Love God and keep His commands for this is the whole duty of man
We fear God for He is God. His Power and His ways are so different to ours. He Himself has told us to love the Lord your God as God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8 'The Lord did not set His love on or choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all people. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your ancestors.'
Deuteronomy 7:9 'Know then that the Lord your God is God. He is the faithful God keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations who love Him and keep His commandments.'
Romans 5:8 'God shows his love for us in that while we we still sinners Christ died for us.'
A sinner is one that turns away from God and goes his own way. He is dead and lost. God out of love acted to bring sinners back to Himself.
Romans 8:29 'Those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.'
Proginosco / foreknew means "to regard with love or set His love upon". Out of love God chose undeserving sinners to be like Jesus. Grace teaches that we did not deserve that love.
(God given faith) it is the gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast.'
We're bringing nothing to the realm of salvation apart from ourselves. God works in His elect to cause them to respond because they are helpless. They are dead in sin and lost.
That is what the father said about his son that returned. He returned because the alternative was death. His only hope was in the character of the man he once called father who treated his servants generously.
When he returned he had little covering to hide his condition. No sandals showed he was a slave. No ring meant he belonged to nobody. No sound or song of rejoicing because he had lost everything. He had lost what he had been given. He had lost a relationship with his father. He had lost his position playing a role in the family.
The Father dealt with every aspect of the sons failure. The Father acted out of love.
The Father humbled Himself by running down the road before the lost son arrived.
God acts before we respond. The Father embraced the man as He would a son and showered him with kisses. The Father never spoke to the son because He did not want to embarrass him or question why he was in that condition or lost everything. Just like Jesus who welcomes sinners and eats with them. No mention of their past. Like He stayed in Zacchaeus’ home Luke 19. Sinners liked to be with Jesus, because He never found fault with them but His presence prompted them to change their behaviour and actions.
The father had sandals placed on his son’s feet. To show that he was no longer a slave but a son.
A seal ring was given to the son showing that the father out of love trusted that in the future the son would act just as if the father was present.
The father had the fatted calf killed so that reconciliation could take place between the returned son and the family during a time of rejoicing.
The father brought into the life of his adopted son the sound of rejoicing.
Why adopted? The son taking his portion of the estate stated he was no longer a son and the father no longer his father. So the father did everything to make possible the restored relationship through adoption.
(Jews and Arabs do not usually adopt strangers as it would complicate the estate. They might adopt relatives as in the case of Mordecai and Esther.)
All of the above facts indicates just how much our Father in heaven loves sinners and is determined to bring them into a relationship of love with Himself. He does everything that is required.
Imagine what it means in your life:
Jesus welcomes sinners. He says to them: You are with My family, relax and see yourself as a member of My family and make your needs known as such a member.
He says to them “Everything I have is yours. Ask and you will receive.”
You will experience God’s embrace. His presence will surround you. He will never leave you. God will express His love to you and show that love, in the way He deals with you.
? A sign of being a member of His family. There are other signs to that effect.
: You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. You belong to the Father.
: Never see yourself as a slave but a family member willing to serve. To obey the Father. The Father’s robe is placed around you covering you, hiding your past and your shame. Isaiah 61:10 'He has clothed me with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness.' Not yours but His. It is the Father’s robe. We become the righteousness of God in Christ. The Father brings into your life the sound and songs of rejoicing.
It was not there before. It did not originate with you. The Father has begun to order your life and while you allow Him to continue to do that, you will not experience any disruption in your relationship.
Your part thereafter must be to allow the Father to do as He chooses with your life. He will do it out of love. Even His discipline will reveal His love.
'He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him' Isaiah 64:4
The Father brings you into His banqueting house and His banner over you is love. He wants you to rejoice and keep rejoicing and that new songs of rejoicing will fill your heart, because the Father always rejoices and those that listen to Him and do what He tells them to do will never cease to rejoice.
Letting God love you. After He has done so much for you, never bringing up the past, never reminding you of your failures but wanting you to fix your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, then the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. (It is the enemy of your soul the devil that tries to depress you by reminding you of all your failures and cause you to despair.)
Only what God does in you will bring about change. Rely not on yourself or others. Have faith in God. The just shall live by faith. They will discover that God is able to do more abundantly above all they ask or think.
Philippians 1:6 'He who has begun a good work in you will bring it to completion.'
When you sin or are made aware of it, confess it to the Lord and accept that His blood covers that. Where possible rectify a matter if it has caused another harm.
God loves you as much as He loves His Son. He sees you as in Him clothed with His righteousness. He sees that you died to the way you used to live and that happened when God worked His faith in you and you saw Jesus as having died just for your sin. Now you you are alive in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 'Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all and thus all died. And He died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised again.'
1 John 2:1-2 'If anyone does sin we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.'
How much are we loved? Jeremiah 31:3 We are loved with an everlasting love.
The Father loves us as much as He loves His Son John 17:23
Why should God love us? We are His creation. He wants us to belong to him alone.
He loves us because He loves us. The reason is found in Him because of who He is.
God does not see the sin stained creation but what the finished product will look like after He has accomplished the work of making you a new creation. Old things are passed away everything has become new.
God chose us before we were born Romans 9:11-13 'Before the twins were born or had done any thing good or bad, in order that God’s purpose in election might stand not by works but by Him who calls. The older will serve the younger. As it is written "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."'
Ephesians 1:4 'He chose us in Him before the creation of the world that we should be holy and blameless in His sight.' 1 John 4:19 'We love because He first loved us.'
We hinder the love of God for us when we try to get His approval by good works. Many would one day try to prove their love for God by what they did. When God does a work in a person it will endure for ever, nothing can be added or taken from it Ecclesiastes 3:14
We stop experiencing the love of God when we deliberately stop walking in the light. 1 John 1:7
We need the fellowship/presence of the Father, the cleansing blood of the Lamb, Jesus.
Acknowledge when you go astray and go your own way. Believe God’s promise that when you admit your sin He forgives you, because the blood of Jesus shed covers that. Accept you are forgiven. Be honest with yourself and with God.
Every day: Hebrews 4:16 'Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.'
1 John 4:16 'We know and rely on the love God has for us. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him.'
1 John 3:20 'If our hearts condemn us God is greater than our hearts.'
Psalm 103:14 'He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.' Psalm 103:10 'He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.'
The psalmist when he was depressed spoke to himself, because there are times when we should preach to ourselves about the facts. He said, "Why are you downcast O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope thou in God. I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God."
We need to shake ourselves and remember how God has dealt with us in the past and revealed His nature.
When we praise God in spite of how we feel we exercise faith in Him that brings Him pleasure.
Allow the Holy Spirit to have freedom to remind you of actions you can take. Let Him be in control.
God loves you, blemishes and all. Your body tells you, you are not perfect.
My son told me, ”Do not sweat the small stuff.” God sees the big picture. He sees the heart. He sees the motive.
He sees what the life, death and resurrection of Jesus has accomplished in the lives of people yielded to Him.