“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
Jesus replied, “Anyone wo loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 14:23
As Jesus was getting ready to be betrayed and crucified, He told the disciples that He would be leaving soon. He tells them several times to obey His teachings. Now He says that whoever loves Him will obey Him.
People all over the world follow a lot of different people. Some will follow a sports team, others a singer or actor. Still others will follow some business person or politician. The list of what they will follow is endless.
One thing that is common with all of these people they follow is that they love the person or group they are following. They want to know all they can about that person.
Along with many people following a lot of other people, there are many who claim to follow and love Jesus.
However, Jesus takes the idea of loving Him and following Him a step further. Whoever claims to love Him must obey His teachings. Jesus did not come to just entertain people, but to bring them life and show them how to live a full life for God.
It is easy for a person to claim to love Jesus or to say they will follow Jesus. It is another thing to actually love Jesus and truly follow Him. A lot of people will claim to believe in Jesus, however, very few will actually obey His teachings.
Jesus set up a way to know if a person really does love Him. That way is to obey what He was teaching.
Every word that Jesus spoke was for teaching and building people up. He spoke about ways to not be and ways to be. He spoke about how to act and how to not act.
As a believer, your purpose on this life should match that of what the purpose of Jesus was–to love and obey God and to love all people. Showing love to all people will be seen in bringing the gospel message to every person.
As you go through your life, prove that you truly do love Jesus, don’t just claim to love Him. Show your love by doing what Jesus commanded. Live your life as Jesus lived His on this earth. Do you really love Jesus?
I pray today that you will know the teachings of Jesus; that God wills strengthen you to obey His commands; that you will love as Jesus loved you; and that you will obey all that Jesus commanded.
I was listening to a song by the group, Tenth Avenue North, a few days ago. It was a song I have heard quit a few times, but never really listened to the words, until the other day when I was listening to it.
The title of the song is: Comfort (Somehow You Want Me)
Here are the words to the chorus to the song:
God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me
Oh, how you love me, somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life and the way it should go
Oh, God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me, somehow that frees me
To open my hands up and give You control
I give You control
As I listened to this song the other day, it really hit me what the song was saying. God really does not need me, but He loves me and wants me.
Just sit back and think about that for a moment. God, the God of all the universe; the God who made everything that is; the God who has absolute power; the God who has always been and will always be; the God who is in absolute control of everything, wants me. And just as much as He wants me, He wants you also.
Before all of creation was started, God already had you on His mind. He had a plan for you.
For me that is so amazing! It is mind-blowing to think about. That even before He created this great earth, He was thinking about me and you.
Now as you think about that, now think about how you, (if you are like me), like to be in control of your own life. How many times do we like to be the one to call the shots? Or to be successful in what we do?
How often do we set our own goals and try to do what it takes to achieve those goals? Then get upset because we can’t seem to achieve the goals we set.
This is where the other part of that chorus comes in: “somehow that frees me
To open my hands up and give You control, I give You control“
Knowing that God wants me, loves me and has been thinking about me since before the beginning of creation, brings about a great freedom. That freedom is to be able to let go of this life I have and let Him have control of it.
Knowing that God wants me, loves me and has been think about me since before the beginning of creation assures me that He knows what is best for me. He knows what is best for me in every situation that I may go through in my life.
The only bad situation for God is when I choose not to obey or follow Him. Everything else God has under control and can use it for His glory and to build me up more like Jesus everyday. There is nothing so bad that God cannot use it for His glory and to build you and me up.
Now the question comes, am I willing to give up control of my life? Are you willing to give up control of your life?
That means letting go of everything and placing all those things in God’s hands. It means trusting God to take care of you. It means following God no matter where He leads you. It means obeying God in every area of your life, every moment of your life. It means that you strive to be more like Jesus everyday.
It is putting complete trust in God and God alone. It is putting so much trust in God, that if He fails, you will fail. But remember that God has never failed and never will fail. He has always kept every promise He has made.
Look at what Jesus went through so that you and I could be saved. It looked terrible, it looked like God had failed, but He did not. Jesus had victory in the end.
You can also have that same victory. Are you going to let go of your life and let God have control? I am striving to do that more and more.
Here is the video of that song by Tenth Avenue North:
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
As Israel was being punished for rejecting God and following false gods, God showed Zephaniah that there would come a day when it would be different. God would be saving the people and taking great delight in them. When Jesus came to the earth, God would reach out to the people and provide the salvation that they need. At that time God would be rejoicing over His people.
When a person, who has known God, but walked away from Him, he is usually very miserable. He feels the punishment or correction of God upon his life. God is trying to call him back.
Once the person returns to God, often he still feels the guilt of his past. He feels as though God is still not happy with him and is punishing him for his past sins.
God does not work that way. The purpose in His sending His Son Jesus was to provide for salvation from the past sins. Jesus removes all the sin and guilt in the life of a person. His righteousness is imparted onto the person, so that the person can stand before God.
At that point God rejoices in His child. His infinite love for the person takes over and God rejoices.
If you have chosen to repent of your sins and follow Jesus, God is also rejoicing over you. He is the mighty warrior who can overcome all the sin in your life and remove that sin. God is excited to spend time with you. Because of His great love, He does not want to rebuke you anymore, but to shower His love down upon you.
All of heaven rejoices when one sinner is saved. God is in that group of those in heaven rejoicing over you. God is jumping up and down with joy to spend time with you. He is singing songs to the angels in heaven about you.
You no longer have to fear God, because He is there for you, not against you. Build that great relationship with God today. He is not out to strike you, but to spend time with you and rejoice over you.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know Jesus removed your sins; that you will know God is not out to rebuke you; and that you will know God loves to spend time with you.
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