Hebrews 1:9 What Do You Love And Hate?

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Hebrews 1:9

All over the world people talk about the need to have love in order that there may be peace. The world claims to have love, but the love being shown is love for things or whatever it takes to feel better about one’s own self.

On the other side, the acceptable hatred is when something goes against a person. This is whether it is against self or against anyone else, hatred can be normal.

The author of Hebrews is describing Jesus and quotes Psalms 45:6-7. Jesus is described as loving righteousness and hating wickedness, so God anoints him with the oil of joy.

Very few people actually love righteousness all the time. Most people do not directly like limitations on what they can and cannot do, and righteousness does that. Without limitations people will love and do wickedness with no regrets or remorse.

Inside the church there are many that rebel against living a righteous life, because it looks like legalism, a bunch of do and don’t rules. As a result many in the church love wickedness and participate in it on a regular basis.

Jesus loved doing the right things and hating all wickedness to the point that He lived a perfect holy life with absolutely no sin in His life. God raised Him up and anointed Him with the oil of joy. He had joy because He was living the life the Father wanted Him to live.

Believers who are truly following Jesus will live in the same way. They will live to seek out being righteous in every way possible, and they will hate all wickedness and sin. They will flee from all temptations to sin. Then they will know the true joy of living for God.

Every day you are faced with choices of what to love and hate. The world will try to get you to love what is wicked and sinful.

Allow God to change your heart and mind and seek His righteousness and holiness. It is not about regulations, but a relationship and truly living the best life possible on this earth.

The more you live for God, the more joy you will know, because you will have the peace of God guiding and strengthening you daily.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will desire righteousness as Jesus did; that you will hate sin as much as God does; that you will know the joy of serving God with your whole life; and that the world will know you follow Jesus.

Acts 15:19 Don’t Make It Difficult

It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19

Everywhere a person goes there are some rules or regulations guiding people how to live or work where they are at. Some places are very lenient, having very few regulations, while others are extremely strict with an overload of rules.

The more rules that are laid out, the more difficult it is for people to follow them. It can become much easier to break the rules with many rules. It can also make it very discouraging to attempt to follow all of them.

The Jewish leaders in Antioch were laying down a lot of rules for new Gentile believers to follow in order to follow God. Paul told them they should not make it difficult for the new Gentile believers as they turn towards God.

One of the constant struggles for churches is in knowing what the rules are to be and remain a believer. While many believe that believing in Jesus and repenting of sins is enough to become a follower of Jesus, there are others that add a lot more.

There are also many churches that want the new believer to clean up his life completely before becoming a member. A long list of things to do or not do is given immediately upon becoming a Christian.

While it is good to begin guiding a new believer in how to live for Christ, giving a long list can be overwhelming and discouraging. It can push people away from God, because of the impossibility of fulfilling a long list of legal regulations, just as the Israelites had a problem with following God’s Law.

The focus for new believers should be building them up, little by little in what it means to follow Jesus, not all at once.

You may be a new believer who is struggling with being burdened with a load of regulations, or you may be an older believer who loads others down with rules. Either way, do not forget that the only thing required to be a believer is to believe in Jesus and repent of sins.

God will change your heart to be able to handle more rules as you continue to grow in Him, learning to trust and obey Him in every area of your life. Do not burden yourself or others with too much, too fast.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength and wisdom to obey His commands; that you will guide new believers in the ways of the Lord; and that God will guide you in helping new believers grow in the Lord.

Matthew 22:40 What It Is All About

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

Every time there is a group of people that are together, there is a list of rules and regulations to guide them. Some groups have only a few regulations, while others have thousands of rules.

Governments have thousands of pages of regulations on nearly every ruling. These are done this way to guide every one in nearly every possible situation, so that there is very little to no misunderstanding in the meaning of the ruling. No one can actually completely know every ruling of a government.

Someone had asked Jesus what the greatest commandment in the Law was. Jesus answered to love God and to love the neighbor. After answering, Jesus said that is was on those two commandments that all the rest of the Law and the prophets hung.

It is easy for a person to read the bible and get overwhelmed with all of the commands given throughout the bible. There are several hundred commands, dealing with nearly everything and anything in nearly every possible situation.

Unlike the governmental regulations that people can come up with, God’s commands all boil down to two very simple commands–love God and love others.

Love is not selfish and does whatever it can to help and build up the other person, regardless of who that other person is. It is putting others before self at any cost. The one who truly loves God will not want to hurt God by disobedience. The one who truly loves people will not want to hurt anyone at any cost.

As one looks closely at all of the commands of God in the bible, he will see that all of them are either about loving God or loving someone else in some way or another. Instead of being overwhelmed by the commands, one just needs to love God and others.

You may wonder what God wants you to do with your life, what commands God has for you. Rather than be concerned with a thousand commands, focus on two–loving God and loving others.

As you focus on loving God and loving others, you will steer away from sin against God or others. You will always be able to make the right choice.

Jesus came to bring love to you, how can you return and forward that love to God and others?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength; that you will love others with the love God has for you; that your life will be focused upon following a path of love; and that you will see God’s love in every command He gives you.

Hebrews 7:18-19 A Better Hope

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19

Laws are something that is bitter-sweet for most people. The majority of people like the laws, because it shows them what is right and what is wrong. It gives them a guideline by which they expect others to live.

At the same time, many people hate the laws, because it also can restrict them from what they can and cannot do. Laws bind people up more than releases them from bondage.

The author of Hebrews points out the the old law was worthless in that it could not make a person perfect. Since it was worthless and failing, a better hope was introduced to allow man to get close to God.

Most people in the church like to know what God’s laws are. It gives them guidance as to how to live their lives. They want a checklist of what to do or not to do, so that they can see where they are succeeding or not succeeding in following God.

The challenge comes that with the more one knows the laws of God, the more he realizes that he cannot fulfill every one of them in his own power. He is constantly battling with failure to obey God’s laws and thus looks bad (in his eyes) before God.

God knew that this would happen, so He sent Jesus to provide the way to Him. Attempting to follow the law would produce failure, so Jesus came to fulfill the law and provide the much needed salvation and freedom from sin.

Following Jesus will allow the believer to take his focus off of sin and put it upon God.

You are probably struggling with sin as most believers are. You sin, repent, and then sin again are frustrated with yourself. Instead of focusing on following God’s law, focus on following Jesus and the way He lived. Do what He did and is doing, so that you will not have time to sin.

Live in the forgiveness that Jesus provides. Allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to strengthen and help you.

As you rely upon what Jesus did for you, you will be able to draw closer to God, and flee further from sin.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will rely upon God’s grace for your life; that you will focus your life on following Jesus; that you will be led by God’s Holy Spirit; and that you will produce fruit in keeping with God’s commands.

John 5:11 Whose Command Do You Obey?

But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.'” John 5:11

Rules and regulations can be found every there are two or more people anywhere in the world. They are put into place to govern what a person can and cannot do.

Often there are two different rules, by two different people, that contradict each other. One has to choose which he will obey. Usually the obedience goes to the one with the higher authority, unless there is rebellion, in which case a court may decide who was right.

On a Sabbath day Jesus had healed a lame and told him to take up his mat and walk, and he did. This went against the Jewish laws and the leaders were upset with him.

God has laid down some laws for man to obey. The world has also laid down laws that they want people to obey. It is very common that some of these laws are in conflict with each other.

Currently in America some are laying down laws that believers cannot gather in person in church or groups of more than a few people. This is something that has been done for years in many other countries already and goes against God’s command to gather together.

Every believer must choose if they are going to obey the laws of man or the laws of God when they are in conflict with each other. Regardless of which they choose, there will be difficult consequences.

Obeying man’s law over God’s will result in God being upset. Obeying God’s law over man’s will result in man being upset. The choice will result in eternal consequences. One brings eternal life, the other death.

As a believer, you have chosen to allow God to be your head ruler. God, in His infinite and perfect love, knows what is best for you. As you listen to His voice, He will tell you what must be done.

There will be times that it will go against the laws of man. During those times you must choose whom you will obey…God or man. God has the higher authority, since He has created everything and owns it all, including you.

Rather than bending to the desires of the world to live in sin, obey God’s commands and know true life. Do not be afraid to stand up for God and His laws against the ways of the world.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s voice; that you will know God’s commands; that you will trust God’s commands; and that God will give you strength to do what He asks of you.