John 15:9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
17 This is my command: Love each other.
Jesus Christ spoke the words above. We are God’s creation and we are to respect and obey Him, but many times our perception of Him is shortsighted and too narrow. We have a tendency to speak to Him and about Him in a formal and distant manner.
Why did God create us in the first place? He wanted relationship with mankind. Before sin entered the picture, He used to walk in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and visit with them. We forget many times the very reason for our existence. God created us to be His friends. He wanted a family.
Think of your own close friends. You make time for them and spend time with them. You tell them your desires, your hopes, your dreams, and your interests. If we communicated with them the way we communicate with God, would they still be our close friends? So many people think of God as the Big Judge up in the sky ready to smack us on top of our heads with the Bible – any time we make a mistake.
God is not that way! He disciplines His children when we need it, but most of the time he yearns and desires our fellowship and time spent with Him. He created us with a purpose and when we began to walk in the purpose that He intended, He showers us with his approval. From Romans chapter 8, we feel his presence in our lives. As we mature and learn how much He loves us, we just want to please Him with the way we live.
Again if we treated our close friends with the aloofness and formality that we treat God – would they still even be our friends? We need to stop playing games with God and be honest and truthful with Him and ourselves.
Hebrews 11: 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
People just don’t trust. They think they have to manipulate God or the situation because they think God won’t have the outcome that they desire. So many times God has a much better outcome in mind for the situation than they can perceive or imagine. God has so much patience in dealing with frustrating humans. People will read many books, but they won’t read through to the Bible one time to learn more about their creator who loves them.
Look at the second part of the verse: anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
A part of saving faith is to believe that He cares for and rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Do we believe that? Do we act like that? The scripture says that we must believe that! We need to remember that He loves His children and rewards them with blessings. He is not just a big disciplinarian in the sky with a paddle to wack us, He loves his children and gives us wonderful gifts (Matt. 7:9-11)
There is no sense of fulfillment, blessing, or satisfaction, that comes close to what we feel when serving and being a friend of our Creator. He is our Creator - He knows how we feel, He knows how we tick, He knows what gives us joy! When we are fulfilling His purpose for our lives, we glow! Do we believe that? According to scripture we should. We will have problems through life. Suffering in this world is because of sin. God allows it and uses it to draw His children closer to Him and to build character.
There is no substitute for time spent in studying the Bible, and in talking with Him in prayer. If we believe that, then we will spend more time doing it. Do we like to suffer needlessly? Why will we not spend the effort to stop the hurting and seek understanding?
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
The content of the gospel is God’s offer to forgive you and give you a permanent place in his family. His offer shows his love and kindness. The Bible sometimes uses the word “grace” in the place of those terms. Since there is no greater power, God wasn’t coerced into the offer. No one is twisting his arm. He offers you salvation because he wants you. All he asks is that you believe. That is the Good News of the Gospel. Why do we need the gospel? Because without it, we have no hope of everlasting life with God. Zero. We are estranged from God because of sin. Believing the gospel is the remedy.