If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)
So many people do not understand what love is. We think of love as a feeling when in truth it is a choice. The choice to serve God starts in our spirit and manifests in our mind which is part of the soul. The soul realm is the area that the devil works in. Satan wants our soul wounded and in bondage so that we have difficulty expressing our love for God and others.This is why Jesus is called the Lover of our soul. He wants our soul healed and made whole so that we can enjoy a healthy relationship with the Father. Once we make a choice to love God, we must begin to express that love from our spirit through worship and obedience. God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. If you worship something, you love it. When we are not worshiping God, we are worshiping something else.
When we are in agreement with sin, we become its slave. Whatever we obey, we love. Again, if you love Me (Jesus), you will obey Me (Jesus). Whatever we bow down to by obeying it, we are loving because we are a partner with it and we are in agreement with it. It is like a marriage. We are the bride of Christ and we are betrothed to Him alone and He is a jealous God. He will have no others before Him and rightfully so. He paid the highest price for His bride, His Blood! Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all of your strength. Love God’s Word. Remember, love is not a feeling but rather a state of the heart to obedience.
This relationship all comes about when an experience takes place. We can not love or accept love out of rules and regulations. The law does not save us but rather it points out our sins and shortcomings. In having a relationship with Jesus we find that we no longer do the things that we used to do. We will not steal or commit adultery, etc.. and if we do, we have an advocate to the Father for our forgiveness. Grace is not a license to sin but it is an empowerment to a life of change that enforces the truth that we are new creations in Christ. If there is no change in our lives after we have given our lives to Jesus, then was there truly an acceptance of Him? Did Paul still murder after his conversion? Did the woman who Jesus said go and sin no more continue to live in sin? Knowing Jesus truly, truly changes a person. However that does not mean that we are not affected by sin. One thing I know is that when I engage in something that is contrary to God, I feel remorse. This shows that there is an opposition to the very things that we may do. Paul says it this way in Romans, “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
When Paul said this, it gives us hope for today. The things that pull us are no longer what govern us because we have been brought into God’s kingdom. There are countless religious people who may look at us from the outside and judge according to what they see, but only God knows the heart of man. Only God knows what is going on inside a person’s soul. Everyone sins and that includes all the men and women that are preaching on television as well as the pastors we embrace on Sunday mornings. Some struggle with lesser things and other with heavier things. Knowing Jesus doesn’t put an end to temptation nor does it put an end to the desires of the flesh, what it does put an end to is being alienated from God. Because of Jesus we have access to the Father and He has done away with the scourge of sin from those who have given their lives to Him.
Be free in knowing that if Jesus is your Lord and Savior, salvation is yours and that should compel us to be dead to ourselves and alive in Christ. If we are dead to ourselves, we will strive against living as the world does. Some days we succeed and some days we fall short but our goal in this life is to serve God out of love. We must do love and be love. When we encounter Jesus, He changes our life like no one else could and it is because of His great love.
Pastor Michael Cannatello