Monday, December 21, 2015
Because most of us have had bosses or supervisors who ordered us to do things just to prove that they were in charge, many people have the foolish notion that God likewise commands us to do things just to show that He is in control. The truth is, however, that anything that God has ever asked or required of us is geared to our benefit. Following His commands or instructions will always hold good results for us. There are times when He commands us to do things which are strange to us. One such example is Deuteronomy 6:5 where God says: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”The reason this command may be odd to us is because we would seldom dare to command others to love us. From our standpoint, love, like respect, is not automatic. To get it we must earn it. God, on the other hand, because He is perfect, is the only One who has the right to do so. Some could protest and ask: Why, then, did Christ command us in Matthew 5:48to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect? The simple answer is because we’re not perfect.
If we love God as completely as we are commanded, the benefits are endless and if there was ever such a thing as a gift that keeps on giving, this is it. To reinforce the point, permit me to remind you of Jesus’ words: He said that to love God is the greatest Commandment and the second was to love our neighbor. Then He added the clincher when He said: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”(Matthew 22:40) What He meant was simply this: If we can keep these two commandments, all our other requirements and obligations will be met. That is why the first thing Peter needed to know in order to have success when he was left in charge of the Disciples, was that it began with loving Christ. Although many believe, and rightfully so, that Jesus asked him “Do you love me?” three times because Peter denied him three times, I choose to believe Jesus was trying to drive home the point to Peter, that serving God in any capacity begins with loving Him totally.
Many years ago when I was in the radio ministry, a lady called in after one program to ask my advice concerning her pastor. She said she was contemplating leaving because her pastor was too young and inexperienced. I asked her if she felt that he loved God with all his heart, as well as the members of the congregation. She said: “Oh, there’s no doubt about that!” I advised her to stay there and support him as best she could. I knew that any pastor who loves God with all his heart will study, pray, and do whatever it takes to please God, and in time, will have all the tools necessary to do the job. In closing, permit me to remind you: If you want to have success in your life in Christ, give yourself completely to Him and love Him with all your heart. All other things will fall into place.
Memory verse for the week: (Jude 1:21) “Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”