It’s a Love Thing

June 1, 2018

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

It was 1994, I was 24 and broke. My son was almost five and needed things we couldn’t afford. Things like speech therapy not covered by insurance, specialists who cost more than our weekly income and more.

God always provided.

Our total need and His undeniable faithfulness grew my faith more than anything else.

When God blessed us with unexpected finances, what do you think we spent it on?

Therapy and equipment our son needed.

We aren’t saints – we’re parents. That’s what parents do – give up stuff we want for things our kids need.

We sacrifice for love.

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21

Jesus says if I love Him, I keep His commands. Part of loving God, loving Jesus is obedience.

The opposite of obedience is rebellion.

I have often been told I have a rebellious spirit. When I feel controlled or manipulated I rebel.

When I feel judged, I rebel.

Jesus was considered a rebel in His time too – He rebelled against hypocrisy and the religious leaders of His day. He rebelled against customs and traditions He knew were not of God.

“What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” Luke 11:42

Jesus tells me not to get so caught up in rules I forget what’s important.

  • I go to church, lead a Bible study, pray but won’t be inconvenienced to give someone a ride.
  • I lift hands to the Lord in worship but keeping my schedule or appointment is more important than stopping to help someone in need.
  • I have an empty guest room but never think to offer it – or I don’t want to because it’s not easy to have someone stay with me. I like my privacy.
I can miss the heart of God when I focus solely on rules – the thou shalls and thou shalt nots.

I can have religion without Spirit. Click To Tweet

I fool myself into thinking I’m a card carrying Christian when what I do isn’t following, it’s sitting on the sidelines in a comfy chair that requires nothing.

Love gives and love gives up.

There is no love without sacrifice – cost determines value.

Jesus says don’t neglect the important things – He also says obedience is important.

He says if I love Him, I obey His commands.

He commands me to love sacrificially.

He commands me to forgive, give to God what is God’s and obey the laws of man.

He says He didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.

I am under grace but grace doesn’t say it’s okay to lie, cheat or steal.

The father of lies is satan – it’s his native tongue.

When I lie, it’s not only sin, it’s rebellion.

It’s choosing self over trusting God.

It’s turning away.

I can’t serve two masters – I can’t serve self and God.

I must choose this day whom I will serve.

All the seemingly insignificant, small choices build my character and my life.

Those choices are steps.

Steps toward God or away from Him.

Steps toward what He calls me to or steps away from it.

Love is obedience and obedience is love.

When I love someone, I make choices that align with that love. I don’t want to hurt them or let them down.

It’s the same with God.

He knows I can never measure up – I am dirt and dust.

In His love and grace, He provided a counselor, a mediator, a Savior.

A way back.

When I mess up – it’s always a heart issue. It’s always a statement I don’t believe or trust God is who He says He is.

It answers the question, “Who do you say I am?” with “not enough

God is big – big enough to handle my rebellion and sin. He waits patiently for me to unclench my hands and soften my stiff neck. He waits for me to come back to Him.

I wander.

He waits.

In unbelief I question.

He works.

I circle around and around asking, “Why God?

Where are you?

When it’s my heart that’s hard.

My neck that’s stiff.

I’ve gone my own way.

Obeying His commands often means giving up my plans for His.

It means waiting on His timing instead of grabbing the reigns to make it happen.

It means putting myself aside for someone else.

If I say I love Jesus and practice a form of religion yet ignore my family or have a prejudiced heart – does it honor God?

Does it allow people to see Jesus?

You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16

What I do shows the condition of my heart and who I’m following.

Thankfully, when I love God with a sincere and willing heart, He prunes the thorn bushes and grows the grapes.

He gently picks and removes weeds.

He faithfully shows up and demonstrates I can trust Him – even with the dusty corners and frayed edges.

He leads me away from my destructive chaos toward still waters.

In faithfulness and love, He restores my soul.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

    1. Liz,
      You have blessed so many people. I being one of them. I am forever grateful for your Kindness and Generosity. May God continue to pour out his blessings on you as you serve Him!!!

      1. Hi John – Thank you for words that bless me – you and your friendship have also blessed me. The time we served together is still special to me. Thank you again for being a light in my life and in the world.

      1. Thank you Yvonne! I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Blessings to you.

    1. Thank you Liz for being true to your gift and using your talents so well to build, encourage and bless so many. God bless. Helen x

      1. Hi Helen! Thank you for your comment…glory to God – my prayer is to be His messenger. Thank you for blessing me with encouragement – it means a lot. Blessings to you and your family. ❤️

    1. Wonderful reminders, Liz. I never thought about it but it is true…”The opposite of obedience is rebellion..” And we can live with religion yet without the Spirit. May our heart line up with our words. May our behavior line up with the Spirit who empowers us to walk as Jesus walk. To walk in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5). And to obey the Father as Christ obeyed.

      1. Hi Karen! Such a great comment – what you say is my prayer – to live my faith, not just attend church. Thank you for reading and commenting – I love all you said. Blessings friend!

    1. Hey! Sweet friend!! You are the best! Thank you for being a encouraging shining star for God ! Every word is so true and they will bring light to the darkness of rebellion in Christ! I have always felt! Church is not a building it’s my heart wholeheartedly loving and trusting God! I love you true friend❤️

      1. Hi Sydell! You know I love you so much….I love how you say church isn’t a building, it’s in your heart. Keep shining your light – you get it. ❤️

      1. Thank you Melissa! Your presence and comment bless me. Please keep coming back!

    1. These are strong words of conviction, like reading Jesus’ words in Matthew 24-25 and his words to the seven churches in Revelation. We need these words, because they are the truth. Thank you for your prophetic voice!

      1. Hi Melinda! Thank you for reading and commenting – it means a lot. I push against legalism and embrace the freedom, love and grace of Jesus but following also means obedience. God pressed this on my heart and your words confirm it. Thank you again for blessing me with your insight.

    1. Liz, there are so many not so hidden gems in this. I saw myself in so much here. I am a Christian in part of my actions, but not in all of them. The life I live outside of the “churchy” things shows who I really am. SOOOO EYE OPENING!! I definitely needed to read this today. Thanks so much for allowing God to use you.

      1. Hi Brittany! You are awesome – I love how authentic you are and I so relate. This was for me too – I often feel convicted by the fact that my life doesn’t look that much different from everyone else’s. Trying to figure it out. Thank you for reading and commenting – I loved your post and your blog!

    1. Liz this blog posting is so poignant and powerful! It’s packed with truth that touches and exposes the depths of our attitudes that form our behaviors. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Hi Scarlett! Thank you for reading and commenting – it truly means a lot to me. Your words of affirmation and encouragement are a blessing…thank you sister!

      1. Hi Heather! I’m thankful too…I get it wrong more times than not but God is so patient with me. Thank you for your comment – you bless me!

    1. Hi Liz!
      I like the positive spirit of this blog post. Sure, God always provides, although we do not always understand His way of doing it. It’s great to see how you have developed your blog. Great work.

      God bless!
      Edna Davidsen

      1. Hi Edna! Thank you for taking the time to to read and comment – it sincerely means a lot to me – as do your words of encouragement. Thank you again and blessings to you as well!

    1. Beautiful and so very true! You write, “The opposite of obedience is rebellion.” Indeed our rebellion is disobedience. I’m often the type that asks God a bunch of ‘whys’ before I obey. But all my questioning is simply delayed obedience. Putting it in light of rebellion is like what you say in your bio, “ripping-the-band-aid -off” and it’s needed sometimes. I like your directness, I can relate to you. Thank you!

      1. Hi Marcie! I so relate to what you say…I am also one who likes to know the whys. Like you, God is showing me often obedience means taking a blind step. So hard for me! Thank you for reading and commenting…I hope you keep coming back!

    1. You are like the EverReady battery….keep it coming. We need reflection time on a regular basis

    1. Love ur inspiration. Love ur attitude. Love ur commitment
      to the Lord Jesus.
      Thanks for sharing.

      1. Hi Sonja! Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment…your words and your presence bless me. Glory to God – thank you sister. ❤️

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