B1 - Love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind
‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’
Jesus made it very clear that the first commandment is that we should love our God with everything that we have (our heart, soul, strength, and mind). How does one do that? To love with such intensity? How does one demonstrate such passionate love on this earth?
Jesus gave us this response:
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:13-14).
To be prepared to pay the ultimate price through death for someone else would be a true demonstration of love.
Rev 12:11 talks about a group of end-times’ believers that will be living through the Great Tribulation with these words, ‘And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives unto death.’
How do we know that we love God?
See B2, Love God, keep his word.
B2 - Love God, keep his word (commandments)
‘When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.’
The Apostle John was more explicit in 1 John 2:4,
‘Whoever says, ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.’
If we love God, we will naturally keep his words as found in the Bible. We will do what he asks us to do.
1 John 5:3 says
‘For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.’
B3 - Submit to God
James 4:7 says,
“Submit yourselves therefore to God.”
But the word, ‘submit’, is so very difficult when it comes to each of us. We have been created with a will to decide. We are all like wild horses. We enjoy our freedom. Yet, to be used by the Master, we have to learn to submit to God and his will.
The Greek word is hupotasso, and it means ‘to place or rank under, to subject, to obey’.
Nevertheless, to submit, we have to know who and what we are submitting to. This topic has become significant in the light Islam as a religion as ‘Islam’ also means ‘voluntary submission to God’. But Islam is not Christianity.
How do we hear God and understand his will for us?
Please see B164, Once hear God’s word, trust in him.
B4 - Do not take God's patience for granted
‘Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?’
We are not to take God’s kindness and patience for granted but our hearts should always be thankful to him for granting us time to repent.
B5 - Observe our actions as they reflect our heart
‘A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’
Proverbs 16:2 tells us,
‘All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.’
The scary thing is – we may not even know ourselves. But our actions provide a window to show who we are and what we love.
What wakes us up early without the need of an alarm clock? For some people, it is ‘live’ football.
We have to observe our actions and see what it means in our relationship with God.
Our action always speaks louder than our confession.
B6 - Worship God in spirit and truth
We are to worship God in spirit and in truth as in John 4:23-24.
But what does that mean?
The Greek word for ‘spirit’ and ‘truth’ are pneuma and aletheia. They are translated appropriately although there is more to ‘truth’ as in sincerity, reality, and straightforwardness (no agenda).
Our spirit has to fellowship with his Spirit.
See also B13, Do not quench the Holy Spirit, and B16, Pray in the Holy Spirit.