Living Beyond the Command

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A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day – August 5, 2019

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18).

As Christians, we must not be actors. We must be the real thing. An actor is only a representation of the true image. But an actor is not the true image. Let me explain. In the movie, The Ten Commandments, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the actor who played the part of Moses in this internationally acclaimed movie was Charlton Heston. He dressed up like Moses. He said the things that Moses said. He portrayed the actions and the essence of Moses for the wide screen. But one thing we know for sure – Charlton Heston was not Moses. He was only an actor pretending to be something that, in reality, he was not.

The Bible tells us in 1 John 3:18 that when we love, we are not to act like we love, but we must love in truth. We know that Jesus commanded us to love. He said in Mark 12:29-31 that there was no commandment greater than for us to love one another in the same way He loved us. This is a commandment and to obey this commandment is honorable. But we must grow in God’s love to the extent that we are not doing it because it is a command, but we love out of the fullness of the love that is in our heart.

Ephesians 5:1 tells us that we are to be like God. God created us in His image and He wants us to be like Him (Genesis 1:26). God Himself is love. He is not full of hate, envy, or strife. He does not murder nor is He the destroyer. He is full of love and compassion and expects us to be just like Him.

I have nine grandchildren. As a good grandfather, I have taught my grandchildren to love. But it warms my heart so much when they come to me and say, “I love you, Grandpa.” And when they go to each other and give each other a hug without my instructions, it pleases me to see them love out of their heart instead of only being obedient to a command.

Yes, it is true that as Christians we are commanded to love, but it warms the Father’s heart to see His children walk in love on their own as a result of the love of God that has been shed abroad in their hearts.



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