In the message “A Vessel of Purity” we were told, “Do not love the world or anything in the world” (1 John 2:15); and in the message “Destroy the Ites” we saw our call to destroy, without compromise, those areas which take us away from the worship of God. While these messages are absolutely true, they must be placed in the context of the entire Word of God to be properly understood.
God’s Word is a message of love: His love for us and His call for us to love Him. We are to receive His love, return His love, and demonstrate His love by loving others. In addition, we ought to be thankful for His blessings of provision and for the beauty of His creation. We ought to be so filled with peace and contentment that we love our life…or should we?
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be My disciple.”
These may be the most difficult words Jesus ever spoke. Clearly, Jesus is not calling us to a life of hate. That would be completely inconsistent with the rest of God’s Word; “A new command I give you: Love one another” (John 13:34), and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). The problem is not with Jesus’ use of the word hate but with our understanding of the word love. With the same word we say we love our food, our pet, our spouse, our home and…our Jesus? Oh Lord, forgive us!
Jesus is not saying we should love our life or family any less, rather that we should love our Heavenly Father more – much more! He is saying that unless our love for God is so great that our love for the things of this world appears as hatred by comparison, then we do not yet understand the love He desires and deserves.
We are called to love God with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength. But this love cannot be properly defined with our limited vocabulary. As we live a life of love, NOTHING must ever come close to competing with His rightful place on the Throne. He alone is worthy of our worship and praise – He alone is worthy of our true love.
There are certainly some addictive behaviors and time consuming bad habits which greatly hinder our relationship with God. These must be removed and destroyed without mercy or compromise. But most areas of our life can be placed in proper order by elevating our love and passion for God. Let’s allow our attachment and feelings toward the blessings of this world to become as dust when compared with the mountain of hunger and passion for our Heavenly Father. We may forever be stuck with the same inadequate word, but let’s live with a heart dedicated to loving God with a newly defined love.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Feb 1 Exodus 13:17-15:19; Matthew 21:23-46; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 6:16-19
Feb 2 Exodus 15:20-17:7; Matthew 22:1-32; Psalm 27:1-7; Proverbs 6:20-26
Feb 3 Exodus 17:8 – 19:15; Matthew 22:33-23:12; Psalm 27:8-14; Proverbs 6:27-35
Feb 4 Exodus 19:16-21:21; Matthew 23:13-39; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 7:1-5