- Nehemiah 9
- 1 John 2
God’s love and mercy is so incredible. Reading Nehemiah 9 is such a great reminder of how gracious our God is. The people of Israel were so stubborn. Even though God was merciful to them over and over, they still pursued their own desires over obeying God. But, even still, God never destroyed them, he didn’t abandoned them, he was patient and loving, forgiving them and continuing to pursue them.
Neh 9:29 says, “They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey.” This reminds me once again of Ted Tripp’s parenting “Circle of safety.” I never noticed how many correlations there are with how God deals with us and parenting! Study it out sometime.
1 John 2:3-6 continues this thought. “We can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. This is how we know we are living IN HIM. Those who say they live in God should live lives as Jesus did.” There is a clear correlation between love and obedience. God desperately loved the people of Israel, but clearly they didn’t love him. They loved their idols and their own desires more than God, and it was displayed by their disobedience.
Interesting that it’s in this context that we read the words of 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you….” It’s almost as if God is making a contrast here. We will either love God and that will be evident by our obedience, or we will love the world and our own desires. When we choose to love the world and our own desires, “you do not have the love of the Father in you.” What Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 is true, you cannot love 2 masters at the same time. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
- Continue to fall in love with Jesus
- Christ in you will grow to be the greatest treasure of your heart. (Matt 6:21; Phil 1:21)
- The things of this world will lose their attractiveness
- You will find abundant life through obedience (John 10:10; Neh 9:29)