Loving Obedience

Loving Obedience
Scripture: John 14:15
Rev. Joyce Craft

If you love me, Keep my Commandments.

Jesus says in this phrase, if you love me, you will keep my commandments. He did not say, if you love me read the Bible more, or if you love me listen to more biblical sermons. We know that Bible reading and Biblical sermons teach us about Jesus and are important but the proof of our love for Jesus is obeying his instructions and keeping his commandments. The flip side is, if you don't keep my commandments, you don't love me.

This phrase recounts the last supper that was before Jesus’ crucifixion. Before this, Jesus had predicted that one of his disciples would betray him, at which point Judas did betray him. Jesus said if you love me, you will keep my commandments. This was the teaching that he was giving the disciples over their meal together. When you keep the commands of Jesus, it is a sign of our love and belonging to him. It is a test also that we continue to obey even in the face of difficulty. If so, it builds our strength and our faith in God.

The apostle John mentions the correlation between love and obedience 1 John 5:2-3- By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not burdensome as children of God, we are to obey him. Just as children obey their earthly father. This paves the way for us to love God, love others and experience the love God has for us. Jesus says, whoever has my commandment and keeps them he it is who loves me.

If you love Jesus, we will be loved by our heavenly father. Obedience to God’s commandment is not just about love, it is also freedom. Jesus said to the Jews, if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. If the son set you free, you can be free indeed.

Christ is the one who paid the price for our freedom. If we continue to surrender our lives to him and obey his commands, we can continue to walk in freedom. But we have to realize, we can't do this on our own. God has provided us a helper. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with us forever. The Holy Spirit empowers us to keep God's commands just as Jesus instructed. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are able to obey God, walk in true freedom, love God with our whole heart, mind, body, soul and to love others as well.

Prayer- Most Gracious, Most Merciful God, thank you for helping me to keep your commandments. Thank you for helping me to walk in freedom and love. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen
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