Refreshed by God's Love

Back up your feelings for God with your best efforts to obey Him

Refreshed by God’s Love
Rooted and Established – Part IV

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21

Key Verse: Ephesians 3:17
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love…

We’ve been studying the first part of Ephesians 3:17, focusing on “being rooted and established”, but the last two words are extremely important: “in love”.

The New Testament uses the word “love” in two different ways. When it refers to love of God, it defines love as obeying God’s commands. The Apostle John wrote:

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)

Jesus Himself made this definition of love clear when He said:

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:21)

These two verses make clear that our love for God is not about our emotions or feelings about God but about what we do in our daily lives.

When we deny ourselves self-rule and are obedient to Jesus’s commands, God counts that obedience as love for Him.

I like both traditional and contemporary worship music, but I have noticed that contemporary worship music emphasizes love as a feeling we have toward God.

It is certainly true that we often feel emotional about what God does for us in Christ, but feeling emotional is not the biblical definition of love. We can feel deep love for God, but if we are not obeying the commands Jesus taught us, then our feelings of love make no difference in our relationship with God.

Let’s be clear about what it means to not live out the commands Jesus taught.

Some people want God in their lives and truly want to go to Heaven. But too many people who want to go to Heaven do not make any effort to be obedient to the lifestyle that Jesus taught in the New Testament. Some even admit that they believe the Bible is simply old writings that have no relevance to our lives today. Therefore, these people develop their own “theology” for life and live any lifestyle they see fit.

Many of today’s Christians look like the people of Israel in the Book of Judges:

…all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. (Judges 21:25b NLT)

I fear that too many of today’s “Christians” may ultimately hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23:

“…I never knew you, depart from me…”

Let’s make sure we back up our feelings for God with our best efforts to obey Him.

Father, when I am tempted to sin against You, remind me that my obedience is the evidence that I truly love You. I ask this in Jesus’s Name, amen.

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