Those Who Claim To Love Obey
It goes like this:
- We open the Bible before the Living God.
- We read a passage of scripture in the Holy Spirit.
- We ask God to crucify our opinions and commentary.
- We look at each other with joy in our hearts asking, “So how have we obeyed?”
It is not a debate, as this is not a burden to those who consider God’s Word to be a treasure.
Each person obeys the Lord in accordance to their surrender level, and only those who surrender more fully are able to love more deeply.
After all, such obedience is the foundation to a life of godly love. First a consuming love for God, then a selfless love for our fellow man. A solid foundation that allows for an overflowing life of love poured out by the Holy Spirit. Where one’s life is literally sacrificed, burned out, consumed for God and others. This is why I do not preach about the word, but preach the Word. Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)
He who loves the most in Jesus will first demonstrate that love by how they obey the commands of God.
The less love, the less obedience.
The greater the love, the greater the obedience.
The most loving preacher, pastor, leader, elder, deacon, or teacher can be spotted by the fact they obey God’s commands more than others around them. They are, after all, leaders who will be judged more sternly. Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)
Anyone who claims to love, but whose life is one of wishy-washy obedience to all of Scripture, is promoting a self-deceptive falsehood.
Two things should be seen by those who love the most in Jesus.
This is “how we know” someone is really loving others by Holy Spirit empowered love.
- Their love for God.
- The degree for which they actually “carry out his commands.”
In short, while I am in no contest, if you claim to love me in Jesus then be ready to point out your heartfelt love for God and the overwhelming manner in which you actually carry out His commands.
When I examine my life, when I test myself in the faith, when I look at others who Claim The Name, I look to their life to see which Bible version they read. Many worship the idol they have fashioned, called The Bible, while the small flock of Jesus love Jesus, the Living Word of God.
Do not even think of employing the cop-out “I do not want to debate the Bible.”
Do not even think of employing the cop-out “I do not want to debate the Bible.” Those who are in love with God are extremely zealous and eager to open the Living Word while examining the written with ink Scriptures at all times. Such understand that God upholds the ink on paper, but it is only the Holy Spirit that can make such ink alive. It is easy to spot those who merely follow ink if one is being taught by God how to love by carrying out His commands. Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. (1 Thessalonians 4:9)
Such know that as they read and meditate on the ink of Scriptures that the Holy Spirit must communicate what God means or they will be lost in their Bible studies. This is why all true disciples hate their understanding of the Scriptures and willingly pick up their cross to follow Jesus. Hating one’s understanding of the Bible is the only way to understand the Bible. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
To rightly divide the Word of God, to correctly understand the Scriptures one has to suffer in their body against their own thoughts. This is the only way to crucify pride and self-righteous-thoughts about what one thinks the Scriptures mean.
There are two extremes associated with this issue. Liberalism is one extreme and Legalism is the other extreme. Those who fear God will fall prey to neither extreme.
Liberalism is not the love of God and neither is legalism. The current fashion in the church is to be so liberal towards what is called love that there is little distinction between unbeliever and believer left. Then there are the legalists who walk in their simple it is written in ink ways that their whole Christian walk is based upon the hypocritical application of their favorite scriptures.
The true man or woman of God does not follow the Bible. After all the Word of God is not the English Standard Version (ESV), New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Revised Standard Version (RSV) King James Version (KJV), Authorized Version (AV) …..etc, etc.
The Holy Spirit writing upon our hearts and lives is The Living Word of God. Thus the person who has surrendered each day, like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, loves and obeys the most. He, who by following Jesus has gone into his garden of prayer to suffer against opinion, dogma, and self-righteousness will be given the grace to obey every commandment of God. Such are the only ones able to live a life of love. and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
There is only one truly accurate Word of God; and it is not the one written with ink that was printed in China which contains study helps, index, and chapter headings. The only Word of God there is, is The Word of God – Jesus, the Christ.
When I speak of obeying the Word of God, of loving His commands, and carrying out His loving will I mean the true Word of God – Jesus, the Christ.
I look for corrections from all circles of life. God’s loving hand of correction can, has, and will come at me from every and any direction. Be it circumstances, worthless pagans, or denominational believers all can be used of God to correct me or impart some new wisdom.
Fact is, as a preacher everything I do, everything I think, everything I say, and everything I do not do, down to every dot of the “i” and crossing of the “t” is scrutinized and criticized. I have the bruises of the heart to prove it.
Because I work out my salvation with fear and trembling God lovingly hems me in on every side. Thus, from all sides God does speak, teach, correct, encourage, rebuke, and shepherd this weak sheep.
Rather than respond as the world does by tuning out all criticism and self-justifying my positions, I run to the cross of Christ and submit all things for enlightenment.
I first examine by prayer, if there be any truth no matter how small in the criticism; then if Jesus declares such is true, I have the luxury to repent.
In this way, I am thankful and find useful all examinations. A note of warning though: best not to take me as a fool as the Lord will often have me turn and demolish any pretense that sets itself up against God. As I have been refined with such fire for decades, most dross has been scrapped off so it is best not to assume you will be warmly embraced. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
As David knew, I know.
Top Drawer Point
Put this in your top drawer: Those who love the most in Jesus are overwhelmingly obedient towards all of the Living Word of God.
Those who love by the powerful love of Jesus will often be misunderstand, under appreciated, and even hated from time to time.
Be careful that those you claim love you in the Lord are not just individuals your sinful flesh feels comfortable associating with.