November 05, 2020
Every serious Christian I know wants to live rightly. To live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and a blessing to others. To have an impact for the Kingdom of God. How do we fulfill this huge desire? There are so many enemies to God's way. Our flesh is so weak, the devil is so deceptive, and the world is so pervasive.
But God narrows this down for us in an amazing way. He makes it extremely simple—so simple that it is incredibly doable.
Love God and love others.
Here's how Paul says it to the Romans ...
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
... is not what you might think, for the world has stolen and compromised the word. It is not "eros," a self-seeking, base love. It is not a mere emotion. “Agape” love is that God-quality that always responds in self-sacrifice. Biblical love is a word used to describe the premier attribute of God—God’s unselfishness. It is caring more about others than you care for yourself. Everything of real value flows from this fountain.
This "agape" love only comes from God. He is the sole supply. But, if a person knows Christ, and Christ is in Him, then he has all the love of God—all he will ever have or need. You do not (and cannot) produce this love on your own. But you can have it, if you have Christ. And, if you follow the Spirit of Christ inside of you, it will release this love, for "the fruit of the Spirit is love" (Galatians 5:22). If you follow Him, the love of God will be “spread abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit who is in you” (Romans 5:5).
FULFILLING THE LAW
If this occurs, you no longer have to think "What is the right thing to do?" You simply follow the promptings of the love of God inside of you (Christ inside of you). You do what love directs, for "love is the fulfillment of the law." Spirit-love will never do anything contrary to His nature, nor to the law (which is nothing more than an expression of His nature.)
LOVE WHEN ITS HARD
Such love makes it possible to maintain this right living even in the worst environments and in face of the greatest enemies. If the love of God is your source, it is inexhaustible. You can love your wife or husband, even when they are disagreeable. You can love your enemies (as Christ commanded), for it is not your meager human love, but God’s. You can love your persecutors, like Corrie Ten Boom at Auschwitz or, more completely, like Christ on the cross. This is what has sustained and made effective millions of persecuted Christians throughout history. This God-love is the most disturbing and convincing proof of the gospel, for no one in the world can love like this without a Divine source.
This changes everything for you today. Your task is to abide in a position to listen to God’s Spirit within, and simply follow Him today, who is love. Love will lead you to righteousness in the most minute details of your experience. All those around you will be the glad beneficiaries, and God (who is producing this love through you) will receive the glory!
Father, thank You that You saved me and have come to indwell me. Thank You that all the love I need is in me, because You are in me. Let me so cooperate with You today that Your love is unleashed to a world that desperately needs to see You.
July 02, 2022
July 01, 2022
In each generation there are wicked rulers leading nations to do wicked things, oppressing those around them with senseless violence and evil. Hitler had his day and Stalin, and now Putin as he ravages Ukraine.
Where is God in all of this? The small, one-chapter book of Obadiah gives us the answer: God will always, ultimately judge wicked men nations. Justice wins the day. Notice God’s word through Obadiah to the wicked nation of Edom. No nation that ignores God will escape His judgment.
June 29, 2022