Obedience out of love

A friend and I are going through the book You Can Change. This is the second time through the book for me and the first time for my friend. We are both working on the same “change project” which has worked out well for us as we hold each other accountable and check in often. This morning as I was reading chapter 3 and journaling the thoughts that came to mind, this section really stuck out, in fact I remember it sticking out before.

It means we need a kind of re-conversation each day. The first of Marin Luther’s famous Nintey-Five theses was this: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Each day we turn a fresh in faith and repentance towards God. We rediscover our first love all over again so that we’re not tempted to engage in spiritual adultery. “The key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel.”

You Can Change – Tim Chester

What I love about this section is that it’s hits the nail right on the head. This is my experience. No matter what I face in life, the quality of my relationship with God dictates everything. If I am struggling with sin, it’s not my resolve, it’s not a routine, it’s not even a single experience or an “aha” moment that enables me to stop sinning. It’s the relationship. When I am praying and I am reading the Word and my relationship with God is alive, there is the understanding that I will lose these things, not because I am being punished or I have to keep them up so God is not mad at me, but because sin damages that relationship. Sin damages all relationships. It’s not about performance, it’s about love. I don’t run from my father when I have done something wrong, I run to him. For me that’s the emotional phrasing of “The key to continual and deeper spiritual renewal and revival is the continual re-discovery of the gospel.”

What is the Gospel?

“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

Tim Keller

So amazing. No matter what you or I have done, or what we are doing now, we can can turn to God, the creator of the universe and the lover of our souls, and repent. Repent because the Gospel says we are loved and accepted by God through Jesus. Repent because of the love He has for us and the love we have for him. We don’t need to obey him out of fear or in hopes of earning his love, we obey him because we love him!

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