Pleasing God Through Love and Obedience
Scripture: Romans 2:11
“For God does not show favoritism.”
In this podcast episode, the speaker reflects on the concept of God’s wrath and favoritism, as highlighted in Romans chapter 2. While the topic of God’s wrath may seem daunting, the speaker encourages us to focus on the encouraging truth that God does not show favoritism. Regardless of our background, race, or knowledge, God treats everyone the same. Our relationship with Him is determined by our obedience and love for Him, or our rebellion and selfishness.
Knowledge vs. Relationship: The speaker emphasizes that having knowledge about God and His Word is not enough to please Him. We can know a lot about Jesus or the Bible but still lack a genuine relationship with Him. True Christianity is not merely about head knowledge but about a heart transformed by love and obedience.
False Sense of Security: The speaker warns against relying solely on our knowledge of Christianity as a false sense of security. Even those who have studied extensively or hold ministry degrees may not necessarily have a deep relationship with God. Our relationship with Him is not measured by our knowledge but by our wholehearted love for Him and our love for others.
The Greatest Commandments: The speaker reminds us of the two greatest commandments given by Jesus: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. These commandments encompass the essence of pleasing God. Our focus should be on cultivating a genuine love for God and extending that love to those around us.
Examine Your Heart: Take a moment to reflect on your relationship with God. Are you more focused on acquiring knowledge or on deepening your love and obedience to Him? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas where you may have placed more emphasis on knowledge rather than a genuine relationship with God.
Prioritize Love and Obedience: Make a conscious effort to prioritize loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Seek to obey His commands and live a life that reflects His love and grace. Additionally, intentionally love and serve those around you, treating them with kindness, compassion, and respect.
Simplify Your Faith: Remember that you don’t need an extensive theological background to please God. Simplify your faith by focusing on the core teachings of loving God and loving others. Seek to live out these commandments in your daily life, allowing them to shape your thoughts, words, and actions.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding us that You do not show favoritism and that our relationship with You is not based on knowledge or status. Help us to prioritize loving You with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to extend that love to those around us. Show us any areas where we have placed more emphasis on knowledge rather than a genuine relationship with You. May our lives be a reflection of Your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
May you find joy and fulfillment as you deepen your relationship with God through love and obedience.
Podcast Transcript: Is Your Faith Genuine or Superficial?
I’m still in Romans chapter 2, and from verses 5 to 10, there’s just more about God’s wrath. And I don’t want to be the downer talking about God’s wrath all the time, but it is in Scripture a lot, especially here in Romans again. I think when we’re in 1 Thessalonians and some of the other Pauline epistles, he’s talking about God’s wrath there as well. But I don’t want to focus on that today, even though that does stand out to me. that we can dull that down a little bit.
But in verse 11, which is encouraging, it says, for God does not show favoritism, in verse 11. Then he was referring to, it doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re Jewish, you’re Gentile, it doesn’t matter what your race, your creed is, what color your hair is, it doesn’t matter what your income is, or none of that matters. He doesn’t show favoritism towards anybody. Either you’ve given your life to Him, and you’re obeying His commands, and you love Him, and you’re living your life for Him, or you’re not, and you’re living your life for yourself. You’re being selfish, and you are ignoring who God is, and you are rebelling against what He has for your life. And those are really the only two options, and there is no favoritism. Whatever camp you’re in, He’s going to treat you the same as everybody else in that camp. You’re going to either receive His wrath or you’re going to receive His grace and you’re going to receive His forgiveness. That’s it. So that’s encouraging. Nobody gets favoritism with God, but there’s something else that stood out in verse 13.
False Sense of Security
With Christianity and Christians in general, there’s a lot of us, at least a lot of us that claim that we are. There comes, depending on how long you’ve been, a Christian or how long you’ve been going to church, you’re going to have varying degrees of knowledge. I think that knowledge can give us a false sense of security because you can know a lot about something and not actually be doing it or have that relationship. Like I can know a lot about Jesus but not have a relationship with him. I’m sure there’s a lot of atheists out there who know a lot about the Bible, but just, you know, they have no faith in it and they’re not following God in their life. So it doesn’t really matter what your knowledge is.
Just Do It
So I have four kids and they’re at the age where it doesn’t take them very long to to absolutely destroy a room. We try to make them clean up their rooms regularly, so that otherwise it would just be, I mean, they can live in filth. Like, they don’t even care. Like, they’ll just be stepping over all their stuff, wading through all these toys and all this junk, and they’d be totally fine. Like, we have to tell them, hey, you need to clean your room today. And then, you know, they don’t want to do it, or they’re never excited about it, but end of the day, mom and dad win. Like, we just told you, you gotta clean your room. You can hem and haw about it, you can complain about it, but… you just go in there and tell us clean, you’re not coming out. So, that’s usually what we do, and we do it fairly regularly. So, if I told them, hey, you gotta go clean your room, I let them in there for, let’s say, 20 minutes, and I go check on them, and there they are. They’re all sitting there, nice and quiet, because I have three boys that share one room. Let’s say they’re all in there, really quiet, and they’re all discussing amongst themselves what I just told them. And the room still being nasty. Would that please me at all? Like, Dad, you told us to clean our room. So we’re here talking about cleaning our room. We’re talking about what you what you said. You know, we’re discussing what clean means. And We’re each having, you know, a viewpoint on what clean is and what clean means. And then the room in general, we’re really getting deep in this subject. And we’ve got some research here that we’ve researched what room is and what that means and then what that means in our life and how this is a big part of where we are and what it looks like when it’s clean. And I’m like, is that going to please me at all? Nope. You’re not coming out until it is clean. Do what I said. Just do it. Don’t talk about it and just have a good knowledge of, yeah, my dad really wants me to clean my room. Yeah, so just do it, right?
Knowledge vs Relationship
And so I think having a certain amount of knowledge can possibly be a false sense of security for Christianity. I mean, I went to school for Christian ministry, right? So I have a degree in it. That does not make me a better Christian or a better Christ follower at all. I mean, it can give me advantages if I’m living it out and I’m doing it because I know more about what I’m supposed to be doing. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to have a better relationship with God because of my knowledge. And I know that because I went to school with people who know as much as I know. And I’m like, man, those guys really should not be in ministry at all because they’re not living the life. You don’t have to know a lot to please God. You don’t have to know very much at all. What’s the two greatest commandments? To love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. That’s really about the most amount of knowledge that you actually need. And I just gave it to you. So, you can study all you want, but if you’re not loving the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind, and you’re not loving your neighbor, which is basically anybody you run into, then you’re not pleasing God. You don’t need any more knowledge.
A lot going on in Romans chapter 2. I’m still in it. I’ll probably still be in it. But hopefully that is encouraging to you. So for what it’s worth, that’s Romans chapter 2 from my point of view. But I hope you’re getting in scripture today and letting Him change you.