“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)
In my last post we looked at the third part by how we are to approach God through the narrow gate. In this post, we will remember and repent and wrap-up this category of the Commands of Yeshua.
Approaching God ~ E
“Therefore, remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place – if you don’t turn from your sin!” (Revelation 2:5)
Remember and Repent
This repent is not a repentance unto salvation; it is a turning back from a dangerous course of life and turning to God. The church in Ephesus had strayed far from its foundations of love and became focused on preservation of correct doctrine, eradicating false teachers, and standing strong under pressure and persecution rather than focusing on love. In fact, they had “lost the love” they had at first (Revelation 2:4). Now they were in danger of having their candle snuffed out. For all their good deeds, they were an affront to the Head of the church who was going to shut their doors permanently if they did not “remember” and “turn.” Yeshua admits that they were partially on the right track, but because they had lost their love, they no longer were able to represent Him in the community of faith or in the communities in which they lived.
As always, Yeshua’s main concern was the love relationship between Him and His people. Yeshua appeared to Yochanan in a vision with the message to keep the love relationship fresh. He was calling His church to do the things they did in the early days of their relationship with Him. Without that, their good works meant little (see Revelation 2).
We need to remember our roots, recall our heritage, and reconsider our foundations so that we do not stray too far away from who we are at our core. Sometimes, we think we are being dutiful, creative, and fervent in carrying out our responsibilities when, in fact, we have gone far beyond Yeshua’s agenda for us. He does not ask for our help or our suggestions or our opinions. He simply asks for our obedience and our cooperation with His will. His priorities need to be our priorities. His ways need to be our ways. David wrote, “Make me know your ways, Adonai, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth, and teach me; for you are the God who saves me, my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5) His will must become our mandate.
Do you appreciate how far you have come since you first met Yeshua? Remembering means appreciating. It also can motivate us to do better if we notice we have made little progress in our faith since our conversion. We have more than enough power available to us to “walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). In fact, through Yeshua in us we can “soar on wings like eagles.” Repentance allows us to be in perfect union with Yeshua, to be in a sublime relationship with Him. It is a continuous action that should be at the top of our repertoire as Believers.
I want to take a few minutes to wrap-up our first category of the commands of Yeshua by Approaching God.
We learned in Part 3 that we had to approach God through repentance unto salvation. Yeshua’s first command calls us to repent ~ acknowledge our sins before God and turn from our wicked ways. We also learned that we have to approach God like little children. We need to be eager learners; accept our salvation by faith in God; and love God unconditionally.
We learned in Part 4 that we had to approach God by loving God and our neighbor and receiving the Ruach HaKodesh. In drawing on the Torah, Yeshua reiterated that we are to “love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’ This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. (Deuteronomy 6:5) And a second is similar to it, ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’ All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.” (Leviticus 19:18) (Matthew 22:37-40) When we are “born again,” the Ruach of God takes up residence in our heart and begins the transformation process in our lives, helping us become like Yeshua in our attitudes, thoughts, and actions.
We learned in Part 5 that we had to approach God by going through an extremely narrow gate. There are no alternative routes to God, no back entrances into heaven. There are only two choices: the narrow gate that leads to life and the broad gate that leads to destruction and torment. Both have a beginning point, and both have a destination to which they lead.
We learned in Part 6 that we had to approach God by worshiping Him in spirit and in truth and abiding in Him. We learned that our spirit must be made alive by His Ruach. We must be born again, revived spiritually, and enabled by Him to come into His presence. We also learned that we can’t hide anything from God and we must approach Him in truth ~ in total honesty by admitting our insufficiency and utter dependence on Him and realize we can give nothing worthy of Him except our love and devotion.
Finally, in this post, we learned that we must continue to remember what the Lord has done for us and repent whenever we fall short of His commands.
Remember always the words of Yeshua: “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” (Yochanan 14:15)
In my next post, we will look at the commands of Yeshua from the perspective of Yeshua as Lord.