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Whatever It Takes

In a community meeting about homelessness, I listened to a speaker imploring that all of us determine

what we can do to house the homeless, doing “what it takes.” I remember Andy Griffith on a Matlock

episode defending a client who was quoted as saying that she would get back at her husband “whatever

it takes.” Matlock was reminded of his own mother who said that she was going to get her son to clean

up his room “whatever it takes” and he said, “I don’t think she meant to kill me.”

“Whatever it Takes” is a fascinating phrase and it applies in so many areas of life. “I’m going to get my

husband to love me ‘whatever it takes’”! “You’re going to take better care of those kids ‘whatever it

takes’”! “I’ll get these employees to do their work well ‘whatever it takes’”! Examples are endless.

God’s love for the world and His knowledge that sin would enter the world and separate man from

Himself produced the “whatever it takes” for God—the ultimate sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus—God in

the flesh—who died on the cross for the sins of the world. God’s love for us was demonstrated in His

providing “what it takes” for us to have fellowship with Him, for us to be His children (cf. 1 John 3:1ff).

How much do we love God back? Would we not, in effect, commit to God that we will love Him back

“whatever it takes”? “Whatever it takes” to demonstrate love for God we will do because we love God

“because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

What DOES it take to demonstrate love for God? Isn’t worship a demonstration of love for God? The

entire process of bowing before the Lord Who loved us and is our King and Redeemer and Provider . . .

that is worship. And such worship is proper if we honor the way God said we should worship

Him—singing His praises, giving ourselves—time, money, talent, etc.—to Him, learning from His Word,

remembering the death of Jesus in partaking of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week (Acts 20:7),

praying always with an attitude of thanks giving (Philippians 4:4-7).

Isn’t our obedience to God a demonstration of love for Him? Jesus said to His disciples, “Anyone who

loves Me will keep my Word/commands” (John 14:15). “And having been perfected, He (Jesus) became

the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). One cannot love the Lord and not

obey Him. And one who is merely going through the motions of doing what the Lord says without love

isn’t truly demonstrating worship or obedience—because obedience to the Lord is part of our worship,

our honoring of Him (cf. 1 Corinthians 13).

“Whatever it Takes”—we will love the Lord and honor Him and encourage all others to do the same!

Jimmy Gaston

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