Seeking the Honor from God – Part Two
Seeking God’s Honor Continued
“Marvel not, my brethren,
if the world hate you”
1 John 3:13
If God is love, and love was the sole purpose of God sending His Son into this world, why did the world crucify him? Why the division, the animosity, and ensuing persecution throughout the ages?
“I am hated by it (the world),
because I give witness that what it does is evil”
John 7:7 (BBE)
The love of God necessitates truth. There can be no pure expression of love, God’s Love, apart from truth. I cannot love another purely and freely if I live to satisfy self. If there is within me the capacity to lie, to lust, to envy, or be jealous of another I am unable to know of the Love of God in any sense of fulness. The truth of God brings me to repentance and change. Without change I am unable to love another freely. The transformative work of the love of God within my heart compels me onward by the renewing of my mind.
The Pharisees hated Jesus for He did not conform to their oppressive rules and self-righteous platitudes. He testified of their evil ways, their pride and arrogancy. The Romans were fearful that He spoke of a coming Kingdom; they needed to preserve their tyrannical reign over the known world. Jesus and those who truly know Him are free from the systems of men whether religious or political.
It was the religious of that day who were ready to stone the woman taken in adultery. In His wisdom Jesus caused each man to drop the stones of their own indignation. His words of forgiveness and mercy to the woman were followed with “go and sin no more”. This interaction of Jesus reveals the heart of God! For her to remain in her present lifestyle would violate the love of God which is free from lust and impure desire. If we could only see the heart of Him who calls us to the Truth which makes us free, we would not ignore His invitation nor resent His uncompromising words.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Learning of Him (not just about Him), by virtue of relationship, we discover His peace and His purity of life. Without that relationship, men simply adapt a teaching that suits their own proclivities and taints their understanding of scripture. The slothful man will confirm his slothfulness. The angry man will find a reason to justify his anger. The contentious one will rationalize his belligerence. The proud will cloak their pride in false humility. The list is as endless as the brokenness of the human heart. Religion is a means to justify our behaviour but truth purifies and transforms our hearts.
Those who draw near to Him learn of Him through the power of relationship. When we see Him as He is we are ever being transformed by the dynamic of His Life. The untrue will always hate that which is true for it reveals the hypocrisy within.
Truth is simply God’s invitation to experience His Love and Life fully. The deeper our desire for freedom the greater will be our desire to receive and grow; an aspiration to receive honor from men excludes us from the honor which comes from God.
The Pharisees would exclude any who believed in Jesus. There were many others associated with the synagogues who “believed” in Jesus but because of their love of the “praises of men” failed to follow Him.
“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
God’s estimation of such is an insincere heart that results in an inability to grow in the freedom He offers.
“Blessed are the pure in heart
For they shall see God”
Purity of heart determines our seeing of God. If I live to please men, I become subject to their approval. If I live to please God I am free to serve and honor Him.
Paul declares to the Church at Galatia:
“for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ”
And again, he speaks of the true servant:
“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men…”
The undivided heart is free from loyalty to other things and thereby discovers the joy of the heavenly Father’s approval.
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am,
there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me,
him will my Father honour.”
Freedom from the fear and the opinions of men brings us to the spontaneity of a childlike faith.
“Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
Continued from: See Part One