Jer 35. Rom 13
A proper recognition of God involves obedience to Him. Jeremiah contrasts the obedience of Jonadab’s descendants to an oath of abstaining from wine, and not building houses, to Israel’s disobedience to God, who had spoken to them again and again. Israel were inattentive and disobedient; outwardly following religious observances, but in their hearts disregarding God. Don’t serve God with your lips but not your heart.
Paul calls the Roman believers to submit to pagan authorities, and pay their taxes. They were to recognize God’s authority through these structures. Pay these debts.
But the debt you can’t pay off is the ongoing debt to love one another – both believers and those who are not – all those who are unsympathetic, incompatible, proud, self centered – whether they are in church or never enter the place. Love is concerned for their best, their salvation, their needs being met.
Do you have that kind of love? – a love that puts others before yourself? That is submissive to God’s commands. Without Jesus in your heart, without His Spirit in your life, you can’t produce this love. This is the kind of love that Jesus showed for us; dying on the cross for our salvation. Only God can give you a selfless love for others as His Spirit changes us from within. Be ‘clothed’ in Jesus. For apart from Jesus dwelling within, we can never be free from the chains of selfishness and indifference.
Will others see Jesus’ love in your life today?