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November 2006
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January 2007

Do You Love God?

Do you love God?  I believe that most born-again Christians would answer "yes" to this question.  However, I wonder how many really know what it means to love God.  This topic is near to my heart and one that I feel "called" to help people understand and apply, even though I haven't figured out quite how I'm supposed to affect my world on a grand scale.  I suppose I'll just let God figure that one out.  Getting back to my opening question, I must ask another that is essentially the same.  Do you love God's Word?

We can't love one without loving the other.  We can't spend time with one without spending time with the other. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  - John 1:1

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. - John 1:14

And Jesus answered him saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.  - Luke 4:4

I am that bread of life. - John 6:48

If Jesus is the Word, the Word is God, and Jesus is God, doesn't it make sense that to love God we must also love His Word?  After all, how do you begin to love someone if you don't even know them?  I think that in our churches today we have too many people that are in love with the warm and fuzzy feelings they get when they hear a heart-rending story or a beautiful worship song in their church services.  While this is good, is it really true worship for a person who has not taken the time to get to know their God? 

God wants us to know Him and in this His heart smiles.

Thus says the Lord, "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches;

But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these I delight, " says the Lord.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NKJV)

God delights in us getting to know Him.  I believe that He wants this from us more than anything else.  The greatest commandment is "to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37 NKJV).   Now ask yourself again this question: "Can I love God without loving His Word?".  God wants us to fall in love with His word so all of the rest of His commandments to us will fall right into place as a result of its life-changing power in our lives.  Do you have it?  Is your church encouraging you to get to know the bible...all of it?  When was the last time you walked out of your church service convinced that you needed to change your life in some way?  That is the power I'm speaking of.  God's Word has it.  As the Gatorade commercial says: "Is it in you?"  If it is, then we can say that we love God.

Sin and Forgiveness

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

My heart is heavy as I write this and think about all of the times I have grieved God by my words or deeds.  I want to be a woman after God's heart, as David was a man after God's heart.  Reading the story of David and Bathsheba makes me keenly aware again of how easy it is for anyone to fall away from God's commandments. 

Sin cannot be covered up so that God will never find out about it.  David learned that loud and clear as "the Lord sent Nathan unto David" (2 Samuel 12:1) to make sure that David knew that He knew.  Busted was David!  I wonder if David was relieved that the secret was out as he confessed to Nathan his transgression.  Notice the conversation in 2 Samuel 12:13-14:

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord.  And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

David knew he had sinned and knew that his sin broke God's heart.  Unfortunately, David's sin came with some consequences.   God forgave David of his sin by not putting him to death, as was the custom in that day for adultery.  However, because David's sin had defamed God's name to the surrounding nations because of David's blown testimony, God had no choice but to allow suffering to befall His servant.  David and Bathsheba's first child was destined to die, as well as David was destined to always have some sort of violence come upon his household.  Notice God's words here:

Now therefore  the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou has despised me, and has taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.  (1 Sam 12:10)

We don't sin merely against others when we don't do what is right in God's eyes.   Sin hurts God.  It grieves God.  I don't want to grieve God and bet you don't either. 

There is good news though as I've pointed out in the verse at the top of this post.  When we sincerely confess our sins to God, fellowship with Him is restored and He removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.  He will not remember our sins.  Isnt' that motivation to confess to God daily/hourly/minute-by-minute?  God will bless us even after He chastises us, just as in the example of David and Bathsheba, if we return to Him with pure hearts.  God rewarded David with another son, Solomon.  I wonder what He will offer us?

To think about:

1) Do I have any unconfessed sin in my life?

2) Am I willing to memorize scripture to keep me from committing as many new sins in the future that I can?

3) What one thing is God asking you to put aside so that you can be a better disciple of His truth?