Friday, June 3, 2011

the one motivated by love

as i document life events, i want to also note things the Lord is teaching me in my times with Him. i've been realizing lately that these are just as important for me to remember in years to come as all of the celebrations and milestones.  it is good to remember the Lord's faithfulness to me.

one of the pieces of spiritual wisdom that i received in my teenage years (that i've since recycled too many times to count) was to focus on knowing and loving Jesus... especially when you don't feel near to Him or when you don't feel like spending time with Him. i've often experienced in my walk with the Lord that when i don't feel close to God, it is because i am focusing too much on my failures, needs, disappointments, or pursuit of happiness. as soon as i turn my eyes to Jesus, everything is put into perspective again and my desire for Him often quickly grows.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
John 14:15
elyse fitzpatrick hones in on this truth (and studies the above verse) in a new and refreshing way in her book "comforts from the cross". i've been wanting to read this book for quite some time but received it recently as a gift from a friend. (yay!) in one particular chapter, she talks about how our obedience and righteous living should only be motivated by our overflowing love for Jesus. we've all heard this before...but she helps break down what this actually looks like.

she notes that this kind of obedience is NOT motivated by guilt, which we often confuse with love (...and i have a huge problem with guilt in general). she compares this guilt motivated response to a relationship between a parent and child where the parent says "if you really loved me, you would clean up after yourself". this is not how Jesus speaks to us and not how He intends for us to follow His commandments. check out this passage::

"He isn't piling on the guilt or hoping we'll feel sorry for him and clean up our act...Jesus is lovingly stating a fact, but he's also making a precious promise: love will motivate behavior. He completely knows us, even the inmost thoughts of our hearts. He knows of our desire to obey and our shame and sadness because of our failures. But he also knows this: as our love for him grows, our obedience will grow, too. " (p. 60)

she goes on to say that we often skim over the "love God" part and immediately start concentrating and focusing our attention on obeying God and living righteously. we are to dwell in our love for Him and watch it change our actions and our desires. often when we choose not to obey, it's because our love for Him is lacking.

there are a million more things i could highlight in just this chapter, let alone the rest of the book. if you're reading this, you should check it out!

1 comment :

  1. i like this section of the blog--great idea:) thanks for sharing! love you!


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