STEP FORWARD – 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Mark 3:3 NKJV
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11 NIV
2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. 1 John 5:2-3a NIV
Love is a great motivator. Look at a couple newly in love. The person who used to enjoy going to bed early is now staying up late. The person who never liked talking on the phone can now spend hours doing so. These things don’t seem like sacrifices to spend more time together!
Our God is above all. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He parted the Red Sea, conquered armies on behalf of His people, and fulfilled His promises over hundreds of years (and that was just one story!). Yet, He loves us. He is so personal! He paid our price. He reconciled us to Himself. He made us new and gave us new purpose.
We don’t obey to earn our salvation; we obey out of gratefulness for our salvation!
A line in an old hymn says, “Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” There is no offering we could bring that could compare to all He’s done for us. We can’t bring God flowers or buy Him chocolates to show Him we love Him. Instead, we obey. Obedience is how we show God we love Him in return. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15 ESV). We don’t obey to earn our salvation; we obey out of gratefulness for our salvation!
When we step forward in obedience in what we do, in what we say, and in what we feel, we are ultimately expressing our love to God. Out of the overflow of what is in our heart, we do what He wants…just like a couple in love.
– Thank God for all that He has done for you. Reminisce about when you were first saved and about what all you did out of love for Him. Pray that you would be excited about your love for Him again.
– Pray that the Liberty family would genuinely love God. Pray that He would be our highest priority. Pray that we would obey Him in the new tasks He’s given us, out of our love for Him.
– Pray that the people in Hampton Roads would come to love God. Ask God to open their hearts to the love He has for them. May many people see God’s love through Liberty Loves Hampton Roads, through our Connect Groups, and through opportunities that we individually have to minister to those around us.
Watts, Isaac. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Hymns and Spiritual Songs. 1707.