(I was blessed to be one of the speakers at our church’s women’s retreat last weekend. At the request of several people, I will be sharing online the things I discussed with our women. This is the first offering.)
I think most of us have either loved someone or been loved by someone (we can even include pets). If we love someone, we want to spend time with them.
Jesus said we’re to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Many people say they love God; however, just saying the words isn’t enough. If we truly love God, we will obey Him. Love calls for action, and obedience is the sign of love.
“The Gospels call us to obedience, not as an optional extra, but as a basic requirement for all who would follow Christ.” ~ Missionary, Helen Roseveare[i]
Jesus said, “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.” “The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me, and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]” (John 14:21, AMPC)
“Obedience prepares the mind for revelation, takes from that revelation the light that dazzles the spirit’s vision and prepares the heart to receive wider demonstrations of the grace of God.” ~ Joseph Parker
Loving God and obeying Him gives the beautiful opportunity to be divinely loved and given further insight and revelation.
Oswald Chambers wrote, if my relationship to God is that of love, “I will do what He says without hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself. Jesus Christ will not force me to obey Him, but I must. And as soon as I obey Him, I fulfill my spiritual destiny. My personal life may be crowded with small, petty happenings, altogether insignificant. But if I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God. … When God’s redemption brings a human soul to the point of obedience, it always produces. If I obey Jesus Christ, the redemption of God will flow through me to the lives of others, because behind the deed of obedience is the reality of Almighty God.”[ii]
Every step we take forward in obedience to God leads to the blessings of God, opening more of our understanding, opening more doors, and giving the excitement of seeing more of what God is doing and how He is working.
Remember, God loves you. He loves with an unfailing, everlasting, steadfast, merciful, grace-filled love and in God’s presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and “Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary” (1 Chronicles 16:27). So, when we love God, spend time with Him, and obey Him, we find His joy. And the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
If you have trouble obeying God, ask Him to make you willing to be willing to do His will, and please don’t miss the beautiful blessings of obeying God.
“He is our Lord, and therefore He is to be served; He is our gracious Lord, and therefore to be served with joy.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
“If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments” (John 14:15, AMP).
“If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions],
you will abide in My love and live on in it,
just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love” (John 15:10, AMPC).
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