If You Love…

if you love

If you love me, obey my commandments. (John 14:15)

Read: Matthew 2:1 – 3:17, Mark 1:2-11, Luke 3:1-22

Relate: Over and over up to this point Jesus had talked about His “hour”. More than once He was faced with a situation where people wanted to kill him. They were never able to because “His hour had not yet come”. Jesus entire life was pointing towards that hour and the days which would follow. Now, more than ever, that clock was ticking towards that final moment. The countdown is now only hours from completion rather than weeks, months or years. The light can be seen at the end of the tunnel and, yes, it is a train.

John 14-16 is the last opportunity Jesus will have to use words to teach His disciples. You could say that this is His final sermon, followed by His final public prayer but that would cheapen the moment. These chapters record a discussion that is far more intimate than a sermon. This is a revolutionary teacher, speaking to his loyal and loving students, moments before His execution. These are the final words before that “go” button is pushed to launch the plan, thirty years in the making, but also millennia in the making, to save the world.

React: Those final instructions all hinge on these words: “If you love me, obey my commands.” I was thinking and planning on listing out some of the commands that Jesus gave today. My intention was to look at this list and examine how well we are following them, but I’m not pulling up that list. If you really want one, here is a list I wouldn’t quibble with much: 49 Commands. Instead there is only one question that really matters, “Do I love Jesus?” Everything is born out of that question. There’s no need to worry really about that list. If we love Him, truly love Him, then we will search out those commands for ourselves and try to live them. If we really love Him, surrender comes easily. Obedience follows love. It demonstrates love. The question of our love for Jesus can plainly be seen through the life we live. God forgive me for not loving Him more.

Respond:

God, help me to demonstrate my love for You through my obedience to You. Help me to stop rationalizing away what You have called me to do. Help me to recognize that anything less than complete and total surrender is really just idolatry in disguise. I give it all. My heart is Yours. I love You and You alone.

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12 thoughts on “If You Love…

  1. Deeply challenging. But, how do you square mercy and forgiveness with justice? God has mercy upon us because justice was satisfied at the cross. Islamic State is a great evil on the world. Should they not face justice? Has the international community not a moral duty to overthrow such wickedness as we did when Nazism was defeated. Did that mean that Christianity did not have a role to evangelise among the Nazis then and to Islamic State now? The answer is yes. The church is not the state and the state is not the church. The church must be prepared to take risks, to send missionaries. To reach the unreachable place with the Gospel. As you rightly said, if 100 people were willing to risk all and venture into Syria for Christ, it may well change the world. But the State still has a duty to exercise justice in the world. Sadly all too often justice is negated, legacy issues arise, victoms feel left behind by the peace at all costs mentality. You have raised important issues that got me thinking. Thank you.

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