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If Anyone Loves Me

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John 14:23-24
"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.'"

Have you ever found yourself arguing with a loved one? I'm guessing that everyone reading this is nodding up and down emphatically. Ok, in these unplanned and always untimely arguments have you ever said something like this, "Don't tell me you love me, show me" ? This within itself is perplexing, why would love seem to have a condition to it? After all, love is supposed to be unconditional.

Love is described in 1 Corinthians 13 as ..."patient, kind, does not envy, is not boastful, or conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish or provoked, does not keep record of wrongs, finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoiced in truth...." all of which are outwardly visible traits seen by those around us. Therefore our actions provide evidence of our love for those around us. If our actions are contrary to the definition then we are not loving.

Jesus, In John 14 gives us another requirement for love...obedience. "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word." It's simple, obedience is a response and act of our Love for Christ and disobedience is a loveless act towards our Lord and Savior.

We live in a world with flexible views on almost everything. But, Christ's word is absolute, if I dare to say...inflexible. It is not open for change and is not just a cute story with good morals. Our act of obedience is birthed from His perfect love towards us, and our love for Him is birthed from a heart of undeserved gratitude to our creator who holds the exclusive right of salvation to all of us. God alone is Sovereign and obedience is not optional.

When we respond to God's word, do we respond with a bartering heart that feels guilted into obedience or do we run to obedience not matter the price because of a love so deep that we cannot contain it?

Posted by Jim Booth with
in Faith

Not My Will, But Yours

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Matthew 26:36  (HCSB)

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,  m and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.  38 Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow —to the point of death.  Remain here and stay awake with Me.”  39 Going a little farther,  He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

 

 

Have you ever prayed for something so important that your heart was ready to burst with sorrow? Have you ever been certain that God was going to answer your prayers, and He didn’t? Have you ever been angry at God for not answering your prayer the way you expected? Perhaps, your still holding on to some of bitterness towards God for “not being there” for you.

 

Christ knew what lay ahead of Him, the cross, the pain….the wrath of God. Sorrowful and deeply distressed, He went to the Father….His soul was SWALLOWED up in sorrow - to the point of death.  Yet, He willingly went to the cross, and on the cross cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In that moment, Christ bore the sins of the world and suffered the agonizing loss of communion (relationship) with the Father.

 

Nothing strikes the heart deeper in a human than the loss of a loved one, the absence, the loneliness, the loss of beloved companionship, the aching memories that bring you back to the precious moments, only to know that there will be no memories left to create together.

 

With the knowledge of what lay ahead, Christ sets before us an example that must not be overlooked. He makes a statement so bold that it shapes the very foundation of how we should pray, and His example is so extreme that it leaves little doubt that there are any exceptions.

 

39 Going a little farther,  He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

 

Christ’s will submitted to the Fathers will, in the most extreme circumstances. He knew what lay ahead, He didn’t want it but placed God’s will above all else. And, this is how we should live and pray.

 

A few weeks back, Pastor Mack in his sermon shared with us something a friend of his had said…”I’m learning to fall in love with the will of God”.  I just don’t want only to submit to the will of God, I want to fall in love with His will. For me, its the only way I will be able to accept His will in dire circumstances. I believe that Jesus not only submitted to the will of God but was deeply and intimately in love with the Father’s will.

 

How will you fall in love with Him today?

Posted by Jim Booth with

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