C. True Discipline within the life – These people are changing in their lives because they love the Lord and want to please HIM! This is how we should be all the time but aren’t.
Jn. 14:15, 21, 23, “If ye love me, keep my commandments…He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Jn. 15:9-16, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
These verses show that if we truly love the Lord then we will want to obey Him and keep His commandments. What are the two commandments that sum up all the law and the prophets? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, soul and mind is the first one.
The first commandment deals with our relationship to God and our response to Him. We’ve been going over catechisms with our children and one of the questions goes something like this, “What do the Scriptures principally teach?”
The answer responds in this manner, “The Scriptures principally teach what man is supposed to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man.” We are expected to have a relationship with God if we are true believers and we cannot have one if we are not being renewed in our minds daily.
What is the second commandment? Love your neighbour as yourself. If you notice the Bible doesn’t say that you must learn to love yourself before you can love your neighbour. That is taking Scripture out of context. All people automatically love themselves and you can tell by how selfish they are. But, you protest, what about those people who want to commit suicide? What about those people who never bathe or drug addicts, or…? You can fill in the blank with any thing else and the same reply will be, “They are being extremely selfish and want only to please themselves!” Take the person who commits suicide…they are being selfish because they think that they can’t endure life anymore with all it’s problems and so they kill themselves to end their life. What about their family and friends? What pain and anguish is left behind when they do this! As we look at these verses, we realize that we will love others before ourselves and seek to do what Philippians 2:3- 4 tells us, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” So much for the “love yourself” demonic doctrine that’s floating around in the church these days! This second commandment deals with our relationship with those around us! How important it is to keep both relationships right for in so doing we will be obedient and in submission to God’s will.
Rom. 6:18-19, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”
1 Cor. 9:25-27, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainlly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Eph. 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
2 Tim. 4:8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Heb. 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
1 Jn. 2:3-6, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
1 Jn. 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
1 Jn. 5:3, “For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
2 Jn. 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”
Let’s take a look at these verses and find out some important elements:
- How we know if we truly love the Lord – Jn. 14:15, 21, 23; Jn. 15:9-16; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; 1 Jn. 5:3
- The results in our life if we love the Lord – Rom. 6:18-19; Eph. 5:2; 2 Tim. 4:8; James 1:12; 2 Jn. 1:6
- What we need to be careful of if we do love the Lord – 1 Cor. 9:25-27
- Who is watching us and how we will respond if we do love the Lord – Heb. 12:1-2; 1 Jn. 3:16
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself and others around you. Find a godly lady you can be accountable to and who desires to be accountable to you. This must be someone you know who will share the good, the bad and the ugly of your life in a loving manner. They must also be willing to listen and desire to change in their life just as you must be willing to change in your life.
- Do you seek to please the Lord in every area of life or is it too much effort?
- If there is not true discipline within your life, what do you think would be the reason for not loving the Lord and desiring to please Him?
- Which of these reasons for lack of discipline would you say is keeping you from being totally obedient to the Lord?
- Where has the Lord convicted your heart about changing?
- In what way can you work on this area so that you will begin changing to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ?
- Would you be willing to be accountable in this area so that you can grow?
I pray the Lord will use this in your life as you seek to follow Him.