Digging  The  Word
"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." [PSALM 119:162]

Monday, April 14, 2014

Who Do You Love

If you really love God then you will love everybody.

1 John 2:7-11  Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment--to love one another--is the same message you heard before.  Yet it is also new.

Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.

If anyone claims, "I am living in the light," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness.  10  Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble.  11  But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.

Oh no, not that commandment again, do we still have to love everyone? We were told to love a thousand years ago way back in the book of Leviticus and now Jesus comes along and starts telling us to keep on loving. (Leviticus 19:18)

You need to realize that the Bible is a love story, it is the story of a loving God falling in love with his creation and desiring to have a relationship with man. The Bible teaches us everything we need to know about love and how to make relationships work the way they should. If you do a search on the word love in the four gospels you will find the word mentioned 73 times in 53 verses.

If you really love God then you will love everybody else. Jesus made it even more obvious that "the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13), he redefined love and took it to the next level and then he challenged us to love in the same extreme way that he did.

What do you live for

1 John 2:15-16  Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  16  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
The people of the world belong to the age of darkness, they do not live in the light and they make their decisions according to their own desires. They long to have many possessions, to be busy indulging in pleasure, achievements, or status.

Christians belong to the new age of light, the eternal kingdom where God’s values rule and his will is done. We are not to love the world or it's idea of what is important or pleasing. The only thing that we should love in this world is our Savior and our neighbor.

John 14:31  But I will do what the Father requires of Me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let's be going.

I need to live like Jesus wants me to live so that the world will know that I am in love with him. Jesus knew the requirements that the Father had put on him and he was willing to be obedient to prove his love for God the father and for his neighbor.
Living As Jesus Did (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Be Different (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Are You Looking Good (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Living As Jesus Did

Are you living life God's way or your way?

1 John 2:3-6  And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments.  If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.   

But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him.  Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Most of us remember being separated from our parents in a large store when we were young. They told you not to wonder away from them but you disobeyed and now you are standing there all alone in a panic.

All of a sudden you realize that you cannot do life without them. This brief encounter makes it obvious to you that you are helpless without them and you swear that for now on you will stick to them like glue. How long does that last before you start to drift apart from them again?

We treat God the same way, he tells us how to live and that we should stick by his side but then we decide to wonder off and before too long we find ourselves in a panic. Living life our way seems like fun for a while but then something happens and we don't know what to do. We know that if we live the way that Jesus told us to live then we will have the peace and security that we desire to have in this crazy world.

The Bible makes it clear that we cannot do anything to earn a ticket to heaven but it also makes it clear that getting a ticket to heaven isn't the end of the story. We don't get to behave the way that we want just because of grace. We don't get a free ride just because we said a special prayer. In case you overlooked 1 John 2:6 let me show it to you again:

"Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did."

How can you think that you know him when it doesn't have an effect on the way you live? Do you really understand what Jesus did for you?

Obedience matters

Psalms 119:4-8  You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.  Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!  Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with Your commands.  As I learn Your righteous regulations, I will thank You by living as I should!  I will obey Your decrees. Please don't give up on me!
It is disturbing to me that many people die that didn't have any signs in their lifestyle that they "knew Him," their life didn't show any signs of a relationship with God, they were not obedient to God's commands yet their family suddenly gets all spiritual about them after they are gone. Do we have any reason to believe that they really "knew Him" and that their eternal destiny is heaven?

Human nature wants to live life to satisfy our own desires until life throws something difficult at us but for those who really know God, their love for him will bring about obedience, their lives will become increasingly like the life of Christ.

The best thing for us to do is to obey God but first we have to get to know God and know what he expects from us. The Bible makes it clear that if we really understand who we are and how bad our situation is while we are lost in our sin then obedience to God's rules won't be optional. If we really understand who God is and get to know him and realize how much he did for us then it must have an impact on the way we live.

Help me Lord to fully comprehend how much you did for me that I could never do for myself. Only then will I desire to obey you completely.

More scripture on love and obedience: John 14:15, 14:21-24, 14:31, 15:10, 21:17
Got A Light? Don't Hide It (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Does Anybody Still Care WWJD? (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Choose The Narrow Way (devotionsfordisciples.com)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stop Picking On Me

God is our refuge, our strength and salvation, a mighty fortress is the Lord Almighty!

1 John 2:1-2  My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous.  He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins--and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

John 14:16  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.

There is a lot of talk these days about bullying, one of the greatest challenges as a kid is trying to feel good about yourself and attempting to fit in, I didn't achieve either one of those goals until I was way past childhood. Insecurity is one of our greatest enemies and none of us are ever completely free of this battle.

There is a bully that stands strong against us with exceptional power, his goal is to cause us great harm, he wants us to feel as insecure as a little child. Satan wants to keep me from realizing my position as a child of God, he wants me to continue living in the guilt of my past mistakes, he wants me to believe that I will never be good enough.

I don't have to stand in the courtroom in front of God the Father with only the Accuser by my side. Thank God I have a defense, I have an advocate that stands there with me before the judge, he speaks on my behalf to protect me from every attack that the Accuser brings. The work that Jesus did through his death and resurrection and continues to do for me

Who dares to accuse me?

Romans 8:33-34  Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one--for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself.  34  Who then will condemn us? No one--for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us.
Who is accusing you? Who is condemning you? Is he greater than your defender? While Jesus was here with his disciples he was their counselor, a guide, and a friend. He had instructed them, he endured their prejudices and ignorance, and he consoled them when they were hopeless. We have the same care that they had, the Holy Spirit is our comforter, teacher and helper in the same way that Jesus disciples had him.

If you are a child of God then the Accuser has already been defeated and you don't need to listen to what he has to say about you. I love the way this song reminds me of the power and help that we have on our side:

Defender (Call Upon the Name)
Words and Music by: Travis Doucette

Verse 1:
He is near to the broken
Close to the weary of heart
In His name is a refuge
A safety for the weak and discarded

There is help for the hopeless
For the wounded in need
In the presence of Jesus
There is power unleashed

Call upon the name of the Lord
He's our defender, our deliverer
A shelter in the midst of the storm
Jesus, our Savior
He is King over all

Verse 2:
I will sing of my Redeemer
Testify to the touch of His hand
Lifted me from disaster
Set my feet on a solid rock to stand

God is our refuge, our strength and salvation
A mighty fortress is the Lord Almighty!
There is no equal, no power beside Him
Forever our champion is the Lord our God!

Thank you Lord for loving me and taking care of me everyday!
God With Us (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
So Help Me God (diggingtheword.blogspot.com)
Help Is On The Way (getmorestrength.org)