God’s Love is Not Transactional
I once attended a special Sunday service at CCF Eastwood. Of course every Sunday is special but that day, it was extra special because of the speaker. The message was brought by the Apologist, Jose Philip of RZIM ASIA and I was so blessed to hear it first hand and not through a video or anything. He talked about giving full commitment to God’s love. He did not have any slides and he spoke right from his bible. His words got me convicted and made me think about my own commitment to our Father’s Love.
6 “These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, 2 and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. 3 Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 10 “The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. 11 The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land, 12 be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. 13 You must fear the Lord your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name. 14 “You must not worship any of the gods of neighboring nations, 15 for the Lord your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God. His anger will flare up against you, and he will wipe you from the face of the earth. 16 You must not test the Lord your God as you did when you complained at Massah. 17 You must diligently obey the commands of the Lord your God—all the laws and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the Lord swore to give your ancestors. 19 You will drive out all the enemies living in the land, just as the Lord said you would. 20 “In the future your children will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the Lord our God has commanded us to obey?’ 21 “Then you must tell them, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand. 22 The Lord did miraculous signs and wonders before our eyes, dealing terrifying blows against Egypt and Pharaoh and all his people. 23 He brought us out of Egypt so he could give us this land he had sworn to give our ancestors. 24 And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day. 25 For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us.’ Deuteronomy 6 NLT
Allow me to share my learning from his special message…
LOVE is the most used word in the English language and I would really say that to anything that goes beyond to my liking. As I listen to the special message, I did understand why the word ‘love’ as the most commonly used word is also the least understood word. As humans, we do have this instinct that if we love another person, he/she should also reciprocate the feeling or else, we would be fleeting from them and find another who will reciprocate. But how is it not applicable to God’s love for us? If you would kneel and you know God won’t bless you, will you still worship Him? Will you still love Him even if you know He won’t answer your prayer?
This had me thinking. Am I here just to receive the blessings from God? It gave me a pang of guilt that went straight to my heart that I SHOULD NOT be here just to pray, ask and receive. Instead, I SHOULD be here to share that love God gave me and doesn’t matter if I receive it back – it is also true that the more you understand how God loves you despite your sins, the more you can share that love with others.
It is a known struggle how I can engage my family in loving God. I am an only child, still living with my parents and I am the only believer in the family. Engaging the next generation is easier than influencing the past generations for they already have standards and experiences that made them believe in their own faith over the years. However, this message clearly shed a light on me on how could I engage others – and that is to Love God. People learn through examples and this is a calling for me to really show commitment to the Creator, to walk the talk, to live by example and to make them feel that my life is most fulfilled by the Grace of God. I won’t be afraid to tell others how my life had been before knowing Christ compared to my life now that I am walking with the Spirit. He is not my genie, He is my Father. My Testimony is enough to engage other people to know about Christ.
God is a God who knows our motives and He loves us dearly that He does not to hold it against us. God’s Love is not Transactional. There are no if-then statements, no lukewarm faith. His Grace demands that we obey.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say. Titus 2:11; 2:15 NLT
Truly, one day, when the Lord calls you to speak about Him, no matter how you do it, you can never say NO.