Inside information

LoveOfGodRoseI think some commandments are also statements of fact.

John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Is that a commandment? Or a statement of fact? Or both?

Read the rest of the chapter.

Jesus is talking to the disciples about God the Holy Spirit (the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth) and what will happen once he moves from the outside to the inside of them. At that moment he is with them, inside of Jesus but not yet inside of them. “You know him, for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.” (verse 17)

Although they had seen Jesus do many wonderful things and they themselves had done many of the same things, there were still “greater works than these” (verse 12) that they couldn’t do yet. But they would be able to do them once God inhabited their bodies.

I’m not sure they completely understood all that, before it actually happened. Isn’t that the same problem today? Some of us want to understand how things work, beforehand. Some things you have to “take on faith,” however. Believe first. Then see.

Well, if the 100% pure God has taken up residence inside of you, some things begin to happen. He begins to “infect” you with himself, rearrange your life, your thought patterns, your likes and dislikes, your feelings, habits and activities. Transform you, spirit, soul and body.

The pace and degree to which he succeeds depends on you, your cooperation. Don’t like yourself? Cooperate with him better. Let him infiltrate, like water infiltrating a sponge.

Jesus said, ” Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:37-40) The problem was, nobody could do it. Yet.

But now “We love him, because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19) We can authentically love him now, because he enables us – from the inside of us – to love him back, and to love other people too.

Unless he does the enabling, we won’t do it very well. God doesn’t force us to accept his love, his salvation, his presence, his enablement. We’re his coworkers, not his puppets. And the more we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, the better at it we’ll get.

Why does God love us?

EarthBlueMarbleLargeJan2012Lone.

Not lonely, lone. Sole. Only. One. A plurality of one. Singleness. Unity. United.

Agreement. Always. Peace. Always. Perfection. Always.

Is that the why of creation? Perhaps. But one day God decided to not be lone. Alone. So he took steps to do something different for a change.

Be un-alone. Create a being that would be fit for him to be un-alone with. A beloved. A treasured fellowship.

First, meditate. What kind of being? Composition. Appearance. Size. Longevity. Ability. Goals? Purposes? Aims? Decide. Don’t create yet.

Next, design. Decide environment for that being. Appearance. Size. Composition. Next, plan. Decide how and in what order to proceed.

Begin process. Create building material for environment. Photons. Particles. Quarks. Electrons. Protons. Ions. Atoms. Element. Only one element was necessary, every other element comes from rearranging particles in that first element.

Materials that would serve as building blocks, supplies, habitat, for the beloved treasure, the being that would re-define purpose.

Why does God love us? He went to a lot of trouble to create us.

Love – what’s that?

Faith that is real is described in James 2:15-20: If you see someone naked and hungry and say, Be warmed and filled, but you don’t clothe or feed them – is that faith? No. Clothe them. Feed them. Demonstrate real faith.

Love that is real can be described, too. Jesus did it very well. He described God’s love by demonstrating compassion.

Jesus had compassion on the crowd, so he appointed the disciples to go out and do the same things he had been doing. (Matthew 9:36-10:1) What had he been doing?

He had compassion on the multitude, so he healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14)

He had compassion on two blind men, so he restored their sight. (Matthew 20:34)

He had compassion on the leper, so he cleansed him. (Mark 1:41)

He had compassion on the demon-possessed man in the tombs, so he cast out the demons. (Mark 5:19)

He had compassion on the demon-possessed boy, so he cast out the demon. (Mark 9:22)

He had compassion on the mother of the dead boy, so he raised him from the dead. (Luke 7:13)

Compassion is defined as “Mercy; pity; to suffer or feel what others are feeling.” When Jesus had compassion, he did something about it.

He preached the gospel – that the kingdom of God was at hand (see Matthew 12:28) – then he healed the sick, cast out demons, cleansed the lepers, and raised the dead. He trained the disciples to do the same things and they did.

Love is defined as “To be full of good will and exhibit the same; to have a preference for, wish well to, regard the welfare of. Of the benevolence which God, in providing salvation for men, has exhibited by sending his Son to them and giving him up to death.” (Greek agapao, Strong’s Concordance)

This kind of love originates in God himself. We only have it if we have Him living in us. Once we do, then we can obey Him. Jesus said If you love me, keep my commandments (instructions, precepts); keep my words (logos). (John 14:21-23) What commandments? What words?

Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5 and Matthew 28:19-20 are good places to start: get the power to do it, then go make disciples and teach them to do what I do, what I have showed you, trained you and told you to do.

Note: First, get the power to do it. Then, go do it. Receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then preach the gospel. Heal the sick. Cast out demons. Cleanse the lepers. Raise the dead.

The first disciples obeyed Jesus. They received the promise of God, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They preached and demonstrated God’s love the way Jesus did it. Thousands were born again and the work of making new disciples began, teaching them to do those same things. (Mark 16:20, Acts 5:12-16)

Disciples demonstrate God’s love by obeying him and demonstrating his compassion to the world. Receive God’s power. Preach the gospel. Heal the sick. Cast out demons. Cleanse the lepers. Raise the dead.

Why are so few who call themselves disciples actually doing it?