Monday, August 23, 2010

Loving God?

How do we love God? Jesus puts it very simply: “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15; also 14:21-24; 15:10-14; 1 John 2:3; 5:3). It’s so simple that this teaching would hardly seem to require a defense. No so!

So often, after I have quoted a verse or two in order to make a point, a “Christian” will protest, “We’re required to love the Lord, not His Word. While you worship a Book, I’ll worship God.”

This is amazing! How do we worship God in “Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), as He has commanded us, apart from the truth that He has revealed to us? How can loving God be separated from honoring His Word?

God has always made the equation that loving Him was a matter of loving what He has revealed through His Word. Rejecting God has always been a matter of rejecting His Word. God and His Word are inseparable, as Mosaic legislation has uniformly suggested:

· "But anyone who sins defiantly…blasphemes the Lord, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised the Lord's word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him" (Numbers 15:30-31).

Moses claims that when we sin against the Lord, we “despise the Lord’s Word.” The two concepts are utterly inseparable! When David committed adultery and had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah murdered, he not only rejected Scripture, he also rejected the One who gave the Scripture. The prophet Nathan pronounced the Lord’s indictment against King David:

· “Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own”
(2 Samuel 12:9-10).

When we “despise the word of the Lord,” we are actually despising the Author of that Word. When we love and obey what God says, we love God. Jesus can no more be separated from what He said (John 1:1; Hebrews 4:12-13) than can water be separated from ice. When we do this, we imperil ourselves:

· “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him…” (1 John 2:3-5).

It’s impossible to love God and to disregard His Word. How then do those who accuse us of worshiping the Bible honor God? I haven’t a clue.

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