In the Christian's life, love means action. And that's without necessarily having positive feelings towards others in the beginning. As an example, when God tells us to love our enemies, I take that to mean that some action must be taken towards them, whether we feel like it or not.
We're told in God's word to never pay back evil for evil to anyone; and to not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. It is said that if our enemy is hungry, feed him; if thirsty give him a drink.
Now who wants to do that? Who feels that kindly towards someone who hates you? Perhaps there are some very advanced souls who can feel genuine compassion for those against them. But I'll venture to say that a lot, if not most of us, just can't bring ourselves to feel that way.
That, of course, is when we need to turn to God. We turn to Him because we have feelings of love for Him. And we gladly want to please Him by being obedient. That God looks for us to be obedient is clearly understood in the words of Jesus"If you love Me, keep my commandments."
In a recent group discussion, I recalled that statement as a reason for being obedient, but was ridiculed. I was told the Pharisees were obedient, but they didn't really love God. And that's true because their obedience was based on the thinking that works brought about salvation.
However, obedience is not a dirty word, and isn't always legalistic like the Pharisees were. It all depends on the motive.
Borrowing from a favorite Christian writer of mine"me" (smile), I said this about obedience in a TV script I'm rewriting. (The script is based on my book The Three Angels' Message: God's End-Time Warning.)
"Obedience is humbly presenting yourself to God as a living and holy sacrifice. It is an act of lovingly worshiping God. Actually, obedience is to become one with God.
"Obedience, which is surrender to God's enabling grace, is not a bad word. It can't be, for Jesus Himself, our Example, let it be known that He was obedient, even to the point of death on a cross."
Salvation is a bygone conclusion, as we know we've already been justified by faith, and that there is no condemnation for those in Christ. We should be obedient if we love our Father and want to please and honor Him. We know that through our actions, there is the opportunity to let His righteousness and His love be on display.
Every time we surrender to His will, I see it as being tantamount to practicing love over and over, again and again. Eventually, repetition of His love flowing through us will translate into His feelings becoming our feelings for others, even our enemies.
Many will be shocked by Gregory's book, The Three Angels' Message. It ID's Antichrist and the "mark of the beast," and the role both are playing today in the end-time issue of worship. The book's biblical & historical proof can't be denied. Get more info now at http://www.tinyurl.com/6pk3pyq
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