3rd Sep, 2009

How Will They Know?

Have you ever wondered how you can demonstrate to God that you love Him?

Jesus told us that if we love Him we will obey His commands.

But what does that even mean? What are His commands?

Jesus also told us His commands boil down to loving God and loving others.

Well, the loving God part becomes somewhat circular with regard to this argument. I mean, we are trying to determine what it means to love God; we are told that it means obeying Him; and we are told that His command is to love Him. It’s circular and leaves us still looking for definition.

I’ve heard it said that you know you love someone when you live to make their dreams come true. Setting aside the syrupy applications of this definition, I like it. But to apply this definition to our love for God we must also define what His dreams are.

What are God’s dreams?

They are revealed in His word. The overriding purpose demonstrated throughout Scripture is that God’s dream is to bless His children so that they will bless all nations in order that all the world might be saved. We can see this theme time and time again in places like Genesis 12:1-3 (also see Hebrews 6), where God establishes the Abrahamic Covenant, telling Abraham that He is going to bless Abraham and through that blessing bless all the families of the earth. Then in Psalm 22:27, when David is describing Jesus, we see these words:

 All the ends of the earth
       will remember and turn to the LORD,
       and all the families of the nations
       will bow down before him.

God tells us he wants all men to come to a saving knowledge of Him, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, and that He desires that His lovingkindness would lead to everyone’s repentance and salvation. 2 Peter 3:9.

So, we, as lovers of God, should live to make this dream come true. We should live our lives to lead all men to God. He tells us to be His witnesses to the very ends of the Earth. Acts 1:8. And if we live our lives as Jesus lived, giving it all away in worship of the Father, Romans 12:1-2, we can demonstrate His lovingkindness wherever we go, being a part of God’s dream for all the earth. But, just as with Abraham, this likely takes us leaving what we know and going to a place God will show us. The world can’t know without God’s people going, showing, and telling them about His great love.

Responses

Not to be nitpicky or anything, which of course I LOVE to do…

It wasn’t Jesus’ command to love God and love others. That was His comment as to what the most important command in the (Old Testament) law was. They were already under orders to do that.

He said He was giving as new command .. to love each other as He loves us. MUCH more daunting a task, but much more enabling.

He also said that those who live Him would obey His teachings. To me. that speaks much more to me as to how we are to live and what we are to be.

🙂

Bob Cleveland’s last blog post..Off The Top Of My Head

You are 100% right, Bob. I just wrote all of that quickly – too quickly – and didn’t get into that detail! Thank you for refining my work for me. And, getting into His teachings is what I’d like to follow this post with – but the bottom line is that He lived a life of giving to the least and the last and the lost. we are called to do the same.

Howdy, I’d just like to add to the conversation.

Loving our neighbor includes both physical and spiritual.

We’re told that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) and if we convert an erring brother then we should save a soul from death and cover a multitude of his sins (James 5:19,20)

Let us be careful not to forget the unity of the spirit when we strive for the bondage of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-6)

We’re also supposed to give liberally to all men (especially those of the house hold of faith) as we have the opportunity (Galatians 6:10.) To the contrary of what most people believe, we don’t have to wait for the Holy Spirit to move us to give because he’s already commanded us to give as we see the opportunity arise.

We’re most especially to provide and share with those who teach and are of our own house (Galatians 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:8). Knowing that whosoever does not these things has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.

If we don’t love the brethren, then we don’t love God (1 John 4:20.)

And if any man loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema Maranetha. Which is to be accursed from God (this is the same words used to describe the false teachers of Galatians 1:9.)

Take care,

Jon

Yes and amen, preach on, Jon. Add to that Jesus told us that we loved Him when we loved the least of these – when we gave a cup of cold water, for example. He also told Peter that if Peter loved Him to feed His sheep and take care of His lambs. This would include taking care of both the spiritual and the physical – in fact, there really is no dichotomy – to take care of one one must take care of both.

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