First off, sorry it has taken me so long to get back with part 2. I was very busy last week and I am struggling to find time to post much. So anyway, here is part 2 of my thoughts.
If you remember, in Part 1 I talked about how we need to decide if we are living the Christian life because we expect some great reward or if we are doing it for the sole reason that we love God. In this post, I am going to talk about the first of four things that I do because I love God.
-Because I love God, I obey Him-
This sounds so simple and so hard at the same time. Even those of us who are trying every day to show our love to God struggle with this one. Let me address fellow Christians first. As Christians you know that we should search the scriptures daily and if you truly love God, this is not a burden, but a privilege. It is your chance to read the mind of God and find answers to any questions that you may be having. To refer back to our original text, Elijah himself tells us that he knows what to do “through His word” (1 Kings 17:5).
One response to this is “but there are so many rules.” No, there aren’t. If we are living our lives with the sole purpose of expressing our love and adoration to God almighty, there should be no rules, only a ruler. Pay attention: If God is the ruler of my heart then all I have to do to obey Him is measure every action against this ruler. Use God as an actual measuring tool. If you love God, you must obey Him. All of the rules that so many people complain about in daily Christian life are neatly summed up for us in Colossians 3 beginning at verse 11:
11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
There sure are alot of things you are supposed to do in that passage aren’t there? Yes. But notice verse 14. What is the trump card? Love. If you love God, you will love your fellow man and yourself, making every other thing listed in this passage fall right into place. Because I love God, I obey His word to show Him.
To those who may be reading this who may not have put on Christ yet, allow me to talk to you. Your question may be, “If I have yet to put on Christ, then how do I obey Him?” The answer to this is harsh but I feel needs to be said. If you have been taught the word and shown that Jesus does save and that he did die for your sins and was raised again and you have not made the decision to put on Christ for redemption, then you can not even say you believe in God, much less love Him. If you truly believed you would know how great and powerful he is and you could not help but love Him and obey His every command. You are spinning your wheels and waiting for something that will probably never come. You are relying on something else when Jesus himself says that you are foolish and slow of heart (Luke 24:24-27) and that He is willing to teach you should you simply try to believe. You have been told that Jesus conquered every constraint that this Earth could possibly put on him and you can not believe so how will you ever believe spiritual matters (John 3:12). You may think that you are fooling people because you go to church sometimes or you wear a cross around your neck but the truth is you do not even believe in the Lord God, much less love Him. Jesus speaks to you in John 5: 37 & 38 and tells you that He is not abiding in you because you have yet to hear his voice. You can’t fool God and Jesus tells you so in verse 42 of that same passage. He says “But I know you…” When I read those words thet make me think of some threatning gangster movie. Those 4 words should call you to action. Jesus knows your heart and if you are fooling yourself into believing that you love and obey God, please search your heart and scripture for the truth.
If you truly recognize God for the power that he is you have no option but to obey Him. Love = Obey. There is the equation for all of us. How hard is that. Yet this world is filled with confusion over such matters as baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The word of God says to do it, if you love God you will obey God, do it. Show God your love through your obedient actions.
I hope to post part 3 of this lesson in the near future. Check back often.