There is, or at least was many decades ago a song taught to the very young in their Sunday school class, “Be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love.” Now, for a very small child indeed this song might have a catchy tune and sound wonderful, but if you stop and think about it, what is does is imply that if the little one does something wrong, there will be punishment, so always do what is considered right.
It is an efficient way, albeit I am sure unintended by the adults teaching it, to keep the pattern of “good works” continuing in their lives, or there could be some serious repercussions from the Almighty. “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” (Gen. 4:7)
Obedience to the One that we are called to be obedient to without love is to put it mildly, a wasted life, for rewards for that obedience without love are nonexistent. We do not love our neighbors because they are our neighbors, we love the Lord, and because we love Him, we are obedient in that action of love towards our neighbor. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.” (Matt. 5:43) This is not referring to the “go give them a hug and put them on your Christmas list” type of love, this is the love of action, the love that heaps coals of shame (Romans 12:20) upon them. “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)
The Scriptures are full of the action of love, the greatest being the action of Christ going to the cross for us, because He loves the Father, and “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) So in love, Jesus obeyed by His actions.
I am sure that most who teach that children’s song to the very young think of the words in it as such, but it is not always received by those children as such, it is received in a type of reserved fear, and that fear is what leads many people into believing they are serving Christ as they should be. Satan laughs, as they say, all the way to the bank on this great deception.
The child of God does not care what happens to him in this life, his flesh does, our flesh, when approached by the commandments of the Most High is always afraid, and for far too many, that fear covers over the love that they should have. There are, when one of His children becomes, and remains, disobedient, punishment, or chastisement if you prefer, or a loss of rewards. To those who will not repent of a known and continuing sin in their lives, I cannot speak of the action upon them by the Most High, He is God, He knows best, but here is where a point of contemplation must be entered, is someone who says they are born-again, someone who obeys the Word of God only because of the possibility of personal repercussion truly saved? Are they “being good” in their own eyes because they are afraid of what will happen to them, of what God may allow to occur in their lives, if they do not behave?
Many, if not all, religious organizations follow this credo, they have established in the minds of their followers those exact thoughts, behave, or there will be punishments. If you really stop to think about it, to contemplate these last few sentences, is it not that the way of the world, behave, or there will be adverse consequences, and is not the world heading even more in that direction every day? In love my friends, if you are not obeying Christ because you love Him, and only for that reason, then you are not living a life for Him and the glory of God.