1 John 5:3 Love For God

 

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In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

Following various organizations can be a challenge for some people. The organization will have a lot of rules and regulations that a person must follow. Some of these commands may be how a person dresses, where he can go, what he can do, how he must speak, how much it may cost, and many other rules. The number of rules can become a challenge and a heavy burden for many people. They may even keep some people from joining.

Many people in the world see following God in this same way. They see what they think are many rules and commands that they must follow. This is often seen because people in the church lay out a long list of commands a person must follow in order to believe in Jesus or be a member of the church. In order to love God a person must do all of those commands. Some of these may be: how a person dresses, which bible translation he reads, where he goes to church, how much he must give to the church, and many other commands.

John states that to love God is to keep His commands, and that His commands are not a heavy burden. All of God’s commands are summed up in loving God and loving other people. This is not a lot of commands. They are simple. Do what is best for God and for others.

When a person gets wrapped up in lots of commands, he loses the sight of love for God. He sees God as a harsh dictator and not a loving Father. Then it becomes hard to love God or others.

In loving God one will turn from sin and be His witness to the world. He will want to tell everyone about Jesus first and foremost. It will be his focus in life.

Focus your life on loving God and loving others. As you do that you will fulfill His commands, to love God and others.

As you love God and others, God will give you the strength to turn away from sin and to be His witness in this world. Turning from sin and obeying God will no longer be a burden, but a great joy.

How are you at loving God today?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God; that you will find joy and strength in loving God; that you will love others as God loves them; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to the world. 

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Matthew 22:40 Only Two Simple Rules To Follow

Love God And Neighbor

“All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:40

Jesus was asked by some teachers of the Law what was the greatest commandment. He told them to love God and to love the neighbor. He finishes with telling them that all the other commandments are based off of those two.

People do not like to have a lot of rules and regulations to follow. They want to have their freedom to do what they want, when they want and how they want. Yet, they know that rules are a necessity.

Since rules are required, most people want to know what they are. In that process, they also want to know what the most important rules are. They want to know which rules will enact the harshest punishment if not followed. It will also let them know what they can cut corners on, because the other rules are not so important.

The challenge with having many different rules, is that it is difficult to remember each one. When a person does his taxes, there are thousands of different rules regulating them. It is difficult for a person to know every one of those rules.

People need the rules to be simplified to be able to understand them. The more rules that there are, the easier it is to miss one.

Jesus simplified all the rules into two. All one has to do is love God and love his neighbor. If that is done, all the other commands of God will be followed perfectly.

In order to follow these commands, you must ask yourself on a regular basis if what you are saying or doing is loving God and loving your neighbor. If your words or actions are loving God and your neighbor, you are following God’s greatest commands and all the other commands of God.

If they are not loving God or your neighbor, you have something you must change. Later in scripture you are told that to love God is to love your neighbor, and to love your neighbor is to love God.

There is now no reason for you to wonder what God’s commands are for you. They are all summed up in two simple little rules: 1) love God, and 2) love your neighbor.

Are you following these two simple commands?

Are you really loving God as you say you are?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God with all of your life; that you will love your neighbors as God loves them; and that you will follow God with all of your heart.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The Duty Of Every Person

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Solomon started out this book stating that everything is meaningless. As one reads through it, he shows how worthless everything is in this life. People are born, they live for a while and they die. There does not appear to be any meaning in this life for what a person goes through.

As he finishes the book, he points out that everything has been considered and he came up with a conclusion. That conclusion is that the whole purpose of every person on this earth is to fear God and obey Him.

Having this viewpoint in a person’s life, puts God as the One who is in absolute control of everything and knows what is best for everyone. In the end this will be seen when God brings every deed into judgment. This is not just the deeds that are physically seen, but those that are hidden behind closed doors, or are hidden inside the thoughts of the mind.

This judgment will also include all deeds, both the good ones and the sinful ones. God is not just one-sided, He looks at everything, the whole person.

Some people may now say that keeping His commandments is difficult. On the surface this appears to be true, but if you really look at it, there are only two commandments to really keep. Those commandments are: love God, and love your neighbor.

If you are showing true love to God and your neighbor, you will not do anything to harm either one in any way. This includes harmful thoughts in the quiet of your mind, along with the physical actions many do.

Many people are searching for a purpose in this world. You may be searching for your purpose in this world. Now you know what it is: love God and love your neighbors.

Show your love to God and your neighbors by telling them about Jesus and what Jesus has done and will do for them. Be the witness of Jesus to this world today. That is what Jesus did and wants you to do today.

I pray today that you will know God’s purpose for your life; that you will see the opportunities to be His witness; that you will love God; and that you will show God’s love to everyone else.

Psalm 97:10 Love And Hate

Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10

Two things that are commonly talked about by many people are love and hate. Non-believers are very quick to tell believers that they are to show love and not hate. Most believers will agree with them in that they should not show any hate towards any person.

Jesus had said that believers are to love their enemies. So the statement of loving people is true and strong.

The world interprets some things as hate, when in reality it is love. If a believer speaks out against a sin or hates some type of sin, it is automatically interpreted that he hates the person. Hating sin has nothing to do with whether a person loves another person or not.

The psalmist said that anyone who loves God, must hate evil. All evil is sin and all sin is evil.

The challenge many believers have is what they call evil. Generally people think of evil as extreme horrible sins, such as murder, rape, extreme violence, and other ‘major’ sins.

God calls all sin evil. Right alongside of murder is also telling lies, gossip, jealousy, pride, and many other ‘little’ sins. All of these are also evil.

Believers must not hate any person, and many are guilty of that, but they must hate the actions and evil. You must hate evil so much that you turn away from it. Do not look on it, do not think about it, do not touch it.

God is pure and holy and cannot be around any sin or evil at all. Jesus was the perfect image of God and you were called to be just like Jesus. You are to live your life in a way that you run away from evil. Do not allow yourself to take part in any type of evil, no matter how large or small it is.

Where do you sit with evil?

Do you overlook small sins?

Or do you run from all sin?

I pray today that you will love God with all of your heart; that you will hate sin as God hates sin; that you will love people as God loves people; and that your life will be like that of Jesus.

Giving Proper Honor

Recently in the news, there has been many articles about various people showing dishonor while the national anthem is being played. This has spread into the schools where students are now kneeling down while the anthem is played or even during the national and state pledges.

The reason many are kneeling is because of their anger against the prejudice treatment that their people had received from Americans for many years in the past. It is primarily focused on the treatment of black African-Americans.

It is true that there were many who were treated badly by the majority of Americans in this country. It is factual that many were enslaved and later treated as second-rate citizens once slavery was abolished. It is also true that racism still exists all over the nation.

Treating people in a wrong manner is a sin and has always been a sin. When a nation does not keep the focus on Jesus and living as Jesus would, then sin will abound. As long as Jesus is not the center of every person’s life in a nation all types of sin will continue.

People are selfish and think that they are the center of the universe. This has been the way of people since Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and will continue until Jesus returns and does away with all sin in the lake of fire.

Although it is true that racial prejudice and wrong treatment of people has occurred time and again in the nation, it does not take away the good that a nation has done.  It does not wipe out the fact that many people fought to abolish slavery and the wrong treatment of people.

The one thing that people need to keep in mind is that every person in this nation, and every other nation, has done some wrong to another person at one time or another. Every person has been guilty of going with the crowds in wrongful treatment of others at some point or another.

One common area that this occurs is in the schools. Every school has a students who do not “fit in” with the “in” crowd. They get shunned and ridiculed because of how they look or act. Many kids will treat those who are different badly. Very few kids will stand up for the rights of those who are different. Most will go with the crowds in the treatment of others, but there are those who will do the right thing as much as possible.

Keeping this in mind, then those who are kneeling down in protest against America because of past wrongs, are most likely guilty of some of the same wrongs being done.

Jesus had spoke to the leaders of the temple about this very issue. A woman had been caught in adultery and the leaders wanted to stone her according to the law. Jesus answer was anyone who was without sin be the first to throw the first stone at her. No one could throw that stone, because each one knew that they were guilty of sin.

It is easy to stand out against some wrong done in the life of someone else. It is easy to protest against wrongs being done in the past of someone else’s life. However, it is different if one was to look at his own life closely through the eyes of God.

Paul said that each person is to give what he owes. The things that he directly points out in owing is taxes, revenue, respect and honor. There have been many people who are due a lot of honor in this nation, both in the present and in the past.

Despite many of the wrongs that America as a whole has done, there have been many things that have been done right. Slavery was first abolished in America. The right to freedom of religious belief was founded in America. The rights of many people were gained in America.

It is true that America is not perfect yet, nor will ever be. Yet, despite all the wrongs done there are many things done right. There have been many men and women who have died fighting for many of the rights that everyone enjoys today. To take a knee in protest against the national anthem is to tell those people who did the right things that what they did does not mean anything.

As a believer, you must be willing to show honor to whom honor is due. You must also show love to everyone, including your enemies. Believers are to do good to those who treat you wrong, this includes showing honor where it is due.

There are many Christians who are making very harsh statements against those who are taking a knee during the national anthem. They are treating those people in a wrong way and not showing any love. No one is to condone any wrongs being done, but it does not stop the need to show proper love and honor where it is due, and love is due everywhere. You cannot love someone too much, unless your love for that person pulls you away from God.

How is your Christian love showing in your life today? Does it look the same as the love Jesus has shown you?

Are you showing the honor that you should to those you should show it? Or are you being disrespectful and angry with others?

Leviticus 19:16 Do Not Slander Or Endanger Others

“Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:16

In this chapter God gives many little rules about not doing various things to a person’s neighbor. Here He is telling people not to slander or endanger anyone. This includes spreading any type of slander that is heard.

Times have not changed. People like to slander others all the time. In the current season of the USA, it is very prevalent among politicians running for various positions. In both the workplace and government positions, when a person wants to get a position over someone else, the common thing is to point out what is wrong with the other person. This is slandering someone else, giving them a bad name in public.

Alongside of this God tells the people not to endanger the lives of their neighbor. This is most often looked at as just the physical life of the person. It can also include their character. No one is to do anything that could cause a danger of any type to any other person.

Slander is just a way of cutting someone else down to make yourself look better. Read the news or magazines and it is full of slander from one person to another, or one group to another. Movies are filled with extreme slander and endangering of other’s lives.

Jesus said that the ultimate rule is to love every person, including your enemies. When you love someone you will not want to harm them in any way. If you are living for Jesus, you will have no need to cut another person down. You will want to build them up.

Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the process of slandering and harming other people. Regardless of how bad a person is, does not give you the right to cut them down. Pray for them and lift them up before God and others.

What are your words saying about others?

How does your words and actions affect other people?

Do your words and actions build up or tear down people?

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for others; that God will reveal what your words and actions are doing; that you will seek to build others up in Jesus; and that your words and actions will represent Jesus to this world.

1 John 2:15 Do Not Love Things

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15

John makes a statement that is harsh for a lot of people. It is that believers are not to love the world or anything in this world. This love is the undying, unending type of love. It is a love that puts something first and everything else last. It is the same type of love that God has for people.

People love many different things of this world. Each person is a little different in what they love and how they love it. Some are love the professional business world and give their life towards achieving success. Others have a hobby that they love to do, and live to do it. Others even love people or family in the wrong way.

In this passage, John is talking about loving something more than you love God. Putting that something or someone first. It is easy to love something or someone so much that you put all of your time and efforts there.

Someone may say now that Jesus said believers are to love people. That is correct, but you are not to love that person more than you love God. God is to be your first love in your life. You are not to love someone or something to the point you put it before God.

Where is the desire of your life? It should be seeking God and His kingdom first in every area of your life.

Anything less than this, is loving this world and it’s things. John then says that the love of God is not in you.

God’s love is perfect and places the right priority on everyone and everything. God uses things, loves people, and does His will.

The world looks and sounds good, but in the end it will pass away. Every person will be gone someday. Only God remains eternal. Is your love focused on Him? Or is it on the temporary things of this world?

Love people and the things of this world, but never place them above or before God. Put God first in your love and everything and everyone else will fall into place.

I pray today that you will love God with all of your life; that you will place God first in your life; that you will have the proper love for people and things; and that God’s love will be in you.