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Love in Christ
The love of Jesus is great, and so is the power of His blood to cleanse us, but we must love Him the way He wants us to love Him…with wholeheartedness and obedience. He has called us to be holy as He is holy, and perfect as He is perfect. We are therefore to strive to do exactly that with all our heart…even though we fail sometimes, we must not use God’s grace as an excuse to keep doing things that He hates. We need to honestly ask Him to help us root out and be rid of anything in us that is unlike Him, not merely ask Him to forgive it or cover it. If there’s anything in us that is unlike Him…knowing it should bother us enough that we want to be rid of it anyway, if we truly love Him.
And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.
If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments,
that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.
But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him.
That is how we know we are living in him.
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
-1 John 2:3-6
For the word of the LORD is right;
and all his works are done in truth.
He loveth righteousness and judgment:
the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
– Psalm 33:4-5
The statutes of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart: the commandment
of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
– Psalm 19:8
The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
– Psalm 12:6
More to be desired are they than gold, yea,
than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey
and the honeycomb.
– Psalm 19:10
God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
– 2 Samuel 22:31
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
– Proverbs 30:5
Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
– Psalm 119:140
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends,
let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit,
perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
– 2 Corinthians 7:1
For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep His commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Other voices may tell me what they think I should do,
But I know, I am convinced,
What I really need is to trust and obey You.
They may tell me to be happy I need material things,
But all that’s so hollow compared
to the joy that You bring.
So many waste so much on things that don’t last,
Never seeming to learn the valuable lessons that lie in our past.
The lusts of the flesh, the eyes, and our pride,
Will only ever leave us empty inside.
Selfishness, self-seeking, self-serving
All steal from the glory and praise that You are deserving
I choose rather the only worthy pursuit,
To seek after You, to worship You in Spirit and Truth.
What we need is You Jesus, and You alone,
To follow You only, let You lead us Home.
What we need is to see how ugly and hateful is sin,
To turn from it, and have Your Holy Spirit
Thou art with me! What a comfort! With Your rod, You chasten me, as a dear son you receive, disciplining me with Your loving hand. O may I joyfully accept your correction, knowing it is a sign of Your great love, and it is for my good. With Your staff You guide me in the way I should go. What rest there is, what perfect peace, in this sweet communion with You. And yet, more wonderful still is all this with the assurance of Your promise never to leave nor forsake me.
O Lord, what a delight to be a sheep in Your pasture, to be shepherded by the King of kings and Lord of lords. May I be ever attentive and obedient to You, and take my delight in doing Your will and bringing You glory.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I do not walk alone, Thou art with me. And because You are with me, I will fear no evil. Though I may be wounded on the journey, Thou wilt heal me. Though Satan may tempt me to doubt, I have no need to, for You are faithful to every word, and though I may not see every detail of Your great plan, I will trust You, for You know best, You are always faithful, and it is my joy to follow You.
O Lord, remind us what our priorities ought to be.
Let us look at the world in the light of eternity.
Let us proclaim what You did
as You died on that tree,
What You accomplished at Calvary.
May we remember the victory that You won,
When rising from the grave, death was overcome.
How Salvation is extended to all, not only to some,
But given to all who believe in and obey
God’s only Son.
Yes, remind us dear Lord, that it’s You that we need,
Not material things, not the idol of greed,
May it be only Your voice that we heed,
And for Your great harvest may we plant
only good seed.
(Poem by K. Boyd)
No more marvellous thing could there be,
Than the King of Glory who died for me,
Who gave for me even His last breath,
Who rose again and conquered death.
How could it be that He loves me so?
I could never deserve it, this I know,
And yet He saved me, He saved my soul,
My all to Jesus truly I owe.
Jesus, Jesus, my all is for Thee,
You broke every chain, You made me free,
For all of my days I’ll trust and obey,
My wonderful Saviour, the Life the Truth,
Do you really only have to “believe on the name of Jesus”? Is obedience optional? What does the Bible say about these matters?
“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
Belief and obedience go hand in hand.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
Jesus’ own words in the 14th chapter of John make it clear.
“If you love Me, obey My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.”
John 14:15-17 (NLT)
“Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them.”
John 14:21 (NLT)
Jesus replied, “All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
John 14:23 (NLT)
Anyone who doesn’t love Me will not obey Me. And remember, My words are not My own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent Me.
John 14:24 (NLT)
Jesus own words again, this time from the book of Matthew:
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to Me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who break God’s laws.’
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19 (KJV)
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
There are other instances in the New Testament that also point to obedience as being an imperative part of the Christian life.
“We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey Him.”
In this way, God qualified Him [Jesus] as a perfect High Priest, and He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him.
For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.
1 Corinthians 7:19
And for those who think by preaching repentance and obedience to Christ, we aren’t somehow “loving enough,” what does the Bible say?
We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey His commandments. Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:2-3
Here’s an important passage that makes it simple:
And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him.
1 John 2:3-5