As complex as life seems to be at times, wouldn’t it be great if at least a few things were simple? Even though the Bible is a thick book, and sometimes a “hard read” depending on the translation you are reading, It is still God’s word to us. It is designed to help us understand who He is and what He wants for us.
In it, there is a lot of history, poetry, instruction, and revelation of what we can expect in our future. There is even a biography section in the first four books of the New Testament describing God in detai,l as Jesus lived among us in a very visible way for a short time. Jesus said to his disciple who asked to see the Father, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”(John 14:8-9)
Remember, the people that Jesus primarily spoke to, including His disciples, were not trained theologians. He intended His message to be simple. It was too important to be so complex that His listeners would need someone to interpret it for them. Interpreters can sometimes add their own “spin” to an interpretation.
He clearly said that all of Scripture could be summarized in two directives — Love God; love others. How we understand and do these two things can make the difference in whether we just live a life, or we live the life we were created to have.
We have spent a few weeks focussing on strategic approaches to loving people in ways that are individually meaningful. How does God want to be loved?
Jesus said, “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me.
“Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him — we’ll move right into the neighborhood!” (John 14:15, 21, 23)
It appears that the God who loved us at creation still loves us now — in spite of our disregard for Him. Adam and Eve began the habit of disregard that we have perpetuated to this very day—not trusting that God has our best interests at heart, and doing life the way wethink is best.
God is saying that the best way that we can love Him is to want to know His will, and to follow that will because we believe that He only has our best interests at heart when He discloses that will to us. He does, you know.
Until you are confident that the voice you are hearing is God’s, you can start to know His will by reading the writings God inspired men to write — the Bible. It is full of clear and detailed descriptions of God’s longstanding efforts to draw us back into an intimate walking-and-talking relationship with Him. It gives detailed examples of how to love others purposefully and sacrificially.
Whether we learn and then practice this love for God and others will not affect His love for us. He has clearly stated that His love for us is not dependent on our behavior.
Our choice to follow this path of loving God and others will be the choice that determines whether or not we are our best selves and enjoying our original design.
Knowing and doing.