Posts Tagged ‘Loving God

31
May
18

God Is Working For Our Good

There are certain verses in Scripture that get used over and over and over again. They become quite familiar to us and people love them. Typically they are promises made from God to us for our benefit. Romans 8:28 is one of those verses. Paul wrote:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, ​who​ have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

It is a wonderful promise that God will work all things, including trials, suffering and persecution, out for good in the end. Notice, however, that there is a qualifier to receive this promise. God is working in the lives of those who love Him. These are the ones who have responded to His call that He purposed from the very beginning. Jesus tied love to obedience. We cannot earn God’s love for us. It is unconditional. We do demonstrate our love for Jesus by obeying His command to love God and love people. Remember this – God will everything out for good in the end for His people. Someone once said that if it isn’t good yet, it isn’t the end.
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30
Oct
17

How Do We Love God?

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. So how do we do that? What is the evidence of our love for God? The Apostle John gives us a clue when he writes:

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. – 1 John 4:20-21 (NIV)

We are to love God by loving people. God pours out His love into our hearts through Jesus. We then take that love we have received and we love others in return. We love our spouses, our neighbors, our fellow Christ-followers and yes, even our enemies. The proof that we love God is how we love other people.
19
Oct
17

Let’s Love Each Other

In 1 John 4, the Apostle John is reminding his audience that God put the love He has for the world into action. He did not merely love with words. God put love into action when He sent Jesus to be the sacrifice that would take away our sins forever. So how do we respond to such love? We love others. John wrote:

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:11 (NIV)

We receive the love of God and should share that kind of love with others. Jesus said to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. The key to being a follower of Jesus is to live a life of love. Love God and love people. We can get it so wrong thinking that being a follower of Christ is all about being right. Being a follower of Christ is all about love. We love God because He loves us and because He loves us, we love others. There is no better way to live.
23
Aug
17

Do You Know Jesus?

We can claim to know Jesus, but where is the evidence? Where is the proof of our relationship with Him? It is in our obedience. The Apostle John wrote:

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. – 1 John 2:3-4 (NIV)

To know and love Jesus is to obey Him. What commands of His should we obey? All of them! We may tend to think that that is REALLY hard. In reality, Jesus boiled down all of God’s commands to two: love God and love people. If we really love God, we will not sin against Him by putting anything else in His place. That means that we have to put God first in our lives. If we really love people, it means that we won’t sin against them. We won’t lie to people or cheat on them or steal from them. If we claim to know Jesus, but we don’t do what He commands, then John says that we don’t really know Him. Jesus is Lord and Master and He means what He says. Do you know Jesus? If you do, then obey Him by loving God and loving people today.
15
Mar
17

The Greatest Virtue

Good Wednesday morning to you! Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, said that three things remain: faith, hope and love. He wrote that the greatest is love. In Colossians 3, he said that love holds all of the virtues of a Christian together. He said:

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. – Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

Friends, if we are not loving God by loving others, we are doing this Christian thing wrong. We have to learn to be loving above everything else. Our kindness and compassion, humility and forgiveness have to come from a heart filled with love – for God and for other people. We cannot possibly hope to follow Jesus without love because Jesus is love. If we’re not willing to show love to people in Jesus’ name, we’ll never be able to share the good news of the Gospel with them. It all starts with love.
17
May
16

To Love Or Not Sin?

Romans 13:8-14 (NIV)

Love Fulfills God’s Requirements

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.”  These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. 13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

In the last half of Romans 13, Paul wonderfully sums up what being a Christian is all about – love.  When we love God and we love others (Matthew 22:36-40), we’ll keep the requirements of God’s Law.  How?  Because when we perfectly love God, we won’t sin against Him.  When we perfectly love our neighbor as ourselves, we won’t sin against them.  I really think that we put the emphasis on the wrong things in our Christian walk.  We worry so much about not sinning that we forget to focus on loving God and others.  We live our lives with a negative emphasis instead of a positive one.  Worry over sin is self-focused, but living a life of love focuses on God and others.  Do you see the difference?  Instead of turning our sight inward, it is much better to turn our sight outward and focus on love.  When we truly become people of love, we will find ourselves sinning less and less.  May your day be filled with so much of God’s love today that it overflows and pours out into those around you!
PRAYER: Father, help me to focus on loving You by loving people today. Help me to focus on loving and serving others instead of worrying about my own sins. Help me to be like Jesus.  Amen.
21
Apr
16

Loving The Son

1 John 5:16-20 (NIV)

If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

 

The book of 1 John starts with the Apostle John talking about remaining in Jesus and not sinning.  He writes about how, if we remain in Christ, we will not live a life of sin.  He writes at the end of his letter about these same things.  These bookends are so very important.  This idea of abiding or remaining in Jesus is vital to being a follower of Christ.

If you want to live a life with less sin, you need to love Jesus more.  If you want to live a life that is not characterized by sin, you need to remain closer to Jesus.  John says that the whole world is under the control of the evil one, but we who follow Christ are the children of God (1 John 5:20).  We are not under the control of the devil.  The devil never made you do it.  The evil one has no claim on you because you belong to Christ.  You are God’s child.  You are not under the control of sin or the devil.  God’s Spirit lives in you.  God’s Son has saved you.  God has made you His child and you belong to His family.  You are a child of the King!  Live like it!

Remain in Christ and resist the devil.  Temptation still comes calling to us.  We battle and struggle against sin.  We wrestle with wholehearted devoted to Jesus.  Everything within us (our sinful nature) wants to please the self.  Our Father desires fellowship and communication with us.  We need to love Jesus with all that we are so that we may remain in Him and resist the world.

PRAYER: Father, I ask today that You would keep me from temptation and protect me from the evil one.  Help me to love Jesus with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength.  In His name, amen.




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