On love and obedience

Today’s daily bread is from John 14:15-16 and talks about the Holy Spirit being our constant companion in life. In reading John 14, the theme that stood out to me was that of love and obedience. However, before we delve into that, let’s take a quick look at the opening words of the chapter.

Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me.” I found this statement interesting because it implies that it is possible for someone to believe in the one true God without believing in Jesus. This is sad because, as Jesus goes on to say in verse 6, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. It is not enough to just believe in God. This must be combined with a belief in Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Our salvation began with Him and will be perfected/finished in Him.

Believing in Jesus is doubly important because as John 14:12-14 states, it is the basis on which we are able to do similar works to what Jesus did – heal the brokenhearted, cause the blind to see, proclaim freedom for captives etc. (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18). Jesus calls these works evidence that the Father is in Him and He is in the Father (John 14: 11-12). I guess for us, that means it is evidence that the Father is in us and we in Him. To exhibit evidence of our faith, it is essential that we believe in God and the One who died for our sins. Also note that believing in Jesus results in answered prayers (John 14: 13-14).  We pray in Jesus’ name so it only makes sense to believe in the One in whose name you pray.

Ok. Now on to love and obedience. After talking about the need to believe in Him, Jesus tells us that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments. And He will send us the Holy Spirit (John 14: 15-16). The sequence of this was very interesting to me. Obey and then I will send you a helper.  Realize that this sequence is true of our whole Christian walk. Increasingly I am beginning to realize that I decide that I am going to love, forgive, give, etc. before the supernatural ability to love, to forgive, to give, etc. comes. There is a part in our Christian walk only we can play and that part is obedience. And as long as we obey, we receive help. For example, the Bible asks us to repent and accept Jesus as Lord and savior (Acts 20:21, Matthew 4:17). That is the first step we take in our Christian journey. It is a step of obedience. Based on this obedience, we receive the Holy Spirit who is our helper. But this is not where it ends.

Let’s go to Ephesians 4 where Paul asks us not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). He is talking to Christians and makes it known that we have a responsibility post-salvation to act in accordance with the commandments of God. By not doing so, we grieve the Holy Spirit who is our helper. The dictionary definition of helper is someone who gives assistance. In order to assist, there must be something to assist. So, when faced with a situation, we make a decision to walk in obedience and then the Holy Spirit comes along to assist us in walking in obedience. You need to make the choice to obey and He will help you to. Listen to what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit – He is an advocate and will help you (John 14:16), He will teach you all things and remind you of what God has said (John 14:26). It never says He will force you to obey. He will prompt you to obey by reminding you of what God said but you need to decide to obey.

Yesterday, I was sharing with my bible study group that I was noticing a shift in the themes of our lessons. A movement from grace to responsibility. And as we go through the various lessons, the need for obedience keeps coming up. It is our one responsibility as Christians, as people called by His name and who love Him. And guess what we get when we obey? God will love us and God and Jesus will come and make their home with us (John 14:23). Imagine that. Through obedience, our lives become God’s home – His dwelling place– not just a drive-through. I have so much in my mind right now. From how the Israelites almost lost the privilege of the presence of God through their disobedience to how God’s presence is what distinguishes us as His people (Exodus 33) but I think I am going to end here. Just think on that. What would your life look like if God dwelled in it – His presence constantly active, His glory consistently shown through you?

Stay blessed folks!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s