Willing & Obedient

Willing & Obedient

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.  Cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.  18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land . . .
  (Isa 1:16-19)

A willing, submissive heart receives blessings from the Lord.  There are only two requirements, according to this passage: 

  • Willingness – readiness, acceptance, cooperation, and
  • Obedience – respect, submission, agreement.

Once we have settled these two issues within ourselves, it only remains that we act in accordance with God’s will and plan for us.  We do this because we are committed to trusting God to determine what is best for each one of us, and because we love Him.

Not only does God know what the “good of the land” is; but He knows the precise desires of your heart!  Lo and behold!  He has also promised to give them to you!  (Ps 21:2; 34:4)

The good of the land refers to all of the material blessings that the land can produce.  God promises to pour out these wonderful and precious blessings upon His children when He sees our willingness and obedience.

Decide now to give the Lord your heartfelt willingness and obedience, brothers and sisters!

Love in Action

Love in Action

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.  (1 Joh 3:18)

The Bible reminds us that we must put our love into action.  How can we do that?  Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (Joh 13:34-35)

 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  (Joh 14:15)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?”  (Mt 5:43-47)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Col 3:12-14)

All of the Bible passages that I’ve shown above talk about love being shown by actions.  The Lord asks us to demonstrate our love by:

  • Loving one another;
  • Obeying His commandments;
  • Loving our enemies; blessing those who curse us; doing good to those who hate us; and praying for them;
  • Putting on tender mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; and
  • Bearing with one another and forgiving one another.

Love (the bond of perfection) binds all of the qualities of goodness together—which means that love is the source from which all good character traits proceed.  Love motivates, sustains, and unites the presence of all good qualities of character.

Essentially, in living this way we demonstrate the concept of putting on Christ.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  (Gal 3:27)

The Lord reminded us in His Word that GOD IS LOVE.  (1 Joh 4:8)  The Lord acts upon His own perfect love for us by constantly surrounding us with His love, grace and blessings.

For more verses about love in action, see:  Joh 15:9-10, 13; Rom 5:8; 1 Joh 2:3-6; 3:10-11; 4:7-12; 4:17-20.

Be Merciful

Be Merciful

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.  For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.  36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.  (Lk 6:35-36)

But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.  (Ps 41:10)

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.  (Ps 103:8)

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.  (Heb 8:12)

These passages of Scripture talk of God being merciful.  The verse from Hebrews reminds us that we have received the mercy of God ourselves, and without it, would not be saved. 

God wants us to be merciful, even as Jesus (our example) is merciful.  In what ways is mercy expressed?  In these passages, we are shown some ideas on this topic.

  • Love your enemies;
  • Do good;
  • Lend to the needy, expecting no repayment;
  • Show kindness to the unthankful and evil; (Wow! Really, Lord?)
  • Be slow to anger;
  • Forget the sins of other people against you and against your loved ones;
  • Raise others up.

These are all very challenging things to accomplish, and they are difficult, if not to say impossible, without God’s grace working in us to energize us.

How may we “raise others up”?  We can help others by being encouraging, understanding, humble, and positive with our words.  We can share information with them that was helpful to us or to someone that we love.  We will receive grace to empower us to show them respect and the love of God, and never be judgmental.   

In short, we see them as Jesus sees them:  beloved,  victorious and blessed—and treat them accordingly.

Love Your Enemies

Love Your Enemies

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.  (Lk 6:35)

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.  (Mat 5:44)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  (Mat 5:16)

The Scripture verses above remind us to love our enemies, to bless them, to pray for them, and even to do good to them!  Wow!  God really expects us to be like Him, doesn’t He?

Yes!  He does.  That is why He created mankind in His own image.  That’s why He provided salvation for us.  He wants us to be like Him and to extend mercy to other people, as He has shown mercy to each one of us.

When the Word tells us to love our enemies, it means that we should pray that good things happen in the lives of our enemies.  We should bless them with kindness.

When we are kind to those who have abused us and hated us (loving our enemies), we become a light in this world.  We show ourselves to be children of the Most High by resembling Him! 

Go ahead and light up our world!