I hate sin. Sin and my desire for it are like a crippling force that keeps me from being all God wants me to be. My selfish desire for the things of this world makes me less effective for the Kingdom of Heaven. In fact, sin keeps me from having the closer walk with my Lord that I so desperately long for. So what is the key to staying on track and overcoming sin? The answer is love.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He didn’t give one of the Ten Commandments or one of the many Jewish laws. Instead, He said “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” He went on to say “and the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt 22:37-40). In other words, if you Love God above all else and love others as you already love yourself, you will seek to honor God and care for others – thus fulfilling everything the law tried to govern. So, what keeps me from sin is loving God and loving others.
I’ve seen children who loved video games. You can tell they love them because if anything gets in between that child and their video game, they get upset. Whether it’s a parent who says no or a bad internet connection, the child gets upset because he or she cannot have access to the object of their joy and affection. If we made God the center of our joy and affection, if we loved Him with all our hearts, we would be like that child. We would begin to hate anything that comes between us and our Lord – namely sin. The fact that we continue in sin is a sign that we are not strong in our love for God. We may SAY we love Him, but the truth is made evident by our action. 1 John 5:3 says “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” John is saying that the love of God is demonstrated, not by emotion, but by expression – AND we will not see it as a burden because we love God and hate that which comes between us and Him.
Sinfulness and selfishness reveal a lack of love for God. The more we love God, the more we will hate sin because it separates us from Him. God hated sin so much that it took all of His love to overcome it on our behalf. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The more we learn about our Lord, the easier it is to love Him. With that in mind, let’s commit to spending more time getting to know Him through His word – it’s the clear path to loving Him more because to Know Him is to love Him. Don’t study just to know doctrine or facts, but study to know HIM. THEN we will find ourselves overcoming sin and obeying His commands and it will not be a burden at all to obey Him… because we love Him! That’s the first and greatest command – and the command that will keep you from sin.
God bless, Troy