HOW DOES OBEDIENCE HELP YOU LOVE PEOPLE?

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4 minute read

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22 NIV)

Obedience purifies your heart.

We need Jesus because we all need a Savior.  Someone we can pour out our deepest sins, knowing His response is love.  Jesus does that for us the moment we first believe.  But the journey doesn’t end at that point; it’s just beginning.  Each day we must confess our daily sins.  As you grow closer to God, the more that truth becomes a reality.  As we purify our hearts in confession, He fills it with His love.

For instance, yesterday, my lists of sins are long—irritation with husband, anger at interruptions, disappointment with friends.   I didn’t golf yesterday, but if I did, I might have to confess lying for not counting the penalty shot when I hit the ball into the water.  More than likely, I would also need to disclose something about cursing.  As I dive deeper with God, my spirit becomes more sensitive to my sins.

Sensitivity quickens obedience.

When an offense occurs, the quicker you recognize it, the better.  Often, we don’t even know we’ve offended someone.  As a District Manager, I was responsible for 17 retail stores.  All of my managers were older than the young kid, fresh out of college; now they’re boss.  I had no clue what I was doing, but I did my best.   One phone conversation I don’t remember angered one of my best managers.  For two months, she stewed on my words, all the while I was oblivious.  When I finally visited her store, I found out the truth, at the same time, she gave me her two-week notice.  Had I realized my faux pas, I would have corrected it.  You can’t fix what you don’t know.

If I was seeking God diligently during those days, His Spirit is how He’d prompt me.  His light would illuminate the manager’s change in behavior.  I didn’t notice her lack of correspondence, short phone conversations, or a different tone. If I had, I would have known I had a problem.  Recognizing the problem is the first step to resolving the issue.  Sensitivity to the Spirit helps with recognition.   

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (Colossians 3:12-13 NIV)

If our actions aren’t compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, and forgiving, we aren’t obedient.  None of us do any of these things all of the time.  God’s Spirit is what makes the difference.  When He prompts, confess.  As you remove the sin, you make way for His love.  His purifying passion for you creates a deep love for all.

Question of the Day:

How sensitive are you to God’s Spirit?

Further Reading: Ezekiel 45:13-46:24 NIV, 1 Peter 1:13-2:10 NIV, Psalm 119:33-48 NIVProverbs 28:11 NIV

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