...But are you doing it? In His Word 3-13-23

 …But are you doing it? In His Word 3-13-23

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. James 4:17

Jesus was asked an important question one day while He was teaching His disciples. A question that I think we often gloss over or take as a ‘given’. That we should love one another because after all the songs all say that. Today I ask myself and you do I really love other people the way Jesus loves me? Do I love the Lord with all my heart soul and mind? What about all my strength?

 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

I have mentioned in another devotional, or blog post that in order to love others we have a few steps to take. First we have to love God. Well, what if we don’t know what love is?

 In a poem I wrote, as a high schooler, on love  the words went like this.

”Love can be happy, Love can be sad, Love is a feeling that some never had…” That was right to the point. Reality was that so many people out there do not even know what love is, let alone what God is. The ironic thing about that is that God is love! I was not a God acknowledging believer yet when I wrote that. I was writing from the heart of a teen seeking love but seeing so many people who really had no idea what love was. I think a lot of teens are like that. Thank God He had patience with me because He taught me what love, real love is. God is love.

“Patience is a virtue, it means that we must wait, take time to pray and worship before the pearly gates…the Lord promises us love if we abide with Him, release to Him our old selves that He will cleanse from sin…  Another poem by my younger self reflecting on this topic makes it pretty clear that God gives us love, clean hearts, and cleanses us from sin if we abide with Him.

Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:  to do what is right, to love mercy,  and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:7-9

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:36-38

 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him. Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, Ephesians 1:14-16

We have been told! We have been directed and yet we often find ourselves questioning what should I do Lord? Why do you think that is? Well, I think it is because we do not like to accept our own tough lessons. We want salvation to be easy, and well it is but it is what comes after we decide to follow Jesus, like the song says “no turning back”. We made the biggest decision of our lives and then God showed us He loves us and yet we still do not share that love with others as often as we should. We claim we have no idea what that means but the Spirit of Truth that is in us, left for us by Jesus a portion of Himself, knows better!

As Micah said up there, ‘He has shown you O man!’  

So now that you know that God loves you, that you are to live humbly before God and share the love of God with others, unconditionally; what are you going to do now? What if the person is hypocritical? What if they are weak in their faith or not even a true believer? Should you still love them?

Ask yourself this question; does God love them?

The answer is yes, and you know that because it burned within your heart the moment you realized He was real and He loved you enough for Jesus, Himself to die for you! He died for them too.

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.         Jude 1:20-22

So build them up even when they do not deserve it because God did the same for you.

Pray for them when they are rude, or disrespectful, or just do not show you the perspective of yourself that you see in the mirror on your best days. Love on the unlovely, or the unlovable just because Jesus did that for you. No matter who you are, how ‘good’ you or I think we were, or are does not matter because we all were walking sin before knowing Him. We were sinning in pride if nothing else thinking we were too good for God. Or better than Him thinking we could buy our own salvation. Wow, that’s  thought isn’t it? When we thought  we had to be good to get into heaven, that’s what we were doing. So stop! Do the right things, according to His Word.

Start with Loving the Lord with all your heart soul mind and strength, then that love will ooze out on others in your life. It will be easier than you think if you focus first also on Him, the on your neighbor. Oh, the loving yourself part? When you think about the fact that the Holy Spirit is in your, no matter what your old self that you ‘greatly disliked’ you have God’s love dwelling in your spirit. He is a part of you and a part of your life. So no matter how hard your flesh tries not to love someone, your Spirit, God’s spirit will do the work if you remember to lift them up and thank God for them, and encourage them the best you can. Maybe it’s just finding a tiny thing they did not do to bother you. Some people are hard to deal with but God is dealing with  you so you can do it! I believe in you!

So this week we are going to focus on the positives… it is positive that we love God, He loves us and that means we are loveable and should love ourselves as He loves us! 

In Jesus’ name, and In His love,