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The Four-letter Word

The Four-letter Word
Words of Faith 1-30-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 14
[15] "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

How do we love God? That is a good question. That is a big question. It is a question debated for centuries. We know we are commanded to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (Deut. 6:5, Mark 12:30). But how do we love God? Jesus tells us in a word: OBEY.
We often think that the way we love God is to give to Him. In fact, this is preached a lot! But that is not so. We love God by obeying what He commands. One could give and not be obeying Him. Obedience will surely be in the area of giving but it is much broader than that. Giving could be disobedience if God did not direct it.
How do we love people-- our neighbors-- as ourselves? The way we love people is to GIVE. We love people by giving our time, attention, prayer, energy or material support. We must give something of ourselves in order to love people.
The problem is that we often confuse these two. In our religious life, we get it backwards. We try to love God by giving to Him, and love people by obeying them-- that is-- doing what they want. We try to be a “people-pleaser”. This is not love. It also gets us quite confused and exhausted!
Jesus will say several times in chapter 14 and 15 that if we love Him we will OBEY, we will do what He says and wants. We will not be people-pleasers. We will be God pleasers. He will lead us as to how we are to give to His church and to others.
If the way we love God is to obey Him, then it is important that we know what He commands. How do we discover this? We must carefully study and meditate upon the Bible because this is His most enduring Word for us. We must also spend time listening. When we listen, we will then learn to trust and obey His voice.
There is no greater joy than obedience. It is difficult to describe but when one listens and then obeys even in the smallest way there is an enormous joy in knowing that what you just did, by faith, was in concert with the will and way of God.
Likewise, I know of no great agony than disobedience. It is difficult to describe but when one listens or knows the right thing and then does something else there is a great emptiness. Even when we do “good” things that are not in obedience to the Lord, there is a significant hollowness devoid of joy. The Enemy often uses the temptation of “doing much good” to keep us from being obedient.
So for today? Listen. Trust. Obey.

Lord, I am ready. I am listening. Reveal Your command for my day through Your Word and the leading of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2017
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.