1. God Loves Us as He loved Jesus: "Thou didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me" (John 17:23). This is the greatest truth that I have discovered in the Bible. It changed me from an insecure, depressed believer to one who has become totally secure in God and full of the joy of the Lord - always. There are many verses in the Bible that tell us that God loves us, but only this one that tells us the extent of that love - AS MUCH AS HE LOVED JESUS. Since there is no partiality with our heavenly Father in the way He loves any of His sons, He will certainly be willing to do everything for us, His sons, that He did for His firstborn Son, Jesus. He will help us as He helped Jesus. He will care for us as much as He cared for Jesus. He will be as interested in planning the details of our daily life as He was in planning Jesus' life. Nothing can ever happen to us that will take God by surprise. He has already planned for every eventuality. So we need no longer be insecure. We have been sent to earth with as definite a purpose as Jesus was. All this is true for you too - but only if you believe it. Nothing works for the one who does not believe in the Word of God.
2. God Delights in Honest People: "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another" (1 John 1:7). To walk in the light means first of all that we hide nothing from God. We tell Him everything, exactly as it is. I am convinced that the first step towards God is honesty. God detests those who are insincere. Jesus spoke against hypocrites more than He spoke against anyone else. God does not ask us to be holy or perfect first of all but to be honest. This is the starting point of true holiness. And from this spring flows everything else. And if there is one thing that is really easy for anyone of us to do, it is to be honest. So, confess sin immediately to God. Don't call sinful thoughts by "decent" names. Don't say "I was only admiring the beauty of God's creation" when actually you lusted adulterously with your eyes. Don't call "anger" as "righteous indignation". You will never get victory over sin if you are dishonest. And don't ever call "sin", "a mistake", because Jesus' blood can cleanse you from all your sins, but not from your mistakes!! He does not cleanse dishonest people. There is hope only for honest people. "He who covers his sin will never prosper" (Proverbs 28:13). Why did Jesus say that there was more hope for prostitutes and for thieves to enter God's kingdom than for religious leaders (Matthew 21:31)? - Because prostitutes and thieves make no pretence of being holy. Many young people are turned away from churches because church-members give them the impression that they themselves have no struggles. And so those young people think, "That holy bunch of people will never understand our problems!!" If this true of us, then we are unlike Christ Who drew sinners to Himself.
3. God Delights in a Cheerful Giver (2 Corinthians 9:7): This is why God gives man total freedom - both before and after conversion, and after being filled with the Spirit. If we are like God, we also will not seek to control others or pressurise them. We will give them freedom to be different from us, to have different views from ours and to grow spiritually at their own pace. All compulsion of any sort is from the devil. The Holy Spirit fills people, whereas demons possess people. The difference is this: When the Holy Spirit fills anyone; He still gives that person freedom to do whatever he wants. But when demons possess people they rob them of their freedom and control them. The fruit of being filled with the Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23). Demon-possession however, results in the loss of self-control. We must remember that any work that we do for God that is NOT done cheerfully, joyfully, freely and voluntarily is a dead work. Any work done for God for a reward or for a salary is also a dead work. Any money given to God under pressure from others has no value at all, as far as God is concerned!! God values a little done cheerfully for Him far more than a great deal done under compulsion, or done merely to ease one's conscience.
4. God Detests all that this World Considers Great: “That which men esteem highly is detestable in God's sight" (Luke 16:15). The things that are considered great in the world, not only have no value in God's eyes, but are actually an abomination to Him. Since all worldly honour is an abomination to God, it must be an abomination to us too. Money is something that everyone on earth considers valuable. But God says that those who love money and long to get rich will suffer the following eight consequences sooner or later (1 Timothy 6:9, 10): (1) they will fall into temptation, (2) they will fall into a trap, (3) they will fall into foolish desires, (4) they will fall into harmful desires, (5) they will plunge into ruin, (6) they will plunge into destruction, (7) they will wander away from the faith and (8) they will pierce themselves with many a pang. I have seen this happen again and again to believers everywhere. One of the main reasons why a prophetic word from the Lord is hardly ever heard these days is because most preachers are lovers of money. Jesus said that the true riches (the prophetic word being one of them) would not be given by God to those who were unfaithful with money (Luke 16:11). This is why we hear so many boring sermons and so many boring testimonies in church-meetings and conferences.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon