Friday, October 30, 2015

Our problem: the law or unbelief?

Rom 3:20  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

God's law tells us how we are designed to live  i.e. if we live this way we will experience the life God created/designed us for. This is a good thing, not bad. Therefore the law too is good. The law is simply God's operations manual for how 

·        mankind functions according to his design and therefore to his optimal capacity.
·        brings greatest honor to Him thereby drawing others to him. 

But in order for us to live by the law we must believe it is given by God for our good. So the problem isn't the law per se, it's our unbelief. We don't trust God so we are unwilling to obey God and his directions for us.

Because we have no faith in God we have no faith in his directions (the law) for us either.

The law simply reveals to us (brings to our conscious awareness) how we don't trust him; how we have rebelled and continue to rebel from believing God is our Creator, director, rightful owner, sustainer, provider, lover, care giver, protector; the all wise, all powerful, always present, always loving, all benevolent, beatific God.

If we knew and believed God was all of this and more for us i.e. exactly who he says he is, doing as He says; following His direction; obeying the law, would be no problem whatsoever.

Unbelief/distrust is our problem, not the law.

The heart/essence of the law brings all of this out most clearly.

Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 
The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mar 12:29-31

So are we good or worthless?

Rom 3:12  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."

We are not worthless, but we become worthless when we don't do good.

"Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Jesus. Luk 14:34,35

We have the capacity to do good because we are created in God's image.  But due to our disconnection from God i.e. our rebellious distrust/unbelief, we are not able to do good for we were never designed to operate without God, separated from his love for us.

We can not love as we were designed to love because we have disconnected from the source of love. We are not the source of love, God is. Love comes from God, to us and we in turn are empowered to love others, because we are loved.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Obedience… drudgery or delight, part 2

The reason obedience feels like drudgery or hard work for many professing Christians is there is no "want to" in their actions. It's a "have to." It's performance oriented. It's "do it or else..."  

In 1Jn 5:2,3 we are told "...By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome."

When we "do" because we love, the doing isn't drudgery and hard work. 

I use to surf a lot and it kicked my back side.  I would usually be out for 2 or 3 hours per session. When I was done I was hungry, exhausted and probably 1 or 2 pounds lighter. But I LOVED it.  

Did I exert  myself? Big time. Was is work? Well, in a sense. It took great effort, focus, discipline etc., but it didn't feel like "work" because it was something I love to do and therefore fun. 

When God's love gets a hold of us it creates the "want to" to pursue him.  

If there is no "want to" we need to take a hard look at how much we understand and believe God loves us. 

The solution? Ask God to help you see more clearly what Christ did for you and why he did it. 

(Sometimes the only way we experience God's love is to step out in faith on God's character [regardless of how we feel] and love others. This is the essence of obedience to his greatest commandment to love him with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. 

His character/love/wisdom has already been demonstrated to us in giving us Christ. This alone is enough when we really see it and believe it. To step out in faith releases our experience of his love [Not his actual love which is already secured for us in Christ] to us and through us)

He who is forgiven much, loves much.

And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "Say it, Teacher."  

"A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?" 

Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly."

...Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven--for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." - Jesus Christ - Luk 7:40-43;47 

The truth is we are all forgiven much if we are in Christ. Our problem is we don't have a full understanding of the greatness of our offense, how desperately we need God's forgiveness, how totally impossible it is for us to be righteous enough to be accepted by God and what lengths God went to provide it. This is at the heart of our maturing and where growth lies; in seeing the infinite extent of his great love for us and the extent of our absolute need for it.

For a further discussion click here

#Wantto #haveto #Drudgery #thotsaboutGod #thoughtsaboutGod