A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters 46: how to define love? (2017 Revised)

1 Corinthians 13:5The spirit-mind man realizes he does not know many things about love and God. Love ties with pain. Here is a word that God uses to describe Himself. Love. What is love? Let us read about love again.
This is what he attempted in this blog before: (with 2017 up to date mind man’s deliberations in human terms and thoughts in brackets)

A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters: chapter ten -how to define love? 07/22/2013 (Quoted below in excerpts)
“the most difficult word: love”
Today we read the most difficult word in the whole Bible, ‘Love’. (Most difficult outside the Bible too)

Love: This is not a shallow, superficial common word as the mind man had thought in his reckless days. There is richness, depth, breadth, width, height here. …
If he attempts to define this word with his human mind, emotion and senses, he knows he would be insulting the word.

The only way to give love justice is to define this word in the Spirit (spirit).

The next question is who is qualified (in terms of supreme authority) to define love?

Not this mind man, however spiritual he (thinks he) has turned into. The only thing he can do is to find his definition in the word of God, and let each reader find his own.

__________Here the definition goes:

The plumb-line of love: sacrificial. For example: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God should be receiving man’s sacrifices, but He gave His own Son as a sacrifice! John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. This is how God views love and has demonstrated (unconditional) love to us. God has freely given so we need not try to earn it.
(God’s kind of love warrants one-sided sacrificial giving without the other party favorably responding or wanting to receive your love. A person in love may think he or she can give that kind of love without regret. But believe me, when human love fades, regret becomes a glaring color in your black and white life.)

Here is one verse that has persuaded the mind man (and impacted his personal decision) about love:

“Love does not demand its own way.” This is what the mind man received from the Lord (1 Corinthians 13:5) when he was on the verge of making a real big decision…
What more can he do but to let go? …Indeed, the heart has its reason that reason cannot comprehend. But, God’s way (of love) can convince and convict one’s heart…

Can one become whole again when one chooses to love in God’s way? The answer is definitely ‘yes’! …Abraham…David…Jesus’ giving Himself was the supreme example.

What motivated them? The mind man could not think of better reason than ‘love’. Love of God…O yes, love of your loved ones too!

‘Love’ indeed is the most difficult word in this spiritual dictionary, and it is also the best word anyone can lay hold of.

—-
October 28, 2017 spirit-mind-man’s update: This was written four years and three months ago. The human pain felt then can still be felt though much less in intensity and frequency today. Giving up/letting go is the hardest thing to do for anyone. Yet the supreme power of the supernatural love of God gives all the strength one needs to overcome a feeling called pain which ties closely to love. Does anyone lose out because of the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:5? No. Nobody loses out when God’s love becomes the uttermost plumb line in your life. No loss but gain. I pray all who want to encounter God’s kind of love find the peace and security only His love can give. Love means you do no harm to others or to yourself.  Love others in the way God loves you. This is the best ever commandment to keep.

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A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 45: Promises (and Shield)

psalm 18:30
Today’s words are PROMISES (and SHIELD).
The wise poets in ancient days declared:
About God: He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. (Psalm 91:4)
To God: You are my refuge and my shield, and your promises are my only source of hope. (Psalm 119:114)
I have thoroughly tested your promises, and that is why I love them so much. (Psalm 119:140)
I stay awake through the night to think about your promises. (Psalm 119:148)

The wise prophets looked into the future and proclaimed:
About What God has promised: “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land sparkling with happiness. These are the promises of the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:12)
Prophet Daniel’s prayer: “O Lord,” I prayed, “you are a great and awesome God; you always fulfill your promises of mercy to those who love you and keep your laws.” (9:4)
God likes those who keep their promises: Proverbs 12:22
God delights in those who keep their promises and abhors those who don’t.
Prophet Isaiah knows all about how God’s promises can come true:
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. (30:18)

Here are some Bible verses from the New Testament on “Promises” for meditation and receiving by faith!
Romans 5:1
So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
2 Corinthians 1:20
He carries out and fulfills all of God’s promises, no matter how many of them there are; and we have told everyone how faithful he is, giving glory to his name.
Galatians 3:29
And now that we are Christ’s we are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God’s promises to him belong to us.
2 Timothy 2:13
Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.
Romans 11:29
For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on his promises.

The Power of the Holy Spirit is our shield today!
Galatians 3:5-7Living Bible (TLB)
5 I ask you again, does God give you the power of the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you as a result of your trying to obey the Jewish laws? No, of course not. It is when you believe in Christ and fully trust him.
6 Abraham had the same experience—God declared him fit for heaven only because he believed God’s promises. 7 You can see from this that the real children of Abraham are all the men of faith who truly trust in God.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 44: the power of Grace

2 Peter 1:2Today we again read the letter G from the Book. GRACE is today’s word. The spirit-mind man used to think of grace as a weak word and avoided it until one day when he was struck (metaphorically) by it and was caught up into a realm he had never encountered before, like being suck up into a whirlwind or like being hit by an invisible lightning rod as he lifted up his hands to worship. It was just an ordinary Sunday morning but his life was never the same after that supernatural invisible encounter in his spirit.

This is what the spirit-mind man discovered about Grace.

A supernatural power that can only come from the Almighty God.
An inexplicable sense of being immensely loved by Him.
An indescribable perception of being in the presence of His absolute goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and loving kindness, resulting in total peace and great joy.
It opens into the spiritual realm (in the Christians’ experience, an intimate relationship with God just as Jesus has taught His believers).
Some of the resultant feelings, perceptions and actual experiences are listed at random below: security, wholeness, acceptance, being valued and esteemed, favored, lifted up, built up, completely broken down and yet being made re-integrated into a whole new being, complete, honestly and transparency, freedom from fear, freedom from condemnation and judgement, clean and pure, released from heavy burden/oppression/obsession, thoughts of hope and optimism, refreshing, energized, renewed, transformed inside out, made over, re-prioritized, re-focused, re-directed, renewed in youth, rest, peace, love, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and many more.
The experience is real. It has lasted decades and is still processing and ongoing.

Grace is a power word. It is authoritative, real and strong. And it transforms an individual human life. Here are some random verses quoted from the Bible to illustrate grace:

John 1:14
[ The Word Becomes Flesh ] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:16
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:33
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Acts 14:3
Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:32
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
2 Timothy 1:9
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Titus 3:7
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:9
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
James 4:6
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 1:10
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
2 John 1:3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 43: the victorious Giving

Windows of giving.
1 John 3:16Today we open the Book to the word GIVE. This could mean life and death. Without someone giving the right provision at the right time to another person selflessly, the would-be recipient may have perished. For example, giving of direction to the right road, giving of the right type and quantity of food, giving of warm and safe board and lodging in the freezing cold, and even giving of precious blood to save someone in critical need. Human have physical bodies and often the giving we need is in the physical.

There are other forms of giving too. For example, the ancient poet said,
“Your righteous testimonies are everlasting and Your decrees are binding to eternity; give me understanding and I shall live [give me discernment and comprehension and I shall not die].” (Psalm 119:144) This apparently refers to a higher wisdom and counsel which go beyond the human mind. To continue to keep up with the increasingly self-loving, crafty (multiplied exponentially by scientific and technological development), deceptive and unscrupulous physical world, an average human needs far more than what we have been taught by today’s education system or whatever words of wisdom (which often fall on deaf ears of today’s children) our parents have tried to impart to us based on what they had acquired and received. We can never catch up with the fast and ever-changing physical world.

But human nature has not changed. Survival strategies in a normal community are often based on generic inbuilt concepts of good and bad. How to decide what is good or bad? Often decisions are based on a number of generic social economic factors: agreed definition and standard of morality, code of ethics for economic conduct, code of social/relationship interactions with one another in the same community. By mutual adherence to such agreed beliefs and practices the family/community members can continue their peaceful co-existence.

One key success factor is giving. The ability and willingness to give (often more than what is required by legal binding covenant) enhances the quality of living together. It requires a higher belief and value system to give unconditionally and selflessly. One cannot give what one does not have. If a person gives at the expense of another person then it is not giving. The ultimate value behind giving has to be love. A love higher than human love.

Where does such a love come from? This spirit-mind man looks at this from a Christian perspective. Our God has revealed to us that He is love. He has demonstrated love historically by giving to us His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and atone for us so that we can freely and boldly interact with God as children of the righteous God through Jesus (now the resurrected Christ). Our human mind cannot understand this completely but it does not stop us from receiving this love by faith. His kind of love is pure and without selfish agenda. How do we apply to others? We are human. Every born again Christian is also given the Holy Spirit who lives in us and gives us strength to apply God’s love for others. This means we are supernatural and not just human when it comes to applying God’s goodness.

Why do we not see this wonderful powerful supernatural love manifesting in all Christians? As we are human, we can be hindered by our flesh (hampered by un-renewed mind which in turn controls our body and emotion). Some may be subject to the influences of demons. The Bible clearly records instances of demons influencing people’s lives. Persistent seeking an intimate relationship with God through reading and applying His words, prayers and worship, and fellowship with other Christians who similarly seek God and love God are ways to establish a firm foundation in one’s relationship with God. Transformation of our character comes as a process as our minds are being renewed. God’s presence becomes real and clear in our mind. In times of uncertainty we walk by clarity in decisions and not confusion.

Why do we focus on talking about the kind of love Christians can give to others in this world? Christians remained the largest religious group in the world in 2015, making up nearly a third (31%) of Earth’s 7.3 billion people, according to a new Pew Research Center demographic analysis. Just imagine the supernatural power of love manifesting together by a third of the earth’s population!

Yes, giving is required of every Christian. The only force that compels us is the love of our God, who loves us so much and whom we are to love in return. Are lovers fools? Yes, in the eyes of those who have never encountered this love we are fools. We are fools for Christ’s sake. (1 Corinthians 4:10)

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for each other as brothers and sisters.

Matthew 5:42-44 (Jesus says,)
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…”

Isaiah 11:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

more words to reflect on: identity

i found this at random from the internet. i marvel at the use of words like identity, name, seed and step. The definition is coined for programmer and it reflects a meaning deeper than its intention!

Quote:”Definition (Identity Columns in TSQL*)
An identity column has a name, initial seed and step. When a row is inserted into a table the column will take the value of the current seed incremented by the step.” Unquote.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

When I plant a word (seed) in my heart (mind), I can see an image of me. That image of me will produce an identify of the “me” I see in my own thought image.

what word seed am i planting in my heart today? this moment?

what current seed incremented by my thought step?

Jesus said in Matthew 15:18 “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.”

a man’s identity can be defiled by what he thinks he is.

Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Romans 5:9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.

Romans 5:11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Note:Transact-SQL is Microsoft’s and Sybase’s proprietary extension to the SQL used to interact with relational databases.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 42: “Call for Daniel”

daniel-512DANIEL: God is my judge, or judge of God. He was a Jewish prince, probably born in Jerusalem about B.C. 623, and was taken to Babylon as a young captive for training in the court of Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel was distinguished for his proficiency in the “wisdom” of his day, and was brought out into public life. He soon became known for his skill in the interpretation of dreams ( 1:17 ; 2:14 ), and rose to the rank of governor of the province of Babylon, and became “chief of the governors” over all the wise men of Babylon. He made known and also interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; and many years afterwards, when he was now an old man, amid the alarm and consternation of the terrible night of Belshazzar’s impious feast, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother to interpret the mysterious handwriting on the wall. His interpretation came to pass and the Babylonian king was killed that night.
During the two years of the new king, Median Darius’ reign Daniel held the office of first of the “three presidents” of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs. His fidelity to God exposed him to persecution, but was miraculously delivered (from the lions’ den); after which Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for “the God of Daniel” ( 6:26 ). He “prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian,” whom he probably greatly influenced in the matter of the decree which put an end to the Captivity (B.C. 536).

Daniel 5:12 Expanded Bible (EXB) (Daniel as described by the Persian queen mother)
The man I am talking about is named Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar [1:7]. He ·was very wise [L has an excellent spirit] and had knowledge and understanding. He could ·explain [interpret] dreams and ·secrets [riddles] and ·could answer very hard [unravel] problems. Call for Daniel. He will tell you ·what the writing on the wall means [its interpretation].”

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 41: start afresh in A, B, C

matthew-1128I rested for one year. The last blog in this series was aptly named: “MORE WORDS FOR HARD TIMES”. Today I start afresh and dive into my ocean of God’s words. Be refreshed and spurred to ponder more as you dip into the ocean of God’s treasure chest.

ADAM’s famous quote: Genesis 3:12 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The man said, “You gave this woman to me and she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” The Bible recorded only two sentences that Adam uttered to God and this was the second and last.  A rather sad precedent for mankind.

BANISHED: Adam was banished from the Garden of Eden after his fall. His first-born son Cain was banished from the presence of God after murdering his brother Abel. King David banished his son Absalom from Jerusalem after his murder of his brother Amnon. But here is a little known prophetic statement made to David by a nameless woman who had a great reputation for wisdom.
2 Samuel 14:14 “We will all die someday. We’re like water spilled on the ground; no one can ·gather it back [collect it together]. But God doesn’t ·take away [discard] life. Instead, he plans ways that ·those who have been sent away will not have to stay away from him [will bring back/home the banished]!”

COME to his senses, COME home, COME celebrate:
Jesus has given us this story to show the EXTENT OF THE LOVE OF GOD FOR HIS CHILDREN. In this story a son was lost to the world but came to his senses and returned home. His father who waited daily for his change of heart and return was overjoyed and called for a great celebration. The word “COME” is a great word when we turn back to God. Jesus has extended the same call, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest!” (Matthew 11:28)

Excerpts from the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15
Expanded Bible (EXB)
17 When he ·realized what he was doing [came to his senses; L came to himself], he thought, ‘All of my father’s ·servants [hired workers] have ·plenty of [more than enough; abundant] ·food [bread]. But I am here, ·almost dying [perishing] with hunger.

20 So the son left and went to his father.
“While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt ·sorry [compassion] for his son. So the father ran to him [C an undignified act for a family patriarch; evidence of his unrestrained love] and hugged and kissed him. 21 The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against ·God [L heaven; v. 18] and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[a] 22 But the father said to his ·servants [slaves], ‘Hurry! Bring the ·best clothes [L first/best robe; C either the father’s own, or a ceremonial robe for an honored guest] and put them on him. Also, put a ring on his finger [C probably a signet ring indicating sonship and authority; Gen. 41:42] and sandals on his feet [C slaves went barefoot]. 23 And get our ·fat [fattened; C prepared for slaughter] calf and kill it [C people only occasionally ate meat; such a large animal indicates a major celebration] so we can have a feast and celebrate. 24 My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!’ So they began to celebrate.