There can be no relationship without communication. That communication may be verbal, written, sign language, Morris Code, smoke signal or some other medium. It can occur in person, by phone, via text, through email, by letter or social media. No matter the form, communication is essential for a relationship. And there is no greater relationship than our relationship with God. There is no greater communication tool for building our relationship with God than the Word of God.
Our connection to the Word is an indication of the strength of our relationship with God. The significance of the Word of God is wonderfully displayed in the conversation that Jesus has with His disciples in John 14. In John 14:21 Jesus says, “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" (NKJV). This verse provides us with challenging insights that will strengthen our connection with God through His word.
If we are going to have a strong connection with God, we must have a knowledge of the Word. It is the Word that reveals the will of God. Knowledge of the word is progressive. There are different degrees of knowledge of the word and there are different factors that contribute to our knowledge of the word, or lack thereof. Some people have not spent enough time in the word to know what the word says. It is impossible to have an accurate knowledge of God without knowing His word.
However, Jesus did not stop at knowledge. There is obedience to the Word. The giving of the Word demonstrates God’s love for us. Obedience to the Word demonstrates our love for God. Our desire for a relationship with God fuels our obedience to His word (see Psalm 119:11). It is important to note that it is not fear that should drive our obedience. Keeping the word and treasuring it in your heart means that you are responding to God out of love for Him, not out of fear of Him. Your level of commitment changes when your obedience to the word of God is based on love for God and not fear or convenience. Love changes the attitude behind your obedience and service to God. There is a positive cycle that goes on. Our love for God leads to obedience. Obedience leads to a deeper knowledge. Deeper knowledge leads to more love. Love leads to obedience. Obedience leads to a deeper knowledge.
In Isaiah 33, Isaiah writes of a future when the people of God will be freed from Assyrian domination. It is a future where Jerusalem is glorious and the envy of other nations. A future where there is stability, strength, and success in the land. The text makes it clear that the success of the nation will not be because of the people, but because of their God. The Lord will be for His people. The prosperity of the people is but a product of the power of God. It was the failure of the people of God to recognize the presence of God and follow the will of God that led to their downfall. They will learn from their mistakes and rise to be great once again.
America’s current political climate has been the source of much fear, anxiety, and worry. But it doesn’t matter who is in the White House or controls the House or the Senate because God is still on the throne. Proverbs 21:1 declares, “The LORD controls rulers, just as he determines the course of rivers” (CEV). The people of God can trust in the government of God. We embrace the fullness of the message printed on American currency: In God We Trust! Why? “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us” (Isaiah 33:22).
Notice that God has government covered. All of the functions of government are present in these three titles of God. He is judge, covering the judicial branch. He is lawgiver, covering the legislative branch, and He is King, covering the executive branch.
As our judge, He overrules the Supreme Court. We need to get in the habit of referring all things to God our Judge. His judgments are true. His ways are just.
As our lawgiver, His Law takes precedence over those of Congress. The beauty of God being both judge and lawgiver is that He knows the spirit and intent of the law, so in His role as judge, he never misinterprets the law that has been given. The Law reveals the will and expectations of God. (Romans 7:7).
As our King, His rule has veto power over the authority of the President. When God is your king, you don’t have to fear who will ascend to the throne after Him, for He is the king eternal and immortal. He won’t die in office. No assassination attempt can succeed. He alone is worthy of our worship and unquestioning obedience. For the Lord is a great King over all the earth, therefore we should make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King!
Valentine’s Day was exciting in elementary school. I looked forward to the class party with heart shaped cookies, and cupcakes with white icing, red sprinkles and a plastic heart. Students would give out cards from their favorite cartoon characters. The cards would most often include candy. My favorite were the red heart-shaped lollipops. I also remember getting those Sweethearts candies with the little messages written on them. One of the messages read, “Be Mine.” The person who gave the candy really didn’t want you to be theirs. The classmate who intentionally tripped you two days earlier wasn’t really saying, “I Luv U” or “Hug Me”. Those were just the messages on the candy.
But there is One who really means it when He says, “Be Mine.” When God says, “I love you”, He shows it and has the scars to prove it! God has extended the invitation for us to be His people (Hebrews 8:10). Jesus wants us to truly be His disciples (John 8:31). When we are His, it changes the way that we love others. Husbands who are His love their wives with the sacrificial love of God and honor them as much as they do their own bodies (Ephesians 5:25-29). Wives who belong to God respect their husbands and possess the unfading inner beauty of a gentle spirit (1 Peter 3:1-4). Singles who belong to God live in a way that honors God and recognize that their bodies are the temple of God. Valentine’s Day and every day, God should be our first love!
Will you make or renew your commitment to be His? Will we show love to the God who demonstrated His love for us, although we were hard to love. The call has already gone forth. God has taken the risky first step of declaring His love for us. Everyday God is essence asking each one of us, “Will you be Mine?”
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.