I awoke with this one day, thought I would share. God says that we are to love Him. I was considering how often we serve him out of obedience as compared to out of love. We can be obedient to His word out of a sense of duty or fear. There is a big difference in being obedient out of love.
When we search the scriptures concerning love, we find that love is not self-pleasing. Love is willing to lay down our life for someone else. Love is praying for people. Love is esteeming others higher than self. Love is taking care of the widow and feeding and clothing the poor. Love is many things. Yet, I wonder do we love God the same way? Do we do things out of obedience because we are in love with God? I have found that the love for people will cause us to do things we normally will not do. We are willing to sacrifice all for them because we love them. Are we willing to sacrifice all for God because we love Him?
In Revelations 2:
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
The church of Ephesus was doing works for the Lord, yet God says they left their first love. We sometimes can miss the mark as we get so tied up in the works. We can get all religious in what we do out of this sense of duty. Yet we can be doing things that really are not right. God wants us to have a love relationship with Him. He wants us to do things because we love Him. If someone that you love would ask you to do something, how would you respond? Usually when the love is flowing, you would do anything that they requested to just please them. We need to fall in love with God again. We need to stop playing church and going through the motions that may appear to man correct, but to God, are far from Him.
I have used this scripture before as I believe it is very important these days for people to understand. Jesus said in Mathew 7:23, that even though people had done many works in His name He said that He never knew them. Knowing someone means you must have a relationship with him or her. Maybe it is time to take stock of the motives behind what we do. Can we say that we love God with all of heart, soul, and strength? Are we willing to do anything He asks just because we have this deep love for Him? Do we act out the written word in our strength out of duty or a religious spirit? Will we wait on the Lord to hear His voice and directions for us because we love Him? Are we caught up in religious works that when we see Jesus He will say to us depart, as He never knew us?
In Proverbs 8:21 it says “That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures”. The fruit of loving God is to receive our inheritance and our treasures filled. This is the fruit or by-product. It should not be our motive for loving God, as love is not self-pleasing. Unfortunately there are many religious formulas around the church that if we do this or that we will receive this or that back. God is not a formula. If we could just learn to love Him and put Him first, He out of His love for us would take care of all the things we need. We would so willingly seek what He desires and have no trouble being obedient to what He asks of us. Love does that! God desires for us to have a deep intimate relationship with Him out of our love for Him. Ever notice how that when we fall in love with a gal or guy it seems to consume us? We need to have that same consuming love for God. God is jealous of our love for others and things, but we don’t have the same for Him. May God forgive us and somehow help us to fall in love with Him again in a way that He is pleased with us. Our actions will change as we do. God’s response to us will also change.