“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some…. So…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 9:19-22, 10:31-33 ESV).
When you fall in love, there’s not much you wouldn’t do for the object of your affection. But what would you be willing to do for someone who hates you? Or perhaps more telling, what would you be willing to do for a brother or sister in Christ who has wronged you?
Your honest answers to those questions say far more about your faith than your Sunday morning smile. They say more than all of your tithes and offerings, more than your mission trips, and even more than your prayers!
Even if it is your earnest prayer to be able to love like Jesus loves, it boils down to what you are willing to do for Christ. For we can act without feeling. To restate that, we will not likely feel our way into acting, but we can act our way into feeling.
Nowhere in scripture does God tell us that we should obey Him when we feel like it. But when we act out of obedience, God will often develop the feelings to go along with our action. It’s similar to working out physically. There have been so many times that I simply didn’t feel like going to the gym, or running, etc. But I have never once regretted going anyway.
When we do what is right, even if we act begrudgingly, God sees and rewards our obedience. Often it is this very obedience that begins to work a change in our hearts.
If indeed we have a relationship with the King of kings, the Creator of everything that ever has been and ever will be, and if it is not in our hearts to reach the lost, regardless of what freedoms and pleasures that we may have to forego, then we must necessarily have a change in our hearts if we ever hope to see a change in others. Or, as it has been said, “If we want to see the change, we must be the change!” Amen?
Blessings on your day!
One of the things I’m interested in these days is what are the habits that we can make a part of our lives that will most significantly change our core desires … moving us toward a deeper love for God and for others. For God wants us to obey him, but he also wants us to love him which surely involves desire to be with him.
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That interests me as well. I’m seeing more and more that obedience, for it’s own sake, will only take you so far. It’s our love for God, and the furtherance of our relationship with Him that enables us to obey when the rubber meets the road.