Love and Duty

It is interesting to see how Jesus lived in relation to “the church”. He didn’t seem to institute anything. What he did do was remove all the law, every commandment, every rule, and then He replaced them in John 13:35 with “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; according as I did love you, that you also love one another”.

In that one command I do not see:
  1. Go to church every Sunday
  2. Read your bible every day
  3. Pray before every meal
  4. Talk to your neighbor about Jesus
  5. Give 10% to the poor/church/needy
  6. Etc., etc….

That is kind of what I’ve been seeing with what is now promised. I do not see love as being an action anymore. I’ve always been told that love is doing what you should for a person no matter how you feel about them. That is not love but duty. Sure there is value in duty, but that is the law, not the love Jesus commanded.

I never thought to look at the definition of love to prove that, but here it is: to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly”. You cannot do a duty dearly. You can be fond of a duty, but He wants us to be fond of people.

Back to the commands I said I don’t see, when you love someone, those things and more will flow abundantly out, much more than any rule could accomplish.

  1. Go to church every Sunday – instead you will be with others daily (Act 2:46)
  2. Read your bible every day – you will continue in His word (Act 17:11)
  3. Pray before every meal –  you will eat in thanksgiving to the Father (Rom 14:6)
  4. Talk to your neighbor about Jesus – You won’t be able to hide the light shining (Mat 5:14)
  5. Give 10% to the poor/church/needy – You will give 100% if needed, no one will lack (Act 4:34)

The rules actually tie our hands to the full potential of God’s love! The institution puts bounds on and limits what we can see as love. What happens too is that the actions get negated because they lack love( 1Cr 13:1-3), without love it is nothing.

I think the early disciples knew this and that is why the book of Acts looks so different. Instead of building each other up in love, we focus on the rules and build each other up in performance, and then we become nothing without the love. Build up love, and the performance will take care of itself.

And since God is love, guess who is actually taking care of the performance… yep, God. That is why we go beyond the law when we live in love for one another, because God is doing it. We cannot accomplish the law. We cannot go beyond the rules by ourselves, without love, because then we are trying to do it without God. Only God can get us there.

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7 Responses to Love and Duty

  1. Bud Ezekiel says:

    …i found this post to be interesting especially since i’m in the process of looking for fellowship. please note that i didn’t say church:) guess you could say i’ve been living in a cave for well over a decade. i love “my neighbor” but it’s only from a safe distance. …will visit you again.

  2. Thanks for the comment Bud,

    Its hard to get the word “church” out of my head. I’m stuck in a cave too, except mine is a little building where about 50 people meet on Sunday. And I have no evidence that I love my neighbor, even from a distance.

    I feel closer to searching for more fellowship, instead of just “playing church”. Some of that is growing within the group I meet with, but the root of everything right now is in what I’m learning about our Father. Seeing Him through the life of Jesus.

    He is transforming how I think.

  3. Bud Ezekiel says:

    well Sol,

    i’ve been out of church for about 15 years. when somebody comes to mind, i pray for the. i don’t tithe to a church but instead tithe to needs. when and wherever that might be or whenever God puts it into my heart to do so. His promise(Bible) is that i would have no need for others to teach me. there are those that condemn me for my beliefs just as much as there are those that would herd me right into a church. i think of you and me as being part of the church. again, i stand on His Word. where two or three are gathered in my name, there I AM amongst them. those with their PediGREED papers in hand and a title in front of their names would argue my interpretation of what GOD says in His Word. i’m going to go find fellowship….but not a church. you and i are the church.

  4. I happen to agree with you. It’s a hard step to take though. Lately I’ve been feeling more and more disconnected with the group I meet with, but I don’t know if that is God helping get away, or if it from my own depression and stresses of life right now, or both.

    I do get caught “needing” others a lot, though I know I need to be looking for those things from my Father.

    I want fellowship too, with people who will be with me a family, not an organization with weekly meetings and rules.

    I feel like the group I’m with is probably closer than most, but we are still bogged down by the organization that’s been created. Its like a monster we have to feed, and you don’t have enough left over (emotions, spirit, time, money) for the things that really matter.

    Thanks for the comments, they are a real help to me. Hearing about what you do, I wonder if I am fighting a loosing battle, trying to hold myself in with the institutional church, no matter how much I love people in that group. I guess I can continue loving them without joining them in those four walls.

    But can they continue loving me…

  5. Bud Ezekiel says:

    well Sol,

    right now i’m in a battle that i’ve been avoiding for a long, long time it seems. just coming out of a long period of depression. dealing with anger of something that i can’t have. (death) am also realizing that the ten commandments don’t mean a thing although i’ve broken most of them. we are judged by others because of that law and it. in the same token, i judge others because i don’t see evidence of the new law that Jesus gave us. but i also fail our Father and His Son because i don’t know nor have i been able to grasp hold of the two new commandments that the Lord has given us. i love our Father, but i don’t love others in the manner that i should. FREELY. was just thinking about the verse. “i can do ALL things THRU Christ WHO strengthens me. i’m not capable of loving others as i should. i judge and condemn. my worst enemy is pride. Jesus is my best Friend and yours too. apart from Him, we’re useless. HE is the ANSWER:) He is the door that we have to pass thru. without Him we couldn’t enter into the throne room of grace and mercy and ask our Father for anything. btw…i’m just a nobody and don’t have a ministry nor a position. not looking for any either. don’t know why or for what purpose that i’m here. trying to get the idea/fact settled into my heart that i already have eternal life and this place is just temporal. maybe He is just trying to teach us both what those two greater commandments really mean. but not for ourselves. only for Him and His glory. it’s not an easy path in my strength…..

  6. Bud Ezekiel says:

    btw…used to think i could walk alone without others. i’m prone to taking detours and avoiding people. but our Father keeps putting brothers and sisters in my path that i’ve needed. a few month’s ago i gave up on life and our Father put a sister in my path that literally saved my life. even now, her blog continues to keep me fed. it’s like a rich pasture. plus there’s a pastor in Alaska that posts podcasts of his sermons that i have downloaded. there’s others here in blog land that i follow. i need others too and i can’t do this alone. but i keep trying to do it alone. IMPOSSIBLE!!! we all have need of each other, Sol. it’s a lesson i keep learning over and over again. our Father wants to move me closer to Him AND others. you have no idea how difficult this is for me. he doesn’t want me to be a spiritual hermit.

  7. You mentioned two commandments given by Jesus. I’ve been reading a book that gives a whole different light to those commands, to me anyway. If you read Mark 12:28-34, with Matthew 22:40 “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Then you can look at Romans 6, verse 14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace”.

    I think Jesus was talking about the old covenant. He talks about the new covenant in John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another”.

    I know I’m sounding like I’m pushing some theology (I’m not because I know I could be wrong about all of that), but what I feel like it comes down to is this, Jesus fulfilled the law for us, now seeing His love for us, we are free to love others instead of trying to stick with a law. I think even those two commands have gone away with the law.

    Loving others without the law is difficult in “church” buildings. The organization has to rely on rules, which is what I think Jesus fulfilled. Remove those, let the law stay fulfilled and it will allow you to just simply love like Jesus loved. He loved people, great or small, whitewashed or filthy, broken and even shattered. And He transforms them.

    Without the law we can learn to BE loved by God.

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