Why You Need to Seek the Truth About Obedience and Love
I’ve studied the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah.
And I have to admit, I feel bad for the prophets. I’ll bet they didn’t get invited to many parties! They spent their lives proclaiming God’s impending judgment on His people for their failure to trust God through obedience and love.
The more I read and studied, the more God lit this fire in my soul as He showed me verse after verse that could apply to our culture today.
A few verses that hit me hard are…
What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet bitter. Isaiah 5:20
Then the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me.'” Jeremiah 35:13
“Again and again I sent my servants, the prophets, to plead with them, ‘Don’t do these horrible things that I hate so much.’ But my people would not listen or turn back from their wicked ways.” Jeremiah 44:4–5a
These and other verses like them started my spirit squirming and I felt the Lord prodding me to write about the connection between obedience and love.
This is the deal…
I know you and I live under the New Covenant. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus.
Still, throughout the Bible, God says an important part of living our faith is doing our best to obey God’s commands and follow His will in loving response to who He is and all He’s done. In response to His love!
You see, the thing I keep thinking about is this…
Much of what the people were doing that brought about God’s punishment was passed down from one generation to the next. They listened to the wrong voices and when God sent them prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah, they ignored them and continued to do what they’d always done — worshipping idols and ignoring the Sabbath.
And I wonder about the idols I might be serving without even realizing it and if I’m honoring the Sabbath the way God wants me to.
Because I love God and I want to love Him through obedience.
Something else Jeremiah called out – is that the people followed a worship ritual but maintained a sinful lifestyle. It was religion without a personal commitment to God. (Life Application Bible Notes Jeremiah 7:2–3)
I keep wondering if we’re worshipping God the way He wants … not only in honoring the Sabbath by going to church but by the way we spend that day and every other day of the week.
Again, remember … I’m not throwing out grace here. I am totally dependent on Gospel grace.
It’s easy to view the Old Testament as all “Law” and the New Testament all “Gospel.” But all of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation points to Jesus and He is the Gospel … obedience and love in human flesh!
God selected Abraham and his descendants as His chosen people not to exclude the other nations but because He wanted to draw all people to Himself through them. Had the Israelites followed God’s will they would have shown surrounding nations the blessings of living as God’s children.
God wanted His people to be “holy” or “set apart” … to look different from everyone else because as He blessed their obedience, others would want what they had.
Isn’t that what God wants for Jesus’ followers today?
When people see us enjoying the blessings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control … they should want what we have.
That’s the backstory of God’s prompting and prodding me to write this new series.
It fits with my word for the year – SEEK.
And my verse, which is…
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
There’s another one found just a few verses later:
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
So, you and I are going to ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK as we take a closer look at some of the hard questions facing Christians today about obedience and love.
Is the Bible the Inspired and inerrant Word of God?
What does it mean to have NO OTHER GODS?
Does God care how I REMEMBER THE SABBATH?
How should I honor my parents when they make me crazy?
And then we’ll look at some of the hard sayings of Jesus like:
“Love your enemies.”
“Why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?”
And with each post, we’re going to ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK.
- ASK – Ask hard questions and ask God to reveal His truth and wisdom to us.
- SEEK – Seek answers by searching through Scripture.
- KNOCK – Knock down lies and walk through the door Jesus opens into freedom.
You and I serve an awesome and amazing God!
I want everyone to know, love, and trust Him.
Yet, for some reason, followers of Jesus are represented as judgmental and hypocritical.
Maybe we can change that!
Shouldn’t we try?!
This is important…
I’m on this journey with you!
I don’t have all the answers. I will never preach at you. I will only ask questions with you and I hope you’ll join me as we search for answers together. You see, although you and I may not have the answers now … we know the One who does and I believe, He wants us to know them.
I need your help with a couple of things and would love to hear from you…
I want to know your hard questions. What do you want to talk about?
And… I want to know your stories about the ways God is revealing the importance of loving Him through obedience.
Why seeking the truth about obedience and love is important to me…
I spent much of my life trying to be a “good girl.” I obeyed the rules and wore myself out trying to please God and people.
More recently, I’ve realized that some of the rules I was trying to obey were based on tradition not necessarily God’s will as He revealed it through His Word.
I want to know the difference. I want to know what’s important and what isn’t. Don’t you?
Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. John 14:21
“All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.” John 14:23–24
And He promised:
“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
I love Jesus. I want to know His commands and obey them.
I want people to see the blessings of Jesus in my life and want what I have.
I want them to know the blessings of loving Jesus, too.
Are you ready to ASK hard questions, to SEEK God’s will, and KNOCK on the door that Jesus will open … the one that leads to blessed freedom, joy, peace, love, and so much more?
Leave your prayer requests…
and stop to pray one or two of the requests listed.
Subscribe to Blog via Email
I LOVE hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts in the comments below.
And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…
Pray for me to hear God’s word more clearly. I am seeking financial solutions. Financial and relationship solutions. Just feeling very lost in life after divorce and loss of jobs. Since I was baptized 3 years ago I have been in a downward spiral and am trying to understand it all.
Thank you for your prayers
I’m so sorry, Cathy! That is so hard! I’m adding you to my prayers … asking God to go before you and pave the way for new blessings and opportunities. May He cover you and bless you as you continue to follow and serve Him.
Love this, Deb! May we follow Him and obey Him out of love!
Amen, Melanie! Thank you!
Obedience and love . . . that’s all God has ever wanted from us. So looking forward to exploring the hard questions with you, Deb.
Thank you, Martha! Asking God for His guidance and truth! The one thing I know is that there is so much I don’t know. I so love knowing the One who does have the answers we so desperately need! God’s blessings, my friend!
I’ve read this twice Deb. When you first posted it, and again today. I thank Jesus for you! I can’t read this without crying. You have such a “gift” from God to write, inspire, make me want to do MORE for my King and I just want you to know this. God bless you and your ministry!!!
Cheryl, thank you so much for your kind encouragement. Being able to share God’s love in this place is one of my greatest blessings. It is humbling. I just want to share His love and encourage people to know Him better and love Him more. Your comment blesses me more than you know!
Sometimes all we can do is ask God the hard questions and wait obediently until He reveals them to us.
He is God , the Giver of Life, blessings , and peace!
Amen, Diana! Thank you!
I look forward to following along on this journey with you, Deb. I’ve been pondering many of the same questions myself. It seems a balance is needed between grace and law–overemphasizing grace does a disservice to how we live for the Lord in this dark world. Likewise, overemphasizing law becomes legalism.
If we love God, we’ll obey Him. Obedience seems to be important even in the New Covenant.
Love this post Deb, sometimes people don’t seek because they are afraid of the answer. But it is only in those hard places where we grow in Christ. I pinned this post to share with our Living Our Priorities community. Stopping by from By His Grace bloggers.
Thank you so much, Timberley! I’ve never been one who like to do things just because they’ve always been done that way. And lately, I just want to know God’s will and learn His truth. So, I’m seeking because I’m confident His way is best! God bless you!!
Deb. I’ve read so many things that you’ve wrote and have been so blessed by them. I really didn’t know how to correspond with you about this subject except through here. I have Pinterest but no other social media.
Can you please send me something on how to pray without ceasing? At your convenience of course. Thanks and God bless you Sister.
Cheryl, I sent you a private message but just in case others are wondering … I wrote a post about Practicing the Presence of God and another about the 4 R’s of Prayer. Also my Pinterest Best of Counting My Blessings Prayer Section has a number of posts on spending time with God in prayer. Thanks so much for your sweet words of encouragement. God bless you!
Thanks so much Deb and have a relaxing, blessed weekend! God bless
love this post! If we love God then we would obey Him. Often our lives seem like it’s going in a downward spiral is it God’s will or are we living based on our own understanding not realizing that once you become a disciple of Christ it is His will for your life that should be working so all other things will work for your good. my two cents! and it so happens I did a post about love and I’m currently doing another!
I agree, Jiselle! As I read the Old Testament Prophets, I keep asking myself if we are failing to obey God simply because of tradition or customs. I want to know what’s important to Him – not to earn His favor but because I love Him. I loved your post! Thanks for telling us about it! God bless you!
I think there are those who are loving the Lord – not perfectly, of course, because we’re human. But as a whole, American Christianity has taken a turn toward following tradition, perhaps THINKING they are following the Lord, but sadly mistaken.
This looks like a good series! May the Lord bless you with many readers whose hearts are tender and ready to receive the word of God and walk in obedience to Him.
I just finished re-reading Jeremiah with my husband. The entire book resonated with us as well – we are poised in the same position as ancient Israel, and it grieves me. I know how much more it must grieve God, who sees everything. And it seems to me that most of the people who claim to belong to the Lord are asleep, blindly following the dictates of this evil culture, and/or blindly following the shepherds who are leading them off a cliff.
I don’t know what to do except pray. I’m praying that the events that are just beginning to happen on the earth would wake people up. That they would see that judgment has already begun. That it’s not “climate change” but God shaking everything asHe promised He would in his word. I pray that people who call themselves followers of Christ would repent and come back to their first love so that they don’t get spewed out of His mouth. I pray that we would all eliminate man’s teaching and have discernment to know the difference between man’s theology and Gods Truth.
Thank you for writing this. You wrote it much more graciously than I can manage to do. I am having trouble weeping for this nation. I believe we may have already passed the tipping point. The preachers and prophets in the public eye seems to be preaching health and wealth, approving of what is evil and not binding up the broken-hearted. We work quietly behind the scenes doing these things. But it’s not enough. Pray the lord of the harvest bring workers into the harvest – for the workers are few. Blessings on you my dear. May the lord continue to open your eyes and give you discernment. Pray for this country. I believe persecution is coming. It will light a fire under the complacent and separate the sheep from the goats. Make no large purchases and save what money you can, now. Prices are about to start going up. The lord revealed this to my husband and my spirit is in agreement.
– Kathy b.
I join you in praying for our country and for the world. I’m currently reading the lessons of the kings in the Old Testament and there are many to learn about trusting God and obeying His will. Praying that by His grace He will strengthen His children and that we will grow in closer to Him each day. I find that I am growing more hopeful as I see the large groups of young people gathering for revival. I do believe He is still able to transform hearts and minds. God bless you!