Derek Prince - You Don't Love God More Than You Love His Word
And then the second truth is... Jesus said: If anyone loves me He will keep my Word. So, keeping God’s Word is the supreme test of the disciple’s love for God. Love is the motivation for obedience. It’s very important to understand that as believers we are not motivated by fear, we’re motivated by love. In a certain sense, the Law used the motivation of fear. If you do this you’ll be punished. But that doesn’t work. I’ve helped to bring up a large number of children.
Some of you wouldn’t believe how many and I won’t go into that. But I discovered, while they’re under your control as a parent you can use fear. But once they leave you, if they’ve been motivated by fear, they’ll change. The only motivation that will keep them loyal and faithful is love. And God and Jesus were wise enough not to build on fear but to build on love. So, keeping God’s Word is the supreme test of the disciple’s love for God. If any man loves me He will keep my Word. And love is the motivation for obedience. And then He says: If anyone loves me he will keep my Word, and my Father will love him. That’s another wonderful fact. Keeping God’s Word is what causes God the Father to love us with a special love.
Now, God loved the whole world in a certain way. But God has a very different degree and kind of love for true disciples of Jesus, for those who keep His Word. And then we had the question that Judas asked: How will you manifest yourself to us and not to the world? And Jesus’ answer was: If anybody loves me he will keep my Word. So, how does Christ manifest Himself to us? Through the Word. It’s through the keeping of the Word that we get to know Jesus better. We can have maybe some wonderful, spiritual experience. We can be caught up to the third heaven or whatever it may be. But that doesn’t happen to most people It is through keeping the Word of God. And then finally, and this is an amazing statement: If anyone loves me my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
There are only a very few places in the Bible where the plural pronoun is used about God but this is one of them. Jesus says: We [My Father and I] will come to him and make our abode with him. That’s a breathtaking statement. An amazing revelation that God the Father and God the Son want to come and make their dwelling with us. They want to make us their personal abode. But how does it come about? Through the Word. If we are not lovers of the Word, if we’re not obedient to the Word, God will not make His dwelling place with us.
And so, let me say this as I close this morning. And it’s a very solemn thought. You don’t love God more than you love His Word. So if you want to know how much you really love God, how much place God has in your life, you can find out. It’s not something you need to speculate about. You just ask yourself: How much do I love the Bible? How much place does the Bible have in my life? Because that’s as much as I love God, and that’s as much place as I give to God in my life. Let me just summarize those five statements about the Bible because they’re crucial. See, so many Christians are in a kind of twilight zone, they don’t really know what is light and what is darkness. They wish and they hope but they’re not really sure. And the reason is: they haven’t given the Word of God its rightful place in their lives.
So let me make these five statements and then close:
1. First of all, keeping God’s Word distinguishes true disciples from the world.
2. Second, keeping God’s Word is the supreme test of the disciple’s love for God. Love is our motivation for obedience, not fear.
3. Third, keeping God’s Word is the supreme cause of God’s love for the disciple. God loves disciples in a special way. He loves the whole world, but He has a special love for His disciples. But, those whom He loves as disciples are those who keep God’s Word. If you want to be specially dear to God, then you have to keep His Word.
4. Fourth, through God’s Word, kept and obeyed, Christ manifests Himself to us. The question was: How will you manifest yourself to us and not to the world? Jesus said: If you love Me you’ll keep My Word. That’s how I will manifest Myself.
5. And finally, through God’s Word, the Father and the Son will come together to indwell us. Isn’t that an amazing thought? It just takes my breath away. God the Father and God the Son want to make their dwelling with us. But they’ll only do it as we keep God’s Word.