OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to list of GospelMeeting2012s||Next|
LOVE PRACTICED IN OBEDIENCE
Victor M. Eskew
A. Five statements:
1. God exists.
2. God has revealed His will for man in the Bible.
3. God’s will contains commands that God expects man to obey.
4. Man has a choice: obey or disobey.
5. If one chooses to obey, his obedience should spring from his love for God.
B. The last statement is affirmed many times in Holy Writ.
1. John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
2. John 14:21a
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.
3. John 14:23a
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words.
4. I John 2:5
But whoso keepeth his word in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
5. I John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
C. In our lesson today, we want to examine the topic: “Love Practiced in Obedience.”
I. WE MUST FIRST LOVE GOD
A. Mark 12:29-30
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
1. There are two components within this statement:
a. The command: to love God
b. The manner: with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength
2. NOTE: God requires a person to devote every part of their inner self and outer being to loving God.
1. This love is more than a sentiment.
This love is more than a verbal acknowledgement.
This love is more than something that I would like to believe about myself.
2. Many will define this love as “that which always seeks the best interest of another.”
3. It can also involve feelings of affection for another.
C. How do we develop a love for God?
1. Study God’s love for man.
a. God has always acted in man’s best interest (Rom. 5:8).
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
b. When we truly grasp His love, we will love Him in return (I John 4:19).
We love him, because he first loved us.
2. Learn about “who” God is.
a. God is awesome. God is unique. God is loveable.
b. God has qualities, which, when understood, will cause men to love Him.
1) His power, His wisdom, His faithfulness, His protection, His omniscience, His omnipresence, and His forgiveness
2) If you truly know God, you will be “smitten” with love for him. He will literally “dazzle” you (e.g., teenagers who fall head over heels in love).
3) David was smitten with love for God and longed for Him (Ps. 42:1-2).
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3. Practice love by loving others (I John 4:7).
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
D. Yes, our discussion begins with our need to first love God.
1. All who love God will obey Him.
2. But, not everyone who obeys God loves Him.
II. LOVE FOR GOD OBEYS GOD
A. John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
B. We cannot have it both ways.
1. If we love God, we will obey Him. We cannot disobey Him and still love Him.
2. Matthew 6:24
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
3. If we choose something other than the Lord’s will, we love it rather than loving God.
a. Numerous applications
2) My wisdom
4) My resources
5) My relationships
b. Example: The rich young ruler (Matt. 19:21-22)
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
1) Did the rich young ruler love his riches? Yes.
2) Did the rich young ruler love Jesus?
a) Sometimes we hesitate to answer. We don’t like to say: “No.”
b) Why is this so hard? We live in a society that excuses irresponsi-bility, disobedience, and evil.
- Children are deemed wonderful, even if they are disrespectful and unruly.
- Bad employees become terrific after they have quit.
- All men who die are said to have been good.
C. Summary: Those who love God will prove their love by obeying God. Those who do not obey do not love God.
III. PRACTICAL APPLICATION
A. Commands God has given.
1. Children are to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1). If they do not, they do not love God.
2. Members of the local congregation are commanded to obey the elders (Heb. 13:17). If they do not do this, they do not love God.
3. We are commanded not to forsake the assembly of the saints (Heb. 10:25). Those who disobey do not love God.
4. We are commanded to take the gospel to the lost (Mark 16:15-16). If we do not, we do not love God.
5. We are commanded to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). If we don’t we don’t love God.
6. We have been commanded to abound in the work of the Lord (I Cor. 15:58). If we refuse, we do not love God.
7. Parents have been commanded to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Those who don’t do this do not love God.
B. NOTE: Obedience requires an individual to choose a particular course of action desired by another.
1. It is easy to be obedient as long as our will agrees with the will of the other person.
2. It is difficult when the two wills collide. When my will collides with God’s will, I find out just how much I really love God.
A. Love for God is not measured by subjective standards.
B. Obedience is how we prove our love for the Lord, and this is a very concrete objective measure of the state of our relationship with God (www.relevantbibleteaching.com).
C. Does God KNOW that you love Him?