Loving Jesus Christ

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Psalms 22–24 are all strongly Messianic in theme and show an exquisite, complete picture of the coming work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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“STANDARDS? That’s just legalistic.” Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard that before! But before emotions get engaged and you pull out your sword to defend your side, let’s define our terms!
It was a cold winter morning. Outside, the snow was falling steadily. A fifteen-year-old boy slowly made his way through the streets of Colchester in the southeastern part of England. Being Sunday, all the shops were closed. Here and there, the lad saw small groups of men and women struggling through the snowdrifts to attend the various church services in town. Such a blizzard had not been seen by the city in a long time!
Have you ever experienced such pain and sorrow that you felt that God abandoned you? Has God’s love ever seemed distant, far away? Such feelings of abandonment are common to God’s people, especially in times of grief and tragedy. In such times, it is important to remember the fact that, regardless of our feelings and our perceptions, the love of God is an inherent part of His eternal nature. His love is described in Scripture as “an everlasting love.
As human beings, we tend to love what is lovely. Conditional in nature, our natural love is based upon the worth of the object of our love. But God’s love is unconditional. It is eternal. It is unmerited. Thus, God is able to love the unlovely, the despised, the vile, the outcast, and every single one of us who are sinners.
We’ve all heard the storybook tales of the prince and the maiden who married and lived “happily ever after.” When we look around our world today, it would be easy to become cynical about the possibility of a “happily ever after” marriage. Is it really possible, or are those stories just for children’s books, romance movies, and young girls’ dreams?
“In the beginning was the Word . . . .” This simple but profound statement is the opening of the Gospel of John. Looking at the other three Gospels, Mark began his record with the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Matthew and Luke began their Gospels with the wonder of the Incarnation and the miracle of the virgin birth of the Lord. But John’s Gospel commences with a statement of the eternality of the Lord Jesus Christ, reminding us that the life of Jesus existed eternally before He took on human flesh and dwelt among us.
Could it be that faithful believers who are serving the Lord, doing good works, boldly proclaiming the truth, and standing firmly against error and compromise are actually neglecting their chief priority? Is it possible that in loving our churches, our families, and our communities, we may be neglecting to cultivate a love for the Lord Himself?
What is your focus: enjoying temporal pleasures here in this world or laying up treasures in Heaven? Is the Kingdom of God your pursuit over every other pursuit? Obedience from the heart is not legalism. True obedience is love in action.
In Matthew 22:37–38, our Lord Jesus referred to Deuteronomy 6:4–5 as the “first and great commandment” in the Law. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
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Are our works motivated by the love of God that we have received and experienced, or are we doing good deeds from a sense of religious obligation in an attempt to earn God’s favor? The latter is iniquity; the former is a manifestation of knowing Jesus and His love.
In today’s modern culture, we are bombarded with advertising. Christians who do not have a proper defense against covetousness can easily fall prey to impulsive spending. The opposite of covetousness is contentment. A contented man is a grateful man who has learned to rest in what God has provided for him, regardless of what God may have granted to others.
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How does lasting change happen in our lives? We would love an “instant fix.” We would love God to snap His fingers and make us permanently free from temptation and sin. But God has a method that He has chosen whereby He works the life of His Son in us. That method is called process.
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Without realizing it, we place our confidence in our ability to perform. With this mindset comes a drive to make our flesh better. We must realize that this attempt is futile—we can never make ourselves good enough!
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When we keep—that is, observe, remember, and apply—the commands of Jesus Christ, Scripture explains that we not only demonstrate our sincere love for the Lord, but we also receive many rewards. Praise God that He does not just give us these commands, but He also does them in and through us!
When a person receives Christ as his Savior, he experiences the delight of “first love” for the Lord. God’s Spirit witnesses with his spirit that he is a child of God, and this newfound relationship brings great wonder, joy, and freedom.
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We are created in God’s image, designed to reflect His character, so He is seen, enjoyed, and honored through us and in us. Consistent, lasting character comes from a changed heart, and a changed heart starts with becoming a new creation in Christ.
The Pharisees criticized the Lord Jesus over the proper observation of the Sabbath Day. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all give an account of two particularly dramatic events that took place on the Sabbath during the early days of Christ’s Galilean ministry and raised a storm of controversy. By calling Himself the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus was affirming that He was the Creator of the universe and the One Who instituted the day of rest.
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This fun whiteboard video will challenge some of your thoughts on the difference between knowing about God or knowing Him personally!
When we understand the heart of the matter, the Sabbath Day is not a burden but a blessing! We can willingly lay aside our own ways when we are seeking God’s ways. As we learn to take pleasure in fellowship with God, we can more easily lay aside the lesser pleasures of this world. Filled with God’s Word, our own words no longer seem as important.
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