Obedience with truth in love

This is love for God: to obey His commands. And his commands are not burdensome …
1 John 5:3 (NIV)

Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3 (NLT)

Context: The verse in perspective is preceded by a chapter about the love of God. It then transitions to the fact that “…Whoever loves God must also love his brother”. 1 John 4:21b  (NIV). After the Perspectiverse, we read more of Jesus Christ, and who He is in relation to eternal life. Read the 2 Chapters….full of love and truth!

I like how the NIV version describes how the commands that God makes, are never burdensome. Wow! So…doesn’t that mean that obedience is …EASY?!

Everything He commands for us to do is out of love. That reminds me of John 8:32 we read “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Freedom. Interesting. Freedom .. peace…found in truth, and even in obedience towards God’s direction. There is no oppression in the commands that God gives us … He is not a dictator…rather, Christ even says that we can call Him friend John 15:15 (MSG) , and says that He is not hiding anything from us.

A relationship with Christ brings freedom, and at the same time walking with Him as a friend, and understanding that God loves us and everything He says and does is out of love, should encourage us to trust Him and walk in His ways. #thoughtlife. Think about that..

Today’s post has been an act of obedience, for me. But I now understand that there is a specific place that God wants my heart to  be when I write on this blog for Him. I am excited that my relationship with God, and yours, might grow in this place. 🙂

Lord, may I hear You more clearly in my daily life. I desire to act as you lead, with love and in peace. I trust that all things you have commanded and are with love in mind, and never burdensome. I choose to trust you, and act on the faith that you have consistently confirmed before me. Thank you for walking with me, through my life.

Today's Word

Psalm 139:1-10 (NLT)
1
O LORD, you have examined my heart

and know everything about me.

2You know when I sit down or stand up.

You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

3You see me when I travel

and when I rest at home.

You know everything I do.

4You know what I am going to say

even before I say it, LORD.

5You go before me and follow me.

You place your hand of blessing on my head.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too great for me to understand!

7I can never escape from your Spirit!

I can never get away from your presence!

8If I go up to heaven, you are there;

if I go down to the grave,a you are there.

9If I ride the wings of the morning,

if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

10even there your hand will guide me,

and your strength will support me.

The Lord gave me these verses to share with you, after He took me to Psalm 139:2 this morning(see above). I hope you enjoy knowing these, as I have this morning. God bless. 🙂

Escape!

When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
Genesis 19:17 (NLT)
 

Context: If you read around this verse in Genesis 19, you might recognize the story of Lot and his wife being rescued from Sodom just before G’d destroys the city. G’d has sent the angels to destroy the city (Genesis 19:13), and after having a horrifying night (I won’t go into that .. but check it out ;)) the angels asked Lot if he had any other family, and told him to hurry and leave! Lot’s son-in-law didn’t believe them. Can you imagine the urgency of the situation?! It is so … real .. Remember where Lot’s wife is turned into a pillar of salt … yes … if only she had run and not looked back... That is THIS Story.

The verse spoke to me about leaving behind a place of pain, when you have healed and dealt with the pain. So, for example … you break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, and you know that the relationship is not what you want for marriage. (Personally I think we should not get too far … and should do the research friendship phase effectively so we don’t move into messy relationships.) However, if you find yourself leaving a relationship that you don’t want to continue with, don’t go back into it. Be sure. Heal. Make amends in your heart. Break any soul ties. And get out of there … don’t look back.

On another angle, maybe you were hurt deeply by a person 10 or 15 years prior, but you never forgave them. You still carry the pain and it still affects you. These types of situations require deep healing. Once healing is done, then you can let go of it. Give it to Jesus and move on with your life – don’t go dwell in that valley, that low emotional place. Just like the verse says, Run for your life. Don’t look back or stop in the valley. Escape to the mountains.

This morning I came across the following quote just after I read and prayed about the verse above. “Let go of the thoughts that don’t make you strong.” Wow. Thought life. What is your thought life like? Are you dwelling in the valley? Or are you thinking up and onward, to the mountain top – the place where you are seeing miracles and praising and jumping for joy! When you are standing on the mountaintop – what you see is more mountain tops! More awesome and exciting things that God has for you!

Yes, everyone goes through valleys … and some valleys aren’t because we choose to be there – some valleys are because of other people’s choices or the situations we find ourselves in. But let us do what we can to keep peace within… the peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7):

7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:7-9 (NLT)

Thought Life

That is my prayer today: God, that Your heavenly peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, would guard my heart and my mind. Strengthen me, Lord, that even in the valley I will focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, and lovely in Your sight. Amen.