Monday, November 14, 2011

Need faith, try stepping off the plank!

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him  John 14:21

Recently, I've been reading through the  Gospels and  I've discovered something I never really considered before. Love, Obedience and Faith are all so intricately connected, that one cannot exist without the other.

  • You cannot love God and not obey Him. In fact John goes so far as to say that love itself is obeying God. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments  1 John 5:3
  • You cannot obey God unless you love Him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him 1 John 2:5
  • You do not have faith unless you obey God. Obedience is an expression of your faith in God. If you don't obey God, you neither believe in Him nor love Him.  
You see how they are all connected?  Keeping these three things in mind is a good way to check yourself in your Christian walk. If one of them is off, then chances are you've slipped off the narrow path. Too often we see people these days who profess to love God but their actions prove otherwise. They profess to have faith but when called to act on that faith, they cower in the corner.

Jesus always demanded action from those He called to follow Him. He never asked them to simply recite the sinner's prayer and then go about their business. Everyone He called, everyone He healed, He either rewarded them for stepping out in faith or He required them to step out in faith. What is interesting is that all of these people had very little faith at the time they encountered Jesus. Oh sure, they may have heard about Jesus, heard He was some kind of prophet, but their faith in Him as the Son of God was pretty much non-existent. In fact, most of Jesus's own disciples didn't even truly believe He was God until after His ressurection. 

But they obeyed the call of Jesus and their faith started to grow with that very first step. As the great theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, "the response of the disciples is an act of obedience not a confession of faith. Only he who is obedient can believe. . .For faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience.

Do you find yourself lacking in faith? Try obeying Jesus and stepping out of the boat!


  1. Mon Nov 14th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Thanks so much for sharing yet 'another timely Word in due season' !
    I appreciated you explaining how -- love, obedience and faith are "intricately connected". Of the three ... I find it easier to love God; being obedient - a tad more challenging; and the faith to 'step out of the boat' ... that one can be very difficult ! Rewarding - yes, but easy - no.
    "Lord ... help me not only to love You, but to be obedient, and, to have enough faith ... to 'step out of the boat' !"
    Thanks for sharing, MaryLu.
    Hope all is well.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. I love it! And I love the picture that you added to it. Other than a couple of misspellings, it is perfect for the devotional as is. Even the title is perfect! Great Job! And I totally agree with you. So many people think that once they give their hearts to Christ, that's it, their in. But, God doesn't want us to just sit back and wait, He wants us to do what we were put here to do, to bring others to Him. We need to 'continue' to step out in faith and not 'cower' in the corner. I pray you're feeling. better!

  3. Thanks Brenda! I think we all struggle with the stepping out in faith part! It's not easy. May God grant you the courage to leap onto the water.. and walk!!

    Yes, Debbie, I'm trying to make these more nautical in theme. (whoops sorry about the spelling. That's me without a spell checker!!_ LOL God bless!

  4. Thanks for posting this, MaryLu - it really "clicked" in my brain. I've always found the love and faith aspects to be easy, but now that I see how interrconnected the three components are, now it makes complete sense why my entire walk feels off when I'm struggling with just a bit of obedience.

    (Sorry I've been away from your blog for a while - college is keeping me crazy busy! :-P But I'm back now! :-))

  5. Hi Sapphire! Nice to hear from you. :-) We are all busy, so drop in whenever you have time. No worries. Glad the post helped you!! God Bless!

  6. I love this post. I helps a lot-more than yo know. Sometimes it seems that whenever I try to do something right, I end up doing something wrong. I think Paul said something about experiencing the same thing. But I keep trying. That's what counts, right? That even when we do wrong, we keep trying to do right.

  7. Absolutely, Eszter! God knows your heart. We are going to be making mistakes until the day we die because we each have a sinful nature. With God's help and His Spirit within us, we should get better with time. But if you truly want to obey and follow the Lord, that is all that matters. Rely on His strength to help you do the right thing next time. If you fall flat on your face, get up, repent, and move forward again.