Thursday, July 24, 2014

The "Nike" Formula Part II

Nike Formula of Love ... "Shirt of Love"
  • Love God - You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  Deuteronomy 6:5
Can the people around you tell that you love God?  Have you not seen a boy playing or admiring his father and heard someone say, "He sure loves his Daddy."  Others ought to be able to look at us and say, "They sure do love their heavenly Daddy!"
  • Love Believers – For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 1 John 3:11
What exactly does this mean?  It means God loves you and I have to love you because I love God.  We do not get to choose who we love!  If we love God we are to love one another and if we love one another will love God.  Agape (self-sacrificing love) breaks down into:
  • God's Love for You and I
  • Our Love for God
  • Our Love for One Another
John is hard in his teaching about this.  He brings our love down to either being the children of God or the children of the devil. In 1 John 3:10 the children of God and the children of the devil are defined by obedience: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
How we love one another makes us distinctive from the world by . . .
  • Showing that we are disciples of Jesus Christ.  ("A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35)
  • Displaying how much we love God as His children.
Nike Formula of  Obedience ... "Cap of Obedience"
  • Obeying God's Commandments and keep His commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome1 John 5:2b-3 
God has always asked for obedience.  From the garden days of Adam and Eve to today with you and me, obedience is what God desires from His children.  Is our obedience to God characterized by joyfulness or "have-to-ness"?  I understand there are things I have to do, but does that mindset characterize the victory I have in Christ?  Joyful obedience is born out of a love for God, God's Son and God's Word.  Obedience to God is an outward manifestation of our love for Him.

A child on a sports field may or may not want his/her parents to watch.  If they feel their parent will only chide them for their errors and not rejoice in their accomplishments, they will wish their eyes were not on them.  But a child who knows his parents applaud them regardless of their mistakes and rejoices with them in their victories is pleased to have his parents watch.  God is watching…and that is a good thing.

Scripture to Claim:
…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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.   Hebrews 12:2

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