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“If You Love Me…”

By Watchman | October 13, 2009

“And why call Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

     Jesus asked His followers a very apropos question; one that is as valid today as it was two thousand years ago–why do we say we believe in and love Him but won’t do what He tells us to do?  Although modern consensus among more liberal theologians tells us that we may accept whatever we understand in ourselves to be the truth about God and His holiness, this is not what God Himself has told us.  One Christian of my acquaintance said that “if Jesus didn’t specifically say it, then I don’t feel like I have to believe it.”  In other words, most of the Old Testament rules and New Testament examples of righteous living may be ignored, since Jesus frequently didn’t mention these laws by name and in red letters.  However, He did make a  statement that those who adhere to a liberal interpretation of Jesus’ place in the universe would do well to consider:

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:  I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”  (Matthew 5:17)

Beloved brothers and sisters, Jesus is the One Who is love incarnate; Who died for our sins and rose up again to show us the ultimate love and mighty power of God.  He is God Himself.  He who knows the Son knows the Father.  And Jesus said He did not come to destroy the law–so why are we so ready to abandon it?

     Under the  Old Testament covenant, blood sacrifices had to made to effect the temporary forgiveness of sins but, since there was no perfect offering to be made, the sacrifices had to be made at regular and frequent intervals.  Praise God! that changed under the new covenant established by our Lord Jesus when He offered Himself as the perfect offering and sacrifice for our sins.  He died so that we who love Him might be cleansed of our sins. Nowhere in Scripture is there any suggestion that His atoning blood frees us from the obligation to repudiate sin and to follow in whatever path onto which He sets us.  Jesus, in telling us that He and His Father were one, embraced the laws of holy living laid down by the Father to Moses and the Hebrew people.  God’s laws of love, forgiveness, righteousness and judgment never changed.  They are unchanged and unchangeable.  Our society and Christian thought, however, have undergone some massive and unscriptural transformations that we need to be aware of and combat in our own lives if we intend to live as He has commanded us.

     During my prayer time very recently, the Lord showed me that in too many cases we have taken His command to “Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20) and His words “whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God; but he that denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9) and turned them into political talking points, to be argued in the courts and on talk radio rather than a way of life to which we should be quietly committed.  That is not to say that Christians should not be willing to stand up to political powers and declare their faith in Almighty God and His Son, Christ Jesus.  But to do so should be secondary to showing those to whom we come in contact the life-giving power of the risen Christ.  We proclaim loudly that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles (which, indeed, it was!), but we do little to proclaim WHY it should continue to follow that path rather than make the transition to a secular society as so many other first-world nations have done.  We have allowed embarrassment, fear and anger to stop our tongues from praising the glory of His name in public places and teaching the unbelievers of His goodness, and have replaced it with a correct distaste of having our “traditions” overturned.  This serves two demonic purposes:

1) We fail to show the love of Christ to others and so fail to win souls into the kingdom.  Instead, we return “blow for blow” and so turn the issue into a pseudo-holy schoolyard brawl instead of a field for sowing the word of God and reaping the resultant harvest.

2)  While Christians are weighing and studying the true word of God to make sure they aren’t too offensive to the unbelievers or trying to find a way to phrase Scriptural truths in a way that will be palatable, the pseudo-Christians are stepping up quickly and eagerly in such ways that the true word is becoming overshadowed by the false.  Those in sync with the new “emergent church” thought proclaim a separation of church and state never suggested by our Constitution and wholly unacceptable to our Lord who is the supreme ruler of all nations.  Having placed the authority of the individual or the state in a higher position than the authority of God, they are quick to assure the world that God approves most of nations that do not judge according to His own standards.  At the other end of the spectrum lie fundamentalist churches that accept the rules and judgments of the Old Testament but refuse to acknowledge either God’s love or His mercy.  Few of us here in the States can forget the infamous disruption of Iraqi war servicemen’s funerals by the Westboro Baptist Church who protested at the funerals claiming that these brave men had been killed by God because the US has too many homosexuals.  This same group tried to disrupt the funerals of the young Amish girls murdered by Charles Roberts in 2006, announcing that the murders were God’s judgment on the Amish community for their form of worship.  While this evil group is a relatively small congregation that is believed by next to nobody, the media have given them far more coverage than they have any church or minister who has condemned Westboro Church’s stance.  While we remain in either silence or anger, the opposition flourishes.

     Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”   So what are these commandments we are supposed to be keeping?  To love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  To forgive as we wish to be forgiven by our Lord.  To care for the poor in spirit, the needy, the lonely, the hungry and the forgotten.  To speak the Name of our almighty God and Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ to those who need to hear–to open blind eyes to truth; raise the spiritually dead to a knowledge of God and life eternal in the Father. To show love and mercy to the unlovely and the merciless.  To renounce the sinful nature we were born with and to allow the shed Blood of Christ to cleanse and renew us.  To love God more than we love our lives and our possessions.  To follow Him–no matter where He leads us. 






Topics: A Special Word for Today, Kingdom Living | No Comments »