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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Dear Colleagues,

THREE TESTS OF AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY: Obedience, Intimacy, Fruit (Part 1 of 4)

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One: Obedience:

Obedience to Gods word is the litmus test of authentic discipleship : "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heavenWhy do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?…Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves meThe man who says, I know him but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (Matt. 7:21; Lk. 6:46; Jn. 14:21a; I Jn. 2:4). (See Lk. 11:28; Rom. 2:13)

Obedience to Gods word, approached in a cavalier manner can cost us eternity:  In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, the foolish ones procrastinated in preparing their lamps with oil in anticipation of the bridegrooms arrival. Consequently, they were shut out of the wedding ceremony.  Christs admonition: Keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hourMake every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. (Matt. 25:13; Lk. 13:24)  (See Matt. 24:37-39)  In James 1:22-25 you have the illustration of the self-deceived man who looks into the mirror, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like, compared to the man who looks intently into the law, continues to do so, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it [is] blessed in what he does (Jms. 1:22-25).

Obedience to Gods word opens the door for us to deeply experience His love for us:  Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to himIf anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in himI will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my lawsIf you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love  (Jn. 14:21, 23; I Jn. 2:5; Ezek. 36:25-27; Jn. 15:10). (See Jer. 31:33, 34)

 

QUESTION:  How do you think God views your heart to obey Him?  As casual, or intensive? If your relationship with God seems a bit distant, could it have something to do with your level of obedience?

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

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