Discerning The Bride

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8 ESV

How do you know if you’re saved? How can you have confidence on the day of judgment? How can you discern true believers from the counterfeit ones?

Is it based on some prayer formula that you recite? Is it a mental ascent to enlightenment? Is it knowing orthodox theology? Is it checking all the right boxes of either thought, word or behavior? Is it based on your attendance at gatherings of the faithful?

It’s none of those things. They all might play a part in the journey, but there’s one litmus test for the true believer. A simple dichotomy.

I’ll let you in on an open secret.

It’s very easy.

Inspect the fruit.

Do you love others the way that Jesus taught and commanded us to? Do others love like God does? If God’s love abides in you and you abide in God’s love, it’s a safe bet that you know God personally. If not, then you have not yet come to know God in a real sense. Doesn’t that make it easy? And it’s Scriptural, or Biblical, as the religious like to say.

The early Church did not have the Bible. That came much later. So whether something is ‘Biblical’ or not is not a valid reason to say whether something should be done or not. Bible scholars are constantly debating the interpretation of Scriptures and completely missing the forest for the trees.

We know that all Scripture is inspired by the Spirit of God. If you know the Author, then the written words will confirm what the Spirit is already saying. Some people get it backwards, searching the Scriptures to know God. The Scriptures are the evidence that someone knew God and wrote down what God said. I think I might be making this more confusing, let’s move on.

Most days, when I ask God what He wants me to write about, He says, “Love.”

I’m not one to willfully disobey my Lord. Sin is painful to my well-being. I still do it occasionally, but it’s no longer my lifestyle. I’ve had lots of practice being a sinner, but the fruit was misery and isolation, something akin to living in hell. I know from personal experience, life’s a whole lot better walking in God’s love than the alternative.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. Where does that joy come from? The experiential knowledge of God’s love. Like a man knows his wife, so shall we know His Love. We become one with God when we abide in love. When we abide in oneness, we bear much fruit. We can’t help it, the fruit of the Spirit manifests in abundance.

Walk with God. You’ll be overflowing with His love, joy and peace. All the goodness and kindness of Jesus will be radiating from your being. You’ll be a shining star of the Kingdom in a cold, dark world.

Do you love God? Many honor God with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. Actions speak louder than words. Our words reveal what’s in our hearts, but people can be liars. All lies are birthed from fellowship with the evil one. Remember, even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. You must exercise discernment.

How do we know who’s in the Bride of Christ? Who is betrothed to their first love? Jesus is the Bridegroom, preparing His Bride for the wedding feast. He won’t marry an adulterer. I was married to one once, it didn’t end well. Selfishness is not a part of God’s Kingdom.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates (works against) his [Christian] brother he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should also [unselfishly] love his brother and seek the best for him.

1 John 4:20‭-‬21 AMP

Brothers and sisters, let us love one another as God has loved us. That is His commandment. Love is an action. Review 1 Corinthians 13 for God’s definition of love, the more excellent way. Better than manifesting all the gifts of the Spirit. Faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love.

Focus on the main thing. Keep the main thing, the main thing. The main thing is abiding in Christ. The main thing is being God’s love in action. Be a doer of the Word and not merely a hearer, deceiving yourself that you’re something that you’re not.

Evangelism and disciple making are God’s fullest expression of love in action. If Jesus gave His life to do it, what makes us think we’re any different? Are we obedient children of God or are we the devil’s children? Love is the difference maker.

Lord God in Heaven, let the true Church arise in power, glory and love. Unite us and mobilize us to carry Your love to the lost, broken and hurting places in our world, which is all around us. Deliver us from a complacent or defeated spirit. Arise in power and send us in Your Love to reap a mighty harvest for Your glory. In the Name of King Jesus we pray. Amen and so be it.

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