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Decatur Community Workshops: Young and Married in Atlanta Extended Video Highlights

This video provides just a few highlights from our recent workshop "Young and Married in Atlanta". This event was a production of Decatur Community Workshops and was hosted at The Body Church, 3009 Rainbow Drive, Suite #142, Decatur, GA 30034.

Our faith-based group hosts monthly workshops in the Decatur area that are free, interactive and open to the surrounding community. Topics include leadership, personal finances, investing, professional networking, career advancement, real estate, grant writing and many more. We are open to suggestions and are always interested in welcoming new people. If you love to learn new things especially for free, this group is for you. For more info, visit www.meetup.com/decaturcommunityworkshops

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Decatur Community Workshops - Christian Dating

This is an introductory video to our next workshop "Christian Dating". This event is a production of Decatur Community Workshops and will be hosted at The Body Church, 3009 Rainbow Drive, Suite #142, Decatur, GA 30034 on Friday, April 22nd at 7:00 PM. 

 

Our faith-based group hosts monthly workshops in the Decatur area that are free, interactive and open to the surrounding community. Topics include leadership, personal finances, investing, professional networking, career advancement, real estate, grant writing and many more. We are open to suggestions and are always interested in welcoming new people. If you love to learn new things especially for free, this group is for you. For more info, visit Decatur Community Workshops.

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March 21, 2013 Posted by admin in Love

Spiritual Love

Spiritual Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8(NLT) - Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

Some time ago, I watched a documentary of an Australian man who lived his life as a rebel until he was poisoned. However, just before he died, God gave him an opportunity to have his sins forgiven as a result of Jesus Christ's death on the cross. His mother was a Christian and interceded on his behalf all of his life so while he lay dying in an ambulance God brought the words of The Lord's Prayer to his remembrance.

He saw the words of the prayer appear before his eyes as though they were written in thin air by the Hand of God. When the prayer got to the part where he was supposed to ask God for forgiveness, God asked him if he would first forgive those people who wronged him. Without any knowledge of how God's Kingdom worked, he refused and the prayer was stuck right there until he finally obliged.

Soon after he arrived at the hospital and died on the bed. He could see his physical body lying motionless as he rose from the bed in spirit form. Suddenly the room became completely dark. He thought he was still in the hospital but even though he was able to move around the room, he could not feel the walls or the bed. Even if he reached out to touch something his hands went right through it. In addition, he could not feel his own body because it was not made of physical matter.

However, he started hearing eerie sounds and could see large eyes looking at him through the darkness. He could sense evil around him and since he was only a spirit he knew that he was on his way to hell. The large evil creature in the darkness told him that he deserved to be there and he couldn't even argue with that.

John 3:19(KJV) - And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 1:4(KJV) - In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Out of nowhere a light shone from the sky and he was drawn into the air by the light. As he ascended, he could see the darkness disappearing beneath him like a shrinking hole. He arrived in heaven and the most beautiful being stood before him.

Interestingly, even though he spent his entire life as a sinner, his spirit immediately recognized that he was standing before Jesus. All the light he was seeing came out of Jesus and shone from His body as though it was the source of all light. At that point, the guilt of a life dominated by sinful actions overwhelmed him and he started confessing all he had ever done. Then something happened that blew my mind.

He said that out of the body of Jesus emanated love. Jesus did not say "I love you!" He did not do something nice to show the man that He loved him. He didn't wrap His arms around the man in a tight hug. He just beamed Love out of His own spiritual body into the spiritual body of the man. Now think about that!

He said that the Love of God pierced through his spiritual body removing all guilt the same way the beams of light expelled all the darkness. God overwhelmed a man drowning in guilt by just standing there. He didn't need to say a word or do a thing but offered a love that the man's spirit understood completely without the assistance of any other form of manifestation.

Spiritual Love

1 John 4:8(KJV) - He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

That's the theme of my message for today. I'm no "love expert" and I don't claim to have 10 steps to finding agape' love or anything like that. However, one day, I needed spiritual love. I didn't need someone to do something nice for me. I didn't need just a physical hug. I didn't need somebody to tell me that I was loved. I didn't need another scripture quoted about the love of God. I didn't need to memorize another verse.

There was a gap in my spirit that could not be filled with the love I had grown accustomed to. I needed a love that was deeper than anything ever shown or explained to me. I didn't want one that was accessible by my physical senses, understandable by my mind or that could be felt in my heart. I wanted that love that my dad has... that Love that would break down all of my defenses just by being there.

I didn't want to know that I was loved. I knew that already and something was still missing inside of me. I needed God's love to go past my own effort to experience it because I wasn't getting it right. I practically stumbled into church and sat at the back of the section where I usually sit with a desperate heart. I remembered the story of that man and it finally made sense to me.

What if spiritual love cannot be experienced by anything outside of the spirit? Maybe, I've missed it because I was focused on the manifestation or the symptoms of the love and not on the source of the love itself. The agape' love I desperately needed manifested itself in all of those ways I could see but I didn't really care that much because I could no longer trust my senses. So here's the interesting part.

I stood up in the pew during "Praise and Worship" and asked God to release from within Himself that same spiritual love He gave to the Australian guy He saved from hell. God alone understood what I was saying because I knew that unless I had seen that documentary I would not have understood it with all of my knowledge of the Bible.

The truth is that even though spiritual love is manifested in the ways we describe it, it cannot be truly experienced outside of the spiritual realm. So even though we are overwhelmed on a daily basis by the manifestation of the Love of God that we can see, touch, feel and understand we do not truly experience it unless we are in the spirit.

John 4:24(KJV) - God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

So for a couple minutes, after I asked God for His love I felt nothing then suddenly something happened. The guilt of all of my sin began to overwhelm me and I felt as dirty as I had ever felt. I cried out to God for forgiveness and I asked Him for help. There was no room for pride or excuses because in the spirit realm I was standing face to face with God. I didn't do anything special to get there and I definitely was in no position to claim any more rights to be there than anyone else in the room. However, at that moment the people around me became obsolete.

I poured my heart out to God and honestly told Him how helpless I felt as a Christian. My efforts to get this right were worthless and I wasn't getting anywhere with my idea of righteousness. All of my knowledge and all of my gifts could not fill the void in my heart for the spiritual love of God. Consequently, I had tried to sense on a physical and mental level all of my life something that did not exist in either realm.

I thought that once I knew the love of God with my mind that I had ascended to the heights of Christianity. I even thought that once I felt the love of God in my heart, I had achieved the emotional height that I saw other faithful Christians reach. However, none of that was enough for me because I still felt a void all the way to that day. I still had to struggle with myself because I was not satisfied.

Spiritual Love

So with my hands raised in the air (physical submission), my mind completely focused on God (mental submission) and a heart of total surrender (emotional submission) I got what I was looking for. I didn't feel a thing physically. I didn't get any words of wisdom that touched my mind. I didn't respond from my heart emotionally to something I saw happen. I just had the spiritual experience that I yearned for all of my life that could change a man like me.

I don't know exactly how it happened and I'm happy about that. All I can say is I started crying and I thanked God for His love. It overwhelmed every facet of my being and for the first time I knew that I had experienced in person, the love that before that day I had to understand, sense or feel.

Ephesians 3:17-19(NKJV) - that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

God's love can manifest naturally but is deeper than our natural experience. It cannot be described with our intelligence because it is not mental. We cannot feel it in our hearts because it is not emotional. We cannot sense it with our five senses because it is not physical. However, it can manifest in every area of our lives.

What we have seen, felt, heard and known all of our lives is the manifestation necessary to assure us that His love was actually there. It's the difference between symptoms and the issue behind the symptoms. You might feel hurt in one part of your body but the problem is somewhere else. So the symptom tells you that a problem is there but you have no idea what it really is.

Romans 5:5(KJV) - And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

I've seen the symptoms of God's love all of my life but I only fully experienced Him in person that day. It took the testimony of a man who got snatched from the jaws of hell for me to finally get there. I thought that signs of God's love were enough but even that couldn't satisfy the empty spot inside of me. I needed a spiritual encounter with the only Spiritual Love that exists. His Love doesn't need to be compared to any other love because when it is experienced on a spiritual level it stands alone.

In sum, you will never be deceived by love as long as you desire the only love that is sourced in the Spirit of God. Every other love is an imitation. They may all look right with your eyes. They may all sound right with your ears. They may all feel right when experienced with your body. They may also taste and smell right. A love that you can understand can be right but may also be wrong. (Ask many people who were once married and were sure they understood what they got themselves into.)

Many types of love can be emotionally experienced. However, only one love is Spiritual and that's the Love of God. You don't need to be a "love expert" to recognize the right type of love and even after you read all the best "love" books you might still get it wrong. People have so many great ideas that they use to evaluate love and almost go crazy when they somehow get deceived. However, to know if you're standing face to face with the Love of God you just need to be in the Spirit. If God is before you, your spirit will recognize Him with relative ease.

I personally know a few people who walk daily in that type of love. Once I stand before them, my spirit recognizes God and if I'm in sin I just want to repent. They don't have to do one thing because God is Love and as the light of God beams through these people, the Love of God pierces my body and removes the stain of guilt from my heart. That's the Spiritual Love we're all looking for. You think you find it when you find the symptoms but your journey is not over until you encounter The Source.

Colossians 1:8(KJV) - Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

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