Shutting Out the Noise (A Study of 1 John)

07/01/2013 § Leave a comment

Woman-Headache-6234357The following is the text of a sermon presented at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church on December 11, 2005.

This is a study of the first book of John entitled Shutting Out the Noise. The pursuit of a greater understanding of God starts with a fundamental decision that must be made. We have to be prepared to answer correctly the question of ‘Who is in charge of my life?’ To address such a question requires us to filter out all of the noise and distractions that keep us from living as God would have us to live. This so-called ‘noise’ is everywhere. It’s bad enough that the world tries to steer us away from godly pursuits, but there is even noise within our churches that elevate what man has to say over what God has to say. Look at some of our churches today. There is rampant hostility and rebellion in the midst of some congregations and denominations. Men who claim to be messengers of God are anything but that.

  • Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now. You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them (1 John 4:1-5).

This is a good place to start because we need to understand the playing field. There are going to be those individuals in our midst who will truly talk a good game when it comes to being true to God, but their lives will not reflect it. We have to become smarter as believers and start doing our own homework when it comes to what Scripture says. There are too many of us who are unable to discern truth because we don’t know the truth. If we fail to discern this truth, we cannot effectively live for God. God is very clear about how we need to live our lives in obedience of His word. The world, and those who are false, will try to come up with ways that stretch and bend God’s law to their own liking with their cleverness and cunning. But God’s true children can overcome such deception.

  • I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name. I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the One who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have had victory over the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you have come to know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the One who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, God’s word remains in you, and you have had victory over the evil one. Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever (1 John 2:12-17).

The key is to get back to the basics of what you were taught from the beginning, and build upon it with good, solid teaching, along with your own independent study. The best part of all of this is that you already have the basics down pat, and there is no better teacher that dwells within you than the Holy Spirit.

  • What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life. I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie; just as it has taught you, remain in Him (1 John 2:24-27).

So through all of the noise that we hear each day, how well are you allowing God’s voice to come through, and how well are you slowing yourself down to articulate your thoughts and prayers to God? It takes a conscious effort to have effective communication with God. It starts with our recognition of who God is in our lives.

  • What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed, and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life—that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete (1 John 1:1-4).

Who is this God that we put on the brakes for to slow down and pause for fellowship with? Or do we just go through life without paying attention to where God fits in? Perhaps we have already answered the previous question ‘Who is in charge here?’ with the proverbial ‘I’m in charge.’ Believers have to do more in this life to cut through the noise than just call themselves ‘Christians.’ We are to live differently as the people of the world live as the night is from the day. There has to be a distinction. If you are trying to blend in with others in society who are not of the Lord, Scripture says there is no difference between you and the world (1 John 1:5-10). We are called to be different. We are called by God to love one another. This love is key and is immediately distinctive from the behavior of those in the world.

  • Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command, but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another (1 John 2:7-8, 3:11).

Are we missing the call that God has given us? We have seen how having knowledge of the truth and discerning truth is important. We also see that we need to make a difference in our actions and not just play like we are believers. All of this comes with greater wisdom. The noise of the world must be filtered out of your life to gain such wisdom. There are a great number of people who have been held up as people to emulate. There is always talk of people that we would like to have as great role models. The greatest so-called role models of the world were also some of the greatest sinners. A pastor or anyone else in authority should never require anyone to emulate a human being. My recommendation of a person to live for is Jesus Christ. To live for Christ is the epitome of living a life of love and obedience. God has been and will always be a great mystery to us. He is beyond our earthly capacity to understand his mysteries and his ways. Yet, for those that are genuinely intrigued by this mystery, it should be a natural inclination to want to know more about Him. That is true unless you are inherently selfish. Selfishness cannot coexist with the love of God. It is selfishness that keeps God’s love from becoming real in our lives or in the lives of those we encounter. How easy is it for you to express God’s love to someone else in your life? It is more than just putting money in a kettle once a year…it is about a way of life.

  • If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him—how can God’s love reside in him? Little children, we must not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth; that is how we will know we are of the truth, and will convince our hearts in His presence (1 John 3:17-19).

God is love, and we are to live to reflect that love. Failure to do so is to not live for God. Yes, that also means to love your enemies (Matthew 5:43). All of us must concede that as we learn more about who God is, we are inadequate in ourselves. After we have effectively cut through the noise of this world, we can stop and give our thoughts and desires to God in prayer.

  • Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for (1 John 5:14-15).

All of this requires focus. How focused are you on who God is in your life. Do you have a hunger and desire for greater understanding of who God is? I suggest that if you meet God halfway through all of the noise of this world, He will make Himself evident to you. It is important that, through all of this, we remember that there is an adversary that wants to keep you from seeing Him at all. Thankfully, God’s power overcomes the world, and the noise of this world.

Copyright © Melvin Gaines. For more content, please see and


The Ministry of Communication

06/16/2013 § Leave a comment

A message presented at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church on June 16, 2013:

My wife and I presently go twice a week to the place where she had to go through physical therapy after injuring her back last year.  Thankfully, she’s healed from the injury, and we go there to exercise and stay loose through what is termed a “wellness” program.  Along with both of us at these workout sessions using the treadmill, sit steppers, weight machine and stationary bike are other people presently in therapy from recent injuries.  The difference between wellness and physical therapy is that wellness means you work out on your own, while a certified instructor closely monitors those under physical therapy.

Physical therapy requires a close monitoring of the person who is in rehabilitation by the instructor.  There has to be a clear communication of what exercises need to be done in order for the injured person to heal as quickly as possible, and especially because there are a fixed number of weeks that the person can receive treatment under a doctor’s care.  The instructor must give instructions that are easy to follow and understand, and the patient also needs to be clear as to the limits of what they can do in their recovery.  Both persons need to communicate well with each other in order to ensure that the recovery is timely and effective.

When we look at this type of communication, we see that there are positive results when both persons are cooperating and responding to questions and comments.  This is the optimal level of communication that each one of us would like to have in our personal and work relationships.  With this in mind, we readily acknowledge that this is sometimes more of a goal than reality.  The art of communication is a skill that needs to be developed over time.  It requires not just the ability to speak clearly, but also the ability to listen to the other person or persons, interpret the comments, and make a response.

I mention all of this because we need to keep in mind that our best opportunities for relating the gospel of Jesus Christ to others is in how we develop our interpersonal relationships.  The development of these relationships starts with effective interpersonal communication.  As we are each called by Jesus Christ to preach the gospel, we will explore the science of interpersonal communication.  This review of the process will help promote consistency in the ongoing development of relationships, and will hopefully provide a spark for those of us who believe they aren’t the best at communication.  For those who make that statement, I must present you with the challenge that your perceived lack of skills in communication is no excuse for not going out and speaking the gospel at the appropriate time.  Remember, this is Jesus Christ’s command to each of His followers.

Matthew 28:18-20 (HCSB)

18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Here is Moses’ conversation with the Lord about going to speak to Pharaoh on behalf of the Israelites.  Moses was not confident of his ability to speak at all.  Many of us may feel the same way, but God wants us to see where He works in your communication.

Exodus 4:10-15

10 But Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant—because I am slow and hesitant in speech.”

11 Yahweh said to him, “Who made the human mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh? 12 Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”

13 Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses, and He said, “Isn’t Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, he is on his way now to meet you. He will rejoice when he sees you. 15 You will speak with him and tell him what to say. I will help both you and him to speak and will teach you both what to do.

With this information, we can’t use our lack of ability in speech as an excuse, and let’s not exclude those persons who are young believers.  With the proper focus on God in the process, young believers can proclaim the gospel just as well as seasoned believers, and to some younger demographics, perhaps even better.

Your effective ministry, in general, requires preparation and the repetition of good habits to show yourself to be a qualified servant of Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 4:11-16

11Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Whether young or old, a believer will grow in his or her ability to minister to others with practical experience and consistency.  This review will look at five different areas that will promote effective interpersonal communication of the gospel to others.  The first area starts with something very important in the model of effective communication…your approach, which is reinforced by your attitude.

1.  Attitude

Your attitude each day is your daily perspective on the importance of the day.  Your attitude impacts your outlook on life, and it certainly has a profound effect on your ministry of communication.  Do you wake up each morning ready to take on the day with a fervor, or do you approach the day with dread and trepidation?  Let’s not gloss over your approach when you wake up each day…this is important.  Your day should start with a “thank you” with the understanding that God gives us each day that we wake up.  To be thankful has everything to do with your perspective about life itself.  Everything that you do each day, including your communication with others in a work or non-work environment, centers on your attitude.  Having a great outlook promotes a healthy interaction with others, while a negative outlook tends to keep you from interacting with others, if not outright repelling others away from you.  The only ministry that can take place here is a negative testimony about believers.

Your attitude is on display each day.  You don’t need to be perfect (that’s unrealistic).  You need to be a human being, but also be different in how people see your smile often, and your positive perspective even more often.

Ephesians 6:6-8

6 Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. 7 Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord.

Selfish attitudes and behaviors are commonplace today.  While others are out for themselves, to be selfless and concerned for others is refreshing and seldom seen.  You can draw others near to you when you show yourself to be selfless and caring for others.

Philippians 2:4-6

4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,

6 who, existing in the form of God,

did not consider equality with God

as something to be used for His own advantage.

Your attitude each day is just the beginning of your ministry of communication.  Your next area for consideration requires a measure of focus on others:

2.  Attentiveness

Believers who are in service for Jesus are participants in the ministry of reaching people just like themselves.  While no one is created alike, the people that we encounter each day have similar hopes, dreams, fears, concerns, tragedies and triumphs.  It is the things that we have in common that help us to be able to reach others for Jesus Christ.  When people see your genuineness and your ability to relate to who they are, where they’ve come from, and where they want to go, you have immediate credibility where you can share the gospel message at the appropriate time…but let’s also consider some important parts of communication that require attention.

Your interpersonal interaction.  Your credibility in communication begins with your body, your posture and your method of addressing the other person with the appropriate tone.  For example, if you are turned away from a person when he or she approaches you, do you take the time to turn and face the person, or only make a partial turn?  Is your posture erect or are you slouching?  Are you speaking in soft and reassuring tones, or do you come across as if you are being bothered with the interruption?  Consider how you would feel if you received this type of negative feedback when you approach someone.  It is also important to note that many people are often hesitant to approach others with personal questions or issues because of the perception that those questions are an imposition on the other person.  A response of poor body language or a discouraging tone reinforces that same conclusion and will likely discourage any other opportunities for discussion.  Your body language and conversation should always be inviting to the other person–no matter how busy you may be.  It is very, very seldom that a person who approaches you will be completely sensitive to your sense of timing, but keep in mind that your ministry for Jesus Christ is not about your timing.  It’s about His timing.

Your eye contact.  This one is huge, everyone.  Have you ever spoken to someone who cannot look you in the eye?  The person is looking somewhere on your person other than into your eyes.  Somewhere on your forehead?  Your shoulder?  Your chin?  How did you respond?  Don’t underestimate the power of eye contact in communication.  Eye contact in communication reinforces your words with confidence in what you are saying.  A lack of eye contact, no matter how sincere the words are, tends to diminish their impact.  To be fair, successful eye contact is only making glances into another person’s eyes and holding it in place for a few seconds.  It is not about staring the other person to a point of creepiness.  If you believe you struggle with eye contact, you should consider practicing reading an article from a newspaper or a magazine to yourself in the mirror, and take your eyes off the material long enough to look into the mirror at yourself.  This will help you to do a couple of things—practice your focus on the person you are speaking to, and also develop good habits of making eye contact that will build your communication credibility.

Proverbs 4:25-26

25 Let your eyes look forward;

fix your gaze straight ahead.

26 Carefully consider the path for your feet,

and all your ways will be established.

3.  Allowing the Spirit to Speak Through You

This is not as obvious or as practical as it seems to be.  Many people may get the first two areas correct but fail to impart the wisdom or information that God would have the person provide because of one thing getting in the way, and that’s pride.  Before you get all puffed up about someone coming to you for advise or for being that go-to person, remember who put you in that position to reach others.

Galatians 5:16

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to be a helper for each of us to reach people.  We reach others through the power and wonder of the Spirit who enables us to speak His words.  He does His best work through us when we get out of His way.  If we allow Him to work through us, we receive the additional benefit from His instruction and guidance in how we conduct ourselves each day.

John 14:25-26

25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

4.  Anticipate the Possibilities

To anticipate is to be prepared for the eventualities of a situation or circumstance and being prepared to take action when the time is right.  The application in your ministry of communication is to be ready for anything.  The first question that you may ask is “How can you be ready for anything?”  The smart-aleck answer is, “You can’t really be ready for anything.”  What you can do in anticipating the possibilities is to lay the groundwork for friendship first.  Your ministry of communication includes a considerable amount of discussion about those things that show you to be a genuine person, and it’s not exclusively discussions about faith or church; in fact, it’s about everything else.  Your anticipation is in the development of your relationship and ongoing prayer to God in allowing the Spirit to work as you learn more about the person you are interacting with.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Your ongoing prayers will give you the ability to see God working in the situation, and to be able to anticipate every question and comment that will lead you to our final point…

5.  Act in God’s Timing

There will be opportunities to speak the gospel message to others, but you need to be prepared for them and be ready to act according to the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Even with your anticipation of the possibility of such a conversation, it can still occur very quickly when you may not expect it to.  If you are in prayer continually and earnestly seeking God’s help in this area, He will always provide it and never let you down.  When God selects the time, He will give you the words to say that will lead a person to make a decision for Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:13

I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

A quick recap of your ministry of communication reveals five components that help one to fulfill their abilities as a believer in Jesus Christ:

1. Attitude

2. Attentiveness

3. Allowing the Spirit

4. Anticipate the Possibilities

5. Action in God’s Timing

You don’t need to be the best communicator for Jesus…you just need to be your best to allow the Holy Spirit to use you in your new and ongoing relationships.  Your ministry of communication is rooted in your kindness, thoughtfulness and a humble heart for others.  Pray about how God will use you this week in your role of carrying out His Great Commission.

Matthew 9:35-38

35 Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few.38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.

Akron Alliance Fellowship – Church Administrator

01/26/2013 § Leave a comment

Melvin Gaines

Melvin Gaines

I am pleased and honored to serve as Akron Alliance Fellowship‘s Church Administrator.  God has been very gracious to me, for I have been involved with various parts of the ministry of Akron Alliance since 1995.  I have always been very sensitive in my various roles over the years to support Pastor Gus Brown and his efforts, and the church family has been very gracious to me.  They have also welcomed my wife, Lynn with open arms.  With this new appointment, I welcome the challenges and responsibilities that come with the position, and I look forward to serving you.

A Church Administrator wears many hats in the role, including filling in for the pastor when he is away, but the most important part of the job’s requirement is having a heart for God in service and in stewardship.  The position also requires a business perspective and professional expertise.  In my business career that spans more than 35 years (!) including a stint as a company owner, I will strive to contribute a fair amount of real-world experience in my service to Akron Alliance, but I could not do any of it without acknowledging the presence and the work of God through the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 1:12).

Even with valuable experience, each of us in church leadership has much more to learn and to do—there’s no standing still.  I will be pursuing additional education with online studies and with memberships in organizations to help bolster my knowledge of church administration, and I will be working very closely with Pastor Gus to move Akron Alliance Fellowship into a new and exciting era that will promote our present and future members to continue to reach people for Jesus Christ, in accordance with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

One of our goals is to welcome new guests to our church, but we will trust God in this area, as He is the One who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).  In the meantime, it is vital that we continue to enrich the existing membership and attendees with wisdom and knowledge imparted through God’s Word from the pulpit and in the church classrooms.  My intent is to bolster our existing church activities and to introduce new and stimulating programs to Akron Alliance Fellowship, and I look forward to your participation in our ministry to the people of Greater Akron and beyond.  Your talents and gifts are encouraged as welcome contributions to Akron Alliance Fellowship, for we are all fellow workers in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:8).

An essential part of our transition as a church is the use of social media with church news, communication of the gospel message and words of encouragement.  Please look for us on Facebook (by liking our page) and on Twitter (@AkronCMAChurch).

Your prayers for the people and the ministry of Akron Alliance are encouraged, and I wish you many blessings in the name of Jesus Christ.


Melvin Gaines

God’s Love Languages For Your Life

04/21/2012 § Leave a comment

The following is the text of the two-day seminar presented to Akron Alliance Fellowship Church on April 20-21, 2012.  The material is based upon the book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate © 1992 and The Love Languages of God by Dr. Gary Chapman © 2002, Northfield Publishing, Chicago IL.

Welcome to Spring Break 2012 and another installment of the Akron Alliance Fellowship Church Relationship Conference Series.  We are now in our fifth year of the series and our seventh seminar where we study and discuss everyday interpersonal relationships with a biblical perspective.  Our seminar series is a unique approach to relationships that go beyond the how-to and advice books as we rely upon God’s Word to extrapolate how relationships form, develop, and change within our life experiences.

In the past we have discussed relationships from an interpersonal standpoint, including those with relatives, friends, co-workers, and, of course, a loving, healthy relationship with God and even how you value yourself.  We have focused on marital relationships and explored the importance of knowing your spouse as your marriage grows.  We have even discussed the difficulties of being in relationships with those that you love that are often unlovable.  We have covered a lot of ground, and there is much more to explore with our present look at love in action.

This past year we discussed the importance of love and communication, and we saw the benefits of knowing the love languages of the people that matter to us the most.  Our spouses, our friends and our family members all have different personalities, and not surprisingly, different love languages for those personalities.  What we discussed last year will have relevance to this year’s program, but not so much in how we communicate with our spouses or friends, but more in our relationship with God, and in how He communicates with us, and how we hear and respond to His communication.

It is important, however, to set the stage for our discussion by looking at the communication between Jesus and His disciples in the parable of the sower in the book of Matthew, Chapter 13:

Matthew 13:1-9

The Parable of the Sower

1 On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore.

3 Then He told them many things in parables, saying: “Consider the sower who went out to sow. 4 As he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. 6 But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. 7 Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. 8 Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown. 9 Anyone who has ears should listen!”

Matthew 13:18-23

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “You, then, listen to the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. 20 And the one sown on rocky ground—this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 Yet he has no root in himself, but is short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times what was sown.”

Note that Jesus is referring to His primary method of communication, God’s Word, and how it is received (or not received).  From this parable, we can conclude that in order for each of us to hear (and recognize) God’s communication with us, there are conditions that promote optimal understanding of His Word:

  • You must be open to the possibility that God wants to speak to you.
  • You need to set aside time to hear God speak to you.
  • You need to eliminate or put aside distractions in your life to hear Him speak.
  • You need to affirm God’s voice before you hear it.

Why is it important to hear God speak to us?

It demonstrates and affirms that we are in God’s family.

John 10:14-16

14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.

It protects us from serious mistakes.

Job 33:14-18

14 For God speaks time and again,
but a person may not notice it.
15 In a dream, a vision in the night,
when deep sleep falls on people
as they slumber on their beds,
16 He uncovers their ears at that time
and terrifies them with warnings,
17 in order to turn a person from his actions
and suppress his pride.
18 God spares his soul from the Pit,
his life from crossing the river of death.

It helps us to lead a productive life that ultimately will glorify God.

John 15:5

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.

With these points in mind, what we will hopefully see over the course of this program is how important it is to note the following:

  1. To have a healthy relationship with God through Jesus Christ
  2. Learning your “languages” of communication with God
  3. Discovering ways to enhance your communication and your relationship with God

It is fairly simple to conclude that you will maximize your ability to communicate with God if you have a healthy relationship with Him.  In contrast, if you do not have a healthy relationship with God, you will struggle in your communication with Him.  With this in mind, we will spend some time reviewing points that help to reinforce a healthy relationship with God.

Talking Points—A Healthy Relationship With God

Assuming that a person has the fundamental relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, there are key elements of a healthy relationship with God.  It is based upon these elements:

Prayer (Hebrews 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Building a healthy relationship begins with communication that is sincere and beneficial to greater understanding.  Prayer is something that must be practiced on a regular basis, and it allows for being open to hear God speak to your more clearly because of your sensitivity to Him.

The subject matter of your prayers is also relevant to a healthy relationship with God.  The prayers should be rooted in connecting with God’s desire for you to love Him through obedience to His Word.  Prayers for forgiveness, strength, and protection are relevant to this, but God also wants you to see the world as He sees it, and you should be compelled to inject praise and worship in your prayers because of His goodness.

Bible Study/Sunday School (Matthew 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; James 1:21-25)

In order to develop a relationship, its roots are in communication.  Prayer is your communication with God, while God’s Word is His communication to you.  In order to have a basic line of communication with God, you will need to study His Word on a consistent basis.

Meditation (Psalm 119:97-104; Colossians 3:1-2)

It is necessary to reflect upon your Bible reading and prayer time (this may be the most difficult thing to do during the day when things are very busy…it requires down time to use this effectively).  Taking the extra time to be still allows for a greater ability to hear God speak to you and for you to know best how to pray to Him.

Fellowship (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Hebrews 10:24-25)

While a good one-on-one relationship with God is important, it is even better when you are able to share and worship with others who are of like minds.  The support, encouragement, and friendship of fellow believers is what rounds out a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.

When we have a healthy relationship with God, we learn about His deep, unchanging, unconditional and personal love for us.

John 10:1-5, 14-15

1 “I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the door but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 5 They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”

14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.

1 Peter 5:6-7

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.

As a good relationship with God promotes the best communication, we are best able to hear God’s voice.  Since God knows who you are, He communicates with you in ways that are unique to who you are, which makes sense in that none of us are exactly the same.  Before we explore the differences, let’s review what each of us has in common as a fellow believer:

God’s Word

Each believer has many resources available to read and review, but the Bible is the common text for each of us to know God’s personal communication.  In addition, there are different bible translations that suit the taste of the believer, but the basic intent of God’s Word is communicated.

Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the LORD is good.
How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!

The Holy Spirit

Each believer has the Holy Spirit that provides guidance that is unique for each person.  The Spirit dwells within and is readily present to the believer for immediate communication.

2 Timothy 1:13-14

13 Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you.

It should be noted that both the Bible and the Holy Spirit are also available for the non-believer, as well.  The difference is that the Spirit does not dwell within the non-believer, but it is indeed God who brings a person to Himself.  Remember, He is actively seeking to save the lost, and He is the One who provides the increase.

John 6:44

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 12:32

As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.

1 Corinthians 1:9

God is faithful; you were called by Him into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 2:46-47

46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.

God indeed makes Himself present for every person that He created—it is up to each person to respond to Him.  He is the One who builds the membership of the body of Christ each day, and He does in ways that are unique to each new believer.

Our focus will be on God’s unique communication with each of us and, with this information, we can discover the languages that God uses to communicate with us, and how we can improve and even enhance our understanding of His communication.  Notice that God speaks to us in love throughout His communication with us, which is His essence, whether you are a believer or a non-believer.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Revelation 3:19

As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent.

Now that we have explored how God desires to communicate with us, how can we close the gaps we experience in understanding how God speaks to us? 

First, we need to understand the basics about effective communication.  Effective communication is when both parties receive information that accurately represents the viewpoints of the other person.  In contrast, ineffective communication is when there is a misunderstanding by one party of the other party’s intent, or it can also be ineffective if the person communicating information does not do so clearly enough for the other person to understand.  You can see that, with all of the opportunities for miscommunication, the practice of effective communication requires just that—practice.  It sometimes requires a little extra effort to make sure that effective communication is taking place.

As a result, we need to be patient as we learn, for God is very patient, while we are often not nearly as patient.  Love indeed is patient and kind, and can also be confusing if you don’t understand when and how God is communicating with you.  It is not that God is communicating in a strange way (God always communicates truth)—it is more that we are not as “in tune” with God as we should be.  The process of discovery will take time and, again, patience.  Growing in the Lord is very important in our efforts to communicate with God.

Ephesians 4:13

11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.

2 Corinthians 8:7

Now as you excel in everything—faith, speech, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us—excel also in this grace.

This seminar will look at the languages of love as identified by the author of the best selling book, The Five Love Languages—How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Dr. Gary Chapman.  Dr. Chapman’s book, The Love Languages of God, was an expansion of the original book that reflected on God’s use of the love language in His unique communication with each believer.  While we will explore each of the love languages, please note that God speaks to each of us individually.  As we review the material through this seminar, note that you will relate completely to one or more of the languages based upon your personality and sensitivities, while others will be like a foreign language to you.  This principle should be applicable to most of you.

As a reminder for each of us, love languages are relevant to each and every one of us for one simple reason…each love language is rooted in the essence of God’s love, and we are all His creation in His image!  The love languages are a stimulus in much the same way that our five senses are stimuli of communication—both verbal and non-verbal—for each of us.  In the same way, we are responsive to God’s nature and essence with His love languages because He communicates in a way that is unique to us as our Creator.  Our challenge is to be sensitive to this communication as we grow and develop in Jesus Christ.

God’s Love Languages and You

The essence of God is love, and we have explored His desire to have a healthy, vibrant relationship with each of us in His love.  To build on our discussion yesterday about God’s love and His communication with you, we will look at the love languages that God uses to communicate with us, but first let’s explore the different ways that God speaks to us.

Through the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 119:11, 105)

This is the most clear (and likely most effective) method of God’s communication with His people.  The Bible is God’s manual for His people.

Through the inner still, small voice of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:12, 13:2, 16:6-7; 1 Kings 19:12; Isaiah 30:19-21; John 14:26)

Through the advice and counsel of men and women of God (Proverbs 12:15)

Through the audible voice of God (Acts 9:4-5)

Through dreams (Matthew 1:20-21) – there are many instances in the Bible when God clearly communicates through dreams.

Through visions (Acts 10:9-18)

Through angels (Luke 1:26-38)

By circumstances – this also includes through your personal pain and related difficulties (but not always).  Note that there are moments when suffering in our life shapes us and promotes for hearing God speak to you in a very personal way.

There is a danger, however, in allowing mere circumstances to run our lives, for it can open doors to Satan being present instead of God.  Allow a confirmation of God through another method of communication to confirm that God is speaking to you in this way.

Through peace and contentment – this is similar to hearing God speaking through the Holy Spirit.  He can also speak to you by giving you a strong sense of peace as confirmation of God’s presence.  It is also a by-product of your trust and faith in Him through obedience.

Each of us has experienced one or more of these ways of God’s communication at different times.  A point of concern, however, is that we can overshadow our hearing God’s voice by listening to our own desires.  Beware of anyone who is quick to claim that God told that person to do this or do that.    In order to prevent this miscommunication, we need to rely upon more than one source of God’s communication as confirmation of His message.  The primary, and most important check and balance of confirming God’s communication with us is through God’s Word and being in accordance with God’s will.

Job 33:14

For God speaks time and again,

but a person may not notice it.

Love Language #1

Words of Affirmation

God values man with His Words.

Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 31:1-3, 12-13

1 “At that time”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be My people.”

2 This is what the LORD says:

   They found favor in the wilderness—
the people who survived the sword.
When Israel went to find rest,
3 the LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you. 

12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;

they will be radiant with joy
because of the LORD’s goodness,
because of the grain, the new wine, the fresh oil,
and because of the young of the flocks and herds.
Their life will be like an irrigated garden,
and they will no longer grow weak from hunger.
13 Then the young woman will rejoice with dancing,
while young and old men rejoice together.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
give them consolation,
and bring happiness out of grief.

Jesus’ Encouraging Words

John 5:24

“I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.”

John 6:35, 40

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” 40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

John 10:27-30

27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

Revelation 22:12-13, 17

12 “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

17 Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.

Additional verses for words of praise and affirmation:

Hebrews 13:15

Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name.

In order to praise God with words of affirmation, there has to be a love for God that places Him first in your life in your worship and praise.  For many people, this is not a primary love language, especially if you have had difficulty with expressing feelings to others in your family.  This is a one of those “core” languages where you will feel it deeply or only express it when you are going through a very emotional (and vulnerable) life experience.

Psalm 150

1 Hallelujah!
Praise God in His sanctuary.
Praise Him in His mighty heavens.
2 Praise Him for His powerful acts;
praise Him for His abundant greatness.

3 Praise Him with trumpet blast;
praise Him with harp and lyre.
4 Praise Him with tambourine and dance;
praise Him with flute and strings.
5 Praise Him with resounding cymbals;
praise Him with clashing cymbals.

6 Let everything that breathes praise the LORD.

God wants us to affirm Him in our words (through prayer, praise, and worship) and in our actions (worship through obedience).  Both of these are expressions of our desire to show God that He is prominent and important in how we conduct ourselves, and when we reflect our love for God in this way, He provides assurance and guidance with His presence.

Love Language #2

Quality Time

If you value a relationship, you will devote quality time to it.  Relationships will not grow effectively without quality time.

John 14:23-26

23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.

25 “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

John 17:24

I desire those You have given Me
to be with Me where I am.
Then they will see My glory,
which You have given Me
because You loved Me before the world’s foundation.

 John 14:16-18

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

Jesus spent time with the twelve:

Mark 3:14

He also appointed 12—He also named them apostles—to be with Him, to send them out to preach…

A biblical reference to quality time is the exchange between Martha and Jesus and how the busyness of life can swallow up the things that are most important, especially your relationship with Jesus Christ:

Luke 10:38-42

While they were traveling, He (Jesus) entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.  She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said.  But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”  The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Quality time with God is necessary for vision and energy.  It is a joyful experience to spend time in the Lord—not burdensome, but uplifting and invigorating.

God wants us to spend time with Him, and not just on Sunday, but every day, as well.

Love Language #3


God is the “gift-giver” of life.

Genesis 1:27, 29-31

27 So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female.

29 God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This food will be for you, 30 for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth—everything having the breath of life in it. I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.

His daily provision

Deuteronomy 7:13

He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will bless your descendants, and the produce of your land—your grain, new wine, and oil—the young of your herds, and the newborn of your flocks, in the land He swore to your fathers that He would give you.

Deuteronomy 11:13-15

13 “If you carefully obey my commands I am giving you today, to love the LORD your God and worship Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 I will provide rain for your land in the proper time, the autumn and spring rains, and you will harvest your grain, new wine, and oil. 15 I will provide grass in your fields for your livestock. You will eat and be satisfied.

Psalm 19:1-3

1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.
2 Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they communicate knowledge.
3 There is no speech; there are no words;
their voice is not heard.

A reciprocal, personal love…

1 Kings 3:7, 9, 11-13

7 “LORD my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership.

9 So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

11 So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to understand justice, 12 I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again. 13 In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no man in any kingdom will be your equal during your entire life.

Psalm 5:12

12 For You, LORD, bless the righteous one;
You surround him with favor like a shield.

Matthew 7:7-11

7 “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

God’s gift to mankind

John 3:16-17, 35-36

16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands. 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

James 1:17

Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.

1 John 3:1-2

1 Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him. 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.

Gifts promised by Jesus

John 16:16, 20

16 “A little while and you will no longer see Me; again a little while and you will see Me.”

20 “I assure you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.

John 16:23-24

23 In that day you will not ask Me anything.

   “I assure you: Anything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 

24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

Ephesians 5:1-2

1 Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. 2 And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.

Spiritual gifts

Ephesians 4:11-12

11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ.

Wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, and leadership

1 Corinthians 12:7

A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial.

Gift giving in ministry is recognized by God

Matthew 25:34-40

34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

35 For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’

40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

One of the most expressive ways of communicating to God is by giving gifts to others.

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17

12 “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.”

17 Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.

The word ‘gift’ comes from the Greek word charis, which means “unmerited favor.”  God’s gifts are not given because we deserve them—they are given as an expression of love for us.  In the same way, our gifts to others are not based upon merit or the person’s performance or what they have done for us; instead, it is because we love them as Jesus loves them.

Love Language #4

Acts of Service

Jesus’ act of service

John 13:1-5, 12-17

1 Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

2 Now by the time of supper, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Him. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. 4 So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. 5 Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.

12 When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.

16 “I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Luke 4:18-19 (Isaiah 61:1-2)

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

John 17:1-5

1 Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said:

the hour has come.
Glorify Your Son
so that the Son may glorify You,
2 for You gave Him authority
over all flesh;
so He may give eternal life
to all You have given Him.
3 This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.
4 I have glorified You on the earth
by completing the work You gave Me to do.
5 Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence
with that glory I had with You
before the world existed.

John 14:1-7

1 “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.”

5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?”

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

7 “If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”

John 14:8-11

8 “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.

Jesus rose to life a widow’s son, a ruler’s daughter, and an older man and friend who had been in the grave for four days.  These miracles are recorded in Luke 7:11-17; 8:41-42, 49-56 and John 11:1-44).

The ultimate act of service

1 John 4:7-12

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.

Romans 5:6-8

6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

Expressing love to God through acts of service

John 14:12-15

12 “I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.13 Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.

Matthew 10:42

And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple—I assure you: He will never lose his reward!”

Love Language #5

Physical Touch

Physical touch is when a person “feels the presence of God.”  It is an emotional “burst” of energy that one experiences.  It is the result of a deep desire of a person to want to make a connection with God.  This phenomenon does not determine the level of worship or praise of a person (as in, the more you put into it—the more that you get out of it).  This love language is most evident during a worship service when you see persons with hands raised and singing loudly, and even with tears running down their faces, while you may observe others with not nearly the same response.

I’ve often wondered about this myself, as I am not nearly as connected emotionally during a worship service, and at first, I thought that it had to do with my personality.  After thinking about it, I had to go further than that because I think that I have a personality that is a little more outgoing than most people…so now I’m thinking about my worship and wondering what’s missing?  Well, the answer is nothing is “missing” at all.  For me, this love language of physical touch with God is not a primary language, while my wife would readily acknowledge that physical touch is a primary love language in our marriage.

What you can learn from this experience is that your primary love languages in your interpersonal relationships may or may not have a correlation with your primary love languages between you and God.  There is nothing right or wrong about this at all.  The most important part of this is to discover what your primary love languages are with God and develop them in order to have your best moments of communication and understanding from God.

People who experience a deep relationship with God are making a connection with God that enriches their worship and praise experience.  It is this type of connection that best emulates the praise and worship between that person and God.

Psalm 42:1-2

1 As a deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for You, God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I come and appear before God?

God and physical touch

Genesis 32:25, 30-31

When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip.

30 Jacob then named the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “and I have been delivered.” 31 The sun shone on him as he passed by Penuel—limping because of his hip.

Exodus 34:29, 33

29 As Moses descended from Mount Sinai—with the two tablets of the testimony in his hands as he descended the mountain—he did not realize that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the LORD.

33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.

Acts 9:4-9

4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5 “Who are You, Lord?” he said.

   “I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting,” He replied. 6 “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the sound but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9 He was unable to see for three days and did not eat or drink.

Acts 9:17-19a, 20-22

17 So Ananias left and entered the house. Then he placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so that you can regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

18 At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength.

20 Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.”

21 But all who heard him were astounded and said, “Isn’t this the man who, in Jerusalem, was destroying those who called on this name and then came here for the purpose of taking them as prisoners to the chief priests?”

22 But Saul grew more capable and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this One is the Messiah.

Mark 10:13, 15-16

13 Some people were bringing little children to Him so He might touch them, but His disciples rebuked them.

15 I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 After taking them in His arms, He laid His hands on them and blessed them.

God heals with physical touch

John 9:11

He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So when I went and washed I received my sight.”

Matthew 8:2-3, 15

2 Right away a man with a serious skin disease came up and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

3 Reaching out His hand He touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean. ”Immediately his disease was healed.

Matthew 9:27, 29-30a

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, shouting, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “Let it be done for you according to your faith!” 30 And their eyes were opened.

Acts 3:6-10

6 But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” 7 Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong. 8So he jumped up, stood, and started to walk, and he entered the temple complex with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized that he was the one who used to sit and beg at the Beautiful Gate of the temple complex. So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him.

After Jesus returned to His Father, God continued to work through the believers in the early church.  They gladly carried on the serving, touching, and healing ministry of Jesus. Since the first century, God has touched thousands of men and women.  They, in turn, have touched others as representatives of Christ. They work in hospitals, giving baths and wiping fevered brows. They are in rescue missions, kneeling beside the homeless with an arm draped around the shoulder of a needy person. They serve as “greeters” in their churches to smile, extend a hand, and give an affirming pat on the back as people enter the house of worship. They are channels of God’s love, speaking fluently the love language of physical touch.

                                                                                 –Gary Chapman


The love languages have a special meaning when it comes to our communication with God and with our relationship with Him, as well.  It is clear that your growth with God in the development of your relationship with Him has a profound effect on your personal self-esteem and in your relationship with your spouse, your family, your co-workers—everyone that you come in contact with.

I pray that you will make a special effort to do the following things in the coming weeks:

  1. Develop your relationship with God through a diligent prayer, Bible reading and process of meditation.  If your relationship with God is not healthy, pray for healing and seek the help of other believers that can help you with this issue.  If the relationship is healthy, continue to seek God for even more ways to improve.
  2. Pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to provide guidance throughout the day and to increase your sensitivity to how He is communicating with you.  You may discover different ways that He is speaking to you that you may not have been as sensitive to in the past.
  3. As God’s essence is love in His communication with you, pray for guidance as to how, with the talents and gifts that He has provided, you can offer your best worship of praise and service for Him (note that your primary and secondary love languages between yourself and other people in your life may not be the same primary and secondary love languages between you and God).
  4. Practice your prayer time to allow it to grow in intimacy with God and to develop your time spent with Him.

1 John 4:16

And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

We hope that you sincerely enjoyed this weekend’s seminar, and we look forward to seeing you down the road!

Thank you!

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Spring Break 2012: God’s Love Languages This Weekend

04/17/2012 § Leave a comment

Spring Break 2012

Our Annual Relationship Conference Series continues with discussion about how God speaks in His special way to you:

Hosted by Melvin Gaines

God’s Love Languages for Your Life

A special weekend retreat for everyone where you can rest, relax, renew and recharge!

Everyone has at least one love language. Do you know yours? Marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman first introduced The Five Love Languages almost 20 years ago.  Today, love languages are not just for married couples…they are also relevant to you and your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ!  Knowing how you can best hear God speaking to you will only help you to grow and understand more about your relationship!  Our seminar will explore all of these languages and give you insight into your communication with God that you may not have realized before!  With your participation, this relationship seminar promises to be a fun, relaxing and fulfilling experience!  Singles and married couples are welcome!

Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hampton Inn, Stow OH

4331 Lakepointe Corporate Drive   •  330.945.4160

Special room rate for overnight stay only $79.00 plus tax.  When booking your room ask for the Akron Alliance Fellowship Church special rate.  Please book your room reservation today (maximum of 4 guests per room).  A free hot breakfast is available for hotel guests.  Free internet  •  pool  •  fitness center  •  comfortable amenities  •  newly remodeled  •  restaurants nearby

For start times and additional information, call 234.206.0345.

Spring Break 2012 Seminar Coming Soon!

04/09/2012 § Leave a comment

I will be hosting this year’s free two-day seminar on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at the Hampton Inn in Stow, Ohio. The subject, God’s Love Languages For Your Life, will cover how God communicates with you and your communication with Him, while discovering ways to improve upon hearing how He speaks to you while enhancing your worship experience.

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I recommend that you take advantage of the newly remodeled Hampton Inn hotel for an overnight stay on Friday, April 20 at a special rate of only $79 plus tax (ask for the Akron Alliance Fellowship room rate when booking your room). I promise that the entire event will help you to relax, refresh, and recharge, and you might just learn something, too!

There are still rooms available, but you need to act quickly. If you are unable to stay at the hotel and are in the northeast Ohio area, you’re welcome to visit for the seminar and enjoy the fellowship! For start times and more information, please call 234.206.0345.

Join Me For This Year’s Spring Break 2012 Seminar in Stow OH!

02/25/2012 § Leave a comment

Spring Break 2012

Our Annual Relationship Conference Series continues with discussion about how God speaks in His special way to you:

Hosted by Melvin Gaines

God’s Love Languages for Your Life

A special weekend retreat for everyone where you can rest, relax, renew and recharge!

Everyone has at least one love language. Do you know yours? Marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman first introduced The Five Love Languages almost 20 years ago.  Today, love languages are not just for married couples…they are also relevant to you and your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ!  Knowing how you can best hear God speaking to you will only help you to grow and understand more about your relationship!  Our seminar will explore all of these languages and give you insight into your communication with God that you may not have realized before!  With your participation, this relationship seminar promises to be a fun, relaxing and fulfilling experience!  Singles and married couples are welcome!

Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hampton Inn, Stow OH

4331 Lakepointe Corporate Drive   •  330.945.4160

Special room rate for overnight stay only $79.00 plus tax.  When booking your room ask for the Akron Alliance Fellowship Church special rate.  Please book your room reservation by Tuesday, March 20 (maximum of 4 guests per room).  A free hot breakfast is available for hotel guests.  Free internet  •  pool  •  fitness center  •  comfortable amenities  •  newly remodeled  •  restaurants nearby

Availability will go quickly!  Be sure to register today!

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