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Monday, March 02, 2009

Duty or Love?

It's always nice to be convicted by your own message.

This past weekend, we looked at John 14 and I was really encouraged to remember that God never intends for us to do this life- to try and follow Him- on our own. The Holy Spirit, given by the Father, is truly a gift. How often I loose sight of this!

There is a passage in John 14 that truly puzzles me. Not that I don't know what it means- the meaning is pretty clear- but I'm puzzled by how it can be true. Jesus says in John 14:31, "I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father."

These are two ideas that don't go together in my way of thinking- doing what is required (or duty), and love. For instance, in marriage, if I only do what is required of me, if I only "do my duty", I would hardly call it love. In order to make our marriage work, I stay faithful to my wife, communicate my schedule, and pick up my dirty socks. I would hardly call this love.

But Jesus looked at something God required of him, which in his humanity he really didn't want to do, and said, "In doing this, I show I love God". For Jesus, to be obedient to the Father even unto death was how he communicated his love for God. And I would say the world took notice. We are still taking notice of this requirement of love.

I usually think of love for God as an emotion, or a deep heart commitment. But what if God is really looking for a life that is completely sold-out to him, following His word even unto death? What if this kind of life, offered gladly and willingly, is the true measure of love? Then I have work to do. Room to grow. Call it what you like, I need to rethink the way I "show" my love for God.

Have we made our love of God such an emotional, heart-issue, that we've forgotten the essential nature of obedience?

May your journey today be a wonderful adventure of fulfilling the requirements of love for God.

Nick

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