Mini Messages

Bite-sized bits of faith to help uplift you throughout your week

One Appointment to Keep

Posted by Pastor Dave Johnson on November 17, 2020

Has the enemy of your soul ever whispered in your ear, “That Christian life of yours is way too complicated!” Of course, that’s not true, and that’s not the message we want to hear as sincere believers desiring to live for the Lord. The Bible simplifies our relationship with our Lord as a step by step “walk in love as Christ also hath loved us” (Ephesians 5:2). The Lord never intended a walk with HM to be other than by HIS Holy Spirit living in us with a moment-by-moment experience of his life-giving, joyful spiritual fruit. The Bible also tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love and according to the theology of that selective verse given in Galatians chapter 5, all the manifestations of joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith (v. 22) come spiritually alive from the outsource of that singular fruit of love. So, here’s the challenge, don’t make your Christian life difficult by trying to be that believer with all those spiritual qualities on your own. The answer is not applying truth to be lived but yielding to the Spirit of living truth in the power of Christ in you. You have one appointment to keep, and that is to “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21). When we are kept in His love by yielding to the Spirit, that fruit of His Spirit is the enabler for us to be kept in obedience to his Word (John 14:21). “He that loveth me keepeth my sayings” (John 14:24). “This is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). Love is the answer for living the life for the One who loves you.

Let’s look at that Biblical exhortation of keeping ourselves in HIS love and in his Word. First, we have to recognize that we do not keep ourselves in a love that we conjure up on our own for God. We do not love God with a self-originated love. Love that God desires from us comes from the Spirit of our Lord given to us, as we are filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). The Lord has taught us all about the resource of a fruitful life living in the love of God. “I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in me, and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). So, in essence, the Lord is saying that the believer’s life is all about Christ living within: It is no longer I that live but “Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). It is then that the fruit of His Spirit is becoming the wherewithal (the power and incentive) for living that life. The command to “keep yourself in the love of God” is basically the “keeping of your abode in HIM” in order to live the life of a believer. That Christian becomes an open epistle “known and read of all men” ( (2 Corinthians 3:2). He is sending us a spiritual message: “Do you see HIM now? He is living in me, that’s where I live, Jesus is the One for whom I live, and HE is in me, I am in HIM, HE is my life, my Lord, and my all.”

The Word of God makes a powerful statement that reaches out to grab our attention: “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). It was the prayer of our Lord in Gethsemanes’ garden that reveals the truth of a oneness of life LIVED in HIM: “I in them and thou in me, that they may be perfect in ONE … and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:23). God’s oneness and God’s love, what an interesting spiritual combination. Here’s the blessing regarding the “keeping yourselves in the love of God.” It takes our submission to the Spirit’s power of God’s love to keep us in that love and to be at one with the Lord of love, all made possible by abiding in His love. So, here’s some important statements that are so simple, but profound, and so spiritual, but practical: 1) Love (HIS LOVE) is always the answer concerning living the Christian life and obedience. 2) Realize that all our human attempts to live the Christian life will fail without being “perfect in one” (John 17:23) - Jesus perfects our relationship with HIM as we abide in HIS love. 3) In loving God, remember that it’s not in the power of your love to do so. 4) You can only love God with the perfect love that comes from His Spirit. 5) “Herein is love is love not that we loved God, but that he loved us” (I John 4:10). 6) We can only love him with the love that he has given us. 7) Just be a branch, keep it simple by being connected to the VINE. 8) Don’t complicate your Christian life by taking control, “for without ME ye can do nothing.” 9) Then and then only can you keep yourself in the love of God. 10) When you do, you are kept therein by his love, and you have now simplified your Christian life, and that is the ONE appointment to keep. Bring in his love and keep yourself THERE, in the love of God which he is continually giving you. God is love!