SeekersTrove.com—Treasure Beyond Measure

Do you Love God?

A relationship with God is a relationship that is based upon love. God loves us, and we who are his children, love him.

Now I ask you my dear reader; do you love God? It is important to examine our hearts and see if we do in fact love him. If you love God you will delight in pleasing him; you will delight in obeying him; you will delight in him.

"O that I might please my God! O that he might smile as I draw near! What Joy!"

John 14:15

If you love me, you will obey what I command. (NIV84)

 

John 14:21

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (NIV84)

Do you see?--love of God, and obedience to his will, go hand in hand. Do you also see that if you love Jesus, and gladly obey everything he asks of you, that he will reveal himself to you? Those who love him and walk in his ways know him.

John 14:23-24

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (NIV84)

Obeying Jesus=Loving Jesus * Loving Jesus=Obeying Jesus

Does God love you?

It is popular today to say that God loves everyone, but is it true? People who say this quote John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son," But this scripture speaks of humanity and not the individual. What this means is that each and every person is capable of emptying themselves of their self-importance and opening their heart to be filled by God with his love. The Scriptures say that any that seek God will find him and he will not turn any away that come to him. But you must be seeking him and not necessarily what people say is him. This is very important. You must be seeking the God who is holy and pure and righteous and just. In order to unite with this holy and pure and righteous and just God, you must allow him to purge you of all that is unholy and impure and vile and dishonorable. You must trust him enough to let go of everything that is unclean, and live clean before him.

Deuteronomy 29:16-21

You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here. 17 You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; 18 make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.
19 When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, "I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way." This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 The LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law. (NIV84)

Throughout Scripture, Egypt symbolically represents the world; and this passage talks of how God brought his chosen out of the world, and it warns us not to look to the world to supply our needs but to God alone. The warning here is for those who live within the form of God's word, but in their hearts live as those in the world do, that is, trusting in their money, or education, or jobs or whatever else they may be trusting in.

Look at verse 19. When a person hears a promise in God's word and declares that the promise is for them, but fails to give their heart to the Lord and continues to live as they see fit, not in submission to God, nor out of reverence for his holy name, such a person is in grave danger.

People quote: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV84), and say: "See, I have done this; I am a Christian," but their hearts are not devoted to the Lord. Is such a person truly a child of God? Or is this person guilty of invoking a blessing upon themselves?

A person must seek to please God. They must regard God's ways as the only acceptable way. God is offering everyone who will repent a pardon.

2 Timothy 2:21

If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (NIV84)

Do you see what this says? "If a man, (or woman), cleanses himself/herself..." People who teach that God loves you and does everything for you, are lying to you, or are themselves deceived. You must purge yourself of unholiness and seek to become like God. Though it is God who gives you the power to do so. I am forever hearing people hold God to his end of the bargain, while giving no thought to their end. They say: "God has promised to do this or that", but his promises are for those who receive him as Father in truth, that is, they submit to him and obey him as any good child obeys their parents.

2 Timothy 2:22

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (NIV84)

Please consider what I am saying and don't be fooled by those who turn the grace of God into a blanket that covers sin. They say that God sees us as holy and pure because we have been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, but this is only half-right. Jesus paid the price of sin, so that sin would no longer have power over us, but we must repent and not walk in sin anymore! If you detest the sin in your life, and resolve to live holy and pure in God's sight, he will, because of his grace, cleanse you of your past and give you the power to live before him holy and pure.

Zechariah prophesying about what Jesus would do, said: ...to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.Luke 1:74-75

Jesus enables us, or gives us the power to live holy and righteous before him, but we must do it. He enables. but we must do.

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (NIV84)

There are many people who talk the talk and go to church but do not walk holy and righteous before God. The scriptures are in their mouths but not in their hearts. Of them Jesus says:

Matthew 7:21-23

Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' (NIV84)

These people say the name of Jesus, and claim they know him, but he says that they never did because he never knew them. These people think they know, but they do not--they have been deceived.

O please look into you heart and see if this may be true of you. Do you love God? Is it your joy of joys when you obey him? Do you really know God?

Now don't be alarmed, or rather, be alarmed if you are not sure, but rejoice in your alarm, for it is God's warning to you. It is a sure-fire sign that he loves you, and is calling you. Ding dong, the bells are ringing!--rejoice!!--"Come my child and draw near to me and I shall draw near to you. Trust in me and I shall protect you. Walk as my child with me and I shall walk with you as your Father," says the Lord God.

When I stumble does it mean that I don't love God?

Sin abides inside each and every one of us and causes us to stumble, but our hearts do not love evil, rather our hearts are ashamed of our weaknesses, and draw us humbly to God our Father, and we cry out for forgiveness, which God gladly gives because he does love us so much.

Romans 7:21-23

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. (NIV84)

So what we see is that those who are born-again, born of love, love God and obey him, but there is a constant battle raging within us. Our bodies, our natural instincts, our 'human nature', desire things that are contrary to the commands of God. Our flesh says: "Give to me," but the Spirit says: "Let me give to you."

Those people who love God, determinedly set their minds upon pleasing God, as opposed to seeking self-gratification. In a loving relationship with God, (or anyone else for that matter), pleasing the other is more important than pleasing self. Seeking his interest above my own requires faith. I must know that in seeking to please God my Savior that he will love, and protect, and care for me.

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV84)

 

Romans 8:5

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (NIV84)

What I am saying is this: Jesus said that those who love him will obey him--this is without doubt true--but this obedience is not without a struggle. Obedience to Jesus goes against our natural instincts and requires faith. Faith in the unseen good guides us through the present loss. If you love God, that is, have faith in him, you will suffer a loss out of obedience, patiently, because you know, and trust, that God has something better, maybe in this world, or maybe not, nonetheless, you know that God will care for you.

Is Love of God Required?

Yes. A healthy, mature relationship with God is based upon love.

1 Corinthians 16:22

If anyone does not love the Lord-a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! (NIV84)

I am writing this paper because the Lord revealed to me that there are some that claim to be Christians, but the love of God is not apparent in their lives. I asked the Lord what this means and he revealed to me that these people don't know him. They know about the resurrection, about salvation, about heaven and hell, but they have no true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. So I asked the Lord how can I reach people who think they have all the answers but do not. And in response he has led me to write about the love relationship, that is the basis of a relationship between him and us. Apart from love you have no relationship with God--period.

1 John 4:16

God is love. (NIV84)

How can one claim to abide in Christ, and that Christ abides in them, and they not know this love?

1 John 4:15-17

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. (NIV84)

If a person truly acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, then they will abide in love, and love will abide in them, and they will be like God--filled to overflowing with love.

Deceived!

Revelation 3:14-21

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. (NIV84)

These people think that they are in the Church, but Jesus is standing outside their hearts and is asking to come in. They think they have the answers but do not. They think that the Bible is a rulebook that we can pull verses from and show them to God and say; "See, I am a Christian. I have done this.", but a Christian is one who knows God and one whom God knows. A Christian is a person who God has revealed himself to, because of their desire to please and love him. God is wooing us in the world and those who respond are united to him in Christ with a bond of love and faith and hope. The Bible is not a rulebook.

What are we to do?

Earlier we saw that we express our love for Jesus through our obedience, and through our obedience we come to know him.

1 Timothy 1:5

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (NIV84)

This scripture is very clear; the goal is love and we receive this love nature by communing with God through his Word, while maintaining a pure heart and a good conscience, with a sincere desire to be pleasing to God our Savior.

We live pure and holy lives--lives pleasing to God. We always do the right thing, and we do so because of our love for God. We walk as his children--children of light--pure and spotless. It is a lie to say that we are covered by the blood of Jesus and God doesn't see our sin. If there is willful sin in our lives God sees it, and doesn't like it. He saw the sin in the letter to the Laodicean Church, as we saw earlier. He saw the sin in the church at Ephesus and commanded that they repent (Rev 2:5). Likewise the church of Pergamum (Rev 2:16), and Thyatira (Rev 2:22), and the church at Sardis, the Lord said that they were dead! (Rev 3:1)
We must rid ourselves of sin and all that is unclean, and live as we saw above: lives with a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith, so that God can become fully formed in us and we will no longer be tossed about by Satan's schemes and lies, but stand firm upon the Rock.

Ephesians 4:11-16

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (NIV84)

Everyone has his or her function within the body of Christ. One is called to this and another to that. The Lord has impressed upon my heart the need to encourage the church going people to seek a relationship with him that is based on love, faith and hope. The Lord wants to enter into your heart and direct you away from the selfish deeds of the flesh and into a loving harmony with himself.

The Lord desires to become the object of your affection. He desires to become the object of your worship, so that as you esteem him, you aspire to be like him, and so he reveals himself to you, and you really do become like him. As a man and a woman, who truly love one another in marriage, become more like one another over time, and over time come to anticipate the desires of the other, so too those united to God in Christ will become like Christ and will come to know God, and will by nature do the things that please him, because of the very great love they have for God.

But my brothers and sisters, if you truly want an intimate relationship with God your Savior, you must not love the world. You must put worldly pleasure aside and seek to please your husband, that is, Christ. The world and its ways are not like God. A house divided cannot stand. The world says 'Take your pleasure--you deserve it', but the Spirit says, 'Do not seek to please yourself, but rather trust that pleasing God will result in the knowledge of God which results in peace, joy and eternal salvation. Trust in God.

 

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