Not Kicking His Dog Anymore
Let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God
(1 John 4:17-7
The night Leonard received Christ as his personal Savior, his heart was filled with love, and a great change came over him. Until then he had hated everyone and everything.
When he came home drunk at night, he used to kick his dog in the belly to get him off the porch, scattering chairs and flower pots in all directions. In the process, the dog would bark, growl and try to bite him. Reeling and rocking under the influence of alcohol, Leonard would chase the dog around the table outside. Soon his wife would get into the fray. They would cuss and fight.
"But the night I received Christ," he relates, "I was so filled with love that even the dog sensed I was different. He raised himself up off his belly and crawled toward me, then lay down on the same feet that had kicked him all the other nights."
The greatest power that God can give us is His supernatural, unconditional, everlasting and unchangeable love. The purest and deepest kind of love, it is expressed not through mere emotions, but as an act of one's will.
says, "God is love" (1 John 4:8, NLT). Whenever He is received and comes into one's life, His love comes also because He is always Himself. When we receive Him, we receive love. His loves becomes a part of us as He takes up residence in us.
Of course, we can suppress that love by not allowing the Holy Spirit to fill and control us, and we all have seen cases where that happens. But He is always there to express His love through us if we will but allow Him.
And we meet people who may be very difficult for our natural selves to love, and we have to love them "by faith
." But that is also God, because our natural selves would never love them. It is supernatural, as by faith we allow God to love them through us, as we yield to His Spirit.
Many such difficult people are hurting on the inside, which God knows about, and He wants to use us to touch their lives with His love.
"Let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God -- for God is love" (1 John 4:7-8, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.