Love Him or Leave Him

March 19, 2001

Love Him or Leave Him
John 14:15 – If ye love me, keep my commandments.

While driving home last week Veronica and I were listening to a minister on our car stereo.  He began to say “Hallelujah, in
this place,” and even through the stereo I could feel the anointing of
God.  I then said to Veronica, “baby….
that’s from a lifestyle and not a style.” 
What this brother in ministry was saying was not from something he had
learned in seminary, and it wasn’t a specific technique – it was from loving
God even when no one else was looking.

In our text, Jesus tells us that if we love Him we will keep His
commandments.  He doesn’t say, “if you
like me.”  Let’s be honest here.  We usually like people we can get “stuff”
from.  But we can’t say we really love
them because when they aren’t in the gift-giving mood we really don’t want to
put up with them.  Do we think of them
as much as they think of us?  Can we put
our agendas on hold long enough to give them some of our time?  Will we ever concern ourselves with their
wants over our own?

Now what if we put ourselves and Jesus in these equations and asked the same
questions?  I know that we are on His
mind constantly, but is He own ours constantly?  When we get cut off in traffic is our mind “stayed” on Jesus or
“stuck” on revenge?  I know that we all
know someone who would take the exact same route to work the next day at the
exact same time hoping the exact incident would happen again.  Why? 
Because he/she stayed up all night rehearsing what he/she should have done
and what he/she will do the next time! 
However, God’s commandment says in Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be ye angry,
and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”  But every now and then, we are face to face
with anger and are forced into a decision of loving God or leaving God.

I once heard a Christian say, “dem’ folks don’t want me to put Jesus in my pocket
for a little while.”  This person
actually wanted to leave Him for a little while and then love Him when she was
ready to.  But I see this as a very
dangerous act because our choice not to love God, even for one moment, may
hinder someone else from loving Him forever. 
This is not only for the older saints but for the younger ones as well.  Our biggest witness for Christ is our
lifestyles, so our lifestyles should be Christ-like not world-like.  Please do not misunderstand where we are
going here.  It’s fine for us to stand
up for ourselves when we’ve been wronged, but there is a Godly way to do
it.  It’s time to love Him and not leave

We shouldn’t be back-stabbers or backbiters when we’ve been done wrong or been
mistreated.  However, if we choose to
love revenge and not God then what does that say to our younger/newer Christian
counterparts?  Better yet, what does
this say to an unsaved person?  Does it
say, “We can lay down our salvation at anytime to fulfill the desires of our
flesh?  Forget that word of God stuff,
we can ask for forgiveness after we’ve ‘unloaded’ our minds!  It’s O.K. for us to do that over and over
again.”  Now does this sound like paths
of righteousness or roads to hypocrisy?

It really can’t be stressed enough how vital every Christian’s witness (lifestyle)
is, because this is most prevalent proof of Christ coming into our lives.   If there were no change then old friends
and relatives would say to you,  “Same
old Joe…. man you haven’t changed a bit…. 
Remember when we used ta’_______.” 
Instead, we feel so much better about ourselves and our walk with God
when the first thing those old friends say is, “Hey man… you sure
changed….  I don’t know what it is but
man…. you changed.”  The same holds
true for those new Christians looking for “living signposts” to help them in
their walks.  They need to see you
loving God when you’re in line at the phone company and they’ve messed up your
bill again!  They need to see you as the
Child of God in the office rather than the gossip or the crowd follower.

So there is no need to wait for that one shining moment to stand before thousands
and give that jaw dropping, eye popping sermon, testimony, or word of
encouragement.  God has placed us in
workplaces, schools, and even in one on one encounters simply for us to love
Him by showing faithfulness and diligence to His word.  And we are more than willing to love Him in
obedience, not because of what He has done but because of who He is — He is
more than worthy of our love, obedience and diligence to His word.  He is God and God alone!  We’ve wasted our love on temporal things and
trifling people, so now it’s time to Love that which lasts forever — Our God
and His word.