Love is the main motive. Devotional for Today. Jesus’ opponents used a simple formality: if you keep God’s commandments, you are a good person. If you don’t, you are a terrible person.
Superficially, it sounds logical. But the problem with this principle is that it doesn’t look at what a person feels in his heart. So, for example, maybe he hates God but keeps His commandments out of the fear.
Devotional for Today, October 2
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21)
We must understand that God’s commands in the Bible come from God’s love for people. He wants to protect us. He shows us which boundaries not to cross because it will have bad consequences for the man himself.
Devotional for every day here: Daily Devotional
In Jesus’ day, the scribes and Pharisees wanted people to obey God’s commandments by force. So they created a whole system of laws of their devising, down to the smallest detail, that tells you how to behave and what rituals to perform in worship to keep God’s commandments and to please God.
They have tried to convince people that God wants everyone to do exactly as they teach. But this is becoming like manipulation by religious leaders.
It is as if a man has been taken captive by the interpreters of Scripture. The slightest deviation from their teaching was called sin. It was punished by public condemnation.
Another problem with this system was that it did not matter what one thought in one’s heart or whether one believed what one did. The important thing was that everyone outwardly performed the rites correctly and formally observed the laws of the scribes.
Love is the Main Motive
Jesus, on the other hand, is saying what God’s attitude is and what he expects of people.
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!” (Ezekiel 33:11)
Man is free. And he is free to decide for himself to keep God’s commandments. The primary motive for this decision is love. Out of love for God, man keeps His commandments. And what he does is the truth and his inner position, not the outward expression.
Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, You are patiently waiting for us to respond, not just with words, but with the works of life. Lord, help me to make love the main reason for my actions. I want to serve You and keep Your commandments, not out of duty but out of love. Today I ask You in the name of Jesus. Amen.