Jesus said the greatest commandment is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind and with all your strength” So, what does it mean to love God? God has given us observable indicators that show demonstrated evidence of our love for Him or lack of love for Him.
There is considerable Scripture dedicated to imploring believers to strive for living in purity and righteousness in their daily walk with Christ. Regrettably, this teaching is often overlooked in many church gatherings today. Yet, for a believer’s joy and spiritual growth, it is vital to stress the importance in striving to live holy, upright, godly lives.
There’s a familiar saying that to be justified in Christ is to be “just if I’d” never sinned. But, justification is much deeper than that and believers need to remember that our justification came at a great expense. In Christ, we are justified, or declared guiltless—not because it is as if we had never sinned, but because our guilt was inferred upon Christ, who died for us.
In the book of James, believers are reminded that good works ought to accompany genuine faith. We can rest in absolute assurance, that our salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone and not by works. But, too, genuine faith in Christ will absolutely not let us rest from serving others for their betterment and Jesus’ glory.
As a Christian, we should desire crowns of reward; although, our desire should not stem out of selfish motives. The reason we should desire any of the five crowns is so we can return these and lay them at the feet of Jesus. That’s where our motivation should be, to have treasure of true worth so we can lay at the feet of Jesus.
Matthew records that Jesus “took the bread and gave thanks” at the last supper (Matt. 26:26). To a gentile reader, this probably wouldn’t suggest any particular words that Jesus spoke. But to a Jew who is familiar with the Seder blessings it would imply Jesus speaking a specific Passover prayer of thanksgiving.
What is known as Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem while the crowd praised His worthiness, occurred on Israel’s “lamb selection day.” God was working His plan for the salvation of man, even though the crowd was oblivious to what was right in front of them. That is, the true fulfillment of the Passover Lamb was in Jesus of Nazareth.
We are called to share the gospel, to become “fishers of men.” But it can be quite intimating, sometimes even fearful, to share the message of salvation through Jesus. In this study from Acts 4:1-13, we see Peter and John standing up for Jesus, regardless of their fear.