Today, and every day, we will come up against the hard commands of Jesus. And the temptation will be for us to regard Him as ungenerous. As uncaring. As persnickety. Anything but loving. But here is where we come back not to what we think in the moment, but what we know to be true. We know it to be true that Jesus loves us. Every command is evidence of that love.
God tells us to stop, and God tells us to start. The Bible is full of prohibitions, and the Bible is full of exhortations. Regardless, the “do’s” and the “do not’s” are filtered through God’s love.
We know that right? We think we do. We think we know the reason God tells us to do certain things in service to Him and others is not because He needs us to serve Him, but because He loves us. He knows that the best way to live is to live in this fashion, and He loves us enough to tell us so.
Similarly, we think we know that the reason God tells us not to do some things is not because He is a cosmic killjoy; it’s because He is a Father who wants the best for us. He doesn’t want us to waste our lives or settle for less than the best, so He tells us to flee from this and turn away from that.
We think we know that, but when it comes to actually living out these commands, we begin to question. We question it especially when God tells us to stop doing something we really enjoy doing. It’s in those moments we start to wonder if God really loves us, because if He does, then why would He want to take something away from us?
In other words, we tend to think of prohibitions as exceptions to love.
But all of God’s commands are filtered through His love. Even the painful ones.
Case in point is the rich, young ruler.