Something we see a lot with less active members here is "I still love God, I haven't forgotten him." Yet they haven't been to church for months or even years. They often have a problem with an old member or they started work that took them away form the church. Many people had worldly needs that came first. Our job would be so much easier if loving God was enough to qualify for salvation.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. Can we truly love God if we don't put him first in our lives? James 2: 17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
So often something gets in the way of our relationship with God. It's a problem that plagues everyone in one way or another. Being shy might keep us from opening our mouths. Being tired might make us quit an important job early, or walk past a precious opportunity. For me, fear has been one of the biggest obstacles. Fear is a part of my "natural man" that I haven't mastered. One of the many parts that still plague me, but I'm growing. Christ will heal us of all weaknesses. His love and mercy is sufficient to save, if and only if we apply it in our lives to follow him and overcome the natural man. This verse has helped me learn how to over come fear. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.
It's still hard, it's still scary. But when we love God and have a testimony that he loves us. What could possibly go wrong? It's not an all at once perfect cure, but I think it's an important ingredient. Before I doubt myself or try to excuse myself, I have to remember that God loves me with a perfect love. And if I love him, I must keep his commandments. That doesn't make it easy, but it makes it possible. Sometimes I think about all the precious truths we learn as a child. I am a child of God. I want to try and make this my anchor. That God loves me and I need not fear.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Joshua Keller