Love By Obedience
- Date: January 17, 2004
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
- From Spiritual Life - Spiritual Fruit
As the children of God, we are known by our love. The highest expression of the representation of God (who is love) is in a life that exhibits, through death to self, the preference of others, freely giving of that which we have freely received. We can't call ourselves Christians and not love. To fail to love is to fail to keep the commandments of God. This is the commandment that you received from the beginning: that you would love one another. To break the commandment is to live under the power of sin. To break the commandment to love one another is to be out of fellowship with God. When we get into conflict with one another, we're not just crosswise with a brother or sister. To reject and fail to love our brothers and sisters is to reject the lordship of Jesus Christ and to be out of fellowship with God.
John 15:12 says, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." Do we want God to love us the way we love one another? We need the real power of walking in the spirit, the real fruit of the Spirit--to where we love by obedience and not by feeling or emotion. We love by obedience and not by observable worth in the object being loved. Man is worthy of love because God has declared that he is to be loved, and that's what puts the value on him. It's not his behavior; it's the commandment to love one another. I'm talking about the love that is given as I serve you in what's perceived by you as a "positive" or a "negative" serving. In other words, the Lord chastens those whom He loves. Not many of us like to be loved that way. How many of you prefer positive love? Negative love is necessary though. I'm using that term "positive" and "negative" only as a reference point, not because it is positive and negative, but because that's how we perceive it. What we see to be negative love is just as positive as someone giving us what we think we need. Sometimes what we perceive to be the negative of love is the truest and most positive expression that anybody can give us. It'll deliver us, preserve us, mature us for the glory of God.
Jesus said you're to love one another as I have loved you--unconditionally, eternally, from a renewed character and not of the works of obligation. Many of us try to work our "obedience," but it's a works mentality. You're saying, "I don't feel like loving them, but I will make myself love them." We can express that action toward them, but Paul says in 1 Corinthians the mere action is no good at all; it profits me nothing. Beloved, what has to happen is when the emotions are absent, we obey the inward voice of the Holy Spirit saying, "Love because you've been loved." You respond to the love of God coming to you and now going through you rather than manufacturing a feigned love through works.