We should be obedient to God's word, but what's the motive for our obedience? Fear of Hell? Fear of somehow losing salvation?
Should we be obedient because we feel we have to in order to maintain salvation, or should we be obedient because we WANT to - we DESIRE to?
When we are obedient because we want to, we do it out of LOVE. And that aspect of LOVE is severely missing from every single post I've ever read from a correspondent. Or, just maybe what is "severely missing" is an understanding of what - LOVE - is according to the Bible.
If you knew, you would not think it was severely missing, rather you would think that it is severely present. Christian love is not a feeling of emotional attraction or affection. On the contrary, Biblical love is what you do, not what you feel.
According to the Scriptures, Christian "agape" love toward both God and man is expressed by how you act toward each. For example, the love we show to God is obedience: For *this* is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: 1 John 5:3
And the love we show to man is obedience: "Love is patient, love is kind, is not jealous; love does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1Co 13:4-7
Each aspect of love toward both God and man is something we *do*, not something we feel.
I can remember, early in my walk with the Lord, trying to understand what it means to love God. I struggled to reach a level of emotional love that I thought God wanted, until finally I cried out: "Jesus, I don't love you, I have never even seen you. How can I have romantic love in my heart for you?
The answer was immediate - Jesus spoke to me from His own word... "He who has My commandments and keeps them, * he it is who loves Me; * John 14:21
My heart leaped with joy...I said: "I can do that Jesus."
I immediately understood what Christian love is all about. Not the affectionate emotional counterfeit love taught in many churches. No! - Christian love is obedience.
How many times have I heard: "Let's fall in love with Jesus" or some similar romantic slogan exhorting us to "love God" as if Christian love is a trip on some spiritual Love Boat? Not only is that a deception, it is a false love that can be conjured up by anybody who sets their mind to feel "love" for God".
On the other hand, the love God wants is possible only by the power and grace of God. "Love your enemy is impossible if it means have affection for your enemy. If I had affection for my enemy, he would not be my enemy.
Yet by the grace of God we can be "patient" or "kind" or "take no notice of the wrong done to us by our enemies" even though we have not the least bit of romantic affection for them. That is the kind of love produced in our heart by God - obedience to the will of God - even though that obedience is fought tooth and nail by the flesh.
Many Christians think they love God, but if they do not obey Him, their love is a Satanic counterfeit - from the flesh, not the Spirit. You wrongly say one should obey God because you Love Him.
The Biblical truth is that one loves God *IF* he obeys Him. We do not obey God because we Love Him - we love Him *because* we obey Him. Those who disobey God do not love God.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
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