“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
"You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."
1 Corinthians 6:17
"But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit."
Today's blog is about how God sees us and who we are to Him. James 4:4 says, "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." I think many in this world think they are right with God, and yet choose to live by the ways of the world. This verse in James says that can't be so. "You can’t say you love Jesus and then go live like the devil.
You can’t say you’re a Christian and then keep on living a self-centered life.
You can’t say you’re a follower of Jesus and then pick and choose the verses that you want to listen to and ignore the ones you don’t.
Jesus says you’re his friend if you obey him and his commandments.
Unbelievers are enemies of God and rebel against His ways and Word of Truth.
Matthew Henry says, "Christ takes believers to be his friends. He visits them and converses with them as his friends, bears with them and makes the best of them, is afflicted in their afflictions, and takes pleasure in their prosperity; he pleads for them in heaven and takes care of all their interests there."
Many people think that being a Christian is a pathway to a loss of fun and happiness on this Earth. Not true! Jesus changes your desires. Ungodly desires may look like freedom, but they don’t last, and they lead to despair, not dignity and depression, not delight.
We choose to obey God because he loves us, saves us and wants the best for us. His loves leads us to true joy.
"We must place our happiness in the continuance of Christ’s love to us, and make it our business to give continued proofs of our love to Christ, that nothing may tempt us to withdraw from him, or provoke him to withdraw from us. Note, All that love Christ should continue in their love to him, that is, be always loving him, and taking all occasions to show it, and love to the end." (M. Henry)
If you’re not living a full and satisfying life, it’s not because God doesn’t want you to have it. He wants to set you free from: (R. Warren)
The pain from your past. This is the regret or resentment that keeps you from being all God wants you to be.
The pressures of your present. This is the stress or exhaustion you face trying to manage the complexities of everyday life.
The pessimism about tomorrow. These are the worries about your future or the futures of those you love.
If you’re not living a full and satisfying life with God as your center, also consider the consequences of disobedience on your life: (intouch.org)
You will never become the person that God wants you to be.
You limit your usefulness to the Lord.
You are willing to live a life of rationalized disobedience.
You’ll be governed by fear rather than faith.
You risk losing not only rewards in heaven but also blessings on earth.