August 1, 1998
In the beginning Moses was given the law and instructed by God that the man who does them shall live by them. The children of Israel did not keep the laws of God but broke them time and again. The time of their captivity drew near and the remnant was about to be taken captive to Babylon. Because they would not turn and repent of their deeds this was assured by God when He spoke through Ezekiel and said...24:11, Then set it empty on the coals thereof , that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten into it, that the scum of it may be consumed. This is an example to us today.
Before the children of Israel were sent into captivity God gave them a promise that He would rescue them from there and bring them back and establish a new covenant with them. Jeremiah was given this word from God...33:3, Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. This great covenant was established by Jesus when He was resurrected from the dead. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came and filled the believers and empowered them to carry forth the gospel of God.
This was the beginning of a great time of grace to the whole world. For now not only the Jews were the people of promise but it also came upon the Gentiles. Like the Israelites that entered into a covenant relationship with God in the wilderness we enter into a covenant with God. Instead of a written code of laws though we are to live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
What is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus? Love! This is not to be mistaken for the type of love that says I want to be with you. That type of love is nice but it is incomplete when we apply that to the word love as we are commanded 1 John 5:3...For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and His commandments are not grievous. Confused?
Love is more than sharing space with someone you love, it is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principal, duty, propriety. Especially seeking the good of the others even at your own expense. When a person comes to the Lord they more than often receive the love from God and they feel very close to Him, yet for it to be mature, they would also pay any price that God would ask of them, even if there is no reward.
In 1 John the words "the love of God" does not mean God's love for you but your love for God, which is evident if you keep His commandments. That is what He is asking you to do. You say that you love God, good, then keep His commandments for that is love brought about by choice resting on the foundation of faith.
Now we know that Jesus is the greatest example of that love, for He suffered and died that we might be justified in the eyes of God the Father, and the sin which separated us from God no longer gets in the way of our establishing a relationship with Him. His sacrifice was for both the Father and us. He was obedient even unto death because He did not come to do His own will but the will of the Father who sent Him. That is love!
Faith is the starting point of all of us but the end goal is to have that kind of love shown by Jesus to be evident also in our own lives. We travel from faith through different phases of growth till we arrive at having the same heart and mind as Jesus.
Please understand the lesson of the Israelites who did not keep God's command. Because they did not follow God with all of their heart but fell into doing what pleased themselves, they were brought into captivity. We also, though saved must take care that the same heart not be found in us. For if we do not follow after God and be led by Him, giving in to the ways of the flesh , we will reap what we sow. The scripture does say that God will not be mocked, you will reap what you sow.
Therefore remember that you are the ambassador of Jesus here on the earth, and what you do reflects Jesus to the people around you. Find your joy in Him. Love Him by keeping His commandment to love.
The last word. We are under a covenant of grace and as has been written earlier the power of God to help us is with us when we pray according to His will. He will sustain you and hold you up. He will give you healing. He will change your heart. If you will let Him. Those things that you cannot change, God will, and you can give Him the praise and the glory. Those things you won't change, God won't either, and you will bear the consequences of it. Be diligent!
May the God of peace grant you a heart that will follow Him into eternity. Amen!
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