Posts tagged ‘love’

Aug 11 2011
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Perhaps no woman in the Scriptures was loved more deeply than Rachel, as we see by the acts of Jacob. But do you think she realized how much Jacob loved her? In this day we are continually being exhorted to love one another, but some of the greatest miracles are wrought when we become aware that we are being loved. What God is doing for you would often be helped a great deal if you would follow this simple step: Instead of seeking ministry and help, just open your heart to the fact that a great amount of love and concentrated faith is already flowing to you.

Open your heart to a visitation of love and say, “Lord, I know You love me.” Instead of concentrating on trying to love God, just let Him love you. Appropriate the love and blessing from the Lord. Drink of it until you are completely intoxicated with it.

  • John Robert Stevens, "No-Love" 1979
    John Robert Stevens, "No-Love" 1979
    Excerpt from the This Week "No-Love" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1979 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Aug 1 2011

When you partake of Communion, the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, you partake of the evidence of God’s love, the communication of it. When you put the bread to your lips, listen for the heartbeat of God the Father, loving you. When you lift the cup to your lips, listen for the cry of love on the cross: “Father, it is finished” (John 19:30). Learn to know His love, and to know that He really does forgive you and cleanse you. He gives you His life.

  • John Robert Stevens, "Sparks From the Altar" 1971
    John Robert Stevens, "Sparks From the Altar" 1971
    Excerpt from the book "Sparks From the Altar" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1998 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Apr 30 2011

Experiencing Divine Love

As I was reading the previous quote from John Robert Stevens, it made me realize how feeling God’s love for people is really a direct experience with God. I’ve never thought of it that way before, but it has been very true in my own life. In feeling God’s love for people, and loving them with His love, it creates deep experiences with God for me personally.

Another thing Stevens is teaching me here is that our love for one another is not merely a human emotional response; there are times when our love is actually a witness of the Holy Spirit to the Father’s love!

Perhaps all of this this seems too basic, but I can draw a pretty radical conclusion to all of this: if you want a meeting with God, just determine to open your heart to love someone with His love. Simple.

 

Apr 29 2011

There are certain feelings in response to the Spirit’s moving on almost every plane we experience. When I became a Christian as a boy, I sensed the same good joy in my heart every time I testified or prayed in the house of the Lord. Later on, when I was filled with the Holy Spirit, there was that same exhilarating anointing every time I began to praise or worship the Lord….

This response of the Spirit is true also in regard to divine love. As the Spirit witnesses to this love, you experience a deep compassion welling up within you, until your heart yearns over people and it is very difficult to control the tears.

  • John Robert Stevens, "Basic Principles in Applying Divine Love," 1977
    John Robert Stevens, "Basic Principles in Applying Divine Love," 1977
    Excerpt from the School of Prophets manual "Basic Principles in Applying Divine Love" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1977 by John Robert Stevens & The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Feb 25 2011

We are overwhelmed when we realize that we must lay down the limitations we have imposed on how much, how long, how far, how deep. We cannot put any limitations on anything. How much shall I love Him? How long shall I love Him? How deep shall I love Him? It is so human for us to put up limitations and say, “I think I could go thus far.” Ah, you can go that far and further—and with His gentle wooing you will go further still, on and on. “Those who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, love not their lives unto death” (Revelation 14:4;12:11). O Lord, let us all be included in that.

  • John Robert Stevens, "Search Me O God.... Psalm 139:23" 1974
    John Robert Stevens, "Search Me O God.... Psalm 139:23" 1974
    Excerpt from the This Week "Search Me O God.... Psalm 139:23" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1974 by John Robert Stevens & The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Feb 19 2011

When two people who love each other walk together, hand in hand, everything that has ever been in the past merges at that moment; and everything that is going to be in the future comes with a hope and a faith that is set ablaze with love.

That is the way it is with God: everything that He has ever done and everything that He has ever meant to you focuses on this one moment. He says, “I love you. I love you! Put your hand in Mine and we will walk together.” You can panic; you can be fearful; you can be afraid of changes. You can put up walls; you can back away. But one answer that will wipe out all your problems and help you to really walk with God is just to love Him—just love Him.

  • John Robert Stevens, "God Loves You" 1970
    John Robert Stevens, "God Loves You" 1970
    Excerpt from the book Sparks From the Altar, "God Loves You?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1998 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Sep 28 2010

John’s Relationship With God

I recently spent some time in Los Angeles, and had a chance to talk to my father about his recollections of John Robert Stevens. This will be part one of a series of posts about topics from that conversation.

One of the things my father said concerning John is that “he had a relationship with God that was palpable.” I love this turn of phrase. The way my father described it is that when you were around John you could feel the connection he had with God emanating from Him. John spent time with God. He didn’t just talk about God, or study God; he waited on the Lord, prayed, and put everything else on hold in order to cultivate a true relationship with Him. My father continued in this vein:

It was impressive to watch him move in the Spirit, but that’s not all he did. He was personable and relatable and Scripturally sound. It was always evident that John had a love for God and a love for the people. That’s what drove him. He had an anointing and a commission.

The combination of all these facets of John’s personality is what draws me to his teachings. It’s not just the fact that he was so important to my parents, or that he founded the church that I pastor. When I hear him speak in a recorded sermon, I can feel his love for God. It was so simple, but so foundational. And instead of just having a love for God in his heart, he actually did something about it and ministered it to the people around him.

Once again, we hit this bottom-line description that what drove John Robert Stevens was his love for God and his love for the people. So cool.

I will try to write more from this conversation soon.

 

Aug 30 2010

Thoughts on Being Aware of the Lord

Researching John Robert Steven’s life, I’ve discovered so many things that he was interested in; so for him to say that he discarded his hobbies just shows how much he let go of in order to follow the Lord fully (see the previous quote).

He loved photography and film. He loved music and history. He loved to tell jokes and loved to laugh. He set himself to serve the Lord with all his heart, but no one would say that it was to the detriment of his vivacity and personality. And in all of these things that he loved to do, he never let them distract him from an awareness of God. To me, this is a great balance, but it all must start with God.

John said, “I do not think that anything is greater than coming into an awareness of the Lord.” And this is what I want to apply in my life. God is first, and everything else is second—at best! If an awareness of God is our foremost desire, then everything else in our lives will fall into place.

This is why John Stevens is such a great example to me. He never forsook his first love, and everything he did lined up to his relationship to God. However, it never robbed him of his joy for life! This is how we know we’re doing it right: the joy of the Lord and the joy of life must be present, otherwise I would say that our awareness of God is lacking. If we know God, we will have His love in our hearts. As I John 4:8 says,”The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

 

Aug 12 2010

Thoughts on Not Criticizing

When I read John Robert Stevens’ writings, I feel strongly his heart of care and concern. I know I’ve written about this earlier, but so many people I’ve talked to about him often say the same thing: John Robert Stevens was a man who loved God’s people very deeply.

The quote previous to this post is another great example of this, because the other thing I hear from so many people who knew him is that he was a man of great perception. He was able to look at people and the Holy Spirit revealed to him their strengths and their weaknesses.

I was thinking recently how it’s so easy to love someone when you are not that aware of their problems, but it takes a greater depth of love once you see the issues. Well, John saw the issues very clearly, but he had a commitment and love in his heart to help people. He had faith for every man, no matter what they were facing! As he said: “God did not give me the deep insight of the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge or discernment so that I should criticize, but rather that I should help.”

I’m thankful that John Robert Stevens established this kind of relating among believers in his churches, especially since I pastor one of them! I see first-hand the fruit of his heart and his teaching in the people who attend Grace Chapel of Honolulu.

Of course, we all know where this attitude comes from. It comes from the Lord and His Word. It could only come from Him! It is exactly what Christ taught us in the Book of John:

“A ​​new commandment I give to you, ​​that you love one another, ​even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

 

Aug 9 2010

When I minister and I see the need, I do not put anyone down. I always try to help. I do not want to ever beat down a man with my words, no matter what is wrong in his life. I want to always give a word of faith to build others up. God did not give me the deep insight of the word of wisdom or the word of knowledge or discernment so that I should criticize, but rather that I should help. Neither should you criticize each other! When you see a need, do not fail to move on it with faith! If you need to repent concerning your lack of love, then get busy with it!

  • John Robert Stevens, "Are You A Turkey," 1980
    John Robert Stevens, "Are You A Turkey," 1980
    Excerpt from the This Week "Are You A Turkey?" by John Robert Stevens, Copyright © 1980 by The Living Word, a California non profit Corporation. Used by permission.

 

Jul 17 2010

Thoughts on Submitting to One Another

The previous quote by John Robert Stevens proves to me what a great leader he was. I love it when he says: “A ministry of authority … finds himself becoming submissive to everyone to whom he has given a Word from God.”

It’s one thing to give a Word from God to someone about who they are, and it’s quite another to submit to that Word. What strikes me here is the integrity that John had. If he was going to speak a Word over someone’s life, he believed it enough to submit to it!

I’ve read quite a bit on the topic of leadership recently—especially regarding pastors—and one of the biggest principles of leadership is to lead the strengths of those around you.

Poor leaders try to do everything themselves, and are insecure around other people’s strengths to the point where they suppress those strengths.

Good leaders allow room for each gift to function to create a result that is bigger than the sum of the parts. Talking to many who knew him, this was how John functioned.

As a pastor of one of the churches founded by John Robert Stevens, I am committed to this same attitude. When I see one of my elders or congregants through the Lord’s eyes, I determine to submit to who they are in God—even if they, themselves, are unaware of it!

But this isn’t just the attitude that pastors and leaders must have. Ephesians 5:21 says that we are all to submit to one another in Christ. This means that we should actively seek out a revelation from God about one another, and in submitting to that, we create each other into the complete vision God has for each one. This is the practical way in which the Body of Christ is built up in love! (Ephesians 4:16)