Acting on Love

If you love Me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

 When our kids were growing up, we tried to teach them that the “right” choice was the right choice, and it’s always right to do what’s right. But what compels us to be righteous? I am assuming that most people reading this desire to grow both personally, and especially spiritually, which of course includes increasing in righteousness.

But what is the motivation that urges us to fight against our own selfish desires in order to do what’s right? Maybe it is guilt, or fear, or even a compliant personality. If we are living in the saving grace, we already have been forgiven of our iniquities—past, present , and future. Guilt or fear of punishment is unnecessary. So what’s the provocation?

Just as a parent or loving spouse often acts unselfishly out of love, it’s exciting to think that the driving force that may be urging us to “keep My commandments” is the outpouring of the love that we invited into our heart by faith.

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4 thoughts on “Acting on Love”

  1. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are Godʼs handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
    Eph 2:8‭-‬10 NIV

    We cannot do anything good on our own. Just as grace and Faith are a gift from God, so is the ability to do good works. That ability is given to us by God through our faith in Jesus which compels us to do good. It is confusing though. We see people who are not christians appearing to do good works. Is it motive that makes our deeds good? But in Isaiah it says all our good deeds are worthless.
    Perhaps we don’t really know what good works are according to God. Or maybe that is something yet to come. We are created to do good works, but maybe we haven’t gotten that far yet. The more you think about it, the more confusing it gets.

    Imagine what real goodness must be like.

    All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
    Isaiah 64:6 NIV

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    1. That’s a lot to ponder, especially when you think of someone like Mother Teresa. But don’t forget that everything good comes from God. Even though our righteousness may not measure up, our good works can be worthwhile (although not for salvation). I think you’re right–our faith does compel us to do good.

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  2. That is a good example of what I mean. You look at someone like mother Teresa and all the good that she has done, then you look at Isaiah 64:6 and you have to wonder if we are missing something. But as you said, everything good comes from God. So any good that we can possibly do must come to us through God by the Holy Spirit. So our good works are not deeds of our own, being that they come from God, which would explain Isaiah 64:6. For the Holy Spirit dwells in everyone at this time, Christian or not. Hmm, now I have more to ponder. This is getting deep.

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  3. I look at myself as living at a time of the resurrected Jesus Christ. Isaiah was living back in the days when Israel was under the law. Jesus Christ had not come and died for our sins at that time. Because I believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ paid for my sin, I am motivated to do good works out of love for him. If I try to do good works before receiving His salvation in order to receive salvation, it is all for nought and is like filthy rags.

    You bring up some very good and thoughtful points.

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