God Forgets God Remembers

Elephants never forget.

That was what they told us when we were children. I don’t recall why they mentioned that piece of trivia to us, or who mentioned it in particular but then… I’m not an elephant.

God, on the other hand, is all powerful, all knowing and everywhere present simultaneously. How could God ever forget anything? He who made elephants “un-forgetting” must posses the very same quality Himself, right?

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.Isaiah 43:25

Then in Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12, and 10:17 God repeats Himself saying in essence the very same thing. Perhaps He doesn’t want us to forget to remember that He forgets to remember!

Unlike, us God intentionally forgets.

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

So too, when we commit some besetting sin that we have asked God to forgive us for repeatedly in the past, and then say “O God please forgive me…again!” He replies “Of course I forgive you my child, but what do you mean, “again?

I don’t know about you, but I for one am very much in need of God’s forgetfulness!

But God also remembers:

In Genesis 8:1 we read: “But God remembered Noah…”

Good thing! No one else was available to “remember” Noah, not the Red Cross or the National Guard, or well… anybody! Talk about the old commercial “When you’re all alone out there!”

According to the rest of the verse, the way God remembered Noah wasn’t very dramatic. It simply says “…and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided”.

In other words, the flood waters upon which Noah and his family had been floating around aimlessly for five long months, started to wane. It wasn’t a quick fix, no giant stopper suddenly removed from the earth’s crust, or even some supernatural evaporation process. Just a wind. But it was the way God would eventually bring Noah and his crew to the end of the flood and the start of a promised future.

So too, God makes promises that He never forgets.

Joseph had dreams. He was going to be exalted above his brethren and even his parents.

David had an amazing “word” from God concerning his life. He was anointed by Samuel the prophet to become God’s chosen one, Israel’s king!

Yet both Joseph and David would wait many long years in which it would appear that their dream, their word from God, was only a distant, fading memory. Joseph wasn’t living anywhere near his family and he had become dead in his father’s eyes. David was living outside of the land of Israel too and had even been consigned to live among the enemies of Israel.

Yet God, who gives beauty for ashes, will raise both men up to glorious heights in spite of how impossible it must have seemed. Why? Because God remembers!

God forgets your sins but He remembers His promises! Hallelujah!


Hope Deferred

When is it time to just “throw in the towel?

When you wait and wait but nothing is changing?

When others tell you that you should “Accept reality and move on?”

When it simply hurts too much to keep on hoping?

What is the half-life of a human hope?

God’s says “Hope deferred (delayed) makes the heart sick”  (Prov.13:12)

Are you heartsick because you have unfulfilled desires? They come in all shapes and sizes. I want someone to love me. I want to be married, have children. own a home, get out from this debt. I need my son or daughter to come to Christ. I want to stop hurting. Some people spend their whole life grieving for the way things are, the way things could have been, should have been but simply aren’t.

God isn’t a killjoy. In fact, He goes as far as calling Himself “The God of hope”. Paul writes that a spirit-filled believer will even have overflowing hope!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

 You may be thinking “Why would God want me to have my heart set on what may never happen?” He doesn’t.

The hope that the Lord gives isn’t to fill us with more human desire for whatever we feel we need to be happy. Instead, God, is willing to fill you with “confident expectation” for those things He knows we need and that He has promised He will do.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for Heb 11:1

 Faith is my assurance that God will do what He said, that His promises are true in my life personally and practically. It means I can trust God will glorify Himself, make me more usable, and cause everything to work together for good in my life (no matter how it looks right now) simply because He has said so!

Seeing his precious Jerusalem smoldering in ashes, broken down and burned out, Jeremiah cried out:

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” (Lam 3:24)

Often, our problem is not that we have hope but what we have placed our hope is in.

A new police chaplain rode a night shift with a veteran police officer. It took some time, but the officer eventually warmed up and then opened up his heart to the man of God. He shared about all the disappointments he had experienced throughout his life. He spoke of a hard childhood, a broken marriage and a strained relationship with his son.

He told the chaplain he hardly felt anything at all anymore and that h had become callous to other’s losses and hurts. He felt damaged in his soul and pondered life’s purpose for him.

The chaplain shared with him about a Jesus who knew and loved him and truly hurt for every loss and hurt he had endured. He shared about how Jesus came in part to be a “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” so He could understand and also comfort is in our wounded condition. He then led the officer in a prayer commiting his life, both his past hurts and failings as well as his future uncertainties into  the hands of a redeeming Savior.

As the officer dropped the chaplain off at the end of the night. The officer rolled down his window, smile and said “Thanks, I was starting to think “Hope” was just a girl I used to know in the third grade!”

Beyond A Walk With Jesus (Part 4)


Jesus walked almost everywhere He went. We have been considering some of the exceptions.
Jesus sailed in Peter’s boat and Peter had to trust without it making sense.
Jesus rode on a donkey and obeyed God’s Word explicitly.
Jesus allowed Himself to be carried by flawed human beings and so do we.

We now come to the most remarkable form of transportation Jesus ever employed (with the possible exception of his ability to teleport Himself places!). Jesus was lifted up bodily off the ground and into the air until He vanished into the clouds! Acts 1:9
This was not some finale trick at a Las Vegas magic show. This was the real deal! Why did Jesus go to heaven like this and What does it mean for us?

Jesus said when the Holy Spirit came He would convict the world of righteousness because “I go to the Father and you behold me no more” John 16:10. Christ’s ascension then gives us God’s requirement of what kind of righteousness God requires for entrance into heaven: Perfect righteousness.

The problem is that, even on my very best day, I haven’t levitated an inch! I have felt lifted up after serving or worshiping or praying but if I am completely honest, it was always metaphorical and never any kind of gravity defying experience.

So first, I see Christ’s ascension is showing me where I can’t ever go or ever enter by my own righteousness. Jesus said to an astonished crowd “Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will in no case enter the Kingdom of heaven”. Matthew 5:20 The scribes and the Pharisees were considered the most holy people on the planet! They made it their life’s ambition to obey all of God’s commands.
If there was no hope for them then what hope was there for the common man or the sinner?

This is where the gospel is so liberating! By faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work of satisfying God’s righteous demands, I receive Christ’s righteousness into my account so to speak. Christ’s Own righteousness! Isaiah 61:10 “He hath covered me in a robe of righteousness” The wonderful thing is it is a flying robe. His righteousness gives me the capacity to one day ascend into the heavens (as He did) and go home with Him to heaven! So who needs Red bull??

Someone may ask “But wasn’t Elijah carried straight into heaven?” Well the Bible says it was a whirlwind. 2 Kings 2:1 I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think I would prefer to go that way anyway! That would make me dizzy. I can see myself staggering into heaven and throwing up on the streets of gold! Wouldn’t that make a great first impression? Not exactly that “abundant entrance” Peter spoke of!

Perhaps Elijah didn’t actually ascend into heaven but was taken out of this life through a whirlwind never to be found again. Jesus said plainly “No man has ascended into heaven but the Son of man” (John 3:13) Christ’s ascension teaches me that there is a power outside of anything this world understands physically, an ability that is something human beings are not born with naturally.

Archimedes, the inventor of the lever said “Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand outside the earth and I could move the world!” That’s it! That’s what we need! We need a power source from outside our world in order to move our world! That is the power of God’s righteousness! That is the power of the Holy Spirit!

Paul said “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Rom 1:16-17

So to sum up…

Let’s walk as Jesus walked, but let’s also:

Allow Jesus to Captain our lives and keep rowing even when we are tired and unsure.
Allow God’s Word to dictate our choices and decisions that others don’t understand.
Allow ourselves to need flawed people to carry us from time to time.
Allow Christ’s righteousness to remove the spiritual dead weight that keeps us earthbound!

Beyond A Walk With Jesus (Part 3)

Jesus sailed in a boat
Jesus rode on a donkey


The One who “carried our sorrows” humbly allowed Himself to need to be carried by imperfect people.

The first time was when he became human. “The Word became flesh” John tells us. That “became” of course began with a pregnancy and then a birth. The God of the universe in a womb! The Creator being created, amazing! Jesus who made and handled the whole world allowed others to handle him and decide where and how he would be “carried” around.

After having three sons and watching them grow, I realized how much work my mother had to do to raise five children. One day, I was carrying my youngest son who had fallen asleep off to his bedroom for the night. I realized how heavy he had become. Right then, it struck me! I was this heavy once! My mom (and dad) carried me many times, many places as well.

I shot off a quick letter to my mother thanking her for all the times she had carried me when I was a child while she had four older children also to care for. I thanked her for all the times she had changed my diapers too! A bit weird I confess, but I was suddenly so grateful for someone who had carried my “burden” many years ago and had never been thanked or properly appreciated by me at all for it!

The other time Jesus was carried was at the other end of his life on Earth. The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, Joseph and Nicodemus took the body down from the cross, and prepared it for burial. That meant once again Jesus needed to be carried.
It was again a time when Jesus allowed Himself to become a “burden” which had to be borne by others.

There are times when God will cause us to need to be carried by others. Perhaps we will feel helpless and embarrassed that we cannot even “carry our own weight” as we normally do. We have absolutely no capacity to get to where we need to be. We know it is more blessed to give than to receive but there are times we are forced by God’s will and our circumstances into the dreaded “Receiving Line”.

It may be through a tragedy such as the death of a loved one, or a sudden disappointment that brings us to despair. It may be caused by physical necessity such as an injury or disease that makes us wholly dependent upon others. It may be for a particular moment (such as Christ’s being carried to the grave) or for an extended season such as Christ’s infancy. You too must allow yourself to be carried if you want to become like Jesus!

I remember running to the store when my first son Jesse was about one year old. I was in a hurry and he didn’t want to sit in the shopping cart the way a child should be carried. So, I allowed him to stand in the cart as I raced down the aisles picking up the various items on my list. As I quickly spun around a corner, without thinking I heard a terrible “thud” and I turned around to see my precious child fall out of the cart and directly onto his head! Jesse cried at the top of his lungs as I raced over to snatch him up into my arms. A woman who saw the whole thing walked by me and looked at me with “firing squad” eyes! She was so right! I didn’t need her to remind me. This was ALL my fault! Would he be brain damaged? Should I rush to the E.R.? Had I just destroyed the gift God had given me?

Well as every parent comes to know, God makes babies out of rubber because He knows parents are inexperienced and dangerous! Praise God, Jesse was fine, even though I was shaken up for quite a while.

The fact is, Jesus entrusted Himself into the hands of imperfect parents too! Remember when they forgot Jesus in Jerusalem and then blamed him for it even happening?
He allowed sinful people to carry Him. He still does. We very flawed and sinful people carry the Perfect One into a very lost world. We still drop Him and make a mess of things from time to time but He forgives us and gives us another chance. How gracious our Savior is!

The greatest gift of Mary and Joseph, the greatest privilege of Joseph and Nicodemus was to “carry” the Lord Jesus. Don’t dread allowing someone the blessing of carrying God’s child just because that child happens to be you!

“Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2)

Beyond A Walk With Jesus (Part 2)

We speak of “walking with the Lord” and that is a believer’s privilege and calling. However, we are looking at times when Jesus didn’t walk but was moved by some other means. In my last post, I shared about how Jesus was a passenger in Peter’s row boat one morning and that experience changed Peter’s whole life from that day on.

Let’s take a look at another exception to this rule: “Jesus walked everywhere He went”.

Jesus Rode On A Donkey

Sure you knew that! Yet the fact that it only happened once and was not His usual way to get around, draws special attention to it. Why did He do it and what can we learn from it?

– Jesus is how God Keeps His promises

In Zech 9:9 God promises the Messiah will come into Jerusalem on a donkey.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

If God has made a promise, Jesus keeps it! This is why Paul wrote “All the promises of God are yea and Amen in Him.” (Christ)

– Jesus came to His own (the Jews) but died for the whole world.

In Genesis the prophecy of messiah was:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. “He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes.” (Gen 49:10-11)

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, they rejected Him and He knew they would and that is why He wept (Luke 19:41). He had two of his disciples “loose” a donkey that had been tied. You see Christ’s donkey (his humble ministry) was originally “tied” to the nation of Israel alone (Mat 15:24). When they rejected Him, His ministry was no longer exclusively towards the nation of Israel (the “vine” cf. Isaiah 5) but now it would be for the whole world as Jesus came to Jerusalem to die on a cross for all man’s sins.

– Jesus chose to live in line with the Word of God

Jesus knew the prophecy in Zechariah 9 that He must present Himself on a donkey to the nation of Israel. It doesn’t appear anyone else really did realize it at the time he made that now famous ride. We are told the disciples didn’t get it until after Jesus rose from the dead.

A couple of life lessons for us:

1. We have God’s Word to give us instruction on how to live too. How to make decisions, how to marry, how to raise our children, how to witness to our friends, how to do business, how to get God’s leading, how to handle our finances, etc. etc.

Like Jesus, we need to obey the scriptures when we face circumstances that they speak to (which is likely most of the things we are facing right now!) He didn’t explain Himself to his followers or do a sermon series on Zechariah 9, He just did what God said.

There is awesome power in simple obedience

Consider this: The story is told of an occasion when Alexander the Great came with a relatively small army to a city who’s city gates were locked shut for security. Alexander sent word to the City’s leadership to surrender immediately. They responded “Why should we, we have more men than you have under your command!”. Alexander then did a strange thing. He ordered his men into marching columns in the plain sight of the city. He then gave orders for them to march straight towards a cliff. When he gave the order, the first few men marched straight off the cliff to their deaths! Immediately the town surrendered. “Why?” you ask. Because they knew immediately that with such radical obedience and allegiance, there was no way they could match Alexander in a battle.

When you live a life of simple obedience to God by obeying His word, God will use it to validate your relationship with Him as well as to demonstrate that he has sent you to those who are watching your life.

2. We will often not understand what the Lord is doing until AFTER He has done it. The disciples didn’t “Get it” until after Jesus rose from the dead. Sometimes we can clearly see what the Lord is doing in our lives or in the lives of our friends or family. When we cannot, we need to wait and smile and remember there was a day when Jesus rode on a donkey!

What To Do Until The Rapture

It has been said that certain truths are “Vest button” truths and others are not. A boy is taught at a young age by his father or older brother how to button up a vest. If you get the first button right the rest follow right in line. If you get the first one wrong, the rest (and the vest!) will wind up out of alignment. Where you go to church is not vest button truth, what version of the Bible you read isn’t either. However, looking for Jesus to return is! That, is essential.

Jesus was emphatic about being ready for His return. So much so He made it the subject of His final sermon He gave on Earth! (Mat 24-25)

In one parable Jesus spoke of what a master told His servants to do until He returned. He simply said to them “Occupy until I come” (Luke 19:13) We perhaps might ask “But with what should I be occupied with until Jesus comes back?” That is a great question. Let me suggest three worthwhile “occupations”.

Members of previous expeditions had met with alcoholism and suicide and insanity. But for some reason on this expedition the 22 stranded men were kept in surprisingly good spirits. For four long, difficult months on Elephant Island, Frank Wild kept his men busy yet expecting to be rescued as indeed they eventually were by their Captain Earnest Shackleton: Every day He’d tell the men “Pack up the supplies, boys, because the boss might come today!” When he came they left.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.
2 Peter 3:12

That Day ought to affect This day! If we truly believe Jesus could come at any time (and we should) then we should have our priorities significantly impacted by this glorious truth. John wrote “He that has this hope (of Christ’s appearance) fixed upon him purifies himself even as He is pure”. Like a bride getting ready for her wedding day, we should avoid anything that pulls us away from our devotion to Christ. The only way to be ready then is to be ready now and every day.

Someone once asked a godly man what he would do differently if he knew Christ was going to return tomorrow morning. He answered “Absolutely nothing.” Then he shared his plans for that day and evening (most of it ministering to others). We need to be able to answer that question the same way. If we cannot, it points out precisely what needs changing!

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. (Luke 12:35)
When the angels came to Lot and told him that God was about to judge his city, they asked him to “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place” (Gen 19:12).
Since we know what is coming, we are to call others to be ready to leave with us.

In San Diego during last years horrible fires there was an automatic telephone evacuation notice sent out to residents. When the fire approached, all the residents on the list were called up and called out. Some people discovered they didn’t receive the call yet they lived in the burn area. After inquiring, they discovered that their names in fact were not on the official list! Of course they immediately added them.

If your name is on God’s list (because you have received Christ) you will be evacuated by Him before the fire of His wrath falls on this world. If your name is not on the list, you will miss the call! Be Ready by for the Lord’s return then by Looking For the Lord, Living For the Lord and Leading others to the Lord! Maranatha!

Give Thee More Of Me

There is a wonderful song that says:

I come to Thee
On bended knee
With just one plea,
Give me more of Thee!

As I was pondering that prayer song I realized my great need isn’t so much for the Lord to give me more of Himself but rather for me to give Him more of myself! After all, God has already given me Jesus and Jesus is the “fulness of the Godhead” and “In Him” I am complete (Col 2:10) because in Christ, is “every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.” (Eph 1:3). No, my heart’s prayer is “Give Thee more of Me”.

I want to Pray more.
I want to pray more with people and for people. I find that in prayer God unlocks both His presence and His power. The old Quaker Oats commercial showed the Quaker man on the oatmeal box come to life and declare “Nothing is better for thee than me!” I declare that to be true of my God! David is so right “In His presence is fullness of joy!”
I have experienced the miraculous when I have been consumed with seeking God’s face and interceding for others. May it increase Lord!

I want to Share Christ more.
I am never as fulfilled as when I have the joy of telling others about my wonderful Savior. I know my greatest treasure in heaven will the privilege God gave me to share Christ with someone else in this dark world. Robert Louis Stevenson (for whom I was named after by my parents) was asked by his nanny when he was a little boy “What do you wish to be when you are grown?” Little Robert looked out the window and saw the lamplighter lighting the street lights. He instantly said “I want to be the one who cuts holes in the darkness!” Me too!

I want to Love more.
I want to care like Jesus and give like Jesus. He was touched by everyone’s hurt and gave of Himself so completely. He became poor so we might be made rich. When he died the only worldly possession he had was gambled away by the soldiers. With the Psalmist I declare “Whom have I in heaven but thee and besides thee I desire nothing on the Earth!”

O Lord Give Thee More of Me!

Beyond A Walk With Jesus

The average person will walk 5x around the Earth’s equator during their lifetime!

A 15 year old boy was hoping to receive his driver’s license when he turned 16. However, his father informed him that he would not be allowed to get his license without a few changes being made.

You must start getting all A’s and B’s in school, do all your household chores and get a haircut. The son agreed to the deal. So on the boy’s 16th birthday the boy’s Dad inquired if he had fulfilled their agreement. The boy said he now had a 3.0 at school. Mom confirmed that he had been doing his chores faithfully. The only part of the deal that he had not fulfilled was he had not gotten a haircut. Dad said “Sorry son, no license.”

The boy a protested saying “But Dad even Jesus had long hair! His father replied “Yes, and he walked everywhere he went too!”

Well That may be humorous but its not exactly accurate. Jesus walked MOST of the places He went but not all. I’d like to look at a few of the places that Jesus went but didn’t walk and glean some insights from them for our own lives. This time let’s consider…


After using Peter’s boat to preach to a crowd on the shore, Jesus said to Peter “Launch out into the deep for a catch.” (Luke 5:4). Peter at first protested but then yielded with these words: “Nevertheless at Thy I Word I will…”

Remember, for Peter to obey the Lord it meant physical work. After all, Peter’s boat didn’t have a Briggs and Stratton motor. He rowed! Perhaps he was thinking “Hey, I’m the professional fisherman, Jesus isn’t!” “Fish don’t bite in broad daylight. This is all a  big waste of time!”

This would be a life-changing experience for Peter. Unknowingly, he was rowing towards a major miracle that would change forever both his view of Jesus as well as his calling in life. As a result of the miraculous catch, Peter would forsake all and follow Jesus fully the rest of his life.

Jesus told Peter to “Let down the nets”. According to the text Peter had already cleaned the nets that morning (5:2) and this meant he would have to do wash them all yet again. We also need to notice Jesus didn’t make the fish jump into Peter’s boat supernaturally, he still had to do what he had done all night yet without any results. The method wasn’t different, Who was directing the boat was!

There are times the Lord will call us to do something that at the time will seem like a total waste of our time and energy. Perhaps he will call us to go to Bible Study on Wednesday evening after we have worked hard all day and just feel like plopping in front of the television set instead. We say “But Lord, I went to study last week and I didn’t ‘catch’ anything that guy was talking about!”

Or maybe he will ask us to share our faith with someone at work who has never given us any indication of spiritual life at all in the past. We say “But Lord I’ve tried before and I always come up absolutely empty with that guy! There just isn’t anything under the surface there!”

Next time you feel like making an excuse when the Lord whispers a suggestion in your ear to go somewhere that doesn’t seem worth your while or to do something you don’t see any value in personally, decide now you will say what Peter said: “At your Word Lord I will” Say “Lord I trust your word over what I feel, what I think and over all my experience.” Obey His Word and watch the Lord take you somewhere deeper than you have ever been before with Him.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15:58

“Where Are You?”

Three words. Its a pretty simple question. Yet at the same time it is perhaps the most primary question we should perhaps ever hear. Each morning we should hear it whispered to us as we awake and each evening as we snuggle up in our bed, the question: “Where are you?”

It is the original God question: “Adam (lit. “Man”) “Where are You?” It is the very first question God asks in the Bible and perhaps the most important one for us to answer on a regular basis. “Where am I anyway?” We need to hear the question being asked and consider Who is asking and why He asks the question in the first place.

I have come to see God is the original question asker. This brings me some measure of comfort because I have been accused of being altogether too inquisitive over the course of my life. When others are content to listen I am asking questions (often to the disdain of my classmates or my fellow workers).

The interesting thing is the Lord is not the one who is at a loss for where man is. Man is. God knows precisely which cluster of trees the guilty couple are hiding behind at any given moment. What is perhaps most amazing is that God doesn’t say “There you are! I see you! You aren’t fooling anybody!”

The Lord simply asks the question “Adam, Where are you?” He let’s that question echo out over the garden and echo down through the ages and then right into our heart this very moment. “Where are you? We must replace Adam’s name with our own. “Bob, Where are you?” “Where are you with me?” “with obeying what I’ve said” “with enjoying what I intended?” At times I must hear my own heart painfully respond “O God, I am so not where I should be but I don’t want to deal with it so here I sit ashamed in the shade of my own condemnation.”

Spurgeon told his students who wanted to become preachers: “When you read this verse “Adam, where are you?” if you read it as a policeman would “Adam! Where are you!” in an angry accusing tone, you do not belong in the ministry. He said you must read it with the tone of a brokenhearted father searching for a lost beloved child.

Remember God knows the answer before He asks the question. The question is for our sake not His! He asks because it is we who do not truly know where we are and need to hear that our loving Father is yet seeking us out and loving us still. Hear Him say to you this moment “Come out Come out wherever you are!”

David prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 139:23-24

“Love God And Do As You Please”

“Love God and Do As You Please”

 Those words are attributed to St. Augustine who lived in the fourth century. While at first blush they seem to suggest a cavalier attitude towards obedience, in reality they pinpoint the simple but central motive for any and all obedience: Simply loving God.

Jesus said “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15 NASB). Too often as believers we hear those words more as an indictment. “If you had loved me you would have kept my commandments”. Yet in reality it is a promise: “If you love me, you WILL keep my commandments.” 

This is why Jude equips Christians in his postcard of an epistle with this simple instruction: “Keep yourself in the love of God”. In context, Jude is giving us the key to keep from falling away from the Lord.

A woman was married to a man who turned out to be very abusive in many ways. She was a home maker and each day he would leave her a long list of household chores which he expected her to complete before he arrived back home. When he did come home he would inspect each item on her list and determine whether it had been completed to his satisfaction.

Every day the wife worked hard but feared her husband’s arrival as it became increasingly clear that she was not performing up to his expectations. There was too much dust where she had dusted, a fingerprint on a window, a sock she missed under the bed, etc. She tried harder and harder to please him only to find that it was not possible. He would come home and scold her and berate her day after day. Eventually she found his list was too long for her even to accomplish in the hours she had available. She became withdrawn and extremely depressed.

After several years of this, her husband had a heart attack and suddenly died. Although she loved him and was grieved she also was secretly relieved. In time, her aching heart healed and as it turned out, a friend brought her to Christ who became her very life!

She later met a wonderful Christian man who fell in love with her and married her. One day while the new husband was off at work and she was cleaning her home (the same home she and her previous husband had lived in) the wife pulled back a couch to clean behind it. She saw a piece of paper and picked it up to throw it away. As she glanced at the writing on the paper, she had to sit down as she began to weep bitterly. The paper was an old list from the previous husband! All those feelings of fear and failure rushed back into her memory.

But then she began to weep for joy as she realized that everything on that old list (that she could never seem to get done before) she was now doing every day and much more! The difference? Now she was doing it from love rather than from fear or from a hope of acceptance.

Paul wrote this in the book of Romans chapter 7:

“Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” (Romans 7:1-4) 

When the load starts to seem burdensome remember all He asks you to do is love Him!

If you do this you discover what the apostle John wrote:

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” ( 1 John 5:3)

 Bless you as you love Him back today!

Pastor Bob Kopeny