Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

Pastor’s Blog 2/24/18

“It’s Time to Pour on the Grace” Romans 12:10
We cannot love the Lord and say that we do not love our fellow man. In the book “The Secret Power of Prayer” by Rev. Dr. L. Ronald Durham, he writes, “You cannot pray for your enemy, and have him remain your enemy.” But an unknown skeptic put it this way, “To dwell above, with saints in love, that will indeed be glory, to dwell with saints we know, well, that’s a different story!”
There is no question that it can sometimes be a challenge to extend love to all our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially when that love is unrequited or unreturned. But we must allow the exercise of grace to govern over our relationships. Once we are converted and possess a Christ-like nature, we must resist the temptation to exhibit it only when it’s convenient. Instead, the Grace of God which is in us must come forth as an unreserved fountain that “soaks” all who come near.
“Kindly affectionate” love is never dispensed at our will. It is a constant release from God’s storehouse. It is not saved up and apportioned with calculated care…but it is poured out freely wherever and whenever there is need.
You remember the story of David and Jonathan? When King Saul became obsessed with his hatred for David and caused him to flee into the hills. Saul’s son Jonathan had a decision to make. Would he remain faithful to his family ties, or would he support and help David. Once Jonathan realized that it was David, and not he, who was God’s heir-apparent tot the throne, Jonathan did no reject David. Instead, he embraced him and extended brotherly love, “in honor preferring” him.
The distinctive Christian love that dwells within us manifests itself in our “preferring one another in honor.” The love of Christ compels us to put our brother first. We don’t wait for our own position of honor before we grant our brother his. There is no squabbling over chairmanships or positions of leadership within the body of Christ. If we love Christ, our Elder Brother, His love will cure our petty jealousies inconsequential frictions, which Satan tempts us to engage in.
It’s time to let the Grace of God pour out of us. •The Grace of God can move us from the gutters of pettiness to the glory of generosity. •The Grace of God can move us from the prisons of hatred to the paradise of love. •The Grace of God can move us from the hell of separation to the heaven of fellowship. •It can move us from the despair of exclusion to the delight of inclusion. •It can move us from the shadows of uncertainty to the sunshine of assuredness. •It can move us from the bosom of emptiness to the bounty of everything!
However painful it may be, we must measure ourselves against Paul’s ideal of Christ…remembering that Christ GIVES before he COMMANDS, and that conformity to Christ’s ideals begins not with details of our conduct, but with a complete acquiescence or yielding of ourselves to God, who alone can transform us. “Be kindly affectionate, one to anohter ; in honor preferring one another.” It’s our job to pour on the Grace! What we have freely received, we must freely give. Pour on the grace! God’s grace will: pardon the guilty, forgive the fugitive, welcome the prodigal, acquit the accused, free the prisoner, and redeem the ruined.
When we honor each other in love, we honor God. When we clothe each other in honor, God clothes us with His warmth. When we strengthen each other in love, God surrounds us with His power.
I am a person who, even when hurt, will still pour on my love for my brothers and sisters. The only way I know is to LOOK UP at hate and to continue to LOOK UP and continue to love in spite of. The only way I know how to handle hate is to LOOK UP! I, under no circumstance, will lower myself to hatred even in the midst of. Yes there is pain but there is a Balm in Gilead.
—Pastor P
Credits: Rev. Dr. L. Ronald Durham, Rev. Phyllis Coates, God