Loving God… loving each other, it is a great concept but how do we as complexed sinful human beings begin to keep these ideals or commandments?
Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
King James Version (KJV)Public Domain
How do we live them out in a time when people are so full of hate, and fear, and bitterness? How do we overcome?
It starts with knowing God – knowing that God is love, knowing that God loves you and that God loves his children.
So … where do we begin –
1. Knowing God
Have you ever heard the phrase … to know someone is to love them?
To love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all mind, means you must get to know him as a person.
We need to create a deep and powerful relationship with him.
What does the Lord say about himself…
What does the Lord mean when he says…
What is important to him as a person…
What does he like and not like…
What do we need to do to approach him as God – the ruler of the Universe…
Can we even approach a Holy God. as sinful human beings?
The simple answer is… No, we can’t.
Our natures are different.
When a Holy, Righteous God meets a sin filled human being – the results are disastrous … for us as humans – it means instant death, we will be consumed.
Since the Lord is Holy and a Consuming Fire, that holy fire destroys anything that is not holy.
2. Approaching God
So our God, knowing his nature to be that of a Spirit and Holy and a Consuming Fire – devised a plan or a way for us to approach him with out being destroyed.
In the Old Testament the Lord set out a very unique plan of how to approach the Lord known as the Tabernacle. It was a series of rituals and methods that explained the difference between the holy and the profane.
Moses received these plans for how to approach God along with the commandments of God on Mount Sinai.
That plan became to basis for approaching the Lord for all generations- that plan is found in the Gospel the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ- and our response to the Gospel- repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and the Infilling of the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in tongues.
To know the Lord means that you realize he is the great I AM – that means he is the self existent one. he needs no-one, he needs nothing, he is complete in and of himself.
BUT – The Lord does want something – he wants us and our fellowship, he wants to sit with us, talk with us, reason with us, teach us, instruct us, and generally spend time with us.
Even when the tabernacle plan of approaching the Lord was instituted and in place, Israel wearied the Lord because of israel’s sin filled nature and lifestyle but even then the Lord called – through the prophet Isaiah for Israel to come close and reason this whole situation out. Unfortunately, Old Testament plan didn’t deal with the issue of sin, it just pushed it ahead to Calvary. It didn’t change the person at the heart.
Isaiah 1 King James Version (KJV)18
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
This is why the Lord robed himself and came in human flesh, there was a deeper plan – The Gospel
Jesus when he walked on earth echos the words of Isiah when he says,
Matthew 11 King James Version (KJV)28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is a wonderful scripture in Isaiah that caught my attention this week- it gives the progression of going from a place of spiritual blindness to a place of spiritual healing and health.
And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Isaiah 6:9-10 KJV
Watch as John refers to this scripture when writing of how the people rejected Jesus and would not believe on him as Lord and Saviour.
Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” John 12:39-40
3. Allowing The Lord Who Heals – to Heal
Note how the Lord says ” I would heal them” The Lord is the God who heals, that is another trait to knowing God, but this type of healing is very different that what we normally refer to as healing.
The Lord has a specific type of healing here in mind.
The Apostle John was someone who knew the Lord, he spent years of his life with him and in all his writings he speaks much of spiritual blindness and Jesus being the light and the deep concept of loving God and loving each other.
Note also the progression of the scripture for deliverance from spiritual blindness and sin to a place of healing and health.
It starts with…
1.) Seeing with their eyes – seeing Jesus – knowing that Jesus Is God.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? John 14:9
2) Hearing – hearing the Gospel message preached through a preacher.
Romans 10:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
King James Version (KJV)
3) Understanding – understanding the Gospel, understanding the love of God and understanding the Lord himself.
Hebrews 11:6 KJV But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
4) Turning from sin
Acts 2:37-39 King James Version (KJV)
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
King James Version (KJV)
5) Be healed.
Mark 4:12 KJV That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
God’s plan for healing begins with being converted and our sins forgiven.
It begins with believing and knowing that Jesus is the Christ – the son of the living God- and not only the son of God according to his flesh but Almighty God. according to the Spirit the Alpha and Omega- the beginning and the end… The Great I AM!