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If Ye Love Me

Then ......

                               IF YE LOVE ME

by Holly Mills

"If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15)

     I have recently encountered a few people who have changed
their attitude toward their Christian faith. They have started to
feel that many things are acceptable that just a few years ago
they never would have believed in. Their reasoning is that if God
is love then he loves everyone and therefore we too should accept
everyone and their behaviour. They say things like "I still love
God and pray to him but I just don't see things the way that I
used to."
     Of course, they are correct in that the Bible does say that
God is love. It says in 1 John 4:8 that, "He that loveth not
knoweth not God; for God is love." This is one attribute of God,
but He has other attributes as well, such as holiness and
justice. 1 John 1:5 says "God is light" and John 4:24 says "God
is spirit." God has many attributes. To just casually say that
God is love and that means we should accept everything and
everyone's behaviour is not true. Our goal is not to accept the
worldly view of love but to grow in our knowledge of God and to
love Him as well. This is how we develop our relationship with
Him. Once the love of God fills our hearts, our immediate
reaction should be to love God back and our desire should be in
obedience to Him. When you love a child you do not blindly love
them without giving them discipline as well. You want to protect
them and want them to be obedient to you for their own good.

     Our love for God is often very fickle. We can say that we
love him but then when it doesn't suit us we do our own thing
saying, "Oh well God loves me anyway." There again we are
compromising our relationship with God by doing our own thing.
How can God continue to give us His blessings when we don't
honour Him? We do this by obeying Him and showing Him that we
love Him just as He loves us. 

     We must make a commitment to God. He showed His love for us
by sending His son to die for our sins. We should show Him our
love for Him by keeping His commandments. "We love him, because
he first loved us." (1 John 4:19). If we trust God we must follow
Him and not the world. This includes those times when we don't
feel close to God but we must continue to obey Him. Our desire
should be to be holy as He is holy. 2 Cor.13:5 says, "Examine    
yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you,
except ye be reprobates?" (unless you don't stand the test).

     I think of our Israel lands today. They once flowed with
milk and honey. We were so blessed. We lived in a covenant
relationship with God and He poured out His blessings upon us. 
     He loved us and we loved Him. We may not have always done
things just right but He led us and corrected us when we went
wrong. This is no longer the case. God still loves us but we do
not love Him. We have abandoned His commandments and do things
our own way. People often will say, especially in times of
trouble, "I pray to God but He doesn't answer me." Are we keeping
our side of the relationship? Are we obeying the laws that He
gave us to keep us safe and out of harm's way? Are we worshipping
the one true God or are we lusting after other gods as well? We
have only ourselves to blame, but this is God's love for us that
even through our disobedience He will save us. He will correct us
and bring us back to Him. He truly does love us and for His own
glory as well wants us to be happy and not in the miserable state
that we are in today. We are living in exciting but uncertain
times. God is working in our nations and great things are about
to happen.

     Our part of this relationship right now is to listen and
obey our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He said in Mark
12:29-31, "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, 0 Israel;
The Lord Our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater
than these."


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