AMOS 3:3 asks "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" The answer, of course, is, "no." Nor does this simple premise apply only to our walk with others. It applies to our walk with God as well. Can any of us walk with the Lord unless we be in agreement with Him? Again, the answer is, "no."
This is why we are to imitate the ways of God. The Bible exhorts: "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16)Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Pet. 1:15-16
Jesus Christ stressed the need for commonality between us and God. On one occasion, He said, "Be ye therefore merciful, AS YOUR FATHER ALSO IS merciful." Luke 6:36
In fact, He summed up the many facets of this commonality by commanding: "Be ye therefore PERFECT, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Mat. 5:48
"[P]erfection" summed up in one word:
The command to be perfect often conjures up every weight and "Sin which doth so easily beset us" (Heb. 12:11). When we read the word "perfect" (meaning complete and mature), our minds turn to the many godly attributes, whose mastery we so often strive toward: faithfulness, humbleness, patience, and temperance, to name a few.
We view perfection as only coming by "one
hard- fought victory at a time." Yet, while we may view the Christian walk as a never-ending series of individual victories, the fact is, there is one attribute that, if we set our minds and hearts upon, all other attributes will follow.
That attribute is love. In fact, love is the all- encompassing attribute. We know this for two reasons:
1 God is love . . .
The Bible says: "As for God, his way is perfect" (Psalm 18:30). No one will argue that God's ways are not perfect, complete, right, and thus require no improvement. But note that the Bible also says: "God is love" (1 John 4:8). Is there a connection?
Yes. God's Word says: "And above all these things put on charity [love], which is the BOND OF PERFECTNESS" (Col. 3:14). The word "bond" in the Greek, means "ligament, band, UNITING PRINCIPLE." Practicing biblical love leads to "perfection."
For example, the Bible, using the word "Charity" to mean love, describes the "fruits" of love as follows:
"Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
1 Cor. 13:4-7
"Love has a hem to
its garment That
touches the very
dust, It can reach the
stains of the streets
and lanes, And
because it can, it
IN THE PREVIOUS four verses, we find the opposite of those sins that often hinder our Christian walk: impatience, unkindness, pride, selfishness, lack of temperance, untrustworthiness, envy, lack of faith, non- forgiveness, lustful thoughts, and so on. Yet, love produces none of these things.
Practicing love displaces the afore- mentioned sins from our lives. Note also the fact that since "God is love" we find in 1 Cor. 13:4-7 a detailed description of God's perfect ways. Let's substitute the word "God" in place of "charity" and reread the verse: "[God] suffereth long, and is kind; [God] envieth not; [God] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, [God] is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; [God] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 1 Cor. 13:4-7
God's perfect ways are indeed the ways of love.
Therefore, when Christ commands us to "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," He is actually telling us to practice love. Remember, charity "Is THE BOND of perfectness."
2 Love fulfills the law . . .
The second reason we know love is the all- encompassing attribute is because Jesus Christ 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 command-ment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments HANG ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS." Mat. 22:37
The laws we find in the Old Testament, as well as the commands of God emanating from the prophets, can be summed up in the two commandments we just read. To love God and man the Bible way is to fulfill the laws of God. The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us why.
Paul wrote: "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for HE THAT LOVETH ANOTHER HATH FULFILLED THE LAW. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW." Rom. 13:8-10
If we were to practice godly love at all times, we would not commit adultery, steal, lie, or do anything else that goes contrary to what God has commanded. We would not commit anything detrimental to our fellow man in any way, shape, or form, no matter how
"It was love
a thrice holy God
who hates sin, to
take on flesh,
and walk among
insignificant we may think it is, because, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour." If we practice love, as described in the Bible, and make God the object of our complete, unmitigated love, our obedience to Him would be unfailing because love "seeketh not her own." Our faith in God would be unwavering, because love "believeth all things."
If we practice love, we would be living our Christian life with the complete assurance that God is always there to meet our needs, because love "hopeth all things."
Practicing love, the all-encompassing attribute, results in obedience, patience, kindness, forgiveness, temperance, faith, hope, and everything else God would have us to do.
The Bible further tells us: "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but THE GREATEST OF THESE lS CHARITY." 1 Cor. 13:13
Is it any wonder then that Christ also said: "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. THERE IS NONE OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE." Mark 12:30-31
To walk with God we must love . . .
As we've already learned, the perfect ways of God revolve around love because "God IS love."
The reason behind everything God does, including the outpouring of His wrath upon sin, can be traced back to the fact that God is love.
Therefore, one would have to conclude that love is God's primary motivation--His "driving attribute."
One even has to assume that God's love can override the motivating influence of His Holiness. After all, it was love that compelled a thrice holy God who hates sin, to take on flesh, and walk among the "filth" produced by sinful man.
In spite of His holiness, the Bible says that
"God commendeth [proved] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US." Rom. 5:8
Walking in complete agreement with God can only be done if OUR "driving attribute" becomes the same as God's. If God's ways are "perfect," our ways must be "perfect" as well. And if God's ways revolve around love, so must ours.
The Bible commands all Christians, "that ye be LIKEMINDED, having THE SAME LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind" (Phil. 2:21). No doubt, these same goals apply to our relationship with our heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Love, the Bible way, puts you and I on the path to a fruitful walk with the Lord.
"And we have known and believed the love
that God hath to us. God is love; and he that
DWELLETH IN LOVE DWELLETH IN GOD,
and God in him." 1 John 4:16
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) Baptism, good deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are all examples of good works that cannot save you, because, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he [Christ] saved us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8-9
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9
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