOR IF WHILE WE WERE ENEMIES WE WERE RECONCILED TO GOD BY THE DEATH OF HIS SON, MUCH MORE, NOW THAT WE ARE RECONCILED, SHALL WE BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE.
Only His Church, you and me, who have experienced such undeserved courageous love of selfless sacrifice from our Lord, through His great suffering and death; can understand the grandeur of God’s love. Only after experiencing such grand love, can we, the church, show this remarkable love to others. We show love not just to our friends, but to those undeserving of our love; our enemies.
We are called to be the Light of God unto a dark, lost and dying world. How great is the Light of our Lord, who loves and sacrificed Himself for the undeserving, you and me. In like manner, how great is His Light as it shines through us loving sacrificially and courageously a world undeserving, who are enemies of God and even us.
It takes courage to reach out and love someone who is our enemy. Courageous was our Lord's love for us. Courageous is our love, not just to love those who love us, but even to love our enemies.
Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Has our Lord put someone on your heart to love sacrificially; courageously?
Be Courageous and Love them.
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